Photos from the Road: Rice Terraces of Yunnan China

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Photos from the Road: Rice Terraces of Yunnan China

From the edge of Xinjie I walked into the countryside. Xinjie is perched on the mountain like a medieval Italian hill town. But we are in China’s Yunnan Province and here ethnic minority groups from the surrounding villages come in to buy and sell goods. You can notice them by their distinct and sometimes very colorful clothing.

I came to Xinjie to see the rice terraces of Yuanyang. They are well-known and attract tourists from all over China—mostly the camera and tripod-toting city folk. It was a few days after Chinese New Year when I visited and the small town was overloaded with visitors. The first day in Xinjie a thick fog enveloped the town throughout the entire day. On the second day I walked to see the terraces.

Winter may be the finest time of year to view the terraces—all flooded with water before the planting season. I passed through a few hamlets, down into the lower elevations where I saw a whole mountainside terraced and absolutely no people. Then I was satisfied. I shot my photos and while returning caught the glow of the late afternoon sun and its reflection off the flooded terraces.

Yuanyang Rice Terraces around Xinjie China14

Yuanyang Rice Terraces around Xinjie China 18

Yuanyang Rice Terraces around Xinjie China 15

Yuanyang Rice Terraces around Xinjie 2

Yuanyang Rice Terraces around Xinjie China 12

Yuanyang Rice Terraces around Xinjie China at dawn

Xineji Yunnan China

Yuanyang Rice Terraces around Xinjie China Stephen

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

3 Comments

  1. Amer says:

    I wish I could see this part of China, not just the modern bits with lots of buildings 😉 The rice terraces look amazing!

  2. Stephen Bugno says:

    Yeah, Amer, I definitely am enjoying the quiet rural areas of China the best.

  3. Gorgeous photos! I love how calm the scenery is with the still water reflecting the colors of the mountains and sky. Looks like an amazing place. Thanks for the post!

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