5 Days South Yunnan Ethnic Minority Discovery and Tropical Forest Photograph Tour

Yunnan is a microcosm of China in the areas of minority affairs and nationality relations. The province has 25 minority groups, nearly half of the country’s total ( 56 ethnic groups ). With such ethnic diversity it is important to ask the question: what criteria are used to determine minority status and classification? Basically, there are five ways: Race, Language, Culture, Religion, History. This is an unconventional tour including winter experience at Yuanyang Rice Terrace and Summer experience(tropical forest) at Xishuangbannan.  This tour focuses on attractions of the cities of south Yunnan. This could also be a minority discovery tour, because you may find minority features like Yis, Hanis, Lahus, Was and Dais. 


  • Visit the tropical forests in the south of Yunnan and other attractions among the area.
  • Experience the different ethnic lives and cultures.
  • Appreciate the colorful rice terrace.

Breif Itinerary

  • Day 1 Kunming-Shilin-Jianshui
  • Day 2 Jianshui-Yuanyang
  • Day 3 Yuanyang
  • Day 4 Yuanyang-Yuanjiang-Puer
  • Day 5 Puer-Menglun-Jinghong

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Kunming-Shilin-Jianshui

Sightseeing and Activities:the Stone Forest, Jianshui Old Town, the Garden of Family Zhu
Accommodation: Jianshui
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Large Stone Forest in Shilin County, Kunming

You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. There is a local saying: ‘It is a waste of time not to visit the Stone Forest while visiting Kunming’, which vividly expresses the deep love of the local people toward this world wonder. The quintessential karst landscape makes every tourist lost in wonder. And then, you’ll drive around 4 hours to Jiangshui. 

After arriving at Jianshui, visit the Jianshui Old Town and the Chaoyang Gateway, which was built in Ming Dynasty (1389). It is also known as ‘Miniature Tian’an men’ because the out shape of it is similar to Tian’anmen Square in Beijing. Visit a typical southern private garden-the Garden of Family Zhu.

–Jianshui is a small town in Honghe prefecture,  in the southern part of Yunnan.  It is on the road from Kunimg to the famous Yuanyang rice terraces, most of the travellers stay one night here to enjoy the atmophere of an ancient Chinese town. There are numerous buildings of historic value and places of interest in this area, including over 100 temples, academies of classical learning and large residences. Those are still kept in good condition, including the Chaoyang Gateway Arch, the Jianshui Confucius Temple, the Zhilin Temple, Shuanglong Bridge, the Private Garden of the Zhu Family and the Ancient Nalou Office Building.

Day 2 Jianshui-Yuanyang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jianshui Confucius Temple, Shuanglong Bridge, Tuanshan Village, Zhang Family Garden, Laohuzui Rice Terraces
Accommodation: Yuanyang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit the Confucius Temple, which has a history of 700 years. It is the second largest Confucius Temple in China. Then you’ll visit Tuanshan Village, Shuanglong Bridge and the Garden of Family Zhang. Tuanshan Village is a rare surviving example of an intact-albeit neglected-traditional walled Yunnan village compound in southwestern China, and has been added to the 2005 list of internationally significant sites by the World Memorial Fund for Architecture (WMF), an international fund for the protection of world heritage sites.

In the afternoon, you will transfer to Yuanyang and enjoy the sight of terraced fields of Laohuzui (Tiger Mouth) at sunset. Overnight at Mengnong Chieftain Palace.

–Yuanyang is about 300km south of Kunming, renowned for its rice terraces, which was claimed as the world’s largest and most spectacular one, crafted out by bare hands by the Hani people one thousand years ago and is still in use today. The rice farmers have had to practice ecology and land preservation centuries before those concepts were widely accepted around the world. Without hard work maintaining the terrace walls and irrigation system, the precious top soil would wash down the hillsides into the rivers.
Yuanyang Rice Terrace is a self sustaining ecosystem. During winter to early spring, the entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and getting prepared for the next season. The Hani people have repeated this for more than a thousand years. There is only one harvest in a year for the Yuanyang Rice Terrace; planting is from March to Oct./Nov. every year.

