Highlights: Spring is the season of flowers. Here in China, March and April are the best times to enjoy the sea of flowers. So this spring, we want to recommend to you some attracting places specially for enjoying flowers in China. Lets start our trip with those dazzling golden rape flowers in southwestern China. Luoping Rape Flower Cultural Tourism Festival is held between February and March, the Luoping Rape Flower festival presents golden fields of rape, magnificent waterfalls, and the exotic customs of Buyi people. The rape flowers covering an area of 250,000 mu are in full bloom has become the natural wonder, which allure thousands of travelers catch the wag to the Luoping. The 2006 edition of festival presents sightseeing, performing arts and folk custom experiences.
|Activities||the Green Lake, Kunming City Tour|
You’ll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming. Upon arrival at the Kunming International Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel.
You will take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. If time permits, you will have a Kunming city tour. Enjoy welcoming dinner of Yunnan Flavouring food with crossing Bridge Rice Noodle and Steam Pot Chicken/Qiguoji.
— Kunming is the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province, a primarily agricultural province of 45 million. Kunming has a population of five million and is located in one of the world’s most geographically, ethnically, biologically and linguistically diverse regions. Situated at 1,900 meters (6,233ft) above sea level and 25° north of the Equator it has a rather unique and pleasant climate for a Chinese city.
|Activities||the Stone Forest , Luoping Rapeseed Flowers|
You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. An old local saying says that ‘If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.’ Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan. Stone Forest is known as the ‘First Wonder of the World’. You’ll marvel at its natural stone masterpieces and be bewitched by the intricate formations. Walking through the Stone Forest, visitors marvel at the natural stone masterpieces and are bewitched by the intricate formations.
After lunch drive to Luoping and visit the Sea of Rapeseed Flowers. During the rapeseed flower Luoping’s stunning karst scenery is at its best: and the tourism office lays on a few shows to attract even more tourists. The dense cluster of karst around Luoping is stunning at any time of the year. But when the flower of the rapeseed turns the fields into a sea of yellow, thousands of photographers come for the view.And to provide a bit more entertainment, Luoping’s tourism authorities lay on extra shows, many staged by the counties minorities, the Buyi and the Miao.
— The Stone Forest is in Shilin Yi Nationality Autonomous County, which is about 120 kilometers from Kunming and requires only a three-hour drive. It covers an area of 400 square kilometers (96,000 acres) and includes both large and small stone forests, as well as many other scenic spots. The Stone Forest has unique karst topography which is one of the best of its kind within China. There are six scenic spots in the Stone Forest: the Greater Stone Forest, the Lesser Stone Forest, the Naigu Stone Forest, the Zhiyun Cave, the Long Lake, the Da Dieshui Waterfall and the Qifeng Cave.
–Luoping lies in the relatively underdeveloped eastern part of the province, 228km east of Kunming, dominated by karst features with small basins among mountain ranges. Early spring, the blossoming rapeseed flowers of Luoping draws flocks of tourists and photographers. Sprawling farmland covered in golden rape stretches right up to the horizon, forming a sea of yellow buds and filling the air with the refreshing smell of spring.
|Activities||Jinjiling and Niujie Rapeseed Flowers Fields,Jiulong Waterfalls, Buyi Ethnic Villages|
Get up early in the morning, enjoy the nice view of vast rape fields got from the top of Jinji Mountain, in the February of every year, when rapes bloom, what will be showed before eyes is the biggest garden in the world and a sea of yellow flowers measuring over 130 square kilometers, this gorgeous view made Luoping, a remote small town on the border of Yunnan the most popular destination in every spring. There are patches, undulating waves, snaking lines and coiling spirals of these flowers, together forming a boundless sea of lustrous gold. Yudai Lake, Lashan Lake and Wanzi Lake set like three brilliant mirrors in the midst of a sea of flowers, enhance the luxuriant green of Baila Mountain. Dotted about the sea are Karst cones in all shapes. White clouds partially cloak the verdant mountains and streams flow quietly through the village.
