Located on the slopes of the 2500m high Ailao mountain range, in Yunnan province, Southwest, China. This is a terraced field built by the Hani people, so it has more than 1,000 years of history.

With an area of 28,000 hectares, rice and other plants grow widely, providing enough food and many different types of fish for thousands of people living around the area. The rich terraced fields here have many different colors. Looking down from above, Yuanyang terraced fields look like an artistic masterpiece of enchanting beauty.

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Yuanyang rice terraces are located 2000m above sea level. Due to the cold weather, only one rice crop is grown here per year. After harvesting in the fall, the water is stored there until spring to continue the new growing season. Therefore, the fields are mixed with water reservoirs, creating a shimmering and colorful picture.

Coming to Yuanyang in the ripe rice season, visitors can not only stand among the terraced fields filled with the scent of rice to mingle with nature, feel the relaxation and peace in their minds, but also witness with their own eyes the unique features of Yuanyang culture of the Hani people.

Depending on the season, tourists will see terraced fields with many different colors. Many tourists love to go to Yuanyang to watch the sunset and sunrise. | kunming tourist guide

The best time to visit is from January to March every year. At that time, many flowers bloomed, creating a colorful scene. In addition, tourists can also take photos of the unique mushroom-shaped houses of the Hani people built next to the Yuanyang terraced fields.

| kunming tourist guide
| kunming tourist guide

Thanks to their skillful working hands, the Hani people have created an interesting and beautiful landscape. Yuanyang terraced fields are like a brilliant mountain lady in the middle of the Ailao mountains and forests, attracting many tourists who love the wild, mountainous beauty.

Lijiang Ancient Town

| kunming tourist guide

Lijiang Ancient Town is more than 800 years old and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. With an altitude of 2,400m and a width of 3.8km2, bordering mountains near the river, this place has long been a must-see destination for foreign tourists. A special feature of this place is that the roads are paved with stones with beautiful carved patterns so in the rainy season you don’t have to worry about getting muddy and in the summer you don’t have to worry about dust.

| kunming tourist guide
| kunming tourist guide

Up to now, Lijiang ancient citadel has more than 6,200 households with more than 25 thousand people living, mainly Naxi ethnic people. Coming here, you will be able to take pictures with beautiful small stone bridges with weeping willows hanging down to the ground, extremely gentle and elegant.

Traveling to Kunming, you will admire the beautiful nature and ancient architectural works of towns and immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythm of life here | kunming tourist guide
| kunming tourist guide
| kunming tourist guide
| kunming tourist guide
| kunming guide

Songzanlin Monastery (# kunming guide)

| kunming guide

This is the largest monastery in Yunnan, where typical cultural features of the Tibetan people are concentrated. Songzalin Monastery (Tung Tan Lam) was built according to a miniature prototype of the Potala palace in Lhasa, Tibet, located at an altitude of 3,200 m. The monastery was built by the 5th lama in 1679. Through many ups and downs of Chinese history, the monastery still exists almost intact. Currently, the monastery is where more than 600 monks live and practice. In prosperous times, the number of monks here was up to 3,000 people.

| kunming guide

Songzanlin Monastery is the largest monastery in Yunnan province, located at a prime location at an altitude of 2,300m, built according to a miniature prototype of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, this place fully preserves its cultural features. characteristic of the Tibetan people.

When traveling to Kunming, you should visit Songzanlin Monastery to learn about history as well as admire the massive historic Tibetan architecture @touristjourney | kunming guide

Shilin Stone Forest

Shilin Stone Forest is located about 120km from Kunming. This is a forest with many rocks made entirely of lava with the height of a ten-storey building. The stone pillars here have very diverse shapes such as sitting people, animals, etc. attracting the curiosity and desire to learn from many foreign tourists. Shilin is a beautiful scenic stone area famous for its typical Karst terrain, with a history of formation about 270 million years ago during the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era.

| kunming guide

Shilin stone forest stretches over a large area of about 400 square kilometers, all “trees” are made of stone, most of them have very strange shapes, hundreds of giant gray stone pillars shot up from the ground. The stone pillars have different shapes, the lowest is about 10m, the highest is up to 170m. Images of rocks rising from the ground, hidden in many different shapes: they have the shape of a temple, or resemble the image of animals, or some even shape like humans creating a mysterious maze that fascinates many visitors.

| kunming guide

With more than 200 scenic spots, you will explore a diverse flora system and experience many interesting activities. Shilin stone Forest was also the place chosen as setting by the film crew of Journey to the West.