Day 3 Yuanyang

Sightseeing and Activities:the rise view of Duoyishu Rice Terraces, Qingkou Village, Shengcun Market, Laohuzui Rice Terraces
Accommodation: Yuanyang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Duoyishu Rice Terraces in Yuanyang County,Honghe-20

Get up very early in the morning, you’ll drive 30KM to visit Duoyishu Village and enjoy the sunrise of Duoyishu Rice Terrace Fields when the sun appears above the eastern horizon. The terraced fields are ring upon ring and cascade one by one. They go along the hillside up to the sky. You will see the scenery of the terraced fields from the top of the mountains to the bottom. There are all farms under the sunshine and cloud and mist. The landscape is spectacular.

And then, you will visit Bada Hani Rice Terrace, Shengcun Market where Hani people for generations inhabit. Visit  Qingkou Village and rice terraces as well. You will enjoy the sunset of Laohuzui Rice Terraces in the late afternoon at Panzhihua Town.

Transfer back to Xinjie Town.

Day 4 Yuanyang-Yuanjiang-Puer

Sightseeing and Activities:the Great Bend of Red River, Honghe Bridge,China Puer Tea Exhibition Garden,Plum Lake
Accommodation: Pu’er
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive along the Red River Valley to Yuanjiang, visit the Great Bend of Red River on the way. Arrive in Yuanjiang, pay a visit to the Honghe Bridge, which is famous for being the highest bridge in the world.

Continue the driving to Puer, visit China Puer Tea Exhibition Garden in Puer City. Located at the Yingpan Mountains, 34km (21mi) from Cuiyun District of Puer City, and near Puer National Park, the China Puer Tea Exhibition Garden covers an area of 24,167mu (1,611ha). It is an ideal place for growing Puer Tea because of the pleasant climate and great environment. There you can enjoy tea-leaves picking, processing, and exquisite drinking art, as well as buying some to bring home.

Visit the Plum Lake in Puer City in the late afternoon. Meizi Lake or Plum Lake is 3.5 km long; its water area is 600 Mu (Chinese acre) and its average depth is 15 meters. For sightseeing, boating facilities have been equipped. In particular, on the lake shore, there are pavilions and archaized architectures, and corridors to display the calligraphic works of the local literati.

Day 5 Puer-Menglun-Jinghong

Sightseeing and Activities:Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden, Dai Ethnic Garden, Manting Park
Accommodation: Jinghong
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Manting Park in Jinghong City, Xishuangbanna-21

In the morning drive from Puer to Menglun Town.  Take a tour of the Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden. As the home to many rare flora and endangered fauna, Xishuangbanna is an excellent place to take in the unique beauty of sub-tropical nature and biodiversity in China. Take a visit to the Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden and observe beautiful flowers, shrubbery, and trees in the spacious garden. If you go early enough in the morning, you can see the sunrise cast a dreamy golden glow over the garden.

Drive to visit Dai Ethnic Garden, located in the Ganlan Basin in Menghan County, proudly holds a national 4A rating as one of China’s top scenic spots. Within the Dai Ethnic Garden, five Dai villages – Manjiang, Manchunman, Manting, ManZha, and Manga – cover an area of 3.36 square kilometers and consist of 309 families, or 1487 individual villagers.

Transfer to Jinghong in the late afternoon and pay a visit Manting Park which is a modern park that measures about 30 acres in Jinghong, Xishuangbanna. It has a large new Buddhist temple called Zongfo Si. There is a display of ethnic architecture, and people entertain themselves by water fights during the Dai Water Splashing Festival each year. Entertainment is presented in the evening.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Jianshui Linan Hotel      
Yuanyang Duoyishu Landscape Hotel Yunti Hotel(Shengcun Village) Yunti Hotel(Xinjie Town) Local Hostel
Puer  / Jinglan Hotel Basaicheng Local Hostel
Jinghong Empark Grand Hotel Xishuangbanna Jinglan Hotel Duchang Hotel Local Hostel

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.