The Dongchuan Red Lands have become Chinas newest and unique tourist destination. It is a haven for backpackers and photographers. The red lands extend for nearly 30 miles or 50 kilometers. It is known to be among the most distinctive and striking landscapes in the world.
This destination is a beautiful location, where the land glows red in an other-worldly scene that is a favourite with travel photographers. Many scenic sightseers prefer a mountain view or seascape, but this Chinese tourism hotspot offers something completely different.
Dongchuan Red Land is located in Huashitou Country, Xinxiang Town, Dongchuan District near Kunming in the Yunnan Province. It is about 155 miles or 250 kilometers northeast of Kunming. It has an altitude of 5,900 to 8,500 feet.
Best Time to Visit
The best time for photographers to visit the red lands is from May to June. You may be able to capture strongly red fields after the plowing just right before the plants grow. You also get to take a lot of farming photos. During the summer the potato flowers start to open and the golden wheat makes a good decoration on the red fields. Summer is the best time to get various colors from the blue sky, the blood-red fields, and different crop colors.
Another good time to visit is during the autumn season, which is in September to November. The fields will be just in time to turn over for new crops. During autumn you can expect to see a large expansion of wheat and highland barley. The white cole flowers add to the fields color, giving the fields a more extravagant play of colors.
How to Get There
You have the option to take a direct bus from Kunming to Huagou. From the Kunming North bus station, either one of the 2 daily buses that leave for Fazhe and passes by Huashitou. It departs at 8 AM and 2 PM. It is important that you inform the driver that you are getting off at Huagou. It may take 5 to 6 hours to reach the red fields. It is highly suggested to take the 8 AM bus so that you can capture the sunset as soon as you arrive.
Another option is to get on the bus from Kunming to Dongchuan and then to Huagou. You can get on the regular buses at 6:30 AM to 10 PM to Dongchuan County. It would take 3 and a half hours. You may need to transfer to a bus going to the Dongchuan Red Fields, which departs only at 8:30 AM and 12:50 PM. It leaves daily and takes 1 hour and a half.
If you prefer to rent a car from Kunming to Huagou, it may cost you around 100 to 150 RMB per car which is good for 2 persons. The price might be higher for more than 2 persons, so it would be better to rent a minivan if there are more of you. It would cost you around 200 to 250 RMB for 4 to 6 persons. You can opt to bargain or negotiate a deal with the driver if you know how to speak Chinese.
On the way back there are 2 coaches back to Dongchuan Passenger Station. From there you can either take another bus or rent a car back to Kunming. Theres no need to purchase tickets for the Donchuan Red Fields as it is free to the public.