What to see in Luoping?
Hundreds of mountains and one of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of China
This time we ventured to visit Luoping (罗平) located 4 hours from Kunming eastbound, in the Chinese province of Yunnan. When we asked the Chinese what to see in Luoping we were told that this place is famous for being the place where during the beginning of spring until the end of February (coinciding with the Chinese New Year, Spring Festival), grows the canola flower (or rapeseed flower).
This flower gives the fields a golden color that, together with the hills, creates a very particular landscape worth admiring, something similar to an ocean of flowers. It is also known for having one of the best waterfalls in all of China; The Waterfall of the Nine Dragons.
I went with a Spanish friend in April. It’s very curious how for many Chinese it’s not worth going to Luoping if it’s not flower season. “If there are no flowers, Luoping is not pretty and it is not worth going” they told us before going. After two days freaking out with dreamy landscapes, why they always said that.
How to go to Luoping?
You can go by train or take a bus from Kunming East Station. The journey takes about 4 hours. There is absolutely nothing special about the city, so we had planned to get out of there from the beginning.
The plan was to spend the night in a nearby village in Jinji (金鸡). The taxi to Jinji cost us 50 Rmb. Almost the same as the one way trip from Kunming by bus (70 Rmb), and that was only 15min away. That’s what it takes to get there at night.
Where to stay in Luoping?
We went a couple of laps up and down what looked like the main street (or the only street). Asking the few people we came across at the end, we found a fairly new and clean family hotel. We were haggling for a while and ended up agreeing to pay just half the price we were originally asked for (35 Rmb each).
What to see in Luoping?
1. Golden Rooster Hills
There, just in front of the town, is one of the most interesting places to visit: the Golden Rooster Hills (Jinji Lin/金鸡岭). The next morning we woke up at 6 am to go to a viewpoint to see the sunrise over the Golden Rooster Hills.
The viewpoint is located right at the entrance to the village, in a temple on top of a mountain. You can even sleep in the temple if you wish. Go in the early morning to see the sun rise among those countless hills that are lost in the horizon is certainly worth it.
I can safely say that next to the islands of Thailand and the Tiger Leaping Gorge, is one of the most beautiful scenery I have seen in my journey through Asia so far.
2. The Waterfall of the Nine Dragons
Once we got tired of taking pictures we decided to go to see the second sightseeing place in Luoping: the Waterfall of the Nine Dragons (JiuLong Pubu/ 九龙瀑布).
From Jinji we had to take a bus to Luoping (this time only for 5Rmb). Then from Luoping take another bus to a village near the waterfall and from there a minivan that will take us to the waterfall gate.
The entrance to the waterfall is 75 Rmb. At that time it seemed a bit expensive. Above all, because it is a natural space, so, I’m not going to deny it, we tried to sneak in. After looking for several paths and joining other Chinese who were also trying to sneak in, in the end, we gave up and ended up paying the entrance fee.
And it was worth it. It’s one of those places you must see in Luoping. We spent the whole afternoon strolling through the park, marveling at its waterfalls. The most impressive, the so-called Dragon Waterfall (Shenglong Pubu) is 56 meters high and 112 meters long.
It is more than advisable to take a bamboo boat that will give you a ride a few meters from the great waterfall. Feel the water splashing your face and the wind shaking the boat. Being so close to one of the most beautiful and amazing natural phenomena is priceless.
In the morning I couldn’t avoid getting up early again to go again to the viewpoint to see the sunrise at the Golden Rooster Hills. There are things that deserve to be seen more than once.
3. The Snail Fields
Next we went to another point of interest: the Snail Fields (Luositian – 螺蛳田) in the village of NiuJie (牛街). The Snail Fields are, as the name indicates, some fields of cultivation where the plant is cultivated in circular rings. Seeing it from a high point makes it resemble the spiral shell of the snail.
Although it’s nice to see, we didn’t find it really amazing as we saw the day before. So we quickly returned to the city of Luoping and then went to the next and another point we had marked: the Duoyi River Park (Duoyi He/ 多依河).
4. Duoyi River Park Ethnic Minorities
The Duoyi River Park (60 Rmb entrance), is one hour from Luoping. It is actually an old area of minority villages that have transformed it into a kind of tourist park where you can walk along the river.
Although it is beautiful, quiet and may be one of the cleanest rivers in China, for my taste it is more worth stopping halfway, where are the Hundred Thousand Hills (Shiwandashan / 十万大山).
5. Hundreds Thousands Hills
Other must-see places to see in Luoping is the landscape called: Hundreds Thousands Hills. On the way to the Duoyi River the road is surrounded by fields. But, there is a stretch, that if you look east suddenly you can see hundreds and hundreds of mountains that are lost in the horizon. The name is not entirely exaggerated. Our driver stopped for a minute and we were able to take a couple of pictures, but if I know we stayed there. Maybe next time.
Guide to what to see in Luoping – Return from Luoping to Kunming
In the afternoon we went back to the hotel, took our things and went to the train station. It was time to go back to Kunming. We left Luoping happy by what we saw and experienced.
Although Luoping is a bit of a problem as you have to move around a lot to get to the sites and sometimes the transport is not the best, after all it turned out to be one of the areas I was most happy to have visited. I’m sure one day I’ll come back to see it all surrounded by an ocean of flowers. In the meantime, here is a beautiful video about Luoping.
If you liked the post about what to see in Luoping, don’t forget to lend a hand to the blog and leave a comment. If you want to visit Luoping, you might be interested in our route focused on the nature of Yunnan.
Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place, yes our road is longer, but we traveled together, we don’t turn back, we leave no one behind, we go strength for our victories and we learn from our mistakes.Barack Obama