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China Travel Itinerary: Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province - 8 Highlights

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province - 8 Highlights
Visiting China to see UNESCO Heritage approved World Heritage Sites is always a good idea. However, what if you are planning to visit a place that you haven’t heard of – a place only well liked by locals. After trekking the rice terraces of Yuanyang, hearing funeral firecrackers in Honghe, and eating frogs in Jianshui, I knew there are still surprises left for our next pitstop: Mengzi.

Located at around 175 kilometers south-southeast of the capital, Kunming, Mengzi (Mongtseu, Mengtsz, Mengtzu, MĂȘng-tse) was formerly a county and then upgraded into a county-city. It was once colonized by the French, so some of the architecture, culture-scheme, and general atmosphere of Mengzi is a bit French in nature. When the war between China and France was finished, Mengzi in Yunnan province was appointed as one of the two main trade ports to deal with the foreign trades. Arriving to Mengzi, I was surprised to see a lot of traditional villages that are very Chinese rustic and French yellowish in color, and I do not know if this is because of the French influences (since Paris, and most of the French cities are colored that way), or it’s just because the Chinese like that color too!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Fun fact: In your Yunnan China adventure, you have to include the Mengzi region and try their well-known dish called guoqiao mixian ("Over the Bridge Rice Noodle"), made with long rice-flour noodles. Also, another fun fact: did you know that Mengzi has the first private railway station in the entire Yunnan province? They also had the first telegraph office, first postal office, and first foreign bank. Lots of Yunnan Firsts in Mengzi, yes indeed.

While we were traveling around Mengzi, I couldn’t help but notice that the town had modern yet slow-paced qualities to it. Everyone walks a bit slower than usual, and the structures seem to be empty for the most part. I asked my Chinese brother why was it so, and he mentioned that I was just imagining things because the city is predominantly Muslim, so people are more conservative. Maybe so.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

It’s a different kind of experiential adventures in Mengzi, and it will break so many stereotypes of your understanding and beliefs about the Chinese culture. Mengzi promises to be regal and remarkable, but even more so, an off the beaten travel destination, with nearly zero tourists and travelers. Especially if you find yourself visiting the Bisezhai Area in the northern Mengzi --- it has the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway and Mengzi-Caoba express, hubs of Yunnan railway system connecting Southern China and the Southeastern part of Asia. So, get ready?

Mengzi – Chinese, French, and Muslim Influences
Part of the Yunnan province’s Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Mengzi is filled with more than a mouthful of historical sites in the absolutely unique architecture. Imagine a mixture of French, Chinese, Muslim, and Ethnic inspirations, it truly is a place that is straight out of a history book. Sino-French culture, anyone?

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Although it’s rather difficult to trump a Yuanyang rice terraces experience, Mengzi city’s attractions are still in tip-top shape, worthy of visiting too. From the Yuanshidong Cave, 10000 Mus Pomegranate Garden, Bisezhai Railway Station, and Nanhu Lake, you are most likely to enjoy a quaint and easy city tour attraction. So yes, there is no need to remind you that you should include Mengzi in your Yunnan travel map, or in your Yunnan itineraries

In case you are interested to sit back and let a Yunnan tour allow you to have that less touristy, tailor-fitted itinerary and adventure, you may want to consider Zomya.co to reveal that hidden local-preferred, off the beaten kind of worth it travel guide that can only be done in Mengzi county-city. Are you ready to get inspired by the French-Chinese?

Mengzi Itinerary – Best Experiences to Include
Talking about Yunnan China travel guides, before you list out your must do, must eat, and must experience, it’s time to squeeze these into your travel catalog. These are easy recommendations of experiences you can incorporate when visiting Mengzi, especially if you want to see a slightly historic French-Chinese nature and photography preferred places. There are select few activities that are specific to Mengzi old town that you can try out for yourself. Be sure to bring your local friends to make the most out of your experiences here!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Food, Food, and More Food from Mengzi
Mengzi has a bit of blurred lines in terms of geographical area, as it is very close to Yuanyang and en route back to Kunming. Nevertheless, this does not stop this county-city to be a powerhouse when it comes to all kinds of delicious food fares. They are known for their Cross Bridge Rice Noodle (Guo Qiao Mi Xian), but one particular standout is the Muslim food that you can find in this area. Legit halal food that is not only divinely delicious, but the spice and flavors of the dishes are highlighted with every single bite. Yum Yum.

