Charming Photography Tour in Yunnan

8 Days Kunming-Dongchuan-Yuanyang-Jianshui-Kunming

Yunnan is an ideal photography tour destination, where there is countless beautiful scenery such as snow mountains, rice terraces, stone forests, and so on. Our Yunnan photography tour starts from Kunming. You will first visit the amazing red earth. The colorful land will make you feel unimaginable. And then it will be the Stone Forest, the world-famous karst landform. Then you will go to Yuanyang to visit the Yuanyang rice terraces. Whether it's sunrise or sunset, for photographers, the scenery here is unmissable. In addition, the ancient buildings and dwellings here are also unique. From the architectural style to the details, they reflect the culture of the ethnic minorities. Set off with our private China photo tourand explore the beauty of Yunnan.

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Kunming Arrival
Arrival in Kunming

After arrival, we will pick you up and then you will be transferred to your hotel. have a good rest and prepare for your Yunnan photography tour.

Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province. Due to its location on the low-latitude plateau, the annual average temperature here is 15 degrees. There are no extremely hot summers and extremely freezing winters. Therefore, flowers bloom here all year round. That is why Kunming enjoys the reputation of "Spring City" and "Flower City". Although the annual temperature difference is relatively small, the daily temperature difference here is large and the ultraviolet intensity is high. So please bring sunscreen and sunglasses when you travel to Kunming. Kunming is a national historical and cultural city. Ancient humans lived here as early as 30,000 years ago. China Kunming Import and Export Fair, China International Tourism Fair, and China Kunming International Tourism Festival make Kunming one of the major exhibition cities in China. With its fascinating natural beauty and diverse ethnic culture, it is also a new star destination for photography in recent years.

Day 2 KunmingDongchuan
red earth, Yueliangtian Rice Terrace, Luoxiagou Alley

After breakfast, we will drive about 2.5 hours (170KM) to Dongchuan. You will see the beautiful red earth here. The overall climate in Yunnan is warm and humid, and the iron in the soil is slowly deposited after oxidation, gradually forming a dazzling color. This is what we called red earth. The red earth here is considered by experts as the most imposing red earth in the world except the red earth of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

After arrival, we will first visit the Yueliangtian Rice Terrace. It is the main scenery area of the Dongchuan red earth. It is called the "Earth Sculpture" because of the perfect combination of the canyon landscape and the terraced wetland landscape. In spring, the fields will be filled with water. At this time, from a distance, the irrigating terraces will shine under the sun, and it looks like silver lights. In autumn, the color of the rice will turn golden, which contrasts very clearly with the color of the red earth. That makes the rice terrace more beautiful.

And then we will go and visit the Luoxiagou Alley which means Sunset Alley. From the name you can see that it is the best place to shoot the sunset scenery. There are many tourists here every day waiting for the sunset. In the afterglow of the setting sun, golden straw, green trees, and red land constitute a pastoral landscape. According to experience, Luoxiagou has the best light from 16:30-17:30 and it is the most suitable time for taking beautiful sunsets.

red earth
red earth
Luoxiagou Alley
Luoxiagou Alley
Day 3 Dongchuan
Jiaozi Snow Mountain

In the morning, if you can wake up very early, you can take photos of the sunrise here. Your guide will tell you the time for sunrise. After that, we will visit the Jiaozi Snow Mountain. This scenic spot is mainly composed of snow mountains, ice waterfalls, and virgin forests. At an altitude of 2500 to 4000 meters, there are many high mountain waterfalls, with a drop of tens of meters to hundreds of meters. In summer, these waterfalls pour down, surrounded by clouds and mist. In the cold winter, the waterfall is "frozen" from top to bottom, forming an ice waterfall, like a huge white marble sculpture. At the highest point of the scenic spot, at an altitude of 3800 to 4100 meters, there is a lake. It is said that once the water in the lake is disturbed or people shout loudly here, it is easy to cause rain or hail. That makes the lake more mysterious. If you are lucky enough, it is possible to see the Buddha's light in Jiaozi Snow Mountain. Buddha’s light is an atmospheric optical phenomenon. A brilliant halo appeared on the clouds which looks amazing. 

After lunch, we will drive about 3 hours (190KM) to Shilin. And then you will be transferred to your hotel for a good rest. 

Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Day 4 ShilinYuanyang
Stone Forest, Long Lake

After breakfast, we will visit the Stone Forest. Stone Forest Scenic Spot is a scenic spot with a karst landform as the main body. The stone forest preserves and displays the most diverse karst forms. The tall sword-shaped, column-shaped, mushroom-shaped, and tower-shaped limestone columns are typical representatives of the stone forest. Besides, there are caves, stalactites, natural bridges, cliff waterfalls, cone-shaped peaks, etc. Almost all karst forms in the world are concentrated here, forming a panoramic view of karst geology and landforms. 

Also, there is a lake name Long Lake in the Stone Forest scenic area. It is a lava lake. The circumference is 5 kilometers and the average depth is 24 meters. The water is as clear as a mirror and pollution-free. Surrounded by green hills on all sides, the plant coverage rate is over 95%. Few tourists came here before, so it is also called "Hidden Lake".

