Yuanyang Rice Terraces


The Yuanyang Rice Terraces (元阳梯田) lies in the Southern Ailao Mountains, close to the Laos and Vietnam borders. Its history dates to over 1000 years ago when the Hani and Yi cleared dense forests to create terraced rice fields on the steep mountain slopes. Growing rice is still the main source of income here.

Rice terraces cascade down the mountain and the longest cascades have more than 3000 levels, supported by a highly efficient irrigation system. The fields only yield one crop a year, and in between harvest and planting (December to April) is the best time to visit. Yuanyang’s clear terraces are lit up in different colours at different times of the day and are a photographer’s dream come true.

Related: 5-day Scenic Holiday: Kunming, Jianshui, Yuanyang

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