I noticed that they use fresh farm ingredients prepared to perfection. These Chinese cooks are REALLY good, even if they do not use any MSG or other theatrical spices. It’s mostly salt and their techniques in cooking the food – you have to try them for sure!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Chinese Jewelry in Mengzi
No, no. Far from a tourist trap, and no commissions to any tour group whatsoever. Mengzi is quite known for some good shopping items, such as ginseng, red dates, tobacco, chrysanthemum, and pomegranate. One thing you’ll probably like, though, is the fact that they also sell some good Chinese Jewelry that is unique and distinctive in this area. You can imagine Muslim meets Chinese meets French fusion of jewelry and accessories.

Beware though; it’s not a place where you can bargain for the price! The accessories like necklaces, rings, pendants, anklets, brooches, hair and head ornaments, and even art pieces of jewelry made of wood, gold, silver, and other stones can be purchased here. Take your pick!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Mengzi Traditional Villages
Despite Mengzi being influenced by the French and having been impacted by the Opium War as well, the way the ethnic groups living here made their traditional villages are quite distinct. The modern wide boulevards, multi-story buildings, and spacious retail shops look like an exact opposite when you see the traditional villages of Mengzi.

You’ll feel like you have stepped into a wild wild west cowboy version of China – the narrow streets, flesh-colored bricks, and blast-from-the-past handwritings are fascinating to look at. The villagers living here are mostly timid and retiring, but they would happily invite for to join their festivals anytime any day!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Public Markets going to Mengzi
Not really a fan of public markets, because I have been given so much convenience by supermarkets, hypermarkets, and air-conditioned groceries. Having said that, the public market that we visited en route to Mengzi is a good welcome change. It’s very open, airy, and it smells like fresh fruits!

They sell all sorts of local-made spices, condiments, fruits, vegetables, and poultry – you name it. What’s convenient here though is the fact that you can buy food souvenirs here at a cheaper price! And while you are at it, maybe even just go for some light snacks being sold here too.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Experiential Adventure Highlights in Mengzi
Even the iconic Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, or the Yuanyang Rice Terraces experiences won’t stop Mengzi from having its own flair and flavor. There are signature special places in Mengzi that are worth discovering, experiencing, and understanding more, especially if you happen to know a local. 

Zomya.Co is packed with hidden travel gems and itinerary-worthy necessities that I am surprised are not readily available if you do a quick Google search or even if you read travel blogs and forums. In the name of secreted must-do travel gems in Mengzi that are not popular to the outside-China worldview. Here are four of the absolute experiential adventures you must try when visiting Mengzi area.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Lion’s Head Statue near the Nuohei Village
Located quite near to the Stone Forest already, if you are looking for a rather off-the-beaten and more authentic stony world of Yunnan, you have to see the Nuohei Village. This area lies in a Karst geographic area, which is why locals are using whatever natural resources are available within the area, which has been their tradition for quite some time already. Mostly made of natural limestones, including roof tiles, house walls, gates, tobacco kilns, stables, grinding mills, and walkway roads – everything looks like it’s a blast from China’s past.

One highlight here though is the lion’s head statue that can be prominently visited near the entrance of the village. It’s a recreation of the original one, which dates back a few dynasties ago. You can even enter using the mouth of the lion and see the rest of the bewitching forest behind it.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Yuanshidong Cave in Mengzi
Also known as Guanyindong, the Yuanshidong Cave is said to be the “first cave of South of Yunnan”. It was built during the Qing dynasty, and it has so many interesting artifacts combined in one venue: from different styles of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Interesting enough, when you check out the entrance area from below, it’s very busy with local worshippers and religious visitors wanting to offer prayers and requests. No tourists or photographers can be seen.

From above, though, it’s a completely different ballgame, because of the panoramic view of the town, and the sacred atmosphere of the small cave makes the 100 plus steps all worth it. Be sure to observe the interesting mix of zodiac statues scattered around the area too.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

Bisezhai Railway Station of Yunnan-Vietnam Railway in Mengzi
Just near a slope of Caoba Town in Mengzi, you’ll be quite astonished to see European style station buildings and Chinese style dwellings around this area. The Bisezhai railway station could be classified as a UNESCO world heritage site, in my opinion. Not only is it one of the earliest railway stations of China, but it is the only private railway in old China – so much history and culture preserved in an ageless way.

Massive and magnificent, the place is filled with mostly local tourists and fans of a movie that was shot in this area. You’ll see relics of the movie scenes, souvenirs, and even some dress-up options for you to try out. They have a mini-gallery near the actual train tracks, and they even have an outdoor display of the different train relics that they preserved. Very good option to bring family, friends, and loved ones wanting to explore a uniquely Yunnan kind of travel spots.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

The Grand Mosque of Shadian
Did you know that China has a considerable population of Muslims? As a matter of fact, so big that they happen to have the largest mosque in southeast China, known as the Grand Mosque of Shadian. Originally built in 1864, this Grand Mosque can hold more than 10,000 people to do prayers. It is said that the Nabawi Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia inspired the decoration and style of the pillars, arches, and materials used in this mosque.

