Dongchuan Red Land in Kunming
Chinese Name: 东川红土地
Chinese Pinyin: Dongchun Hong Tu Di
English Name: Dongchuan Red Land
Type: Nature & Wildlife Areas, Geologic Formations, Nature & Parks
Features: Photography, natural scenery
Best Time: March, May ~ June, September ~ December
Recommended Visiting Hours: Two days
Opening Hours: All Day
Admission Fee: Free
Location: Huashitou Country, Dongchuan District of Kunming
Why is Dongchuan Red Land so special?
This area boasts the most typical and featured red soil in Yunnan highland. Experts regard it as the second marvelous red land in the world following the one in Rio Brazil. People who have been the first time to visit this land will be deeply impressive by the gorgeous scenes. Lands in deep red, purple, bright red, etc… cover thousands of mountains. When wind blows, the plants in fields wave tenderly. It is a colorful picture drew by the nature. Viewing it from away, it looks like a oil painting more than a Chinese painting.
Geographic and Geomorphic Conditions
Red soil is a kind of low yield barren soil, mainly because of human and natural weather factors accelerated “red soil desertification”. Due to much people and less land, excessive development, deforestation, combined with the characteristics of the soil itself, the soil productivity of red soil area reduced and soil erosion is serious. Severe degradation happens in many regions, forming the “red desertification”. Steep slope land reclamation or excessive reclamation, or destroying forest for reclamation, destruction of surface vegetation leads to soil erosion and land degradation. In addition, in the southern mountain area hills, soil erosion is serious and the harm is greater than the loess plateau that the rocky exposed can not be recovered and forms a “red desert”.
The most suitable time for red soil photography is during May to June and September to December, different season can see different scenery. Potato flowers are blooming in the summer, meanwhile wheat mature, part of the red soil lay fallow in autumn, another part of the red soil has planted green barley or wheat, and at that time Yunnan own white rape flower has been in full bloom, more colorful. According to the locals, on the third day after the rain is the most beautiful time, the land is sodden and become more colorful under the sun. Clouds clear after the rain, the sun is shining, the sky is bluer, and the clouds change in different position, the sunlight and shadow in the field changes from time to time, every second is a new picture. If you are in luck, you can see a rainbow is connected to the red soil as an organic whole.
Best Sites for Photography
Within several dozens of miles radius from Huashitou Village, the most beautiful attractions of Dongchuan Red Land are Damakan Village, Qicaigou, Jinxiu Yuan, Luoxiagou Village, Yuepuao, Ancient Tree, Luosiwan, Shuipingzi, etc. Though there are many attractions, fortunately, most of them are comparatively concentrated.
The locations of the attractions form a “Y” shape with Huashitou Village as its junction (most tourists will accommodate at here). For detailed location information, please see the Map of Dongchuan Red Land on the right.
Damakan Village(打马坎): Best Sunrise
Damakan Village is located in the northwest part of the whole scenic area, and it’s the best place to shoot sunrise scene. It’s about 10km from Huashitou Village. Standing on the highway and you can overlook the red land and the beautiful sunrise. The scenery in Damakan is very magnificent, and with luck, it’s possible to see the cloud sea here.
1. Since this spot is a high land, so the wind is very strong here, especially in the morning, please take some warm clothes with you.
2. The sunrise time will change according to different seasons. Please check the actual sunrise time with the local people.
Qicaipo (七彩坡, Seven-Color Slope)
Qicaipo is close to Damakan and is located in the way from Damakan to Huashitou Village, and it means seven colors slope in Chinese, which perfectly explain the scenery here. The colors here are very beautiful. It’s also located in a high point, and from different angles and in different seasons, the slope will show different patches of colors and bring you different visual impact. The best shooting time is in the afternoon.
Jinxiu Yuan (锦绣园, Embroidery Garden)
Jinxiu Yuan is located on the way from Qicaipo to Huashitou Village and it’s only 1km from Qicaipo. Jinxiu Yuan is actually a large concave ground and there is a sightseeing road built along its mountainside. Jinxiu Yuan has the greatest concentration of red earth in the whole scenic area, and comparing with the scenery of Damakan, it’s less grandeur, but more delicate. Best time for shooting is in the afternoon.
Luoxiagou (落霞沟, Sunset Valley): Best Sunset
Luoxiagou, means sunset valley in Chinese, has the most beautiful sunset scenery. located at the northeast to Huashitou Village, the scenery here is often changed with the wind, cloud, sunshine and the plants in the fields. People say there are no repeated sceneries in Luoxiagou in the 365 days. When you arrive at Luoxiagou and look down from there, wisps of smoke rise continuously from the village chimneys; fields and village have formed a perfect picture. Best time for shooting is from 16:30 to 17:30. During this time, sun will rise from the east mountain of Luoxiagou, and it’s most possible to appear torchlight like sunlight.
Luepuao (乐谱凹, Music Hollow)
Yuepuao is a village located in the south of Huashitou Village, very close to it. The scenery in Yuepuao is mainly made of colored fields, village and small forests. There is a beauty in the lines of the fields, just like the musical staff. The sunlight is good in before dusk, with luck, you can shoot the great sunset glow here.
