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Travel in Yunnan: landscapes and ethnic groups

This time I visited a province of China characterized by a wide variety of landscapes. The variety of ethnic groups living in Yunnan is even richer. Overall an excellent travel in Yunnan with visits to interesting places, including some outside the classic tourist circuits.

This province of southern China has a multitude of landscape varieties. In this Chinese region there are spectacular mountain ranges, impetuous rivers, idyllic lakes, terraced hills with wonderful rice fields ….

THE ITINERARY OF THE TRAVEL IN YUNNAN

The itinerary of the travel in Yunnan that I made allows the visit of a large part of this Chinese province. The first part of the journey is made up of a terrestrial itinerary of almost 400 km that starts from the historic city of Lijiang and descends, with numerous detours, southwards to the city of Dali.

Map of the travel in Yunnan, northern part
Map of the travel in Yunnan, northern part

From here a short flight took me to the capital of the province, the city of Kunming. From this city another circular land route of almost 800 km, also with numerous detours, led me to visit the Shilin Stone Forest and then even further south to the rice fields of Yuanyang near the border with Vietnam. Along another road I then went up north visiting the historic city of Jianshui and some beautiful villages until returning to Kunming where the journey ended.

Map of the travel in Yunnan, southern part
Map of the travel in Yunnan, southern part

THE LANDSCAPES OF YUNNAN

Landscaping speaking, I found the rice paddies area south of Yuanyang very beautiful. Here there are spectacular terraces that deserve to be visited at other times of the year to see the change in the colors of the rice fields.

Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple, Dali, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple, Dali, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

The Shilin Stone Forest is another beautiful destination. Here I preferred the walk outside the most tourist area. Very beautiful are the autumn colors of the trees with the background of the pinnacles of the Stone Forest.

The mountains north of Lijiang are very beautiful, unfortunately when I went to visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulongxue Shan) I had the only cloudy day of the trip … Too bad I didn’t visit the nearby Tiger Leaping Gorge, which was not included in the itinerary.

Garden of the Zhu family home, Jianshui, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.
Garden of the Zhu family home, Jianshui, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.

THE HISTORICAL CENTERS OF YUNNAN

Among the cities, Lijiang, with its historical pedestrian center, is very beautiful, although very touristy. The nearby Shuhe and Baisha are also very touristy, but they also offer interesting views.

The city of Dali is another destination to visit with the Three Pagodas and its beautiful walls with historic gates. Jianshui is a historic town with beautiful stately homes and a beautiful Confucian temple.

In the surroundings of Jianshui there are some very beautiful attractions such as the village of Tuanshan, an example of historic country architecture, the splendid Twin Dragon Bridge (Shuanglong Bridge) and the Yanzi Caves (Swallow Cave) very beautiful caves, but unfortunately illuminated unworthily with surreal colors …

Mount Shibao (Shibaoshan), Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.
Mount Shibao (Shibaoshan), Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.

Kunming, the provincial capital, is an average city by Chinese standards of around 7 million inhabitants. The city is predominantly modern, but inside there are some corners of old China.. The excursion to the Dragon Gate in the Western Mountains (Xi Shan) is very beautiful, from here you have splendid views from the top of Dianchi Lake and the city of Kunming.

Shaxi, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
Shaxi, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

THE VILLAGES

The smaller villages proved to be the most authentic and most beautiful of the whole travel in Yunnan. Shigu on the bend of the Yangtze River (Blue River). Shaxi with its beautiful market square. Zhoucheng with its colorful afternoon market. Xizhou, with beautiful historic houses of the Bai ethnic group. Also interesting is the visit to Mount Shibao (Shibaoshan) and its cave temples. A pity that it is forbidden to photograph the most beautiful part of the temples, the one carved in the rock.

Yunnan photos: Faces and customs of the population.

Walls of Dali, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.
Walls of Dali, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.
Stone Forest, Shilin, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
Stone Forest, Shilin, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
Natural landscapes are among the tourist attractions of Yunnan, here the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulongxue Shan), Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
Natural landscapes are among the tourist attractions of Yunnan, here the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulongxue Shan), Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
Rice paddies, Yuanyang, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini ..
Rice paddies, Yuanyang, Yunnan, China. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini ..

This post is also available in: German

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