Admire the classic ancient buildings in Jianshui and recharge your spirit with the most spectacular sights of the Yuanyang Rice Terraces. There are no shopping stops, just you and the beautiful view.
- Lose your way in the less-visited karst landscape of the Stone Forest
- Gain an insight into ancient wisdom in the large Confucian Temple of Jianshui
- Find the soul of Chinese architectures in the Zhu Family Garden
- Gaze at the sunset at the Tiger Mouth Pass in the Yuanyang Rice Terraces
- Capture the dance of sunrise in Duoyishu
- Integrate with the locals in the most original Hani minority market
Our Service Included:
- Our 1-to-1 expert China consultancy with unlimited itinerary changes
- Booking of China internal flights, trains, and cruises, per your preferences
- Your own China-Highlights-trained, versatile and knowledgeable tour guide
- Your own chauffeured and comfortable vehicle, chosen for ample space
- Hand-picking of hotels for your requirements
- Hotel breakfasts arranged, and local restaurant lunches ordered, to suit you
- Entry to all attractions on your itinerary, with queues avoided wherever possible
- Our 24-7 helpline for while you are travelling
Your private tour guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After completing the check-in process with the help of your guide, you can have a rest or explore Kunming by yourself.
Good to know:
If you arrive early in the morning and have some time to kill, you may consider enriching your day by visiting Yunnan Minority Village, which gives a very quick view of the various minorities in Yunnan and their cultures, costumes, and customs. If you are interested in the history of the American Flying Tigers during World War II, Kunming Museum is recommended.
Kunming New Era Hotel
After a 1½-hour drive, visit a fantastic natural phenomenon located 90 kilometers southeast of Kunming — the Stone Forest. The various shapes of limestone were formed due to millions of years' movement of the Earth. The Stone Forest area is the home of the Naxi people, and their folk customs have become a spectacular scene. The colorful embroidery and minority dances combined with the natural scenery will surely leave you with a lasting impression. Enjoy a local lunch in a quaint courtyard with the Stone Forest Park in the background.
In the afternoon, your guide and driver will transfer you directly to Jianshui Town, taking approximately 3 hours. Jianshui is not big, but you will find classic ancient architecture surrounding you everywhere. Have a relaxing walk in the historical town and enjoy a quaint evening.
Built over 700 hundred years ago, the Jianshui Confucius Temple is one of the biggest Confucian temples in China. It was built to commemorate Confucius, a great Chinese philosopher who lived from 551 to 479 BC. Grand ceremonies are held twice a year, at Chinese New Year and on September 28th, Confucius’s birthday. Have lunch and take a break.
The Zhang Family Garden is a fascinating collection of traditional Chinese folk dwellings and temples. Located in Jianxin Street, the private garden of the Zhu family has a total area of 20,000 square meters. The planned yards, gardens, and well, combined with the furnished rooms, halls, and the structure of the architecture, make this a very special place.
After the tour, take the 2-hour private transfer to Yuanyang for an overnight stay.
Yuanyang Yunti Hotel
The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are located in Honghe County. The first tribe to settle in this area and construct terraces for farming purposes was the Hani ethnic group. This incredible piece of engineering was not discovered until the 1980s and became the 45th Chinese World Heritage Site from 2013. Enjoy a spectacular view from the scenic mountain terraces at Duoyishu Village. Climb to the Tiger Mouth Pass that overlooks an extensive view of the terraces. Experience the folk culture at Qingkou Hani Ethnic Village. The highlight is visiting at sunrise and sunset when the light reflects off of the pools of water, creating a magnificent color show. Your guide will arrange lunch flexibly according to your needs. Stay one more night in Yuanyang after you capture the photo of a sunset over the rice terraces.
The local market in Yuanyang attracts minorities from all around the villages. Minority people with unique customs gather in the market both to buy and sell all sorts of products. Local bazaars are usually held once a week. It is a fun way to experience the local people’s normal lifestyle.
After the visit, hop in the private vehicle and enjoy the transfer back to Kunming. It takes approximately 6 hours and your guide will arrange lunch for you to take a break.
Kunming New Era Hotel
After breakfast in your hotel, you will be transferred to the airport in good time. Your guide will help you with all the formalities. China Highlights hopes to be of service to you again.
1. Tour Map
2. Tailoring Your Tour
This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, and extend or shorten it to suit your price, interest, and schedule. Feel free to tell us your requirements, and we will be happy to help you arrange a tour using our professional knowledge and experience. We promise a "No Shopping Policy".
3. Optional Extension
Hekou to Vietnam
From Yuanyang, taking a 4-hour drive, we can escort you to Hekou Port, which is adjacent to Laojie Port in Vietnam. You can cross the border here and arrive at the Laojie city of Vietnam. Please feel free to inform your preference and we are happy to extend the tour in the southeast part Aisa for you.
Show and Entertainment
Dynamic Yunnan in Kunming is a large-scale song and dance performance featuring the remarkable and diverse local ethnic culture. It is another masterpiece from the famous Chinese dancer Yangliping who directs and heads the cast.
It is recommended to book with your guide a day before, or on the day, to allow flexibility.
4. Best Times to Visit
1) Spring sowing season (January to March): Before planting, the water-filled rice terraces are like thousands of mirrors reflecting the blue sky, clouds, green hills, and mountains. The sunrise and sunset are reflected beautifully, presenting a marvelous view.
2) Autumn harvest season (July to September): During this time, the bottom of the Ailao Mountains turns golden yellow with rice. The rice terraces with different harvest times show different colors, either deep or light.
Compared with the autumn harvest season, pictures taken in the spring sowing season may be better because the lines between the water in the terraces and the ridges of the fields are clear and beautiful.
Besides the seasons, weather is also a crucial factor for taking pictures. The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are located at the southern part of the Ailao Mountains, the valley of the Red River, and the Tengtiao River. There are about 180 days with foggy conditions each year because of the wet climate. With a subtropical climate, a visit to Yuanyang Rice Terraces anytime during the year is possible.
As remote counties in the southwest of China, Jianshui and Yuanyang offer limited hotel choices. We have chosen standard hotels for you in the itinerary and their facilities are very basic. Despite the lack of choice, the hotels we use in the tour are carefully selected based on criteria like hotel environment, location, service, and previous customer feedback. Your guide will accompany you to check the room.
There are also some local hostels offering a different accommodation experience, but the room number is limited. If you would like to try a local hostel, please inform your trip advisor about your preference:
Jianshui: Tingziyun Resort
Yuanyang: Sunny Guesthouse
6. More Trip Information
Want to learn more about this trip? Please click here to see details about traveling in China, booking, payment and responsible travel.