The Yunnan Province is located in southwestern China. It is considered to be one of China’s most diverse provinces due to it’s unique geographical location. In the south, it borders the tropical south-asian countries of Myanmar and Laos. In the northeast region of the province, it become considerably more mountainous and cool as it moves closer to Tibet. Beyond the variety of landscapes that are dispersed throughout the province, it is also home to a number of ethnic minorities who have settled there over thousands of years. Both the geography and peoples have built a province rich in history and culture.
It was this unique mix that drew Thierry in. Shortly after transitioning into the photography profession, Bornierwas captured by the beauty and essence of the Yunnan and established his primary home there. Over the last five years, he has been able to get to know the province and its special corners. Here are some of his recommended destinations.
Kunming is the bustling capital of the Yunnan province, it also happens to be one of Thierry’s “home bases” (the other being Shanghai). The city has been nicknamed The Spring City for its mild climate which draws visitors from around China and the World. The city has thousands of years of history that has been influenced by a number of rulers and ethnic groups. Among the top sites to see in the city are reminders of the past and include Dianchi Lake, the Yunnan Ethnic Village, Daguan Pavilion and Yantong Mountain.
Hani Rice Terraces
The rice terraces were an invention of the local Hani ethnic community and have been in use for thousands of years. They bring the area to life with their unique shapes and steps that are continuously changing with weather and seasons. The terraces are scattered throughout the Yuanyang region of Yunnan, however have four well known scenic points: Duoyi Tree, Bada, Tiger Mouth and Jingkou Village – each offering a unique view of the beautiful fields.
The Golden Fields of Luoping
Luoping is located in the eastern section of the Yunnan province and comes to life every spring. The area’s many canola (or rapeseed) fields are in full bloom during the spring months, covering the region in a sea of golden yellow. When contrasted against the deep green slopes of the surrounding hills, the effect is spectacular. The experience only lasts a few months between February and April, but is the essence of spring. With the smell of sweet spring flowers and the soft buzz of bees the area has become a popular destination for many photographers hoping to capture the beauty of the bloom. One of the best spots to view the fields is Jinjifeng, just a quick bus ride from town.
Meili Snow Mountain
Commonly referred to as Prince Snow Mountain, this impressive mountain lies on the boarder of Yunnan and Tibet at the crossroads of the three famous rivers: Jinsha, Mekong (Nu) and Salwen (Lancang). The mountain has numerous snow covered peak, the highest of which rises to over 22,000 feet (6,700 meters) and has yet to be summited. Being one of the most sacred mountains in Tibetan Buddhism, it draws believers and tourists to bask in its awe-inspiring beauty.
From the mountains in the north to the paddies in the south, this province has something to offer every type of visitor.