Yuanyang Rice Terrace
There are two ancient constructions in China, which have been in use for thousands of years, one is Dujiangyang Irrigation Project in Sichuan, another one is Hani Rice Terraces in Yuanyang.
The rice terrace spreads out over the Ai Lao mountains in south Yunnan. People can not just see the rice terrace in Yuanyang, but also can see it in Luchun County, Honghe County, Simao County and so on, but Yuanyang is the central Region of Rice Terrace. In Yuanyang there are more than 250 square kilometers of rice terrace concentrated here.
The rice terraces arranged from the foot of mountain to its top, sometimes, the numerous steps of terraces are over 3000 steps. Yuanyang Rice Terrace is a lively and powerful ecosystem, yet a source of food and spiritual support of more than 35,000 agricultural population of local Hani minority. The green dense forest on the tops of mountains have been providing the drinkable and irrigation water, the thousands years old irrigation system is still in function.
Yuanyang County covers an area of 2200 square kilometers and has a population of approximately 365,000 (2002), of which 88% belong to an ethnic minority and 95% is associated with agriculture. The majority of the inhabitants of the district are of the Hani ethnic group. The administrative headquarters of the county is the city of Nansha ( New Yuanyang) in the Red River Valley at an altitude of 240 meters. It is 12 km towards north-east of the former administrative headquarters Xinjie (aka Old Yuanyang Yuanyang or only) to which it is connected by a 27 km long twisting mountain road. In the south of Yuanyang old city, the city of Panzhihua at the top of another large valley is located the rice terraces. There are total of 928 settlements in Yuanyang county, 826 of them are represented by a single ethnic group inhabited.
The city is an old Yuanyang Hani minority settlement on a ridge of the Ailao Mountains at an altitude of about 1570 meters. It is a popular destination with photographers because of the large areas of the nearby mountains, the rice terraces were in for at least the last 1300 years cultivated by Hani. Despite the overwhelming scenic beauty of its landscape and colorful local minorities, has the mass tourism in this region yet, developed primarily because of its remote location, lack of a nearby airport, and until the last, relative inaccessibility due to bad road conditions.
The terraced fields of interest to visitors are mainly between 1000 and 2000 meters above sea level found. Winter temperatures here are freezing though never, that they support only one rice crop a year. After the harvest from mid-September to mid November, depending on the height, the terraces with water until April, when planting begins filled.
The vast majority of women from ethnic minorities in Yuanyang county still wear traditional clothes as their daily attire. The main ethnic group is the Hani, who share the region with a number of other minorities such as Yi and Miao. Market days in the villages are usually very colorful, if the various ethnic groups in the vicinity which each in their own costumes, come together to socialize and trade contacts.
In 2008, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China claimed that Honghe Hani terraced fields of the World Cultural Heritage status. A quote from the explanation: Hani fantastic and perfect country have created sort of huge terraced fields in the world cultural heritage. The integration of terraced fields in the unique landscapes, forests and plants covered the valleys and streams and other natural landscapes they have created a unique masterpiece of art, which has ethnic organic, ethnic art, landscape architecture and agricultural techniques.  However, it was merged developed this status during the 33 Meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Seville awarded in June 2009.
Yuanyang county is at an altitude of 140 along the Red River to almost 3,000 meters above sea level in the Ailao Mountains and is located about 50 km north of the border with Vietnam away.
The climate is mainly sub-tropical monsoon with wet summers and dry winters. Average temperatures range from 26 degrees Celsius in the Red River Valley to 4 degrees Celsius in the upper reaches of the mountains.
The nearest major cities in the west of the county are: Yuan Yang, Shiping and Gejiu. Gejiu is the largest city in the north-east and also the capital of Honghe Prefecture. 70 km directly north of Yuanyang is Jianshui, a small town with interesting sights. A couple of hours to the south-east is from Yuanyang Luchun, turned another important Hani minority settlement modern city
Due to the recent road construction, can now be old Yuanyang reached in about 7 hours by direct bus from Yunnan's capital Kunming, 300 km north of the village, a journey that would last only a few years ago, 10 hours or longer. Buses also connect with the city of Hekou and border crossings with Vietnam (6 hours) Yuan Yang.