Luosiwan and Wafangliangzi
Luosiwan and Wafangliangzi is in the south of Yuepuao, and Wangfangliangzi is 2km south of Luosiwan. If you go to Dongchuan from Kunming, then you will see these two attractions first. Luosiwan is suitable to shoot along with the sunlight, and sunrise and sunset here are also quite good. Wafangliangzi is in a highpoint and from here, you can overlook the view of Yuepuao. A funny thing in Wafangliangzi is tourists can find wonderful model in here: an old man wears his sheep fur coat and smokes with his pipe with his dog sitting beside him. He postures for tourists as model, though no mandatory fees are charged, it’s a usual practice to give some money to him for his to show a respect for his modeling work (you can give as much as you want, and it doesn’t have to be much).
The Ancient Tree is actually a thousand-year-old fir which is rooted in hill alone in the east of Huashitou Village. The hill is covered with cobblestones and it’s actually not a “tree-friendly” place. However, the Ancient Tree has lived several thousands of years, and it’s kind of a magic. The local people think the tree is a sacred tree and they will worship the tree every year.
Shuipingzi is also called Moon Field, and it’s located in the northeast of Huashitou Village. If you drive from the Dongchuan township, then Shuipingzi is the first attraction you will encounter. The red earth here stretches itself to the horizon. In spring, you can shoot the irrigation scenery of the paddy fields, while autumn is great time to shoot the golden paddy fields.
Best Time to Visit Dongchuan Red Land
The most beautiful time to visit and shoot Dongchuan Red Land is from May to June and September to December, and the snow scene in March is also stunning. This land will show different beauties to tourists in different seasons.
In spring, white buckwheat flowers and potato flowers will spread all over the land, and the land will be covered with patches of red, white and green. May to June is the most colorful time. During this time, red earth, golden wheat and highland barley, and green potato seeding constitute the so called god’s palette. In September, the red land is cut into colorful patches with golden buckwheat, white winter rape flower and green potato seeding. November is beautiful for the golden rapeseed and other green seedings. In most cases, Dongchuan will snow in March, and the red land will be stunning after the snow in a sunny day. Generally, after raining, the red land is more beautiful than usual time.
How to Get there?
Dongchuan Red Land is located in the northeast of Kunming, and travelers can take public coach to get there; however, this will spend more than 5 hours to get there.
By Long-distance Bus
Kunming North Bus Station: Fazhe-bound buses departing at 8:00 & 14:00 daily pass by Huashitou Village. Just try to let the driver know that you want to get off at Huagou. Bear in mind that the bus moves on extremely slowly and it takes 5~6 hours to arrive, as there are a few chaotic local markets along the road.
Kunming Eastern Bus Station(Dongchuan Qichezhan): frequent buses run to Dongchuan County from 6:30am to 10pm / 3.5 hours; There are only 2 buses from Dongchuan County to Red Soil at 8:30 & 12:50:00, 1.5 hours. Charter a van if you missed the scheduled buses. By Private Car
By Private Car
If travelers take a private car, then there are two routes for them. One is taking the traditional highway route, and the route is over 200 km and will cost about 3 ~ 4 hours. Another way is taking the special travel route for Jiaozi Snow Mountain, and this route is only about 150 km and you can get there by 2 ~ 3 hours.
If you book tour with us, we will provide private driver and tour guide together with a private care for you, and this is the most convenient and comfortable way. Our email is @YunnanExploration.com and telephone is 86-871-63511469.
Transportation in the scenic spot
The scenic spot of Dongchuan Red Land is rather large, so even you get there, it’s suggested to charter a private car to transfer among attractions.
Jiaozi Snow Mountain is well-known as the First Mountain in the middle of Yunnan. Looking from a long distance, the snow mountain looks like a sedan chair placed in the millions of flowers, hence the name Sedan Chair Snow Mountain. As the best snow view in the low latitude of Southeast Asia, Mt. Jiaozi, rising 4223m above sea level, is a beautiful scenic spot.
1. Photography tips
If you are not self-driving, then in the scenic spot you need to rent car to take pictures. You can ask for help in the hotel you stay in..
In Dongchuan district, there are many hotels and hostels, and most of them are located in the bus station. Both ¥20 bunk and ¥120standard room are available. Accommodation is tight in the golden weeks (May 1st ~ 7th and October 1st ~ 7th). In Dongchuan Red Land scenic area, the accommodations are all private hostels. It’s suggested to stay overnight at Huashitou Village, since it’s in the junction position of the whole scenic spot. The hostels here are normally family-owned, and tourists can also eat at here.
Kunming’s weather is moderate all year around, however, Dongchuan Red Land is an mountainous area, so the temperature here is normally lower 4℃ to 8℃ than Dongchuan town. Besides, it’s windy in the scenic spot, and there is a large temperature different between day and night, so travelers need to prepare some warm clothes. Even in summer, it’s suggested to bring long sleeves with you. Another thing need to be noticed is that the UV is strong here, so remember to bring sunglasses, hat and sunblock with you to protect from sunburns.