Yuanyang Overview

Yuanyang County is popular as the core area of Honghe Hani Rice Terrace. In this part, an overall Yuanyang introduction will be provided to help you have a general understanding of Yuanyang.

1. Basic Information

Chinese Name: 元阳县

Location: the South of Yunnan Province

Area: 2292 square kilometers

Population: 424,300

Zip code: 662400

Dialing code: (+86) 0873

Language: Hani Language, Local Dialect and Mandarin

2. Geographical Location

Yuanyang County is located in the south of Yunnan Province, south of Ailao Mountain, soth bank of Honghe River. It borders Jinping County in the east and Lvchun County in the south, neighbors Honghe County in the west and Jianshui County in the north, faces Gejiu City across the Red River, 284 kilometers from Kunming, 71 Kilometers from Mengzi.

The geographical coordinate is 102°27′~103°13′ east longitude, 22°49′~23°19′ north latitude. The territory in Yuanyang is all mountain land, layer upon layer of mountains, and has no flat. With lowest altitude 144 meters, highest altitude of 2939.6 meters, the relative height difference is 2795.6 meters. 

3. Why to Visit Yuanyang County

a. The 45th World Heritage Site of China - In 2013, the UNESCO announced the Yuanyang Rice Terraces becoming the 45th world heritage site of China, and giving "Cultural Landscape of Honghe Rice Terraces". Hani terrace shows extraordinary harmony between people and nature.

b. Hani Ethnic Festivals and Traditions - The Hani ethnic group inhabits in Yuanyang generation by generation, develops the dense forest and valleys for over 1300 years. 

c. A Paradise for Photographers – Every year, 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.

4. What to Visit in Yuanyang County

The top attractions in Yuanyang include Duoyishu Rice Terraces, Bada Rice Terraces, Loahuzui Rice Terrace, Longshuba Rice Terrace, Hongye Hot Spring Resort, Habo Village and so on.

5. Best time to visit Yuanyang County

It’s available to travel in Yuanyang all the year round. If you want to seize the most beautiful terraces scenery, November to next April is the best time. In winter, there is only water in paddy field. With the change of sunray, terrace presents different beautiful scenery, and sea of cloud often appears at these months. If you want to experience rice transplanting, come and visit Yuanyang Terrace in late April. 

6. Administrative Divisions

Yuanyang County has jurisdiction over 2 towns and 12 townships: Nansha Tow南沙镇, xinjiezhen新街镇, Niujiaozhai Township牛角寨乡, Shalatuo Township沙拉托乡, Ganiang Township嘎娘乡, Shangxincheng Township上新城乡, Xiaoxinjie Township小新街乡, Fengchunling Township逢春岭乡, Daping Township大坪乡, Panzhihua Township攀枝花乡, Huangmaoling Township黄茅岭乡, Huangcaoling Township黄草岭乡, Erzha Township俄扎乡, and Majie Township马街乡.

7. Ethnic Culture

There are seven indigenous ethnic groups in Yuanyang county, including Hani, Yi, Han, Dai, Miao, Yao and Zhuang. Among them, Han people account for 11.38%, minority people take up 88.62% of total population and Hani people are 53.92% of the total population. Hani culture includes ecological culture marked by forest, farming culture marked by rice terrace, catering culture featured by long street banquet, architectural culture marked by mushroom house, dress culture dominated by costume embroidery, festival culture symbolized by "Kuzhazha" festival and so on.

8. Transportation

At present, there is no airport in Yuanyang, you can't go to Yuanyang by plane. Yuanyang airport is under plan and construction, in the coming years, taking flight to Yuanyang could be available. But now, there are three main modes of transportation, long-distance bus, train and self-driving. As for getting around Yuanyang, the local transportation modes in Yuanyang are mostly bus and charted minibus.

9. Accommodation

In Duoyishu Rice Terrace and Shengcun Village, there are many hostels decorating with Hani style. These hostels in Duoyishu Rice Terrace are convenient for tourists to watch the sunrise and sunset and offer a excellent angle to view the beautiful scenery of rice terrace through the window.