Another special feature is that the rocks and stone pillars in Shilin often change color according to the weather. When it rains, Shilin turns from gray ash into dark black. When the rain stops and the sun shines, within just one minute the stone turns from black to a mixed color, then gradually returns to gray ash. For that reason, on March 12, 2004, Shilin was voted by UNESCO as the “Geological Garden of the World”.

| kunming guide

Yunnan ethnic village

Address: 1310 Dianchi Rd, Xishan, Kunming, Yunnan, China, 650111

| kunming guide

Located on a narrow peninsula on the northern shore of Dianchi Lake, Yunnan ethnic villages include 25 ethnic minorities such as: Yi, Dai, Miao, Jingpo, Wa, Hani,… accounting for nearly 50% of the total number of ethnic groups of China. Therefore, it is no wonder that this is an ideal tourist destination for you to learn and explore the cultural beauty of indigenous peoples in mainland China.

Visiting the village, visitors can participate in traditional festival activities of the nation as well as admire and feel many types of art in customs, house architecture, and folk performances… full of richness and uniqueness.

Dongchuan Red Land

Dongchuan Red Land is considered the second most magical red land in the world after Rio Brazil is a stop that is no longer unfamiliar to people who “love to travel” on their China travel journey.

| kunming guide

Dongchuan Red Land is located about 86km from Kunming city. Visitors coming here will be able to see the vast artistic landscape of the red land, the color scene is very impressive with the yellow of barley, white of rapeseed flowers, the red of the earth and the blue of the sky.

Bring a simple beauty far different from the bustling image of other tourist areas, Dongchuan red fields is definitely an interesting place that you cannot miss on your Kunming trip.

Not as vibrant and bustling as other busy tourist areas, the red fields always know how to please travelers because of the very simple and poetic beauty emerging from the brilliant flower fields, creating a natural picture attracts talented and artistic photographers.

Huating Temple

Address: XJ9G+CC5, Xishan, Kunming, Yunnan, China, 650111

Located on Huating Mountain of Xishan district, on the shore of Dianchi Lake in the western suburbs of Kunming city, Huating temple is the largest ancient site in Yunnan, China.

| kunming guide

Previously, the temple used to be a resort and also the villa of Prince of Liang – a descendant of Kublai Khan. Legend has it that before building a villa as a resort, Prince of Liang once went hunting in the mountains and saw the scenery of this area, flowers were blooming, warm sunlight was shining, clouds were gently rising, everything was perfect. Beautiful like a fairyland, evoking a peaceful and gentle life, and located halfway between Xishan mountain facing Dianchi lake, he finally decided to build a villa and name it Huating.

With great values in terms of culture, architectural art through the Buddha statues, 500 Arhat statues,… Huating temple has made everyone admire its sacredness, worthy of the title “key monastery of Chinese Buddhism”

Yuantong mountain

Yuantong temple on the mountain | kunming guide

Yuantong has an area of 26 hectares, the mountain is long and narrow, and is a breeding ground for animals and ornamental creatures located in the northeast corner of Kunming. There are currently 110 types of animals with a number of over 700 animals, with many rare species listed in the red book such as raccoons, white tigers, clouded leopards…

Coming to the park, visitors will feel like they are lost in a sea of brightly blooming flowers. In particular, Yuantong mountain always attracts visitors because of the brilliant pink color of cherry blossoms.

Jiu Xiang Rong Dong

| kunming guide

An underground landmark – a cave near Kunming, home to underground caves, and the largest cave complex in China. In total, there are over 100 large and small caves, with an area of 170km2 located at an altitude of 1,750m – 1,900m above sea level, the average temperature during the year is 14.6 degrees Celsius.

According to the conclusions of many world speleologists, the Jiu Xiang cave complex was formed 600 million years ago, and is a typical cave that has not been found anywhere else in Europe and the world.

Ancient Alu Caves

| kunming guide

About 200 km from Mong Tu towards Kunming in Yunnan, Ancient Alu Caves is known as the First Cave and is the most attractive tourist destination of Kunming, Yunnan. In January 2004, Ancient Alu Caves was selected as a national scenic spot, named one of 35 golden scenic areas by the national tourism department and included in 16 key national tourism list.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

| kunming guide

Traveling to Kunming, you should not miss the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, known as China’s Fuji. With 12 mountain peaks all over 5,000m high, this place is covered with snow throughout the four seasons, bringing an atmosphere completely separate from Kunming, giving it a proud beauty that everyone wants to conquer. On the other side of the mountain is the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is a big obstacle for climbers who want to explore this place.

| kunming guide

There is a modern suspension system with an altitude of 4,500m built into many stations to take you from the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain conveniently. At the stations, if you want to change the atmosphere by walking, you can get off and get on at the next station.

