Getting here from Kunming is not easy and should be undertaken when the conditions are optimal for the experience to be generally worth the time and trouble. I was there last week and most of the terraced fields had water, which made them quite photogenic.
I've been here before, in January, and they are very pretty then as well, but the weather is cold. This time it was much more pleasant.
If you don't have your own car, you need a local driver to take you around to the various view points. Some are better for sunrise, such as Duoyishu 多衣树, and others are better for sunset, such as Bada 坝达 and Laohuzui 老虎嘴.
When you pay your 100 Yuan admission fee on first entering the area, they will give you a good local map.
Important to realize that Yuanyang 元阳 is not just one single place. It's a region that is somewhat spread out along part of a mountain range. Need to allow a couple nights here so you can adapt to its peacefulness and get the feel of the place.
Also important to know that you might not get perfect viewing weather. Many of these spots are above the clouds and they can obscure the view if the winds are not right. So don't cut it too close. Allow time for driving around.
The terraced fields are not the only attraction. If you come on a weekend, you can attend a Sunday morning market in one of the villages. People come down from the remote hamlets to buy and sell, and it gets quite colorful because of the variety of minority costumes.
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