As you explore the vast rice paddy fields, hiking trails through dramatic gorges and historic old towns of this diverse province you’ll realize why it is a popular destination for Chinese vacationers.
Yunnan, in southwestern China, is known for its varied natural landscapes and multicultural population. Take a guided tour around rice paddy fields for insight into agricultural life, visit peaceful hilltop temples and explore historic towns built by ancient civilizations.
Yunnan has an incredible diversity, both among its people and its landscapes. The region is home to the greatest number of ethnic groups in China, with settlements spread out across mountains, jungles and cosmopolitan cities. Spend time with locals to experience authentic local cultures and customs.
Start in the capital, Kunming, which is known as the “City of Eternal Spring” because of its flowers that seem to be perpetually in bloom. Do some people-watching in Dongfeng Square or browse the colorful stalls of the Jingxing Flowers and Bird Market. Nearby is the famous Shilin Stone Forest where jagged karst formations rise dramatically from the ground.
Escape to the countryside to see the Yuányáng Rice Terraces. Lovely villages look out to rice-covered hills, which blanket the rolling landscape. Another scenic trek in the region is along Tiger Leaping Gorge; this trail can be conquered by hikers of most abilities.
For a glimpse into the China of old, head for the historic city of Lijiang. Here, wander the cobbled lanes of UNESCO-listed Lijiang Old Town and study the intricate carvings at Mu’s Residence, the one-time home of the ruling family of the region. Towering over the old town is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain where skiers and hikers make their way around a glacier.
Don’t miss your chance to explore the jungle of Dàměnglóng. Within the trees, find the White Bamboo Shoot Pagoda, a popular temple dating back to 1204.
Fly into Kunming Changshui International Airport and take a shuttle or taxi to downtown Kunming. To reach remote locations you will require a car or a privately booked taxi, so consider renting your own transportation. If you’re planning on sticking with the larger cities, regular public buses will help you navigate the surrounding areas.
Plan a trip to Yunnan to discover ancient buildings, hike through fascinating natural formations and meet a diverse range of people.