Skip to content
                Site Tools
                Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
                Home Travel in Yunnan Dongchuan Red Lands
                Dongchuan Red Lands
                Travel in Yunnan


                Dongchuan (dōng chuān 東川), located in the southeast side with more than 40km away from Kunming City (kūn míng 昆明), is a district under the jurisdiction of Kunming Prefecture, Yunnan Province. It is a rural area in the northeast of Kunming and is believed to hold the world's most imposing red earth, even more magnificent than that in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the most massive red land with typical features of Yunnan plateau. With gorgeous and colorful hues, the red land is praised as a palette on earth, and is more and more favored by backpackers, hikers and photographers. It is seldom visited by general tourists for its remoteness and inadequate lodging facilities. However, the land with picturesque scenery is paradise for photography fans.

                Geography and Climate

                dongchuan2At between 1,800 and 2,600m  above sea level, the area's altitude and relative isolation make for dramatically clear skies that tend to be especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset, when the slant of light catches the red clay, yellow and green fields of grain, and striated hillsides just right. Despite the altitude, Dongchuan remains quite warm from spring through autumn, and the humidity and iron-rich soil sustain a thriving network of small agricultural communities.


                Although discovered in the mid 1990s, the exact location is kept secret among few Chinese photographers who scooped award-winning photos here. People who have been the first time to visit this land will be deeply impressive by the gorgeous scenes. Lands in deep red, purple, bright red, etc… cover thousands of mountains. When wind blows, the plants in fields wave tenderly. It is a colorful picture drew by the nature. Viewing it from away, it looks like an oil painting more than a Chinese painting.

                dongchuan3Photo genetic, breathtaking, wonderful are not big words to describe this land. Those strong colors of red, white, yellow, green, gold, and blue, remind people of Van Gough’s oil paintings. The real Van Goughs are the local peasants, who are the painters and artists of this natural picture. They plough, they grow, they harvest, but meanwhile, not on purpose, that they created the most beautiful land oil painting in the world. This land is becoming one of the most beloved paradise by the photographers and fans of the world.

                The Dongchuan Red Lands (dōng chuān hóng tǔ dì 東川紅土地) have become increasingly popular in recent years among photographers and backpackers for its mix of striking landscapes and laid-back villages. Far enough from Kunming to escape the crowds, it's a fine spot to spend a few days in a local hostel, dining in small country-style restaurants and hiking the stunning red-earth landscape.

                Scenic Spots

                Damakan Village (dǎ mǎ kǎn cūn 打馬坎村): Looking down at the Damakan Village after the sun rising, you will enjoy the smoke from the kitchen chimneys, morning frogs above the red lands and clouds.

                Qicaipo (qī cǎi pō 七彩坡): You can enjoy the different colors of the earth here, especially the dawn and sunrise.

                Yuepuao (lè pǔ āo 樂普凹):You can see the rural sceneries with well-arranged villages scattering around the red land.

                Best time to visit

                dongchuan4The best time to visit is between the middle May and the early June, and the middle October and November, when tilling turns up large swathes of red earth which contrast beautifully with the greens and yellows of the wheat and barley favored by local farmers. Otherwise, Dongchuan in snow weather will show a different style, but roads may be blocked due to the frozen days.

                How to get there

                Route 1: Kunming-Huagou
                Kunming North Bus Station: Fazhe-bound buses departing at 8:00 & 14:00 daily pass by Huashitou Village. Just try to let the driver know that you want to get off at Huagou (huā gōu 花溝). Bear in mind that the bus moves on extremely slow and it takes 5~6 hours to arrive, as there are a few chaotic local markets along the road.

                Route 2: Kunming-Dongchuan-Huagou
                Kunming Eastern Bus Station: frequent buses run to Dongchuan County from 6:30am to 10pm / 3.5hrs; There are only 2 buses from Dongchuan County to Red Soil at 8:30 & 12:50:00, 1.5hrs. Charter a van if you missed the scheduled buses.

                dongchuan5Route 3: Kunming-Huagou
                Charter a vehicle from Kunming to Huagou costs.


                There are lots of guesthouses in Dongchuan. Most of them are ran by locals and located around the bus stations.

                Tourist Service Hotline: 0837-2169796.
                Tourist Complaints Hotline: 0871-3197361, 0871-650011.