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A 4-day driving tour in Chuxiong

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A 4-day driving tour in Chuxiong


Collated by: Wang Dan


Suggestions on tour route


    Dianzhong, or the central part of Yunnan Province, refers to Kunming, Qujing, Chuxiong and Yuxi. Each has its own featured sightseeing resources. However, “Xiaodianzhong” refers to Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture to the northwest of Kunming, and it boasts even more scenic spots lovely characteristics. You can drive out of Kunming and go sightseeing along the circuit route in Chuxiong. Spending four days on a well-planned round trip in “Xiaodianzhong”, you can make your drive  full of surprises.


Recommended Sites

Wuding Lion Mountain(武定狮子山): 

The major part of the scenic area is composed of a mountain, a lake and a mountain valley with clumps of trees and bamboo. Wuding Lion Mountain combines scenery with mountains and rivers. Here, you can enjoy the story of “grandparents and grandchildren being monks, while uncles and nephews fight for territory”.

The Clay Forest in Yuanmou(元谋土林):

The forest is formed by earthy deposits in columnar terrain. It gains its name because of its appearance, which is like a forest seen from a great distance. Each “forest column” has its unique style, forming the wonder of a clay forest in various postures.

   Yongren Fang Mountain(永仁方山):

    It used to be a Buddhist holy site and also a military fortress. Tradition has it that Zhuge Liang(184~234) pitched his camp on Yongren Fang Mountain during his Southern-Campaign. Although two thousand years have passed, remaining traces of Zhuge Liang’s camp can still be found.


Shiyang Ancient Town stands 35KM northwest of Dayao County . It is one of the three towns in the first batch named  historical famous towns in Yunnan Province. It is also called “White Salt Well Village” due to its historical importance in the salt business.

Yao'an Guanglu Ancient Village(姚安光禄古镇):

It is called “the famous state of Yi’xi culture” and “the hometown of the festive lantern”. The saying goes, “one Yaozhou can tell you half of the history of  Yunnan”.

Nanhua Miyilu-Style Village(南华咪依噜风情谷):

It is a concentrated area of ethnic minorities with deep Yi cultural heritage and well-maintained folk-customs.

Chuxiong Prefectural Museum(楚雄州博物馆):

It has more than 8,400 cultural relics on display. It is the symbol of Chuxiong.

Chuxiong Zixi Mountain(楚雄紫溪山): 

The mountain is a giant oxygen bar full of negative oxygen ions. Zixi Mountain is the most ideal summer resort and a treasured place with good geomantic omens. While taking a walk here, you can listen to the legends of The Great Baotou and other supernatural beings. Mushrooms in this area are extremely tasty. Or, you can climb the mountain and enjoy camellias after May.

World Dinosaur Valley(世界恐龙谷): 

It is a theme park based on world-class dinosaur fossil relics inside Yunnan Lufeng Dinosaur National Geological Park.

Yummy Food along the Way

Yuanmou Paoguo(元谋泡果):

Yuanmou Paoguo is a local snack widely-known in Yuanmou County Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture . The process of making Yuanmou Paoguo has a history dating back more than 70 years. It is “sweet as honey and soft as cotton”.

Yuanmou Cold Chicken(元谋凉鸡): 

Yuanmou Cold chicken is a famous dish with local flavor. It has a history of almost one hundred years. The material selection of cold chicken is very strict. Spring chickens not having laid any egg  are the best. Put a whole chicken in a pot and poach it. Do not let the water boil. Put water in while boiling until obvious shrinkage can be found on the chicken skin. Take the chicken out and cut it into pieces after cooling. Add some spices to make the cold chicken more delicious.

Mutton soup pot(羊汤锅):

It is a famous dish served when Yi people entertain guests. All parts of the sheep will be cut into pieces and boiled in a pot. Besides salt, nothing else will be put into the pot for seasoning during boiling. Before having the soup, put some pepper, chili powder, and mint into it.

Tour Tips

The Torch Festival(火把节): 

This festival marks the new year in the Yi calendar. Most activities are held at night. People either light torches to pray for luck, or dance and sing around a bonfire. During the festival, traditional activities such as wrestling, bullfighting, and horse racing will also be held.

Date: June 24th of the lunar calendar each year.

Yongren Costume Competition Festival(永仁赛装节): 

The festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar year. Yi people living in the Zhizuo area of Yongren County will get together to celebrate it. The so-called costume competition festival is a day to compete with costumes. It is a festival that can fully manifest the wisdom, diligence, and competence of the Yi people. It is also a festival for aesthetic appreciation and the comparison of beauty.

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