Highlights of Yunnan Winter Tour

Yunnan, the most southwestern province of China, is home to mild weather, diverse culture, delicious foods, and stunning scenery. Winter is a decent time to travel Yunnan. The highest mountains and the coldest temperatures in winter can be experienced in the northern part of Yunnan which borders Tibet. However, travelling around LijiangDali and Kunmingof the central Yunnan would be a great experience. The weather is good enough with bright sunshine, azure sky and less rainfall. Flowers are in full bloom, and you may feel like it is in spring not in winter. This page will introduce you the highlights of Yunnan winter tour such as where to go and what to do.

Top Yunnan Winter Tour Destination 


Northern Yunnan, which borders Tibet, has the highest mountains and the coldest winter temperatures. If you would like to visit Haba Snow MountainMeili Snow MountainJade Dragon Snow Mountain(Lijiang) and other snow mountain, winter is a good time to visit. Otherwise, you should prevent to go north to Shangri-La or Deqin


As a popular destination in Yunnan, Lijiang is considered as a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by Naxi ethnic minority. In winter, Lijiang enjoys more sunshine than other seasons. Choosing a favorable local guesthouse and having a warm sun bath on a sling chair is a perfect way to spend your holiday in Lijiang.


Walking around Dali, you will witness the magical power and charm with your own eyes. Dali has around 126 days in the year with temperatures around 18-21℃(54-66 F) which is the most appropriate temperature for taking a break. In addition, it enjoys abundant sunshine which is most welcome during the winter months thanks to its high altitude.


With its perpetual spring-like weather which provides the ideal climate for plants and flowers, Kunming is known as the “Spring City”. Every winter, black-headed gulls from Siberia fly to Kunming and settle in Green Lake and Dianchi Lake, forming a harmonious scene of human beings and nature. Besides, Dongchuan Red Land and Jiaozi Snow Mountainare worth visiting.


Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Honghe River. In winter, there is only water in paddy field. With the change of sunray, terrace presents different beautiful scenery. Sea of cloud often appears at these months. If you want to experience rice transplanting, come and visit Yuanyang Terraces in late April.


Located south of the Tropic of Cancer, Xishuangbannan enjoys the tropical monsoon climate. November to next May is dry season with cool weather so that it is the hot tourism season. Try to avoid the peak holidays due to crowded Chinese tourists such as Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.) While if you would like to taste the rich tropical fruit here, traveling during the period from June to September is a good choice. 

Western Yunnan

Including Dehong, Baoshan, Lincang and Nujiang, Western Yunnan belongs to the subtropical monsoon climate and the subtropical monsoon rain forest climate. It is located in the low-latitude plateau region, where there is no severe heat in summer and no severe cold in winter, and the four seasons are like spring. Tengchong, Ruili, Mangshi are top destinations of western Yunnan tours. 

Top Things to Do in Yunnan Winter


In the cold winter, some parts of Yunnan are still as warm as spring. Winter in Yunnan is not too cold and some regions still have temperature of over 20˚C. The warm sun in winter is more attractive, so many places are suitable for sunbathing. With bright sunshine, azure sky and bloom flowers, you can enjoy the winter time whatever around lakes, on the mountain or at the old town. There are border town, alpine valleys, as well as ethnic customs and tropical scenery. 


Since the weather in most areas of Yunnan is mild in winter, thousands of various birds migrate to Yunnan, Mainly from Sibiria during the winter. In the season of winter when migratory birds flock into Yunnan, many (wetland) parks are highlighted by such birds such as the wintering grounds for the red-beaked seagulls in Kunming and black-necked cranes in Nianhu(Qujing) and Huize(Zhaotong). 

Flower Watching

Early every late winter(January) or early spring, the blossoming Luoping rapeseed flowers draws flocks of tourists and photographers. Sprawling farmland covered in golden rape stretches right up to the horizon, forming a sea of yellow buds and filling the air with the refreshing smell of spring. In recent years, Luoping Rapeseed Flowers Tour has been popular and enjoyed good fame.

Hiking & Climbing

Yunnan is the paradise for hikers. The popular winter hiking routes of Tiger Leaping GorgeCangshan MountainLaojun Mountain favored by thousands of adventure tourists. Besides, climbing up a snow mountain such as Haba Snow MountainMeili Snow MountainJade Dragon Snow Mountain, Jiaozi Snow Mountain,are worth to have a try.


If you are a shutterbug, you can choose Dongchuan Red Land and Yuanyang Rice Terraces as your destination. The bright red land with blue sky, white cloud and unpredictable light form the spectacular scenery of Dongchuan Red Land, hence the name ‘God’s Palette’. Every winter, a crowd of photographers are attracted by the spectacular view of Yuanyang terrace like sunrise, sunset, sea of cloud. More and more people admire the charm of Yuanyang rice terrace.

Suggested Yunnan Winter Tours:

2 Days Kunming Dongchuan Red Land and Jiaozi Snow Mountain Tour
5 Days Kunming Spring City and Luoping Rapeseed Flowers Photography Tour
6 Days Kunming-Dali-Lijiang Tour
6 Days Northeast Yunnan Winter Birding Tour to Dianchi Lake, Nianhu Lake and Dashanbao
6 Days Kunming Yuanyang Jianshui Photography Tour with Honghe Hani Rice Terraces
7 Days Kunming, XishuangBanna and Puer Family Tour with Tropical Forest and Ethnic Culture Discovery
8 Days Yunnan Photography Tour with Dongchuan Red Land and Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces

Read more about Yunnan Winter Tours.

Keep Reading:
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How to Plan a Dali Tour?
How to Plan a Lijiang Tour?
How to Plan a Shangrila Tour?
How to Plan Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-La Tour?
How to Plan a Honghe and Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces Photography Tour?
How to Plan a Xishuangbanna Tour?