Three pagodas

1km north of Dali town by Erhai Lake – The Dali Three Pagodas are very unique ancient structures. The ancient towers project represent the ancient Kingdom of Dali, with three towers resembling three swords pointing up to the blue sky forming a Triangle shape – the main tower is 69m high, 16-storey, built during the Tang Dynasty.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the world’s most dangerous deep gorges. The gorge is more than 15km long and is sandwiched between two snow mountain ranges, Jade snow mountai (5,596 m high) and Haba Snow Mountain (5,396 m high). Here the scene is majestic, with the Jinsha River becoming more bumpy and fast flowing as it goes downstream. Legend has it that to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at its narrowest point (25 m wide). And from there, the name Tiger Leaping Gorge was born.

What to eat in Kunming? (# kunming tourist guide)

Kunming street food

Kunming is known as the city of cuisine of Yunnan region. Because this place has many delicious dishes, typical of Yunnan. And to enjoy the excellent cuisine here, the best time is to go in the evening, when the restaurants become busier as the evening progresses with colorful lights creating a very interesting space.

Yunnan crossing-the-bridge noodles

Crossing-the-bridge noodles is the most famous and signature dish in Kunming in particular (and Yunnan province in general). The dish was invented by a woman who regularly prepared dinner for her husband who was busy with exams. Every time she prepare the noodles for her husband, but by the time the husband finishes studying and eats, the noodles are cold. So she came up with a way to keep the dish warm by adding oil to the broth. This noodle dish includes thin rice noodles, some types of meat, vegetables and spices. When serving, the waiter not only brings a bowl of noodles but also a bowl of hot, oily soup. When eating, people will pour all the ingredients into a bowl of soup, then add their own spices and enjoy.

Stir-Fried ErKuai (Yunnan Rice Cakes) with Pork and Pickles

An indispensable dish at family parties in Kunming, Yingfeng Baked Erkuai is made from cooked rice and pressed into blocks then baked in a charcoal stove. Baking on a charcoal stove keeps the cake moist inside and crispy golden outside. You can enjoy this dish with many different sauces such as fish sauce or chili sauce as you like. In addition to bake, rice cakes can also be steamed, fried or boiled.

Claviceps purpurea (ergot fungus)

Ergot fungus can only be found in the mountains and forests of Yunnan, so this dish has also become a rare and most beloved dish in Kunming. Ergot mushrooms have a naturally sweet taste and are soft and smooth. Kunming people also have many ways to prepare ergot mushrooms. They consider ergot mushrooms as a part of Kunming traditional cuisine, especially people here also take care to preserve them. Preserving and passing on to future generations is also a way to express people’s love and gratitude for nature and this precious dish.

Stewed chicken

This is a rich in nutrients dish and takes a lot of time to prepare. Stewed chicken tastes best when cooked in Jianshui’s clay pot. Jianshui clay pot has a unique structure, with a bulging belly and a hollow tube in the middle. Steam enters the pot along this tube and after the steamer cools down, it turns into water droplets and becomes chicken soup. After 2 – 3 hours, the chicken is Stewed just right, which is the best time to enjoy this dish.

Yunnan rice noodles

Yunnan rice noodles dishes are a favorite food of the locals. It can be said that Yunnan people use rice noodles in every meal. There are many ways to create diverse dishes such as cooling, braising and frying…

Mountain mushrooms

This is an edible mushroom that grows completely wild in nature, is a pure natural food, cannot be grown artificially. They often grow in old forests and are difficult to access. When the growing environment changes or is contaminated from outside, wild mountain mushrooms cannot grow or even disappear. Yunnan is the kingdom of wild mushrooms, dishes made from mushrooms are rich in nutrients.

Lunan milk cake

Lunan milk cake is a traditional Yunnan dish. The milk cake is about 25 – 30 cm long and 10 – 12 cm wide, with a slanted fan shape. Yunnan people often eat cakes with Xuanwei ham.

Buckwheat cake

This is a healthy dish, a local specialty of the Guandu region, also known as buckwheat ravioli. To create thick, soft, delicious cakes, you must first grind peanuts, walnuts and other nuts. Next mix it with flour, add sugar. Finally, grill until hot and enjoy.

Ice porridge

Ice porridge is a folk snack originating from Yuxi city, which can now be eaten in many places in Kunming. The ingredients are white sticky rice, combined with dates, sorghum, brown sugar, and sesame. The dish has eye-catching colors and a cool sweet taste, very suitable to enjoy in the summer.

Yiliang Roast Duck

This is a dish that many tourists choose to enjoy when coming to Kunming because of its very unique flavor. The duck is selected from Dianchi Lake with elaborate preparation and marinating, going through 10 meticulous processing steps. The finished product of smoked duck has an eye-catching color and deletable flavor. When chewed, it has a sweet meat taste, does not smell like duck, but has the added taste of smoke, truly unique.

