Located in the far southwest of China, bordering Burma, Laos and Vietnam, Yunnan Province is one of China’s most diverse regions. The area boasts a rich diversity of people and landscapes including snow-capped mountains, rice terraces, lakes and forests. What’s more, Yunnan contains the most minority groups in China, making it a truly fascinating and colourful place to visit. A must for anyone planning a second visit to China, here’s our take on Undiscovered Yunnan!
Yunnan is home to 25 different ethnic minorities, some of which are recognised by UNESCO. With so many cultures and traditions throughout the province, you will never be far from a local festival or cultural experience. Throughout Yunnan you will witness the full spectrum of colourful, distinctive dress, only found in these areas. The people are friendly, yet curious, possibly even more curious of you, than you are of them.
There are plenty of handicrafts made locally that will make perfect presents for loved ones back at home. Keep your eye out for unique wax prints and jade carvings.
The cuisine of Yunnan, whilst not as famous as neighbouring Sichuan, offers real delicacies including across the bridge rice noodles, pot-steamed chicken and Yunnan Ham.
Lijiang’s old town is one of the best preserved in all of China. There are cobbled streets, ancient wooden homes, hand-made stone bridges ordained with intricate details, all of which give you an authentic glance into China’s history and era’s gone by.
Even their names evoke feelings of wonder and intrigue; Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the blue rice terraces of Yuanyang and Tiger Leaping Gorge. The range of alpine-like mountains that carve through the Yunnan province will stop you in your tracks. Throughout the province keep your eyes out for wild Yaks sauntering across lush meadows without a care in the world.
Here are our top three highlights, a must inclusion on a trip to Yunnan:
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Nestled away in the mountains of the Yunnan province, lies a 3,000m deep gorge, Tiger Leaping Gorge which is one of the deepest gorges in the world. The scenery here is breathtaking.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
A magnificent mountain massif, Jade Dragon incorporates several peaks with the tallest reaching great heights at 5,500m. Here you can take a cable car to the top and explore one of the high meadows, where you may just find a Yak lazily grazing on the pastures. Make sure your camera is ready, your panoramic function is sure to get a workout. Down below, stop by Black Dragon Pool, where if the weather is just right, you can capture a stunning reflection of the surrounding peaks in the pool. We guarantee this will be an image that will stay with you for years to come.
Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Last but not least, the Rice Terraces of Yuanyang are a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site, offering spectacular watery views that really are a sight to behold. Make sure you visit at sunset, as the sun turns the terraces into a kaleidoscope of colours.
Did you know?
In some areas of Yunnan, it is normal for the husband to stay at home to look after the children whilst the wife goes out to work.
Want to visit? See our Yunnan Adventure tour!