Apart from experiencing ethnic groups in Yunnan, combining the experiential adventure with a bit of Muslim culture, which has been present in China for the past 1400 years, you are faithfully to experience a fusion of cultures unlike any other. There are only a few cities in China that have Muslim influences to it, so to see the one in Yunnan, which is considered as one with the bigger population of Muslim religion is indeed an eye-opener. Check out the grandiosity of the mosque. Definitely one of the best in the world!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights

ZOMYA.CO: Experiential Adventures in China
Providing one of a kind travel experiences, through the off the beaten path adventures in China’s Yunnan and Eastern Tibet. Building bridges between local people and authentic cultures, like traditional villages, ethnic markets, and local cuisines. Tailor-made itineraries to give you a different perspective on traveling in China.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Mengzi Old Town in Yunnan Province 8 Highlights



China Travel Itinerary: Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province - 9 Highlights

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
China Travel Itinerary: Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province - 9 Highlights
If you ask me a year ago, about any dreams or even plans of visiting China one day, to do a Rice Terraces Trek in a UNESCO Heritage approved World Heritage Site; I’d straightaway say you are crazy! Mad crazy, I tell you. But, that’s because I am not a full-fledged Asian travel nerd, and I was unaware that such screensaver-like splendor exists in one of the biggest countries in the world, the People’s Republic of China.

I feel slightly foolish for not wanting to experience this off the beaten type of unreal wandering activity with nature even before, which has always been existing… right in the heartbeat of Yunnan Province, Yuanyang county. This one of a kind signature experience is like walking in the very veins of mother earth, the Yuanyang rice terraces – it’s so stunning! This is how I’ve gotten acquainted to all things Yuanyang, after traveling from Kunming, Jianshui, and Honghe, and now to Yuanyang– indeed, an all-inclusive Yunnan China adventure. Yes, it’s time to go there too?

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Considered part of the every-growing 40+ World Heritage Site places in China, Yuanyang is known by the rest of the world as the place with spectacular rice-paddy terracing. All thanks to the majority of its inhabitants being from the Hani ethnic group, the Yuanyang rice terraces are fashioned from the mountain ranges and it’s actually between 1000 to 2000 meters above sea level. Amazing, right?

Fun fact: Did you know that the vast majority of ethnic minorities living here are still wearing traditional clothes as their staple attire? Much like in Bhutan, you’ll feel compelled to wear their traditional clothes when you visit the old town, especially if you visit their local markets or dine in at their local restaurants. Another fun fact: did you know that there is no direct train or plane going to Yuanyang? Yes, so it’s all about long-distance bus rides to get here! There are a handful of options, either from Jianshui, Kunming, Gejiu, or Mengzi, but it’s best to have a local friend with you to navigate around the non-English speaking villages here.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Best time to visit and enjoy some experiential adventures in Yuanyang is definitely after reading this post! Colorful Yunnan province won’t be complete without Yuanyang as part of it. It’s promised to be beautiful and impressive, but even more so, as an off-the-beaten travel destination, with nearly zero tourists and travelers, especially during off-peak seasons from June to November. During the months of December to May, when the Yuanyang rice fields are full of “blue waters” and foggy spirits, you are assured to see a lot of people though - locals and travelers all out and about here! So, get ready?

Yuanyang – Heavenly Rice Terraces and Hani People
Part of the Yunnan province, People's Republic of China, the Yuanyang county is a simple yet profoundly special place for the ethnic groups of China. After seeing the cultural landscape of the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, you’ll think that you might have seen the best of China’s rice terraces, but don’t be fooled; there are a lot of scenic areas still to be discovered and most of them are in Yuanyang.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Places like the Duoyishu, Bada, and Laohuzui are known to be the scenic areas where you can get a complete vista of the Yuanyang rice terraces. The colors are obviously popping like a strong painting, and the rice terraces elicit that breathtaking feeling, no matter what time of the day – be it sunrise, noon, or sunset. Personally speaking, I really like the impactful impression it has during noontime: it’s so magnificent and very large-scale.