It is also the season for beekeeping and honey processing. Beekeepers set up base in tents amongst the rapeseed farms every spring to keep bees and harvest their honey- the bees feed on the rapeseed flowers. Hence most rapeseed farms are also abuzz with bees in the spring and can be a little irritating. These beekeepers move on to other locations within Luoping after the rapeseed season, using wildflowers as feedstock for their bees.
Move to Niujie for different type of nice rape fields’ view, where the farmland was cultivated interesting spiral shapes and with many terraces. NiuJie is a few kilometers to the north of Luoping town. The farms here are of smaller scale. They are carved out of a shallow valley with gentle slopes. These farms do not look any different or attractive as one passes them by on ground level. However as soon as one gets higher up, following the road, the scenery changes.
The flowers are grown in circular rings following the contours of the slopes. As a result, from higher ground, these farms looks like the rings of a snail’s shell, akin to rice terraces in corkscrew patterns. It is rather amazing when one considers that the farms were created by the farmers as a response to the natural limitations of the land. Yet they are like a work of art, with an artist exquisitely drawing circular rings on the ground and then filling them up with splashes of shocking yellow.
In the afternoon, visit Jiulong Waterfalls, a cluster of spectacular waterfalls formed on the Jiulong River, the greatest waterfall there has a drop of 56 meters with width of 112 meters. iulong(Nine-dragon) Waterfalls 22 kilometers away in the northeast from county seat, in a section no longer than 4 kilometers along the Nine-dragon River, diversified landforms created 10 falls in different sizes and shapes, some grand, some graceful, some elegant and some small, this is the biggest waterfall group through whole country, as well one of the Six Most Beautiful Waterfalls in China assessed by Chinese National Geography.
|Activities||Luoping Rapeseed Flowers, Duoyihe River, Luobuge Gorge and Hydro Power Plant|
Excursion to Lubuge Gorge (known as “Small Three Gorges”) and the picturesque Duoyi River with waterfalls at different levels, where you can also have a glimps of the water mills that shows how the ancient people made use of the natural water resources. Duoyi River is the main residential area of Buyi ethnic people, visit villages and learn about their traditions and folk custom. Duoyi River lies 33km southern of the county seat. Formed by the water from 5 underground springs, the 12km Duoyi River runs 40km to the southeast of Luoping Town. The river has more than 50 shoals formed by waterfalls. The bamboo raft on the river, the bamboo groves, trees, houses and waterwheels on the both bandks of the river present an idylic setting.
After lunch, drive to Puzhehei,visit the ethnic villages on the way.
In the morning, take the boat cruise to visit Puzhehei Scenic Resort.
Puzhehei in northwest Qiubei County is a fairyland from which visitor can have a panoramic view of clear lakes and pond full of lotus, emerald mountains and enchanting karst landscape. This charming country is also an ideal place to view the pomp in festivals of the Yao, Miao, Huang and Yi minorities. July to August is the best time to admire the most beautiful country landscape of Puzhehei, because the lotus blossoms are in their florescence.
Puzhehei means the lake with many fish and shrimps in the language of the Yi people. The water of the lake is limpid and you can even see the bed of the lake. Rowing the boat on the lake, the tourists can see many fish and shrimps swimming in the water. There are also some flowers and grasses floating on the water. Up till now the local people still keep the habit of holding water with hands to ease the thirst. In the scenic spot there are 312 peaks standing independent from each other, 56 lakes which are clear and without any pollution, 83 all kinds of caves, a great many mus of water lilies which give off faint scents, and original folk customs. All these beautiful natural sights form a pattern of “three sections and two waterfalls”.
Popular sights include the 13-mile trip through Luoshuidong, Puzhehei and Xianren Lakes. Luoshuidong Lake is the deepest, it’s crystal clear water running 13 feet deep. Puzhehei Lake is surrounded by mountain peaks and has Yi villages along its shoreline. While rowing or being rowed in the small wooden boats that make excursions on to the lake you will see many fish and shrimp. You can actually swim in these lakes so make sure you bring a bating suit. Houpayan Gorge 60 miles east of Qiubei is also a popular spot for rock climbers. To get to the Immortal Cave from Puzhehei, you can take a taxi or minibus for the 2-mile ride to the Village of the Immortal Cave. In total the area claims 300 peaks, 56 lakes and 83 caves. In season, water lilies are bountiful and make for enjoyable viewing.
