Luoping — The Golden Canola Fields of China
Unlike the ruggedness of other areas in Yunnan, Luoping's terrain is comparatively flat, hence it has been a traditional agricultural county growing rapeseed flowers for generations. Every year, when the rapeseed flowers are in full bloom, Luoping becomes an ocean of golden flowers and attracts photography enthusiasts from home and abroad.
Scroll down and find out what are the best times to see canola oceans and other travel tips for a Luoping tour, or simply contact our Luoping expert for more information.
Luoping Quick Facts for Travelers
- Chinese: 罗平 Luópíng /lwor-ping/
- Area: 533 sq. km (205 sq. mi.)
- Recommended time for a visit: 2–3 days
- Open times:
Duoyi River & Jiulong Waterfall: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Rapeseed fields: all day long
- Popular activities: appreciate the golden rapeseed flowers and natural landscapes, discovering the life of the Bouyei (Buyi) people
- Must-sees: Jinji Hills, Luosi Field, Duoyi River, and Jiulong Waterfall
- Suited to: anyone, especially photographers and nature lovers
Why People Visit Luoping
Luoping is synonymous with the golden canola fields of China. The Luoping International Canola Flowers Culture Festival is held from late February to early April. During these months, you can not only admire the yellow flowers but also watch or participate in different activities, like art performances, painting exhibitions, or even a marathon in the flower ocean.
One of China’s top five beautiful waterfall groups, Jiulong Waterfalls, is located on Jiulong River in Luoping County. Over a 4-kilometer stretch of the Jiulong River, the drop exceeds 100 meters, a large part of which is the most spectacular ‘First Waterfall of Jiulong’ exceeding 60 meters in height.
More on China's Top 5 most Beautiful Waterfalls>>
Luoping is the main homeland of the Bouyei (Buyi) people. Their distinctive stilted houses, unique ethnic customs, exquisite ethnic costumes, and colorful handicrafts are fascinating sights.
See the top attractions brought together in our recommended tours:
- 5-Day Kunming, Luoping, and Wanfenglin Tour — Sense spring vitality in Southwest China.
- 6-Day Yunnan Ethnic Minorities Tour — Explore the awesome scenery, discover Yunnan’s history, and experience the minorities’ unique customs.
Best Times to Visit Luoping
The best time to visit Luoping is normally from mid-February to March, the blooming season of rapeseed flowers, when you can delight in the golden ocean.
There are no specific dates for the full bloom season as it depends on the temperatures/rainfall/sunshine year by year. In some years, flowers bloom early in February and there is nothing much to enjoy in March. Please check with our Luoping expert first before planning your trip.
Early March and early April are when the important ethnic festivals are in Luoping, and they are good times to experience the minority culture and participate in the traditional celebrations.
The weather can still be a little cold in early spring, with a large temperature difference between daytime and nighttime (average spring day: 8–21°C or 46–70°F). Take long-sleeved layers and a jacket to keep warm.
The Top 3 Places for Rapeseed Flowers in Luoping
If you have visited Provence in France and have been amazed by its vast lavender fields, you’ll understand why Luoping is called “the Provence of China” but with yellow rapeseed flowers.
Below are the three best places to appreciate the beauty of Luoping and its rapeseed flowers:
1. Jinji Peak — Overlook the Golden Ocean
Jinji Peak, also called Jinji Peak Cluster (金鸡峰丛 /jin-jee-fnng-tsong/ ‘Golden Rooster Peak Cluster’), is like hundreds of small pyramids surrounded by the flat golden rapeseed fields.
It is the best place to appreciate rapeseed flowers in Luoping, with the boundless yellow ocean spread out before you, and also a perfect place to shoot the sunrise and sunset. If you are lucky enough to encounter mist in the morning light, the foggy mountains and wafting clouds will make you feel like you’re in a fairyland.
Address: Jinji Village in Banqiao Township (about 10 kilometers northeast of Luoping County Town)
2. Luosi Fields — Admire the Spiraling Rapeseed Terraces
Luosi Fields (螺丝田 Luósītián /lwor-srr-tyen/ ‘Screw Fields’) is another important shooting spot of the rapeseed flowers. The terraced fields there are in concentric rings, which look like spiral patterns on screws from a distance.
Compared to the majestic rapeseed fields around Jinji Peak, the Luositian fields are small and exquisite. In different seasons different crops are grown there, and so they form a variety of shapes in different colors.
Address: Jiulong Township, formerly called Niujie Township (about 10 kilometers north of Luoping County Town)
3. Hundred Thousand Mountains — A Mysterious Unknown Land
Hundred Thousand Mountains, or Shiwan Dashan Scenic Area (十万大山 /shrr-wann-daa-shan/) is known for its undulating peaks stretching to the horizon.
Different from the vast and flat fields around Jinji Peak, the rapeseed fields of Shiwan Dashan present a beauty that is unique and three-dimensional: some fields are on the hillside, some are in the valleys, and some are surrounding the mountains. There are no platforms there for photography as the scenery is everywhere — a platform could be built at every roadside or hillside path.
Address: the area southeast of Luoping County Town
Places for a Different Rapeseed Flower Experience
Majie Village (马街村 Majiecun /maa-jyeah-tswnn/ ‘Horse Street Village’), about 50 kilometers north of Luoping County Town, is praised as the most beautiful countryside location in China. The rapeseed flowers are grown on terraced fields, similar to the Hani Terraced Rice Fields.
