Home Travel Blog Best Places to Photograph Autumn in Yunnan

Best Places to Photograph Autumn in Yunnan

Many images may come to your mind when you close your eyes and think for a second about the autumn destinations. The colorful leaves and woods reflecting in sparkling lakes in Jiuzhai Valley, the gorgeous scenery of Kanas Lake in a riot of colors, the red maple leaves “blossoming” at Xiangshan Park in Beijing…

And don’t forget Yunnan, a diverse land where you can soak up all the shades of autumn and spectacular autumn landscapes. Below are some destinations in Yunnan that look dazzling in the glow of autumn.

Dongchuan Red Land

The words wonderful, incredible, amazing are not enough to describe the beauty of Dongchuan Red Land. September to November is the good time to photo the red fields, when some of the fields are turned over for new crops, and other fields are planted with highland barley, wheat, and other crops, unknown wildflowers in full blossom make the fields more colorful. From afar, the area is a collage of various crop colors, red earth, blue sky, and white clouds.

Xiaocaoba Scenic Area

A hidden paradise nestled in Yiliang county, Xiaocaoba Scenic Area is described as a natural reserve covered by dense virgin forests, steep peaks, deep valleys, wandering mountain streams and cascading waterfalls.

When autumn comes, Xiaocaoba is in its most dreamy season with gorgeous colors in every corner. Wandering around the tranquil valley and roaring waterfalls, you will see the forests, peaks, and valleys all dyed in layers of red, gold or orange. The scene is especially amazing when the red leaves reflect sunset light with rosy clouds of dusk.

Pudacuo National Park

A superb park located around Shangri-La, Pudacuo is described as the place closest to heaven with minority villages, verdant forests, crystal lakes, and gorgeous meadow views.

In autumn, the colorful scenery is more confident to take your breath away. With crisp blue sky, crystal clear water, golden leaves, yellow grassland… Pudacuo is more simple, primitive, and mysterious in autumn, just like a paradise on earth.

Yila Grassland of Napa Lake

For those who like natural and wide scenes, Yila Grassland is no doubt your ideal choice. Autumn is the dry season when the water recedes and the area becomes a grassland instead of wetland, making it the best time to see herds of sheep and cattle.

As you see the endless grassland expanding under rolling snow-capped mountains, local Tibetans burning incense at the white pagoda, and the starry milky way in the night sky, you can’t help marvel at Yila Grassland’s beauty.

Songzanlin Monastery 

Built after Potala Palace in Lhasa, Songzanlin Monastery is a rewarding place to encounter the profound religious culture and many precious Tibetan Buddhist relics. Combining the most essential features of Tibetan religious architectures, the buildings in the monastery are all magnificent and colorful, with gilded copper tiles.

A far view from the high buildings here will bring you some wonderful views of the holy lakes, vast meadows, and eagles hovering in the sky if you are lucky.


Hidden on the flanks of Haba Snow Mountain, Baishuitai (aka White Water Terrace) with a large, white mineral deposit in the form of terraced pools is the largest sinter terraces in China which are comparable to Pamukkale in Turkey.

A wandering here in the morning, you will see low fog just like a blanket covering the whole area, adding more mystery to the place.

You can’t stop being amazed at nature’s beauty while absorbing aqua blue water, white rock, terraced formation, and looking out at the verdant valley.

If the water in Jiuzhaigou was created by God overturning the paint tray, then the water in Baishuitai was filtered by God, and the color changes while looking from different angles and distances.

Meili Snow Mountain

It is said that only the devoted and lucky guys can capture the surreal sunrise view of Meili Snow Mountain. The amazing moment offers nothing short of dramatic views when the first ray of sunrise dyed the main peak Kavagbo into gold. Everyone will be shocked by such kind of golden views.

Visiting Meili Snow Mountain in autumn makes it easier to encounter the marvelous sunrise view.

Ginkgo Village in Tengchong

Ginkgo Village is an ancient village nestled in Tengchong, which features vast natural ginkgo forests with over 30,000 ginkgo trees and dozens of rural houses built by volcanic stones.

With the arrival of autumn, the ubiquitous golden ginkgo leaves turn the idyllic village into a yellow fairyland, intoxicating crowds of tourists from all over the country. You can’t take bad pictures in such a beautiful landscape.

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are often regarded as the hidden gems built on the remote cliffs of the Ailao Mountains, and one of the largest and most spectacular rice terraces in the world.

Before harvest in autumn, the terraces boast a view of breathtaking beauty as the whole fields are blanketed with golden rice, and the cool autumn wind blowing and waving the crops.

Autumn in Yunnan is a combination of striking red or golden leaves, waving crops, overwhelmingly peaceful villages, tranquil waters, yellow grasslands. Delight yourself by embracing the autumn breeze in Yunnan, all the destinations don their yellow, red, blue, and green for your picture-perfect and romantic trip.

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