"If you have time for but one
  province in China, Yunnan should
  be it.
- Lonely Planet


Volunteer in Kunming, Yunnan,
a city with year-round Spring weather. Trips to 26 cultures &
5 nearby countries.

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Hong He

It normally is referred to as Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture. This prefecture is well known for its glorious history and profound cultural heritage, and many of its historical and cultural interest sites are very popular among visitors from China and other countries. Jianshui County is one of the most beautiful Historical and Cultural Cities of China; Yuanyang, a small unknown town located in a remote area, which used to be unknown is now catching attention from all over the world for its marvelous rice terrace fields. Hekou, the border town at the very south of Honghe Prefecture, can bring you exotic Vietnamese experiences. Together with other things, they make Honghe an increasingly popular tourism destination for people from all over the globeThere is easy travel access to this part of Yunnan. There are daily buses available in almost all bus stations from your travels. The commonly visited cities and counties are Jianshui, Mile, Mengzi, Yuanyang and Hekou


Jianshui is a national historical and cultural city. It is famous for its well-preserved ancient architecture, and historic sights. Jianshui boasts a number of cultural and historical relics. Known as a "Museum of Ancient Buildings", it has over 100 temples and more than 50 old bridges built in the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
Jianshui is a city with a glorious tradition. During the 1911 Revolution, the Lin'an Uprising led by Zhao Fuxiang and Zhu Chaoying, together with the Tengyue Uprising and Kunming Chongjiu Uprising, overthrew the rule of the Qing Dynasty in Yunnan. The name Jianshui is the Chinese translation of the local old Yi language of "Huili", which means "ocean". During the Yuan Dynasty the name of Huili City was changed to Jianshui as more and more Han culture started incorporating into that of the local culture. 
Among many interesting sites, there is the second biggest Confucius Temple in China, the Graceful Double Dragon Arch Bridge, well-maintained traditional residential houses, the famous Private Garden of the Zhu Family and old pagodas, and ancient city gate, among others.   

Located 220 km (136 miles) south of Kunming, Jianshui is about a three hour bus ride from Kunming.

Swallow Cave

One of the largest and grandest karst caves in Asia, Swallow Cave is located in a ravine 30 km (18.5 miles) east of the seat of Jianshui County. Swallow Cave got its name because swallows come here to build their nests every spring. It is renowned for its marvelous karst stones as well as scary climbing activities, such as hanging inscribed boards on the stalactites on the cave roof, or collecting edible swallow nests from the cave cliff over 50 meters (164 feet) above the ground. These activities done by men are regarded as actions of courage and boldness. The climbers are always treated like heroes. Every year, board hanging and nest gathering performances take place on the March 21 and August 10, respectively. The thrilling performance and people's curiosity always contribute to the attendance of an enormous amount of people.Swallow Cave

Jianshui Confucian TemplePrivate

Built in 1285 A.D. during the Yuan Dynasty, Jianshui Confucian Temple is the second largest Confucian Temple in all of China, second only to the one in Qufu, Shangdong, hometown of Confucius. After being repeatedly renovated and expanded during the Ming, Qing dynasties, the temple now occupies an area of 7.6 hectares. Despite the vicissitudes of 700 years, Jianshui Confucian Temple is still well preserved.

The Garden of the Zhu Family

The Private Garden of the Zhu Family, known as a "Grand View Garden in a border town", is a group of splendid residential quarters. The garden was built in 1908 during the Qing Dynasty by two wealthy men, Zhu Chaoying and his brother. The garden incorporates the typical style of southern private gardens and features of local architecture. It also features both China's inland and Yunnan's border culture, which gives the garden a high architectural aesthetic value.

The Red River, or Yuan River, begins in the western part of Yunnan China. The name is taken from the reddish-brown, heavily silt-laden water of the river. The river runs into Vietnam from Lào Cai Province. It is one the largest rivers in northern Vietnam. The Red River runs through the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, before emptying into the Gulf of Tonkin.  


