Best Time to Visit Yuanyang
Yuanyang has a subtropical monsoon climate. The weather in Yuanyang changes a lot even during one day, it can be foggy on most days.
To travel in Yuanyang Terrace, the best time is from January to April, because the water-filled terrace reflects sunlight, white clouds, and blue skies like a smooth mirror and the terraces have a strong sense of hierarchy.
Temperatures and precipitation of Yuanyang
Things to Do in Yuanyang by Season
Spring (February ~ May)
In Spring, temperatures start to rise with occasional rain in Yuanyang. It’s still cold in the morning and evening, and it is foggy most of the time. You will see buffaloes plowing the fields. The farmers start to fill the rice fields in November, and start to plant the rice seed in late March. This period is the best time to enjoy the hierarchy rice terraces because there is only water in the fields.
- Watching the sunrise over the terraces
30 km from Xingjie county, you will find an astonishing concentration of rice fields and it is the best place to photograph the sunrise. The Duoyishu Viewing Platform is the best place to watch the sunrise at the Yuanyang Terraces Scenic Area. At first, the terraces are covered by thick clouds. As the sunrise up, the clouds slowly dissipate. The sea of clouds and the refractions of the water are constantly changing, people would feel the dynamic beauty of nature and get grand impact visual. The sunrise over rice terraces is a must-see experience on a trip to the Yuanyang.
Summer (May ~ August)
Although the Yuanyang terraces are famous as the “mirror of the sky”, the lush greenery of the terraces in summer is also special and worthy of a visit.
If you come to Yuanyang in June of the lunar calendar, you will catch up with the traditional Hani festival. The “Kuzhazha” festival of the Hani is generally dated around June 24th of the lunar calendar, with a period of three to six days. Sacrificial activities would be performed in the village, and it is also an opportunity for young people to form a new relationship.
Autumn (September ~ Middle November)
Autumn is the season of harvest in Yuanyang when golden rice fields are spread across the land. The rice harvest starts in September, and you can see farmers threshing grain in the fields. Many horses transport the rice, back and forth between the terraces and the villages.
- October Year – Long Street Banquet
The biggest festival of the Hani people is the “October Year”, which lasts for six days. Specifically, it is celebrated in the October of the lunar calendar. The Hani people call it “Zhalete”. According to their ancient calendar, the first dragon day of the tenth month of the lunar calendar is the beginning of the new year (equivalent to the first day of the new year of the Han people). During the festival, every village will hold a banquet in the heart of the street, and people gathered together to enjoy a good meal, dance, sing folk songs, and have fun.
Winter (Middle November ~ January)
Winter in Yuanyang is wet and cold, with the lowest temperature to 2°C during the day. Although the rice terraces are filled with water in winter, it takes some luck to see them as most days are foggy.
- Trekking in the Rice Terraces
While most visitors just take photos at the viewpoints, the best way to experience the real life of the local people is to hike through the rice fields and villages.
Along the way, you will meet local people working in the fields, as well as various animals. Buffalo, horses, chickens, ducks, and geese swimming in the terraces. Not only can you enjoy the views along the way, but it’s also fun. It’s not difficult, the paths are easy to follow, and it doesn’t take long. We recommend walking from the Yanzijiao Village to the Azheke Village in the afternoon. At the end of the hike, you can visit Azheke Village, which is a well-preserved and pristine Hani village.
Weather and Climate of other regions of Yunnan
Find out more about the weather, and the best times to travel to other main Yunnan destinations below.