Yunnan is often called China’s most beautiful province, extolled for its terraced rice fields in the south, blooming canola fields in the west, the semi-tropical macroclimate jungles of Xingshanbuana, and the frigid oxygen-depleting heights of the Himalayan north. Home to some 34 different ethnic minorities, the province also has, arguably, China’s most diversified cuisine. It certainly isn’t Cantonese, and its air-dried hams rival Spain’s best jamon. During the rainy season, between June and September, the mountain wild mushrooms thrive, and the province’s cuisine is at its best.
Getting here is easy, especially via the capital Kunming and its brand new airport. Absolute Travel offers a six-night Highlights of Yunnan itinerary that starts in Kunming and visits remote villages, monasteries, and iconic natural sites such as Tiger Leaping Gorge and Pudacuo National Park. Matt LaPolice, Absolute Travel’s luxury travel manager and China expert says the region is a “relatively undiscovered treat for both first-time sojourners and China veterans.” Matt says, “most travelers brave the crowds of China’s Big Four—Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and Guilin—but visitors to Yunnan will enjoy the pristine natural environment and sense that they are having a singular experience with cultural richness and notable sites in spades. The time to visit is now as the region is on the cusp of becoming touristed.”