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Top 10 Photography Destinations

It's autumn season in Yunnan, which means a lot of sunshine and amazing sunrises and sunsets. Explore the most colorful destinations in Yunnan with amazing views and landscapes. And don’t forget to bring your camera!


1. Meili Snow Mountain (Feilaisi, Deqin County, 800 km from Kunming)

Best time: October to May

Feilaisi Temple is the best location for taking great pictures of the Peak of Kawa Karpo (6,740m) at the Meili Snow Mountain range. In the morning the sunrise is most spectacular between 8 and 9 AM. This temple is devoted to the spirit of holy Kawa Karpo. There's no admission fee but please leave a small donation. No photos are allowed inside the tiny hall.

Photo by Lu Jiangtao


2. The Red Soil Land (Dongchuan District, 150 km from Kunming)

Best time: May-June; September-December

Dongchuan Red Soil Land boasts the most typical red soil in Yunnan's highland. Experts regard it as one of the most marvelous red land in the world, comparable with the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The color of the Redland varies in different seasons of the year, and the most colorful views appear one or two days after it rains.

Photo by Guo Jianlin


3. The Gingko Village (Gudong Town, Tengchong County, 670 km from Kunming)

Best time: October-November

The village got its name because it nestles in the middle of Gingko tree forests. “Golden” is the best word for everything here in autumn.

Photo by Ruan Weimin


4. Pudacuo National Park (Shangri-La, 640 km from Kunming)

Best time: all the year round

As part the UNESCO site Three Parallel Rivers, the views of the Pudacuo National Park close to Shangri-La are breathtakingly amazing with superb fresh air. Especially the autumn hues make it a favorite destination for photographers. There are many people visiting the beautiful park every day so think contracyclical.

Photo by Lu Jiangtao


5. Luoping Sorghum (Luoping County, 230 km from Kunming)

Best time: August-November

The most impressive view in Luoping is the large plantation of canolas (yellow rape flowers) that bloom among Karst peaks from January to March. The recently developed sorghum plantation in red also makes the area worth a visit for a stunning view in autumn!

Photo by Yunnan Tourism


6. The Earth Forest (Yuanmou County, 190 km from Kunming)

Best time: Every autumn, but actually all the year round

It is one of the most splendid soil forests in China, covering an area of 50 square kilometers. It was formed by geological movement and soil erosion one to two million years ago. The Earth Forest is suitable for taking nice photos all year round - if it doesn’t rain. Night pictures with full moons are also recommended!

Photo by Luo Dinglai


7. Chengzi Ancient Village (190 km from Kunming)

Best time: October-November

Chengzi is known for its earthen houses which are deemed as the living fossils among the traditional residences in Yunnan. The views of country life (such as harvested corns and pumpkins) are what you hunt for in autumn whenthe scenery is extraordinarily attractive. Watch aged farmers harvesting in the fields, girls of Yi ethnic people herding on the hills and golden corns as well as red peppers hanging from the eaves.

Photo by Kong Bin


8. Bingzhongluo (Nujiang, 820 km from Kunming)

Best time: October-May

Welcome at Yunnan's end! The great Nujiang Valley attracts visitors all the year round but only very few as it a long dead end road (still). On the way from Liuku to Bingzhongluo, many stops offer great photo options including Laomudeng Church, the Stone Moon, Zhiziluo Town, the First Bend of Nujiang River, Peach Island and villages like Qiunatong and Wulicun.

Photo by A Wen


9. Hani Terraced Fields (Yuanyang County, 350km from Kunming)

Best time: November-March

One of the UNSECO sites in Yunnan: the Yuanyang Rice Terraces. Don't miss the sunrise at Duoyishu and sunset at Laohuzui and Bada. You should be aware that in winter with its cold air it can get quite foggy or clouds float over the fields filled with water. The terraces around dozens of outlying villages also have their own special characteristics, often changing with the daylight.

Photo by Guo Jianlin


10. Cherry Blossoms at Wuliang Mountain (Nanjian County, 380 km from Kunming)

Best time: November-December

The cherry blossoms at Wuliang Mountain are in bloom earlier than anywhere else in Yunnan. The most captivating views are the cherry trees flourish among tea bushes. Don't miss the right moment!

Photo by Wang Lin