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Photography Tips at Dongchuan Red Lands

Dongchuan Red Land Area is located in Xintian County (New Land County), more than 40 kilometers south-west of the Dongchuan District of Kunming. It is about 250 kilometers away from Kunming City and about four and a half hours' drive.

Dongchuan red land

The red lands stretch for thousands of meters in the highland regions where hills and mountains crisscross. The mountain ranges rise and fall and the hills of red land stretch as far as the eye can see. Next to those of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, experts believe that the red lands there are awe-inspiring in their sizes, and are the most majestic view of red land in the world.

Travelers flood to the red lands to enjoy the amazing sights, particularly photography-lovers. Here are some tips for them.

Best Times

Dongchuan red land

The middle of May: there are more rainy days during this period, creating more opportunities to see a sea of clouds. Pictures taken during this period have clear graduations of light and shade. Moreover, the red lands of this area present beautiful lines with various fresh colors.

The middle of November: the red lands and their surroundings glow with autumn tints, which make travelers warm and comfortable. Also, the clouds at this time are different from those of summer.

Best Scenic Sites

Huashitou (Flower Stone Village) of Xintian County is the best place for photography. It is easy to see because it’s under the sign displaying the distance of 109 kilometers. The red lands, extending nearly 50 kilometers in this area, are the most typical and distinctive red lands centered among the highland regions of Yunnan.

There are many scenic sites there. Travelers can visit all of them within a day. However, for those photography-lovers, they may need three days because they should take pictures at different times. Here are some recommended scenic sites:

Damakan 打马坎

Overlooking Damakan Village on the high hill beside the road either before or after sunrise, photography-lovers can have an amazing view of a village set in idyllic surroundings. In addition, it is the best site to see the sunrise.

Photography-lovers can enjoy the fairy dawn and the rising sun if they are lucky enough. However, photography-lovers need to get up early and leave at 5:30am because of its great distance, and a favorable position is needed for a perfect picture.

Qicaipo (Seven Colors Hill) and Jinxiuyuan (Splendid Garden) 七彩坡和锦绣园

Seen from different views, Qicaipo and Jinxiuyuan are the two scenic sites with a vast expanse of many rolling hills. The lands there show different colors in different seasons. Industrious peasants are often seen cultivating or reaping crops on the red lands on fine days. The best time for taking pictures there is in the afternoon.  

Yuepuao Hollow (Music Hollow) 乐谱凹

Yuepuao Hollow stands near Huashitou Village. It has similar scenery to Qicaipo and Jinxiuyuan. Nearly half of the site is covered by trees and villages. The place near Yuepuao Hollow and Huashitou Village is a good choice for photography-lovers to take pictures of the sunset glow.

It is worthy of mentioning that there is an old and tall pine that is called Shenshu (a holy tree). It stands alone on top of the hill, watching the red lands as a loyal servant for hundreds of years.

Yueliang Tian (Moon Rice Field) 月亮田

Yueliang Tian has the only terraces growing rice around this area. It looks like the Yuanyang Terraces but it is smaller in scale. Photography-lovers can take pictures of water-filled terraces in spring or golden yellow rice in autumn.

Luoxiagou (Sunset Valley) 落霞沟

The most beautiful scenery is situated at Luoxiagou, also called Xiantangdi (Sunken Depression). The lands of this site are surrounded by mountains and hills; they look like a sunken depression from a distance. Together with other red lands, some lands grown with green crops make the view of the scenery perfect. However, it is very hard to show the wonderful scenery through the cameras, therefore, it is a big challenge for photography-lovers.


The accommodations in Dongchuan District are limited and our travel advisor can arrange the best hotel for you.

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