The town of Yuanyang is in the Honghe prefecture in the south of Yunnan province. It’s about 400 kilometers southeast of Kunming and it takes about 7 hours on a bus (go for the sleeper bus) from Kunming. It’s located in the Ailao Mountains and populated mainly by ethnic Hani, but also Yi, Miao, and Yao. Over the course of 1,300 years, the Hani transformed the landscape, sculpting rice terraces into the mountainsides, and creating arable land. The terraces are at around 1-2,000 meters above sea level and over about 2,200 square kilometers. The best time to visit is in springtime, when the rice paddies are full of water, although they’re spectacular at any time of year.