Top ChoiceViewpoint in Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Bada Rice Terrace

Bada is one of the finest rice terraces at Yuanyang to catch the sunset at. If you only have time for one terrace, this is it.

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Kunming

Golden Temple

The Golden Temple Scenic Area is equal parts religious space, forest park, botanical garden and open-air sculpture museum; it covers 118 hectares on the northwestern outskirts of the city. The obvious highlight...

Buddhist Temple in Kunming

Bamboo Temple

Tucked away atop a winding mountain road up the forested hills northwest of the city centre, this serene temple is definitely one to be visited by sculptors as much as by those interested in temple collecting....

Buddhist Pagoda in Dali

Three Pagodas

Three Pagodas

Absolutely the symbol of the town and region, these pagodas, a 2km walk north of the north gate, are among the oldest standing structures in southwestern China. The tallest of the three, Qianxun Pagoda, has 16...

Buddhist Temple in Cang Shan

Gantong Temple

Originally constructed in the Tang dynasty, this was once the most important temple in the Dali area. Only one of the original 36 halls remains, but reconstruction continues apace and in its forested mountainside...

Viewpoint in Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Duoyishu Rice Terrace

Located about 25km from Xinjie, this rice terrace has the most awesome sunrises. As it's walking distance from Pugaolao it's an easy choice for the morning.

Natural Feature in Central Yunnan

Stone Forest

Inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2007 as part of the South China Karst, Kunming's Stone Forest Scenic Area is undeniably beautiful – but extremely popular with tour groups and independent travellers...

Nature Reserve in Shaxi


Wandering anywhere along the forested trails and stone pathways throughout Shibao Mountain makes for a pleasant day trip out of Shaxi, but the real highlights of the area are the Tang-era temples and carvings....

Museum in Kunming

Yunnan Provincial Museum

Originally built in 1951, this museum's relocation in 2015 gave it a thoroughly modern 60,000 square metres of exhibition space. Displays span the prehistoric to the present day; expect a broad overview of...

Mountain in Weishan

Wēibǎo Shān

Weibao Mountain, about 10km south of Weishan, has a relatively easy hike to its peak at around 2500m. During the Ming and Qing dynasties it was the zenith of China’s Taoism, and you’ll find some superb Taoist...

Bridge in Jianshui

Twin Dragon Bridge

This beautiful 30m bridge across the confluence of the Lu and Tachong Rivers features 17 arches, so many that it took two periods of the Qing dynasty to complete the project in 1839. It's 3km from the western...

Buddhist Temple in Xi Shan

Taihua Temple

The courtyard of the Ming dynasty Taihua Temple houses a fine collection of flowering trees, including magnolias and camellias, and is a popular to place to relax on the way up or down the mountain.

Historic Site in Jianshui

Zhu Family Garden

This spacious 20,000-sq-metre complex, which includes 42 separate courtyards, is a fascinating example of Qing-era architecture. Comprising ancestral buildings, family homes, ponds and lovely gardens, it took 30...

Park in Kunming

Green Lake Park

Come here to people-watch, practise taichi or just hang with the locals and stroll through winding lines that meander through the 22 hectares of ponds and pavilions. The roads surrounding the park are lined with...

Cave in Jianshui

Swallow's Cavern

Swallow's Cavern

Set inside a small nature reserve, this large cave complex is split into two – one high and dry, the other low and wet. The natural quiet of the popular wet cave is diluted a bit by bright neon lighting and a...

Historic Building in Xizhou

Yan Family Compound

This traditional Bai-style wooden courtyard home was constructed by businessman Yan Zizheng in the early 1900s, using the fortune he made from trading along the Tea Horse Road. Don't miss the small entrance off...

Confucian Temple in Jianshui

Confucian Temple

Confucian Temple

Jianshui’s most famous temple was modelled after the temple in Confucius’ hometown of Qufu (Shandong province) and finished in 1285; it covers 7.5 hectares and is the third-largest Confucian temple in China. The...

Buddhist Temple in Xi Shan

Huating Temple

Towards the bottom of the mountain is Huating Temple, a country temple of the Nanzhao kingdom believed to have been constructed in the 11th century. It’s one of the largest in the province and its numerous halls...

Historic Site in Xi Shan

Dragon Gate

On the upper reaches of Xi Shan, the 'Dragon Gate Scenic Area' is a collection of pavilions, temples and grottoes scattered along the mountaintop. The highlight is the eponymous Longmen Grottoes, a series of...

Market in Kunming

Dounan Flower Market

China's largest flower market is a riot of colours and smells, and a charming place to wander for an hour and see the diversity of species on offer. Try to get here early, when the morning auctions are happening,...