→ A is for Kunming and B for Yuanyang
Address: South of Ailao Mountain, Yuanyang County 662400, China
Yuanyang Terraced Fields is located in South Yunnan Province, 400 kilometers or 7 hours drive from the provincial capital city of Kunming. Photographers and Chinese tourists flock here in droves to watch sunrises and sunsets turn the terraces into pools of gold, red and silver. Even in poor weather they can be breathtaking. Here, we will introduce how to get to Yuanyang Terraced Fields from Kunming.
There are currently at least two direct buses from Kunming Nanbu Bus Station (or Kunming South Bus Station) to Yuanyang Xinjiezhen everyday. The first Express departs at 10:20 am, followed by possible ones at 12:30 and 18:00 (sleeping) am. The journey takes about 6-7 hours. The scruffy sleeper buses leave in the evening and arrive in early morning of next day. The ticket fare is about ¥140. Departure is from Kunming South bus bus station. To get to the South Bus Station, take bus 154 close to the main train station or take the metro. After arriving at Yuanyang Xinjiezhen, then you can find nonstop bus to the Terraced Fields Area.
How to Get to Yuanyang Terraced Fields from Kunming by transfer bus? The alternative way is to arrive Yuanyang Xinjiezhen from Kunming via Gejiu (get on a bus departing from Kunming East Bus Station) or Jianshui (get on a bus departing from Kunming Nanbu Bus Station) first. Then catch a bus there to arrive at Yuanyang.
Visitors can catch a bus departing from Kunming Nanbu Bus Station to Jianshui first. The journey takes about 4 hrs (220km). Buses leave every half hour between 7:30 to 16:30, then 17:10, 17:55. This road is less direct, but still convenient (especially when we miss the bus from Kunming). Jianshui ancient town is quite famous too. When you arrive at Jianshui, you can wonder around this ancient town for a couple of hours first, then catch the last bus to get to Yuanyan Xinjiezhen, then change to a non-bus or minibus to get to the Terraced Fields Area.
Visitors can also catch a bus departing from Kunming East Bus Station to Gejiu. The journey takes about 4-5 hours (300km) and the departure time is between 7:30 am - 7:00 pm. Then from Gejiu to Xinjiezhen (Yuanyang old town takes another 3hrs and the cost is Y30.
Best travel time: With a subtropical climate, a visit to Yuanyang Rice Terraces anytime during the year is possible, though November to April will allow you to catch the terrace fields at their prettiest.
It is very novel to take part in a local country fair, during which the entire minority people dress in colorful ethnic costumes.