No need to remind you that you definitely need to include Yuanyang in your Yunnan travel map, or in your Yunnan itineraries. In case you are interested to sit back and let a Yunnan tour allow you to have that less touristy, tailor-fitted itinerary and adventure, you may want to consider Zomya.co to reveal that hidden local-preferred, off the beaten kind of worth it travel guide that can only be done in Yuanyang county. Are you ready to get inspired by the massive mountain terraces?

Yuanyang Itinerary – Best Experiences to Include
Speaking of Yunnan China travel guides, before you finish identifying your must do, must eat, and must experience, it’s time to embrace these in your travel catalog. Consider these maybe easy recommendations below of experiences you can relish in this nature lover and photography preferred place. There are select few activities that are specific to Yuanyang Old Town that you can try out for yourself. Be sure to bring your local friends to make the most out of your experiences here!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Jacky’s Guesthouse in Yuanyang
Possibly the BEST guest house - bed and breakfast - hostel - almost-hotel place in any village you’ll ever try. Ever. Located in the tip of laozhai, Duoyishu Village, Yuanyang county, Jacky’s Guesthouse offers super excellent view of the mountains, especially since it has its own rooftop area where you can just relax and enjoy paradise. The second I walked inside my room, I was floored to see how spacious and well lit everything is. Not complaining too, since the food offered during lunch and dinnertime tasted so china-licious!

What you’ll like most about this place is the fact that the owner, Jacky is always present in the guest house, and can converse in super perfect English. Jacky takes excellent photographs and has his postcard gallery in the guesthouse, which you can buy as souvenirs. Not to mention, he is an excellent cook! You’ll feel well accommodated and there is a sense of family bond in this guesthouse. The travellers here are friendly, and you get to interact with different folks from diverse walks of life, who are all interested to see the beauty that is Yuanyang.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Yuanyang Souvenirs and Ethnic Street Food
The thing about Yuanyang, which surprises me the most, is that it has its own set of souvenirs and ethnic street foods that are worth the go-through. It’s rather difficult to purchase local or ethnic keepsakes, especially in remote places such as the Yuanyang county, but the good thing is that when you visit their local markets, more often than not, you’ll be able to find local souvenirs (i.e. garments, trinkets, etc.) that are widely used in Yuanyang, but can be considered as mementos for any traveler or tourist.

On the other hand, have you ever fancied a local street food? In China? Or maybe an ethnic-made local street food? Feeling adventurous, I suppose. But yes, why not. There are a lot of local street foods, and even snacks being sold at convenience stores and markets that are mouthwatering. Some have English translations, a lot have none. Well, you may not need a description, because the savory smell of the street food being cooked is more than enough for you to want to buy and try some!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Azheke Village – Local Village Visit in Yuanyang
The Azheke Village is one of the few extremely scenic villages in Yuanyang. Azheke, which means “a place with plenty of bamboos”, is a few kilometers away from the Nansha Town, and currently holds around 350+ Hani ethnic people living in this village. This place is actually registered as an official part of the Chinese traditional villages, as approved by the Chinese government.

Interesting enough, it has distinctive qualities that are not present in other traditional villages, like its Village God Door, its Sacred Forest, its Sacred Mountain Water, mushroom houses, water powered roller, and a pretty impressive village square. If you are blessed enough, visit this village and wait for the mountain fog in broad daylight – it makes everything so surreal.


bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Yuanyang Rice Terraces Scenic Views
Clearly, everything about this land sculpture exposes how much abundance in history and ingenious talent these local ethnic people have. The ancient towns mushrooming around the Yuanyang rice terraces are heavy with tangible culture, and it shows in the silhouettes of the terraces in the scenic areas. The distinctive style is unlike any other you will see in Asia, and seeing it from a scenic area that covers everything – it is a spectacle for your soul, especially when clouds suddenly transition into the area, the rice terraces change in depth of color. Remarkable.

Thousands upon thousands of green rugged layers extend around the mountain, with dots of trees and bouquets of towns here and there. And it is true, the best moment to enjoy the whole view is during the golden hour at pre-sunset, when everything is still well lit up until it slowly gets fried with the golden goodbyes of the sun. Your inner photographer will love it for sure!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Experiential Adventure Highlights in Yuanyang
Just because you may have seen the iconic Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, it does not mean you have to stop there. Yuanyang will go way beyond your expectations too and you have to spend at least two to four days to enjoy the essentials here, and depending on how many photos (unlimited?) you want to take home for yourself. There are signature special places in Yuanyang that are worth discovering, experiencing, and understanding more, especially if you happen to know a local. 

