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Yuanyang Travel Blog

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Not much people travel to Yuanyang when in Yunnan, probably time consume, I guess.  Yuanyang is famous for it's beautiful rice terrace stretching across steep hillsides, they are among the world’s largest and are least known to many people, which keeps the tourist count low. Paddies are flooded during winter and early spring,  creating  reflected pool effect, while summer  are  green with growing rice stalks. After the fall harvest, the paddies become naked bare earth. The best time to see is around February, according to the local, I guess so because it is quite foggy at that time we were there, with cool comfortable breeze. 

It takes quite a hassle getting there, option 1: take a bus from Kunming Nanyao Bus Station to Jianshui (4 hrs), from Jianshui take a direct bus (3.

5 hrs) to Xinjiezhen around 8am, if you miss it, catch  Jianshui ��" Lvchun bus at 11.30 ��" 12.10 (pass through), or a bus to Nansha then transfer to Xinjiezhen, which is complicated. Option 2: Kunming ��"Gejiu (4-5 hrs), then Gejiu to Xinjiezhen (3 hrs).

To get around,  the public transport which consists of either motorized tricycles, mini buses or vans do not run so early or till so late. You can easily arrange to rent a car/van for Y200/day. Or you can hike around if you have the time and a map with you (make sure you are physically fit).

There isn’t much choice in accommodation, you can stay at: 1) Backpacker Rendezvous +86-(0)873-562-4625, a small guest house with 3 rooms. The owner, Tam, speak fluent English, when he has no guests, he would sometimes close his guesthouse to travel on his own, so call in advance to be sure he is at home.

  2) Yuanyang Chenjia Fangshe guest house (next to the old bus station). There is a terrace overlooking the rice fields while eating your breakfast. Yuanyang is not a touristy place, there are many villages, no entrance fees except visiting the Qingkou village, nightlife is out of question.

I went there with some of my husband's colleague, they hired a van to take us there and arrange our stay in one of the hotel situated at the hill top. Yuanyang is near to the border of Vietnam, so if you plan to cross over to visit Vietnam after China, do remember to make a stop in Yuanyang for their breathtaking rice terrace, if you can!

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photo by: Stevie_Wes