Aviation RV International Campground (航空露营地 Hangkong Luyingdi /hung-kong loo-ying-dee/), located at the west side of the main festival venue, just south of Luoping County Town, is where you can take a helicopter, delta wing, or powered parachute to have a panoramic view of the rapeseed flowers from the sky. Contact our Luoping expert for a reservation if you would like to have this experience.
Lazhuang Village (腊庄村 Lazhuangcun /laa-jwung-tswnn/), about 10 kilometers west of Luoping County Town, is a peaceful and quiet village without any tourists. There, you can enjoy both the rapeseed flowers and authentic rural China.
2 Things to Do in Luoping Besides Canola Gazing
Luoping has been praised as the "the world's largest natural garden". Besides the flower oceans in spring, other classic scenes of Luoping are awesome waterfalls in summer, colorful peaks and forests in autumn, and enchanting mists in winter. Then there’s the Buyi ethnic culture too…
1. Duoyi River Scenic Area — Experience Buyi Ethnic Culture
Duoyi River Scenic Area (多依河 Duoyi He /dwor-ee her/) is home to the Bouyei (Buyi) people. The crystal-clear river inside the scenic area has nearly 40 waterfalls on the Douyi’s 12-kilometer-long scenic stretch, with ancient trees and bamboo on both banks. The most attractive scene, though, is the Bouyei (Buyi) villages and their traditional irrigation tools — water wheels.
There, you can enjoy the large and small stilted buildings and slate houses, appreciate the gorgeous ethnic costumes of the Bouyei (Buyi) women, and taste the local ethnic cuisine, like sour bamboo fish, dried beef, and five-color glutinous rice made with edible flowers and plants.
The traditional Sanyuesan Water-Splashing Festival (Sanyuesan /san-ywair-san/ means ‘3rd month 3rd day’), also called the Spring Festival of the Bouyei (Buyi) people, falls in March or April (the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month). Local people in traditional costumes gather by the river with lively activities such as racing bamboo rafts, splashing water, and singing in antiphonal couplets.
Address: On the X606 off the Luoba Expressway (about 40 kilometers by road southeast of Luoping County)
2. Jiulong Waterfalls — 2nd Most Beautiful Waterfalls in China
Jiulong Waterfalls (九龙瀑布 Jiulong Pubu /jyoh-long poo-boo/) is praised as “the Second Most Beautiful Waterfall Group in China”. The waterfalls are divided into ten layers in various shapes: some are turbulent, some are beautiful, some are open, and some are hidden. Cable cars are available to reach a high viewing platform where you can overlook the entire waterfall chain.
The annual Eryue’er Song Festival (the 2nd day of the 2nd lunar month) takes place at Jiulong Waterfalls in late February or March. It used to be a festival to pray for a good harvest. Now, young Bouyei (Buyi) men and women from nearby provinces gather at the Jiulong Waterfalls in their traditional costumes to dance, sing in antiphonal style, and look for a spouse.
Address: Changdi township (24 kilometers northeast of Luoping County)
Getting to Luoping from Kunming
Luoping can be easily reached from Kunming by coach, train, or private vehicle, and this is the reason most visitors choose Kunming as their transit city.
By Public Transportation
Direct buses between Kunming Eastern Bus Station and Luoping Bus Station depart every 40 minutes from 07:00 to the evening and a bus ride takes around 3½ hours.
Bullet trains are not available between Kunming and Luoping, but you can take a ‘fast’ train (K train) from Kunming to Luoping which takes 3–4 hours.
Return tickets from Luoping to Kunming are not easy to buy as Luoping is a small stopover. It is better to buy return tickets as early as possible when tickets are on sale. Click to find train times and book tickets with us.
By Private Vehicle
English service is not available for the above public transportation, and if you do not speak Chinese, the most convenient way to get to Luoping is to take a private vehicle with pickup service from your location in Kunming. Enjoy a worry-free journey and save your time for the sights, instead of looking for local public transportation within Luoping County to get to them. We can help you with that and much more.
Luoping Hotels and Where to Stay
For Luoping visitors, there are plenty of choices of hostels and comfortable standard hotels. However, high-end hotels are not available since Luoping is a small county.
Accommodation availability is very tight during the Canola Flowers Culture Festival period (late February to March), so make sure you have a hotel reservation before you go. Or ask our Luoping expert to book one for you.
Below are two recommended hotels:
- Zhong Yuan Hotel (3-star)
- Luoping Rongting Holiday Hotel (3-star)
How to Plan a Luoping Tour
Luoping is worth spending two days on at least to explore the rapeseed flower areas, ethnic culture, and its karst natural wonders.
Normally, people go to Luoping from Kunming, and there is more to explore en route. With top photography destinations nearby — the Stone Forest (remarkable karst formations), Dongchuan Red Land (God's palette), the Yuanyang Rice Terraces (stunning views of terraced fields and Hani ethnic culture) and Wanfenglin (endless peak forests and peak clusters) — it is ideal to extend a tour to 5–8 days.
The following tours can be customized to include Luoping:
- 3-Day Kunming Highlights Tour
- 3-Day Kunming and Dongchuan Red Land Tour
- 6-Day Jianshui and Yuanyang Tour
Touring Luoping with China Highlights
Dreaming of being in the ocean of rapeseed flowers? Only by going to Luoping can you truly experience the beauty of the golden world. We are more than happy to offer a guide service and tailor-make a Luoping tour for you.
Here are some tours for inspiration:
- 3-Day Kunming Highlights Tour
- 5-Day Kunming, Luoping, and Wanfenglin Tour
- 8-Day Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La Highlights Tour
Feel free to tell us your requirements and we can alter the itinerary and extend or shorten your tour to suit your price, interests, and schedule. Our tours are very flexible!