Zomya.Co is packed with hidden travel gems and itinerary-worthy necessities that I am surprised are not readily available if you do a quick Google search or even if you read travel blogs and forums. In the name of secreted must-do travel gems in Honghe that are not popular to the outside-China worldview. Here are five of the absolute experiential adventures you must try when in Yuanyang.


bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Fireplace Coffee Shop - Local Village Cafe in Yuanyang
The footprints of an endless morning fog started to conceal the cafe’s window view with heavenly white, and we couldn’t be happier. As we waited for our local – yet western friendly coffee picks to be prepared, I cannot help but notice that the overall cafe vibe of the Fireplace coffee shop, even if it was in the middle of a remote village, is, well, perfection. With WIFI, yes!

Rustic, traditional, and hipster in atmosphere, the place has its very own fire place on its second floor. The coffee beans sold here are locally produced, and the crews are from the Hani ethnic group. How authentic can this get? Perfect place for long casual coffee conversations about light stuff like travel and China, or perhaps even about deep highlights like science and history. Be it students, lovers, friends, family, brothers, or even as a solo person, you should want to experience this matchless coffee shop experience right in the heart of a local village in Yuanyang.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Yuanyang Village Market
Waking up early in the morning may not be for everyone, but it should be, if you would like to experience a characteristic kind of market extravaganza. The Yuanyang Village Market proves to be bigger, busier, and braver. You’ll see all sorts of merchandize, both living and nonliving products. It’s like feeling your modern day Silk Road cultural interaction between these Hani ethnic groups through bargaining and buying their local and oftentimes handmade merchandises.

Aside from the wide variety of agricultural harvests, you will find here, like different kinds of herbs, spices, and vegetables, you’ll also find different street services here – like massage areas, fortune telling, tattoo services, food stalls, and hair saloons. You can spend at least a good hour or so to explore and even buy some stuff to take home with you.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Local Village Entry Points to the Yuanyang Rice Terraces
To get to the Yuanyang rice terraces, you’ll have to pass through some local villages. Each of them has their own original charm and authentic appeal that you will not be able to find in big towns and cities across China. The way of life is skewed in slow motion, and the locals are pretty much laid back and a little more quiet that your stereotypical China understanding.

The simplicity of everything makes the pit stops here even more appealing, especially after ask your legs to go through hours upon hours of outdoor hiking. It serves as a resting space and an oasis for travelers. You are guaranteed to enjoy and appreciate the villages and towns scattered within the Yuanyang rice terraces, particularly because you can also interact with the locals here and ask about tips and tricks on how to traverse through the rice terraces easily.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Into the Cliff View of the Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Your inner devil-may-care thrill seeker kind of attitude will positively give ten thumbs up, when you visit this cliff view of the Yuanyang rice terraces. Because your eye needs a bit of relaxation, and your heart desires for some adrenaline rush, going to this view will give you both. The screensaver-like illusion of the Yuanyang rice terraces as the clouds from above pass by, gives that mirage motion. It’s like you are looking at a retina-display perfect screensaver shot!

Standing on a cliff, sitting on a giant rock at the edge of a high-above-sea-level edge point, you’ll be able to push your feeling of overwhelming joy to its absolute limit. Don’t forget to sit and relish the great spot of seeing the Yuanyang rice terraces at an unusual vantage point.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

Yuanyang Rice Terraces Trek
You need not be curious about the unique life of largest landscaped area in the world made entirely by Hani people. You’ll get a privilege and rare opportunity to traverse the terraces. This heavenly destination for nature lovers, photographers, and avid hikers is surprisingly fit for everyone (even beginners and bloggers!) who would want to experience a glimpse of unspeakable UNESCO-approved beauty. Whether 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours or 4 hours of rice terraces hike, walking around the paddies and witnessing first hand the primitive yet pristine nature around the Yuanyang rice terraces is an undeniably striking life experience.

This cultural discovery and exploration, especially if experienced with nearly zero tourists, is one of the greatest gifts you’ll ever give to your well being. If going up to a monastery, or meditating in a remote island, or even following an “Eat, Pray, Love” kind of moment is not easily obtainable for you (but you badly need it!), you should let try trekking around the Yuanyang rice terraces and allow your soul be on fire!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights

ZOMYA.CO: Experiential Adventures in China
Providing one of a kind travel experiences, through the off the beaten path adventures in China’s Yunnan and Eastern Tibet. Building bridges between local people and authentic cultures, like traditional villages, ethnic markets, and local cuisines. Tailor-made itineraries to give you a different perspective on traveling in China.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlightsbowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo People’s Republic of China China Travel Itinerary Yuanyang Old Town in Yunnan Province 9 Highlights



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