Yuanyang is a poor town in the south of Yunnan. It’s on a hilltop and was, for the time I was there, permanently hidden in fog – sometimes visibility was down to about thirty or forty feet. After arriving after an eight hour bus journey from Kunming, I arranged a car to take me to the terraces the next morning.
I met the driver at 5:30am. The fog was so thick that she advised me not to go that day. But there’s not really anything to see in Yuanyang other than the terraces – and I didn’t want to have dragged myself out of bed for nothing – so I decided to risk it.
I’m glad I did. As the sun rose, the fog rolled in and out of the valley, providing brief windows of relatively clear views.
The hour I spent watching the sun come up over the terraces was my highlight of Yunnan province. The driver took me to a few other places to view the terraces, and then I went back to the town. Yuanyang was a long way to go – a sixteen hour round-trip on the bus – but really worth it.