Most of the people living near the Stone Forest belong to the Yi nationality. They will hold the Torch Festival on June 24th of the lunar calendar every year. It is a traditional festival for the Yi people to celebrate the harvest. On the day of the festival, all the people in the village dressed in festive costumes to celebrate the annual traditional festival. The celebration in the stone forest and on the shore of Long Lake is the grandest.

After lunch, we will drive about 3.5 hours to Yuanyang.

Option: Milk cake (a kind of cheese) is a specialty of Shilin. The local people boil fresh goat's milk and add the acidic juice squeezed from the sour fruits collected on the mountain to solidify it. Then it is pressed into blocks and dried to form a milk cake. There are many ways to eat milk cakes. They can be steamed, boiled, fried, braised, or eaten directly. If you are interested, you can taste some in a local restaurant.

Stone Forest
Long Lake
Day 5 Yuanyang
Duoyishu Rice Terrace Scenic area, Jingkou Folk Custom Village

In the early morning, we will visit the Duoyishu Rice Terrace Scenic area. There are tens of thousands of acres of terraced fields. Photos of Duoyishu rice terraces appear in most of Yuanyang terraces promotional videos. The terraces here are as spectacular as paintings. Especially at sunrise, the ever-changing colors on the water surface are dazzling. 

After that, you will visit the Jingkou Folk Custom Village. Visitors can experience the Hani terraced rice culture and ethnic minority culture here. The houses here are called mushroom houses because they resemble mushrooms. The Hani people use black as their beautiful, solemn, and holy color. And they regard black as an auspicious color, life color, and protective color. Therefore, black is the main color of Hani costumes. There will be various embroidery on the clothes as decoration. Girls also wear a lot of silver accessories on their necks. If you are lucky, you may meet the Hani ethnic performance here. In addition to the buildings and costumes of ethnic minorities, you can also see an ancient well here. People in the village believe that drinking water from this well can live a long life.

Duoyishu Rice Terrace Scenic area
Duoyishu Rice Terrace Scenic area
Jingkou Folk Custom Village
Jingkou Folk Custom Village
Day 6 YuanyangJianshui
Jianshui Ancient Town, Zhu’s Family House, Confucian Temple

After breakfast, we will drive about 2 hours (126 KM) to Jianshui. 

After arrival, we will visit the Jianshui Ancient Town. This is an ancient town with more than 600 year’s history. You will first visit Zhu’s Family House which embodies the architectural style of residential houses at that time. It is a private building in the Qing Dynasty that integrated the family house, ancestral hall, and garden. It covers an area of more than 20,000 square meters, of which the construction area is more than 5,000 square meters. And there is a total of 214 houses. Its overall architectural layout is reasonable and orderly, and the carvings and decorations of the house details are also very particular. You will see many carved patterns of roosters and horses here. Because they were once sacred animals in Yunnan. Besides, you will see Zhu's family motto carved on the wall. That's about 500 words. It taught the descendants of the Zhu family to be hardworking, thrifty, and studious. 

And then we will visit the Confucian Temple. The Chinese believe in Confucius and regard him as a master of all the teachers. Therefore, you will see many Confucian temples in many cities in China. The Confucian Temple in Jianshui is the third-largest Confucian Temple in China. Every weekend, there will be a large-scale "ancient music performance" in the Confucian Temple, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is free to watch. And the ceremony to commemorate Confucius on the birthday of Confucius on September 28th is even more majestic and solemn. If you catch up with this event, don't miss it.

Option: Jianshui purple pottery is a traditional folk craft in Jianshui. It has a history of more than 600 years. There are many varieties of Jianshui purple pottery, including kitchen utensils, tea sets, flower pots, and display decorative items. Most of them look simple but elegant, with a unique Chinese style. Although it is called purple pottery, it is made from the local five-color soil of red, yellow, purple, blue, and white. And there are various patterns or paintings on it. If you like, you can buy a few small purple pottery items as souvenirs to take home.

Jianshui Ancient Town
Jianshui Ancient Town
Confucian Temple
Confucian Temple
Day 7 JianshuiKunming
Zhang’s Family House

In the morning, we will take you to visit the Zhang’s Family House. It is called the " Palace of Art" and "one of the most beautiful houses in China" by tourists. The Zhang’s Family House is a representative work of Bai folk house architecture. The decorative patterns on the walls and pillars are very exquisite, gorgeous but not tacky. Sitting in the sky pavilion of Zhang’s Family House, you can see the sunrise in the east, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the north, the colorful clouds in the south, and the Cangshan Mountain in the west.

After lunch, we will drive back to Kunming.

Zhang’s Family House
Zhang’s Family House
Zhang’s Family House
Zhang’s Family House
Day 8 Kunming
Fligh back home

After breakfast, we will drive to the airport and then you will take the flight and fly back to your sweet home.

Editor: Besty He

This tour ends here
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