Top Things to Know

What to photograph in Yunnan?

Dongchuan Red Land

Yunnan offers a variety of spectacular sights and experiences for photographers. One must-see location is the Dongchuan Red Land, considered by geographic experts to be the world's second-most impressive red land after Rio de Janeiro. The land boasts stunning views of flaming earth, green vegetable fields, and unique shapes and lines that resemble paintings.

Yuanyang Rice Terraces & Hani Minority People

Another popular spot for photography is the Yuanyang Rice Terraces, which offer magnificent views of expansive terraces stretching across several counties on the south bank of the Red River.

Ancient Towns

Additionally, Jianshui ancient town, three pagodas in Dali, ancient streets and architectures in Lijiang, the well-preserved ancient tea-horse road in Shaxi and Shuhe ancient town, offer well-preserved historical architecture and streets that make for great photo opportunities.

Birding and Birds Photography

For bird enthusiasts, the west of Yunnan provides an ideal location to spot almost 100 species of migrating birds during the winter months. The most diverse area is Gaoligong Mountain, particularly in the Baihualing region, which is excellent for birding and bird photography.

Species such as Hill Partridge, Rufous-throated Partridge, and Golden-throated Barbet can be spotted.

From November to March is the best time for birds shooting in west of Yunnan.

Golden Monkeys

Yunnan is home to four species of golden monkeys, including the Myanmar and Yunnan golden monkeys. These rare primates can be found in Yunnan province and make for a unique and fascinating photography subject.

Best time to visit Yunnan

Yunnan enjoys warm weather throughout the year.

To capture the best photographs of the Yuanyang rice terraces, it is recommended to visit from December to March when the fields are flooded, and there is a high chance of capturing a sea of clouds.

For photography at the Dongchuan Red Land, the best time to visit is in March, May, September, and November, as different plants bloom in different months, including yellow rapeseed flowers, golden wheat and buckwheat, green potato leaves, and red land that together form a breathtaking landscape.

Travel smart - it is advisable to avoid visiting during public holidays such as Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day Holiday, summer holiday, as well as shorter holidays like Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and May Labor Festival. .

Yuanyang Rice Terraces VS Longji (Guilin) Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces Longji Rice Terraces
Reachable It takes about 5-6 hours drive from Kunming to Yuanyang Longji rice terrace is closer from Guilin city, it takes about 1.5-2 hours drive
Landforms Terraced fields in Yuanyang are much flater and wider, so it is easier to capture the reflections in fields at sunrise and sunset. Terraced fields in Longji are smaller and narrower, mountains are more steep, so more texture for photography
How long Yuanyang rice terraces is a bigger area, better to spend 3 days there, make sure you have two times sunrises and sunset session. Better to spend 2 days in Longji for sunrise and sunset shooting
Weather The weather is more stable in Yuanyang than Longji Guilin, that is, high chances for sunrise, sunset and sea of clouds shooting in Yuanyang More rainy days in Longji area
Best time The best photography time to Yuanyang is from December to March (fields are flooded) There are two good periods for photography, February to June (fields are flooded) and September to October (golden rice season).