The best tourist sights in Yunnan

Lijiang, photo by Tom Thai on Flickr

Yunnan is one of the most incredible province of China, known for its otherworldly scenery and its high quality tea. Yunnan tea is famous all over the world, and the beautiful landscapes of Yunnan also receive quite a lot of attention among travelers who travel to China. Yunnan is tropical and rich, but it also has tall peaks, some mist-covered and some snow-capped. The province is also ethnically diverse, and various interesting cultures and traditions will present themselves to you while wandering in Yunnan’s countryside. All in all, Yunnan is a treasure trove for tourists looking for something less hectic than Shanghai or Beijing, and more steeped in the Chinese way of life. Here are some of the best tourist sights in Yunnan that you will definitely love visiting.

Fuxian Lake

If you like to swim, then don’t miss the chance to swim in the deepest and cleanest lake in China, the beautiful Fuxian near Yuxi. The scenery around the lake is legendary, and even when you don’t fancy a swim you will still find loads of things to do. The small villages around the lake are picturesque and full of small guesthouses, as well as other tourist facilities. The eastern shore of the lake is blessedly tourist-free though, and a great place for walks and hikes!

The Stone Forest

Stone Forest, photo by Kent Wang on Flickr

Shilin, or the Stone Forest, is one of the most incredible karst formations in China, and a national park as well as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park’s name is very fitting, because the karst towers scattered within resemble a huge petrified forest of ancient trees. The rocks spring straight from the ground, much like stalagmites, taken out of a cave and planted in the middle of the verdant countryside.


The small town of Anning would be picturesque enough to visit even if didn’t have anything in the way of attractions, but as it is, Anning is worth visiting for its many hot springs. Some of the hot springs are mud-bottomed, some are paved, some small and some large, mostly in the same style as the hot springs of Japan. There are hot springs hotels, traditional baths and health resorts aplenty to choose from.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge, photo by Hector Garcia on Flickr

The Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the most beautiful canyons in China, naturally diverse and home to some of the most amazing hiking trails in the country. You will pass through quiet villages, shady forests, waterfalls and precipices, with sweeping views of the winding river and the surrounding scenery.


The small city of Lijiang can easily compete for the title of ‘the most picturesque place in China’. The city is over eight centuries old, crisscrossed by canals and waterways lined with old buildings and temples. The old streets are lined with cafes and small restaurants, and the atmosphere is very laid back and reminiscent of older, simpler days.

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