6 Days Ancient Ethnic Villages Tour to Southeast Yunnan

Tour Destinations: Kunming-Luxi-Mile-Mengzi-Gejiu-Yunayang-Jianshui-Tonghai-Kunming
This trip route connects Kunming and Vietnam from north to south. It will satisfy you with your yearning for the south Asian tropical amorous experience. These places full of amorous feelings of ethnic and charming natural sceneries and you can also experience the unique arts and crafts along the way.

Yes, what I am talking about is Honghe Prefecture. 

Section 1: Kunming – Luxi 

A’lu Ancient Cave, Luxi County

The “First Cave of Yunnan”, located in the Luxi County, is a spectacular underground water-eroded cave which is a natural art treasure. Every step will be surprising to you! 

Address: A’lu Mountain Foot, Luxi County 

Transportation: Coach starts at Kunming Eastern Bus Terminal to Luxi. Bus fare is 47 yuan, 170 km, 2.5 hour.

Ticket: 120 Yuan/person (discount is offered very often)

Chengzi Village 

Chengzi Village is unknown to public until the visit from CCTV for the recent years, but still few people have been there. It is 25 km from Luxi County, layered soil palm houses are the most prominent feature of the village. The roof of a neighbor’s house is another neighbor’s courtyard. In this place the neighborhood live in harmony, even doors are unbolted at night. 

Address: Yongning Township, Luxi County 

Transportation: Rent a car at Luxi Bus Terminal to Chengzi Village, or take the bus to Yongning Township and walk to Chengzi Village, about 2 km away.

Ticket: Free

Accommodation: youth hotel, however the condition is a bit rough

Recommended cuisine: do not miss the baked potato at Hengyuan Yitong Square, for it is a Luxi specialty, with a lot of spices. Besides cold chicken rice noodle is also good. Yuang Sheng Yuan Dining Room and Luxi Eight Bowls and Ancestral Home Cooking are recommended. 

Section 2: Luxi to Mile

Keyi Village, Mile County 

Address: 22 km from Mile County, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture (Keyi Village, Xisan Town)

Bus route: at the gate of Mile Grand Hotel, or the gate of Jinlong Hotel, or Ranweng road cross on Mile Avenue, take Bus No. 12 to Keyi Town (interval time of 15 to 30 minutes, ticket fare: 6 yuan).

Accommodation: it is recommended to take a single-family villa. A small villa has 5 rooms, and 7 rooms for a larger one. And the price is between 500 ~ 1000 yuan.

Food recommendation: Mile stewed chicken, stewed chicken rice noodle, mutton soup pot

Section 3: Mengzi – Mile 


Mengzi is a green land on the tropic of cancer. the total trip from Mile to Mengzi is 149.95 km with roughly 2 hours drive.  

Nanhu Lake 

Yunnan’s Cross Bridge Rice Noodle origins from this place, and Nanhu Lake is located in Mengzi City, also called Grass Lake. It is named by the three mountains as Mt. Peng Lai, Mt. Abbot, Mt. Yingzhou. Willows all year round, green water ripples in Nanhu Lake, as if a scenery in fairyland.

Bise Village 

One of the “Eighteen Strange Things in Yunnan”: “Train goes abroad rather than domestic and slower than car” is about this Yunnan-Vietnam Railway, passing through Bise Village, which is called as “Little Paris”. 

Address: Caoba Town, Mengzi County, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan

Ticket: 20 yuan for adult, and 10 yuan for child

Opening hours: 8:00-17:00

Accommodation: Bise Village is about 6 km from Caoba Town, 13 km from Mengzi County, which is the center of Honghe Prefecture. Only half hour’s drive can get you there. Accommodation in Mengzi County is recommended, for the condition is better, there are also various level and price of hotels for you to choose. Standard room price for three-star hotels is commonly between 140-200 Yuan. Also you can choose small hotels or hostels at lower prices, generally less than 100 yuan per day.

Food recommendation: Mengzi Cross Bridge Rice Noodle, Beef Cross Bridge Rice Noodle boiled in copper pot, Tofu.

Gejiu (Tin City) 

As the past capital of Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, and as the two-thousand-year-old Tin City, Gejiu cannot be said as a tourism city. This is one of the routes to Yuanyang Rice Terraces, which takes about 45 minutes for 34.6 km from Mengzi to Gejiu.

Jiaji Village in Gejiu 

Don’t miss out the pear flower during spring in Jiaji Village, Gejiu. In the evening you can enjoy the night scene of the so-called “Oriental Florence”, Asian “Venice” and China’s second “Little Hong Kong”, or drive to Shadian to visit the Shadian Grand Mosque with a reputation of “Little Mecca”. 

Address: South to Jijie Town, 5 km from Village Committee of BiYeHong Village, and 30 km from Jijie Town Government. 

Ticket: Free 

Recommended cuisine: rice noodle, baked tofu, Geji[FS:Page]u barbecue. Gejiu’s barbecue operates very late in the night, and besides baked tofu, you can also enjoy baked potato, chives, pork, beef, cheese etc. Key recommendation: steamed rice roll dipped in special spicy sauce, mini kebab, mini rice flour, three-line minced meat cake, milk liquor and so on.

Section 4: Gejiu to Yuanyang 


It has about 53 km from Gejiu to Yuanyang which takes around 40 minutes. The perfect lines and colorful texture of Yuanyang Rice Terraces depend on the ingenious fusion of sunlight and sky together with the smart people living on this land. 