Modeng Baba Cake

This cake with a special name is made from flour, cornstarch, sticky rice, lard, sesame and meat. Impressive with its golden outer shell and sweet, fragrant aroma, Modeng Baba cakes are sold anywhere on the sidewalks and neighborhoods in Kunming. Therefore, don’t forget to miss enjoying and sipping a piece of cake while visiting the streets or you can even buy gifts for your loved ones after this trip to Kunming!


The first specialty every visitor should try when arriving here is dumplings. This is the most popular dish and is loved by many people. Unlike in other places, dumplings in Kunming are made on the spot and placed in small wooden trays, so they are very fresh and hot. The crust is made from very fragrant heirloom wheat flour, and the filling is filled with nutritious meat and vegetables that have been marinated with spices. Kunming people often eat dumplings with every meal and especially breakfast.

Youtiao and soy milk

Listening to it, it feels like the Youtiao (Chinese Fried Dough) and soy milk are very normal and nothing special. But here, these two dishes become an extremely perfect combination for a simple, light, yet nutritious breakfast. The fragrant, crunchy and chewy Youtiao served with a bowl of pure pure soy milk is really worth trying once.

Tibetan beef (yak)

Yak hotpot

In addition to the famous rib hotpot, Kunming is also famous for its Yak beef hotpot. Yak is a typical yak species that lives in Central Asia, including the Qing-Tibetan plateau and as far north as Mongolia, and can live up to 20 years. This species of cow is very rare, only living in high mountains, so if you have the opportunity to come to Kunming, try dishes made from this species of cow to feel the unique beef taste that you can’t find anywhere else. The beef is clean, soft and fragrant. People prepare Yak beef using many methods such as simmering, drying, marinating with spices and then using it as a hot pot dipping ingredient.

Termitomyces Brait Termitomyces

Termitomyces is a very expensive and rare mushroom, it has a very sweet, tender and chicken-like flavor. Tasting this unique dish, you will be surprised at the freshness and novelty of mushroom dishes but with a taste and appearance not much different from meat. It can be said that this is the ideal dish for vegetarian tourists.

Pineapple rice

Another specialty dish that tourists should not miss when traveling to Kunming is pineapple rice. The dish was invented by Dai ethnic people. The ingredients of the dish are quite simple, can be found anywhere, but the most characteristic flavor is still in Kunming. The ingredients in this pineapple rice dish include: pineapple, rock sugar, almonds, and raisins giving the dish a sweet, aromatic flavor. Especially the unique presentation, the rice is not scooped onto a plate but is incubated in a pineapple that has had its meat cut out inside, keeping the heat and the faint aroma of pineapple permeating each grain of rice.

Famous shopping places in Kunming

Traveling to Kunming, in addition to visiting beautiful tourist attractions and enjoying Kunming specialties, shopping is also indispensable. Let’s explore the outstanding shopping destinations in Kunming city.

Dounan Flower Market

Kunming Flower Market, an extremely unique shopping area of the city with mainly flowers. Not only that, Kunming flower market also sells unique birds and animals. The market is always bustling and crowded with people.

Yunnan Tea

For those who love to enjoy tea, Yunnan tea market is a shopping place not to be missed during a trip to Kunming. All types of typical precious tea are sold here such as black tea, pu-erh tea…

Travel costs

Compared with domestic capital cities, Kunming travel cost is not high. The cost of accommodation, transportation and food is not high (especially in the low season), however the cost of sightseeing tickets is relatively high.

  • Food: Food prices in Kunming are considered reasonable. According to the survey, the average consumption per capita of roadside restaurants is about 20 – 30 yuan, and that of high-end restaurants is 60 – 80 yuan.
  • Accommodation: There are many hostels in Kunming with prices around 50 yuan/night. Budget hotels cost around 150 – 200 RMB/night, four-star hotels around 300 RMB/night, and high-end 5-star hotels around 600 – 800 RMB/night.
  • Means of transportation: Buses and taxis are popular means of transport. The ticket price is about 1 yuan for a bus trip and taxi for the first 3km is 8 yuan/km, after the first 3km it is 1.8 yuan/km.
  • Attractions: Ticket prices to attractions are relatively high compared to other travel costs. Ticket price at Shilin Stone Forest is about 175 yuan/person and ticket price at Yunnan ethnic village is about 90 yuan/person.

Compared with other domestic capital cities, tourism costs in Kunming are recorded to be not high. Expenses for accommodation and transportation are very reasonable, but prices fluctuate greatly during peak season. The cost of sightseeing tickets is the opposite.

Where to stay?

Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.

Check out more top and best hotels in Kunming on Agoda.com or Booking.com

InterContinental Hotel, Kunming

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Kunming you can refer to

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Kunming and Yunnan you can refer to

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