One of the real pleasures of being on the lake is being able to have fresh barbecued fish, corn, tofu and other delicacies cooked in a neighboring boat for you. Some of the local dishes available on these floating restaurants include; lotus seed porridge, chicken wrapped in lotus leaves and rice wrapped in lotus leaves.
In the afternoon, drive to Bamei Village which is reputed as “Xanadu” or “Arcadia”, access by boat from the cave.Take the boat cruise into the village and enjoy the peaceful life of Zhuang ethnic people. Stay at the local hostel.
In the morning, walk around in Bamei Village and visit Bamei River while you have a nice experience of Zhuang ethnic people’s life in the village.
Reputed as one of the most isolated communities of Zhuang minority in Guangnan, Bamei is a village without roads. Even up to now, the Bamei River has been the only access in and out of the village, according to Su Liming, director of Guangnan Tourism Department. Due to inconvenient location and hard transit, the village escaped attacks by outsiders and the influences of the modern world, staying as unadorned and as pure as they always were.
Today it is home to 113 families, with a population of about 600. Most of the inhabitants are of the Zhuang. Without cars, electricity, telephone and television, local villagers still live a primitive, self-sufficient living – fishing, hunting and farming. They plant corns, sugarcanes and tropical fruits at the foot of mountains and grow rice near the riverside. “What we plant is mainly to feed ourselves and we make farm tools and weave cloth by ourselves.
When night falls, villagers light their oil lamps. Bonfires are built to welcome tourists and party thrown. As the local children run about in the glow of the flames, one cannot wonder if this fairyland, once hidden but now on the map, may soon lose its innocence and become another cultureless, contrived tourist attraction.
Drive to Yanshan County in the afternoon. Visit Yanshan Lake on the way.
|Activities||Malipo Miao ethnic village, Yi and Hani ethnic villages, the sunset of Laohuzui Rice Terraces, Mengnong Chieftain Palace|
Drive about 5hours to Yuanyang via Kaiyun and Gejiu, with visits to villages on the way. You will drive through the area of Yi people in the mountain and Dai people in the Red River valley where they grow banana and tropical fruits. Visit Malipo Miao Ethnic Village one the way. After lunch, continue the driving to Panzhihua Town, enjoy the sunset of Laohuzui Rice Terraces there and visit some Yi and Hani ethnic vilages around Panzhihua Town. Visit Mengnong Chieftain Palace.
–The Laohuzui Rice Terraces are situated about 20 kilometers from the Yuanyang city. The best moment to enjoy the marvelous rice terraces view is during the sunset period.Literally translated from Chinese, Laohuzui means ‘the mouth of the tiger’. It seems it is possible to distinguish the form as a tiger mouth in the rice fields; while some others think it’s kind of the shape of a horse.
Every sunset in Laohuzui, numerous of photographers from entire China come to disputes themselves for a one-foot space just because of the perfect position to set up their tripods. Start from every May, the Laohuzui rice fields turn into green from yellow right after the farmers did the rice seedlings at the end of spring.
|Activities||the sunrise view of Duoyishu Rice Terraces, Shengcun Market, Bada Rice Terraces, Qingkou ethnic village, Qingkou Rice Terraces, the sunset of Longshuba Rice Terraces|
Today you have a full day to visit the terraces belonging to the Hani and Yi people. These rice terraces – carved out of the mountainsides by generations of Hani people – are said to be among the most magnificent in the world. you get up very early to see the sunrise over the terraces at Duoyi village and then visit the local Hani and Yi people. During the day you will visit different areas of the huge valley to see the amazing engineering and beautiful formations of the terraces. There are lots of rice terraces in Yuanyang, you will choose the most beautiful parts of them to visit.
Duoyishu Rice terrace in Yuanyang is one of the most photographed in Yunnan. The low lying cloud and the water field rice terrace is unique during winter and early spring. As the sun rises the terraces come alive with the sky’s reflection. In the winter months the fields are flooded in order to plow and plant for the new season. The rising sun creates an amazing reflection off the water in the terraces.
