One of the best ways to get close to the people and enjoy the breathtaking views is to walk from one village to another. There are walking paths that connect all the villages, away from the main road. These paths follow the contour of the hills and some of them criss-cross the terraces. Yuanyang offers great walking possibilities. Here is a two-day-walk from Qingkou to Laohuzui via Duoyishu.
Trek 1 : Qingkou to Shengcun. 6-7 hours. Difficulty: Easy.
Access: Take a mini-bus to Qingkou. Arriving in Shengcun, one can take a mini-bus to Duoyi village (5km, Y5) and stay at Sunlight Guesthouse in Duoyi village.
Qingkou 箐口 - Quanfuzhang 全福庄 (2 hours) - Bada View Point 坝达观景台 (1.5 hours) - Malizhai 麻栗寨 (50 minutes) - Shengcun 胜村 (2 hours). All Pictures: click here.
It takes 10 minutes to descend from the main road to Qingkou village. One has to pay Y15 for visiting the village. Qingkou is the only village with traditional mushroom houses in Yuanyang.
After walking around in the village, we left the village from the south and followed a wide trail extending into the terrace fields. In half an hour, we passed a bridge. The trail starts to ascend slightly among terrace fields. In another 20 minutes, we arrived at Quangfuzhang.
Quangfuzhan has a trail that goes directly to Malizhai. There is a road mark near a stone lion statue . We took the trail going up to main road close Bada instead. Bada View Point is famous for sunset. It was quiet during the day, and we didn't sight any tourists.
The trail goes down from Pada to Malizhai. Malizhai is the biggest Hani village in Yuanyang. There is a village gate in the south. We walked to the northeast gate, and followed the dirt track to Shengchun. There is a splendid viewpoint of rice terrace and the village. The road goes further up, passing by two tiny villages before reaching Shengcun.
Trek 2 : Duoyishu to Laohuzui, 5-6 hours of walk. Difficulty: Easy.
Direction: Duoyishu 多依树 - Puduo Upper Village 普朵上寨 (2 hours via east trail, 1 hour via dirt road) - Dongpu Village 洞浦 (2 hours) - Duosha 多沙 (1 hour) - Laohuzui 老虎嘴 (45 minutes). All Pictures: click here.
This is a leisurely 5-6 hour walk with lots of close-up views of rice terraces and minority villages. One could time the walk to get to Laohuzui around sunset as this is a prime location to view sunset (but getting back might be a problem as transport are lesser after 6pm).
From Duoyishu to Puduo, one can take the tractor track above Duoyishu (see map) to Puduo. We walked along the main road eastward for 500m and took a walking path beside a white house on the right side which went up to the top of the hill in 40 minutes. After passing the col, we walked in the west direction on the top of the hill where we enjoyed a panoramic view of stunning rice terraces around Duoyishu. Further west, we sighted two Puduo villages, the bigger upper village in front.
Passing through Puduo Upper Village, we took the path turning to the left in front of the lower Puduo Village. Walking a while in the woods, we left the trail and walked down to the terrace fields along an irrigation canal. The view is more pleasant than the main trail to Dongpu.
Dongpu has a snack shop selling beer and bread, no restaurant. Dongpu has a dirt road going southwest to the main road near Laohuzui. We walked up to the top of the village and went northwest to Duosha village. There are few traditional mushroom houses left in these villages. The majority of the houses are new, which are charmless akin to concrete 'matchbox'.
The descent from Duosha to Laohuzui view point is pleasant with a breathtaking view over the Laohuzui terrace fields.
Walk around Duoyishu.
If you have time, it's worth spending one or more days in Duoyishu to discover the surrounding countryside. One can go to Yanzijiao in the north, or walk to some villages such as Aicun in the northeast.
On the web: From Niujiaozhai to Old Yuanyang on YunnanExplorer.com
Updated by Suyun in May 2007.