Yuanyang Rice Terraces show the ever-changing, intoxicating beauty in different time and seasons. It is like a natural beauty girl, the four seasons changing only to suit her for a “harmonious” look. 

It spreads in a slight dropping variance along the valley as the thousands of terrace stairs passing down for hundreds of thousands of miles. 

Generally people start to transplant rice seedlings in May, to harvest in September and to irrigate in December. Therefore, the best visiting seasons are from October to March. And you will have the highest possibility to see the sea of clouds during the Spring Festival. 

Food recommendation:

Yuanyang beef, baked tofu, field-snail (the meat of field-snail is fragrant and sweet) and the sour bamboo shoots boiled wih fish

Address: South hillside of Mt. Ailao, Yuanyang County, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan 

1. Kunming Southern Bus Terminal Station: Kunming-Yuanyang, 139 yuan per person, 5-6 hours; Vans are available from Xinjie Town to the gate of the scenic spot, and from the gate to each scenic spot, fares are between 5 to 10 yuan.

2. You can also take a coach from Kunming to Jianshui or Gejiu, and then transfer to Yuanyang.

Car Charter: about 300 yuan to charter a car for one-day visit of the terraces, about 100 yuan to Laohuzui, and about 150-200 yuan for half-day to see sunrise at Duoyishu.

Ticket: 100 yuan per person (half-price discount is often offered: 50 yuan per person) 

 Section 5: Yuanyang – Jianshui

Jianshui County

It takes roughly 2 hours from Yuanyang to Jianshui (about 105 km). Jianshui Ancient City was called Lin’an in ancient time, which was built in the Tang Dynasty, thus having a long history of more than 1200 years. There are over 50 well-preserved exquisite ancient architectures in the city. Hence, names like a “museum of ancient buildings” and a “residence museum” have been given to the city. 

The ancient city is not big, basically consists of several streets centering Lin’an Road. The most famous places in this ancient city are the Confucious Temple and the Zhu’s Family Garden. Besides, a lot of old buildings are worth a visit. 

Address: Lin’an Town, Jianshui County, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan

Train: 4 daily trips from Kunming to Mengzi will pass Jianshui, with a travel time over 3 hours. Out of the railway station, you can take Bus No. 919, which goes between the train station and the East Gate of Jianshui Ancient City

Car: Take a coach at the Long-Distance Coach Bus Station close to Kunming Railway Station. The coach bus to Shiping will pass Jianshui, with a travel time around 4 hours. Take the coach to Jianshui at the Kunming Nanyao Bus Terminal, the fare is around 80 yuan per person. 

Bus No. 1, 13, and 15 etc. are travelling between the ancient city (East Gate or Zhu’s Family Garden) and the Jianshui Passenger Station. If you take a cab, it will only take you a start price.

Ticket: Free for ancient city. 133 yuan per person for a package of the Confucius Temple and the Zhu’s Family Garden and the Swallow Cave

60 yuan per person for the Confucius Temple, 50 yuan per person for the Zhu’s Family Garden, and 80 yuan per person for the Swallow Cave. 

Zhu’s Family Garden

Zhu’s Family Garden, located at Hanlin Street, Jianshui County, is the family house and ancestral hall built by Zhu Weiqin brothers in late Qing Dynasty. With the ancestral hall, living rooms, botanical garden as a whole in the gorgeous building, it gets a reputation of “Grand View Garden in South Yunnan”. 

The main building consists of two parts: the residential area and the ancestral hall with a layout of “three vertical and four horizontal” lines, which is a typical compound townhouse residence in Jianshui. Rich and varied space landscape has countless changes, which look like a “maze”.

Address: No. 16, Hanlin Street, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan (you can walk there if you are in the ancient city) 

Ticket:  133 yuan per person for a package of the Confucius[FS:Page] Temple and the Zhu’s Family Garden and the Swallow Cave; 60 yuan per person for the Zhu’s Family.

Jianshui Confucius Temple 

Jianshui Confucius Temple, built in the Yuan Dynasty, has a history of over 600 years. Its current scale and buildings are well preserved, ranking No. 3 Confucius Temple after the Qufu Confucius Temple in Shandong and the Confucius Temple in Beijing.

The most attractive place in the Confucius Temple is undoubtedly the Dacheng Hall, which is the main part of the Confucius Temple, consisting of five lined halls and a central hall with dragon throne in it to worship the statue of Confucius.

Address: No. 268, Lin’an Road, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan (you can walk there if you are in the ancient city) 

Ticket: 133 yuan per person for a package of the Confucius Temple and the Zhu’s Family Garden and the Swallow Cave; 60 yuan per person for the Confucius Temple.

Tuanshan Village, Jianshui County 

Tuanshan Village is once the inhabited area for Yi people in the history. All buildings in the village sit west toward the east. With grey tile roofing, lime walls and blue bricks as dado, each house centers a courtyard. Doors are often at one side of the main building and the route to the center courtyard passes through various corridors. 

There are 21 well-preserved Han nationality traditional dwelling houses and ancient buildings in Tuanshan Village. They are all numbered and have become the common homeland for countless families.

Address: (13 km from west Jianshui County) Tuanshan Village, Xizhuang Town, Jianshui County, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan


1. Yellow vans travel to Tuanshan Village are available at the Village Passenger Station out of the North Gate of Jianshui County. It costs around 5 yuan, with a travel time of about 30 minutes. Vans back to Jianshui can be found around the entrance of the East Gate of Tuanshan Village.

2. Take a taxi from Jianshui County to Tuanshan Village, about 50 yuan.

Tickets: 50 yuan per person