In the late afternoon you drive back to Xinjie Town, enjoy the sunset view of Longshuba Hani Rice Terraces and villages.
–Yuanyang Rice Terrace is a self sustaining ecosystem. During winter to early spring, the entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and getting prepared for the next season. The Hani people have repeated this for more than a thousand years. There is only one harvest in a year for the Yuanyang Rice Terrace; planting is from March to Oct./Nov. every year.
Yuanyang Rive Terrace is a perfect example of SYMBIOSIS with nature. The water evaporate from the rice terrace to form cloud, the rain is collected and trapped by the forest on the mountains, the spring water flow down to the rice terrace and the whole cycle repeats itself perpetually.
Although not many general tourists have visited the Yuanyang Rice Terraces, hordes of photographers have. The landscape changes vividly through the year. The flooded paddies from Dec. to April creates reflecting pool effect, which is a photographer’s dream. In summer, the paddies are luxuriantly green with growing rice stalks. After the fall harvest, the paddies become naked bare earth.
|Activities||Jianshui Swallow Cave, Jianshui Ancient Town, Zhu Family Garden, Confucius Temple|
After breakfast in the hotel, drive about 3 hours to Jianshui County. On the way back, visit Jianshui Swallow Cave which is the largest karst formation cave in Asia. There are usually thousands of swallows flying around in this aptly named cave.You will follow a guide in the cave to see the striking caverns and also to see the bare hand rock climbing performance in the cave. Walk into the cave and visit the colorful Karst landform and take the small boat cruise out of the cave.
Arrive in Jianshui Ancient Town in the afternoon, pay a visit to Jianshui Ancient Town, Zhu Family Garden and Confucius Temple. Visit the famous Confucius Temple with its interesting history. Confucious was born in Shandong province 2,500 years ago and taught more than 3,000 students in his lifetime, among them 72 were outstanding. He is the greatest teacher in China’s history and has worldwide influence and his work has worldwide influence.
—-Jianshui, 220 kilometers south of Kunming, is a state historic and cultural city. The climatic condition here is pleasant, neither hot in summer nor cold in winter. Moreover, it is one of the earliest developed cities in south Yunnan that enjoys the fame of being an ancient cultural city and important gateway. Since the Yuan Dynasty, it was the political, cultural and communication center in south Yunnan. Jianshui got the name because the basin was flooded every summer and autumn.
|Activities||Zhang Family Garden in Tuanshan Village, Double Dragon Bridge, Xingmeng Mongolian Villag|
Drive to Tuanshan Village about 15KM away from Jianshui Ancient Town, visit the Zhang Family Garden, the ancient hourses and the Double Dragon Bridge. Visit Tunshan village with hundred year old houses built by the family of Zhang. In the village, you will see the different standards of houses built by rich and poor families, and also the family temple which plays an important role for education, family history, and Chinese culture, which says that people should always remember their ancestors and maintain community traditions.
After lunch, drive back to Kunming, visit Xingmeng Mongolia Village in Tonghai County of Yuxi City. You will be relax around the Green Lake Park in the late afternoon.
–Xingmeng Mongolia Nationality township is situated under the foot of Fenghuang Mountain and is the only dwelling area of Mongolia nationality in Yunnan. It has a history of more than a thousand years with unique ethnic culture. There are about 20 scenic spots here, including Sansheng Temple where three saints of Mongolia nationality are worshiped, Sanjiao Temple, Xiaohaitan Pond and Minority Ethnic Culture Garden, which draw numerous visitors from home and abroad. The fames of “Mongolia in South Plateau”, “Home of Songs and Dances”, “Home of Architecture” and “Home of Muskmelon” make the town an attractive destination. Through the promotion of “Mongolia in South Plateau” and improvement of the construction of scenic spots and comprehensive facilities, Xingmeng now has become a tourism zone for sightseeing, recreation, holiday and experience of minority ethnic culture.
|Activities||Departure from Kunming|
Transfer back to Kunming International Airport for returning.
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