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Yunnan Province, due to its beautiful landscapes, mild climate and colorful ethnic minorities, is one of China's major tourist destinations. Most visitors are Chinese tourists, although trips to Yunnan are organized by an increasing number of foreign travel agencies as well. Mainland tourists mostly travel by the masses. An amazing 22 million visitors came to Lijiang in 2013 of which 5% were from a foreign country. Also a different trend is slowly developing: small scale and environmentally friendly ecotourism. At the moment projects in this field are often being set up with help of NGO's.

A good overview of places to visit is not only provided by our comprehensive Yunnan Guide but also from Wikitravel. Furthermore TripAdvisor lists up a number of places worth visiting in Yunnan. Below a short overview of highlights with links to more detailed information.

Tourist centres in Yunnan include

  • Dali, the historic center of the Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms.
  • Chuxiong, the first stop on the way to Dali and Lijiang. Home of the Yi ethnic minority and their respective ancient town.
  • Jinghong, the center and prefectural capital of the Xishuangbanna Dai minority autonomous prefecture.
  • Lijiang, a Naxi minority city. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
  • Shangri-La County (formerly Zhongdian), an ethnic Tibetan township and county set high in Yunnan's north-western mountains.
  • Shilin (Stone Forest), a series of karst outcrops east of Kunming.
  • Yuanyang, a Hani minority settlement with vast rice-terraces.
  • Xishuangbanna, a national scenic resort, famous for its natural and cultural attractions.


Places of interest

The Three Pagodas of Dali

Three Pagodas


The Black Dragon Pool of Lijiang

Black Dragon Pool


Western Hills with the Dragon gate over Kunming

Dragon Gate


Golden Temple in Kunming

Golden Temple Kunming


Rice Terraces in Yuanyang

Yuanyang Rice Terraces


Dongchuan Red Soil Land



Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge


Stone Forest near Kunming

Stone Forest