Yunnan, a travel heaven

Although Yunnan province is less developed economically, when compared with China’s eastern provinces, its tourism resources are so rich that one should not explore China without visiting Yunnan. From the world-renowned Lijiang to numerous small ancient towns; From the amazing Karst formations to the newly listed World Heritage Site Hani Terrace, Yunnan can be a complete eye-opener for even the most discerning travelers. Here are eight Yunnan destinations not to be missed, although we are sure that the place’s natural wonders and cultural landscapes are far beyond the few spots listed here.

1.The Old Town of Lijiang

It is located in the Lijiang Autonomous County of the Naxi Ethnic Minority, Southwest China’s Yunnan province,is one of the last surviving ancient towns in China.

Lying in a broad, fertile valley in the northwest of Yunnan Province, the Old Town of Lijiang has been a commercial, political and cultural center of the Naxi people and other ethnic minorities for over eight centuries.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Lijiang’s Naxi people still preserve much of their native Dongba culture and deep spiritual connection to nature.

2.Honghe Hani Terrace

These rice terraces is situated in Yuanyang county of Honghe prefecture, Southwest China’s Yunnan province.The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee inscribed China’s cultural landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces onto the prestigious World Heritage List in June,2013, bringing the total number of World Heritage Sites in China to 45.

3.Paddy fiedls in Yuanyang

The paddy fields are in Tuguozhai village of Xinjie town in Yuanyang, Southwest China’s Yunnan province. With abundant rainfall, rice grows well this summer in the terraced fields here.

4.Luoping

The small county of Luoping lies in the relatively underdeveloped eastern part of the Yunnan province, neighboring Guizhou and Guangxi provinces. It sits 220 kilometers east of the capital Kunming. Every spring, the entire county will transform into an ocean of canola flowers, attracting thousands of travelers and photographers to enjoy the spectacle.

5.Zhengying ancient village

Located along the Chirui Lake, Baoxiu town, about 10 kilometers west of Shipping county, Southwest China’s Yunnan province, Zhengying village has a history of more than 600 years. In 1999, Zhengying village is named as historical and cultural village of provincial level; hence it acquires the reputation as the “No.1 Village in Yunnan”.

6.Naigu stone forest

The karst formations in Shilin have long been a tourist draw in Yunnan province, but the Naigu stone forest in Lunan county just 10 kilometers away is now emerging as a popular destination.

A central part of Stone Forest Park that was listed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in 2007, the 30-square-kilometer Naigu scenic area is known as a natural museum of karst land forms. The word naigu means”ancient and black” in the language of the Yi ethnic group, a fitting description of the mass of blackish limestone that formed about 270 million years ago.

Compared with the Shilin landscape and its sword-shaped stones, the Naigu attraction has much sturdier stone columns that appear as shapes ranging from animals and figures to towers and blockhouses. The highest is more than 40 meters tall.

7.Shalin sceniv area

Tourists visit the Shalin scenic area in Luliang county, Southwest China’s Yunnan province, March 4, 2013. With various geological wonders, Shalin scenic area has long been a tourist attraction.

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