Luxi County is 170 KM (105 miles) south of Kunming. With regard to tourism, it is known for the Alu Ancient Cave. The Alu Ancient Cave is a group of karst caves known as "First Cave in Yunnan". "Alu" in the Yi language means "a rocky cave with water in it". It was the name of one of the 37 Yi tribes in Yunnan during the Song and Yuan dynasties. In 1991, it was listed by the China National Tourism Administration as a scenic resort on the 14 national tourist routes. Two kilometers, or a half mile, west of Luxi County, the cave can be arrived at by bus. The admission fee is 60 RMB

The Yuanyang Hani Terraced Fields 

The Hani terraced fields are magnificently distributed in counties such as Honghe, Yuanyang, Luchun and Jingping on the south bank of the Honghe River. The fields are just like miracles the Hani people unbelievably reclaimed on sides of huge mountains through thousands of years. Of these fields, the most important part, which covers an area of 11,300 hectares, is found in Yuanyang. Clothed in clouds and mist, such a tremendous number of terraces are a wonderful and splendid sight. In July of 2004 the terraced field were accepted and approved by the UN World Heritage Committee as one of the five potential heritage sites offered by China. Now the Hani terraced fields have become known all over the world.

Hekou is an autonomous county in the southern part of the Yunnan province of China. It borders the northern Vietnamese town of Lao Cai and is an important bordering port of China.

There is an important railway in Hekou--The Kunming-Hekou Railway, which is a section of the Sino-Vietnamese Railway in China. In April 1889 France acquired the right to build the Sino-Vietnamese Railway. After careful investigation, design and preparation of nearly five years, the project began in April 1903 and was completed by 1910, connecting Haiphong, Vietnam with Kunming, Yunnan, China. Due to the mountainous terrain along the route, the 1000 mm gauge was used for the railroad. For a long time, it was the only main line in China using this narrow gauge. Now for development it is being converted to standard gauge. Its geological edge makes Hekou a place with active border trading and tourism. Many Chinese come here to experience Vietnamese culture. 


Located in a big basin, Mengzi County is the new prefecture capital for Honghe, prior to which it was the city called Gejiu, nicknamed as Capital of Tin. In the 19th century Mengzi was a trading center of commerce between the interior of Yunnan and the Hanoi-Haiphong area of Vietnam. As one of the earliest established ancient counties in Yunnan, Mengzi has been playing an important role in the history of Yunnan province. Mengzi was the largest port of Yunnan at the end of the Qing Dynasty and beginning of the Republic of China. It boasts of many "firsts" in Yunnan's history--the first customs, the first telegraph office, the first post office, the first foreign bank, the first private railway, just to name a few.

The Red River
The Red River, or Yuan River, begins in the western part of Yunnan China. The name is taken from the reddish-brown, heavily silt-laden water of the river. The river runs into Vietnam from Lào Cai Province. It is one the largest rivers in northern Vietnam. The Red River runs through the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, before emptying into the Gulf of Tonkin.

Hani people
The Hani people, one of China’s minorities, are one of the ancient Chinese nationalities. The majority of Hani live in the south of Yunnan Province. There are about thirteen million Hani people.


Shi Yue Jie or The Tenth Month New Year
(The first day of the tenth lunar month that belongs to the Dragon according to the Chinese Zodiac/around early October)
According to the calendar of the Hani people, the tenth month is the first month of the year, so the festival which falls on the tenth month is the New Year for Hani people. This festival usually lasts about one or two weeks. During the festival, the villagers will kill pigs as sacrifices to the Dragon Forest. A special Long-Street Banquet is set up in the open air on the street, and everyone visits back and forth. It is also a good time for young people to find that special someone.

Liu Yue Jie or The Sixth Month Festival 
(The first day of the sixth lunar month that belongs to the Tiger according to the Chinese Zodiac)
Around June 20, people of the Honghe Prefecture celebrate the Sixth Month Festival, which is also named "Ku Zha Zha" Festival in this region. The celebration usually lasts for three to six days. During the festival, cattle are slaughtered as offering to gods. There are also other religious activities that supposedly bring good fortune to people. It is also an occasion for young men and women to enjoy themselves



Impact Abroad provides International Volunteering & Community Service Opportunities
to people in the western world to help children in Yunnan, China

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