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Yunnan is an amazing and ancient land, which is a place where people can rest their souls and hearts. There are many historical sites, colourful folk customs and unique natural scenery, attracting countless Chinese and foreign tourists to visit here. It provides you with all the factors needed for a poetic roaming and also habitation. Travelling in Yunnan, you can measure the beauty of Yunnan with your steps. The beauty of Yunnan, the simple life and customs of the people in Yunnan, and the legends and stories that have occurred there for generations will surely make you move and leave unforgettable memories.

The History and culture of Yunnan

Yunnan Province is abbreviated as Dian or Yun. It is located in the south-western border of China and neighbours Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. The Yunnan province was originally named south of Yunling hills. During the Warring States Period, Chu was the name of this land of Dian. During the Tang and Song Dynasties, it belonged to the territory of Nanzhao and Dali. The Yunnan province was officially established in the Yuan Dynasty.

From this long history of development, you can tell that Yunnan province has the ancient culture and profound history at the same time. The Yuanmou people that discovered in Yuanmou County, Yunnan province in 1965 were the earliest humans discovered in China. This primitive human, Yuanmou People lived about 1.7 million years ago.

Besides the natural resources and scenery, the Yunnan residences that live in this land are warm and friendly as well. They have long been accustomed to the beauty bestowed by nature, and have relied on this beauty for generations.

Yunnan has a multi-ethnic culture. This multi-ethnicity is also a major feature of it as a tourist province. There are 55 ethnic minorities in China, and Yunnan is the province with the largest number of ethnic minorities in China. The Dai, Bai, Naxi, Hani and other ethnic minorities are unique to Yunnan. Their customs, festivals, costumes, traditional architecture, and food culture attract many Chinese and foreign tourists.

Lijiang, Shangri-La, Dali, Xishuangbanna and other tourist destinations in Yunnan fully demonstrate the magic and beauty of Yunnan.

The splendid and rich accumulation in both history and culture of Yunnan makes travelling in Yunnan a unique experience even within the territory of China.

The Natural Characteristics of Yunnan

Yunnan is located on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and is rich in water resources. The dominant climate of Yunnan is subtropical plateau monsoon climate, which is affected by the topography Yunnan and it also has significant vertical changes. The eastern Yunnan plateau is like spring all year round, the southern Yunnan valley is hot and humid without frost throughout the year, and the alpine climate in north-western Yunnan is colder. The Meili Snow Mountain at an altitude of 6740 meters is covered with snow all year round. Under the influence of the Pacific and Indian Ocean air currents, the dry and wet seasons are distinctive here. Normally, the rainy season is from May to October.

It is these rich and varied terrains and climates that make Yunnan a region of great tourist value. It also leads to a diversity of this province, which exactly shows you the conspicuous features of this land, they are integration and inclusion. Even if you only travel in Yunnan Province, you can enjoy the various natural scenery and geological wonders.

Top Ranked Touring Destinations

We list out some top-ranked destinations for your reference, to get more introductions about these wonderful destinations, please visit the Destinations page on Ancient Yunnan Travel.

Top 1 Destination: Kunming

Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province and one of the central cities in Southwest China. The temperature difference in Kunming is relatively small and stable throughout the whole year, therefore it is also known as the “Eternal Spring City”. It boasts the fifth largest airport in China and is the most important transportation hub during your visiting in Yunnan. Besides above, this is also the best destination for you to enjoy a Chinese Study & Tour Program. Keats School, the biggest and the best private language school in China is located in Kunming. By learning Mandarin with Keats School, you can enjoy your language learning and touring plan at the same time.

Top 2 Destination: Xishuangbanna

Xishuangbanna is a flat land surrounded by mountains. It is located at the southern tip of Yunnan Province. It is connected with the mountains and rivers of Laos and Myanmar and is close to Thailand and Vietnam. It has jurisdiction over Jinghong City, Menghai County, and Mengla County. The Lancang River irrigated this green space. After exiting the country, it is called the Mekong River. It flows through the five countries of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and then flows into the Pacific Ocean, known as the “Oriental Danube”.

Check out this 5 Days Tropical Adventure Tour in Xishuangbanna

Top 3 Destination: Shangri-La

Shangri-La is known as the “large mountain garden”, “the kingdom of animals and plants” and “the kingdom of non-ferrous metals”. From Dali along the Yunnan-Tibet Highway 315 kilometres northward, you can reach the central town of Shangri-La County, the capital of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Shangri-La is located at the southeastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, at the northern end of the southern section of the Hengduan Mountains, in the hinterland of the “Three Parallel Rivers”, forming a unique landscape of melting Snow Mountains, canyons, grasslands, mountain lakes, virgin forests and ethnic customs.

Check out this 8 Days Classic Ethnic Minorities Tour in Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La 

Top 4 Destination: Tengchong

Tengchong County is located in the southwest of Baoshan City, Yunnan Province, bordering Myanmar in the west. It is 217 kilometres from Tengchong to Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State. It is one of the necessary places from Yunnan to Myanmar, India and Thailand. Tengchong is suitable for tourism all year round. If you come in mid-to-late April, the grasses of Tengchong will grow like wild, creating a vibrant scene. In addition, mid-November to early December is the best time to visit Ginkgo Village to see Ginkgo.

Check out this 4 Days Classic Tour of the Border city Tenchong

Top 5 Destination: Yuanyang

Yuanyang County is located in the southern part of the Ailao Mountains in southern Yunnan Province. There are 170,000 acres of terraced fields in Yuanyang County, which is the core area of Honghe Hani terraced fields. Yuanyang has a very good climate. The sun is very poisonous at noon, so you should pay attention to sun protection. Yuanyang has a large temperature difference between morning and evening. It is best to prepare light clothing and warm jackets. When you come to Yuanyang from January to February, you should pay attention to cold weather, especially for photographers who are going to get up early to take pictures of the sunrise.

Check out this 7 days Photography Tour in Yunnan

Yunnan is an ancient and mysterious land that waits for you to explore and appreciate. No matter which season you’re planning to visit here, there is always some precious scenery and experience that will let you enjoy your travel in Yunnan.


Yuanyang terraces lie in the southern part of Ailao Mountain which belongs to Yuanyang County, Yunnan Province. They are masterpieces that created and left by Hani people for generations. They cultivated about 170,000 acres of terraced fields in Yuanyang. These terraced fields stretch across the territory of the Red River and vary with the mountain topography and adjust measures to local conditions. Huge terraced fields could be reclaimed from larger lands with gentle slopes, while the minor terraced fields from smaller lands with steep slopes. Even the rock gaps under ditch ridges are reclaimed as terraced field too. Therefore, the terraced fields here can be as large as a few acres, and also be as small as just a dustpan. Usually, there would be thousands of acres of terraced fields on each slope. Filled with water and paddy, layers of terraced fields are rippling and sparkling with silver waves. From the foot to the top of the mountain, the terraced fields present a scene of boundless variety and magnificent.

Classic Tour of the Border City in Yunnan (4 Days in Teng Chong)

Photography Tour of Yunnan (7-Day in Stone Forest, Yuanyang, Jianshui and Fuxian Lake)
6 nights

From 630 USD

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