Key Words: Dongchuan, Red Soil Land, Red Land, Hotels, Guesthouse, Best Time

Reputed as “Natural Palette” or “God’s Palette”, a place not to be missed,a  true photographers’ haven, Dongchuan Red Land is a must-see attraction for photographers coming to Yunnan. The nearby small towns and villages are spectacular to walk through, this is an authentic piece of rural China!!!



Every season offers different colors and scenic views.

Dongchuan Red land in Yunnan is still relatively hidden from tourists, which should be considered as an advantage of this place, it is breathtaking with its red, brown, yellow and green terraced fields. It’s a great place for photographers although one must rely on the weather and different view points for outstanding shots.

The landscapes, bright colors and shapes change during the day, and naturally the best times are after sunrise and before sunset. The Red color is attributed to the unusually high content of iron in the soil, and the crops are mostly potatoes, barley and wheat. The contrast between each crop color and texture are a photographer’s dream.

Dongchuan, the Red Land, is worth the bad road, the primitive accommodation. Nature wins! It is truly magnificent, still virtually undiscovered because of the poor facilities.

Sunrise viewing is at 6 am and you should go to Damankan where a small crowd would be already gathered. The sunrise will not disappoint you as the red and orange hues light up the hills in front of you. The freezing cold and crisp fresh air make this a memorable morning for you. On our way back for breakfast, you can stop at a couple of viewpoints like Luo Xia Guo, Qi Cai Po, Jinxiuyuan, Huashitou and Yueliangtian. At some spots, ice would be formed on the ground.

Leave Dongchuan Red Land by noon and stop on your way out for more photographs. This is definitely the place for clean fresh air, fabulous views and superb colour landscapes. It is still untouched, free entry and even though a distance to drive worth the journey.



Most people only stayed overnight at the Red Land. That was also my original plan but I like the hoteI so much that I ended up staying for three nights and enjoyed the very scenic walks of the area. It’s a beautiful courtyard hotel with expensive wooden furniture and tasteful decorations. I think worth a visit even if you are not staying there. Twin/double room Rmb398 and two-bedroom for Rmb988. The most expensive in Dongchuan, but well worth it. They raise pigs and grow their own vegetables. Delicious organic meals! 红土地山居酒店 138 8818 2740. Not sure if it has an English name though! Lucky to get a good driver too. Mr. Ho 153 0885 5065. Nice and honest guy with a very clean new car.
One of the best attractions near Kunming. It is quite far from Kunming City, and would require a change of bus. If traveling independently, be informed that there is only one public bus a day, and once you reach the place you’ll have to wait until the next morning to return.

There are several hotels spread out in the area far apart from each other. Once you have decided a hotel, it would be good to find a group of people and hire a driver to take you to each of the lookout points, about 10 or so in total. Be sure to bargain with him.
Provided a wonderful and scenic background that is extremely suitable for photography. The colors change with the season, and for me maybe the most beautiful period was mid autumn. If you are looking for more natural beauty like this, you could try Mu Cang Chai in Vietnam.

Dongchuan, Red Soil Land, Red Land, Hotels, Guesthouse, Best Time

Luoxiagou Sunset and Lupuao Red Soil Land

“A Photographers HEAVEN”
5 of 5 starsReviewed November 21, 2014

I stayed at the Hong Tu Ren Jia Jiu Dian. For my full review of the guesthouse check out:


Getting There and Away

Because access is arduous, not many tourists venture to visit this remote rural area. The famous Red Lands of Yunnan are six hours drive north of Kunming and only part of the roads are highways, the rest are only suitable for off-road vehicles.

  1. Car Rental :
  2. By Bus: There are only 2 buses a day at 7:50am and 8:30am. There is no need to buy a ticket a day in advance. The bus leaves the station with 3 passengers and get full later by picking up more people along the way. The trip take about 5 hours and the driver drop you off at Huāshítou 花石头 (he knows at what spot to do it). This bus does not pass thrugh Huāgōu 花沟.You must check with the driver and confirm that he will pick you up the next day at 8:50AM.
  3.  There is another way to get to Dongchuan with a more flexible schedule however it will require a taxi ride to Redland after arriving in Dongchuan. I took the 7:50am bus to Fahze from Kunming North Passenger Bus Station. You can only purchase tickets on the day so punctuation is crucial. Dongchuan Redland bus tickets costs ¥38 one way. The coach has plenty of stops. Journey takes 3 hours which isn’t too bad.

Travel Tips:

1. Day trip from Kunming is not recommended, unless you are on a tight schedule and do not care for taking many pictures. Hire a driver from Kunming for day trip.

2. Dongchuan Redland is free; no entrance fee.

3. There is nothing to do at night. Apart from stargazing.

4. Bring food and beverages before heading to Redland. There are hardly any stores.

5. Redland has an altitude of 1800-2600, so be careful not to do too many strenuous exercises.

6. No banks or atm in Redland. Guesthouses only accept cash, so bring enough!

7. Be careful not to step on farmlands as local farmers may charge you for trespassing.

8. It’s a good idea to have all the names and addresses in Chinese script written down to make it easier for communicating if you’re not fluent with Mandarin.

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