Undulating mountains of reddish-brown soil, often densely covered in pine forests, characterise the landscape, with settlements far and few between. The trading route from Kunming to Dali, through Lufeng, Chuxiong and Nanhua, and the route north to Chengdu, through Wuding, Yuanmou and Yongren, apart the region remained inaccessible and unexplored until the second half of the 20th century. As there was not any mineral wealth nor many fertile valleys to speak of, few Han settlers felt tempted to settle in the region and even today some communities are formed almost entirely of ethnic minorities. The region’s tourist attractions are limited: the Yuanmou Earth Forest is one of the geological wonders of the region, with its eroded valleys, while the Yi, scattered amongst many valleys, have a number of colourful festivals, such as the Costume Festival in Santai or the main Torch Festival celebrated throughout. Sizeable groups of Lisu live in Wuding and Yuanmou County, some Miao in Wuding and Lufeng. Interesting are a number of Dai settlements in Yongren, Dayao, Yuanmou and Wuding Counties, the northernmost settlements of the Dai people.
Heijing is a small town in the northern Chuxiong mountains. Salt once made Heijing one of Yunnan's richest towns. Now its architectural splendours are being rediscovered.
As villages go, Zhizuo could hardly be more remote. Some 70km from the county town, first along a winding mountain road, then on a deeply rutted track without public transport: even in the dry season it takes several hours and a bit of stamina to reach. Yet, at least on the first full moon of the year, the effort is worth it, as Zhizuo holds one of Yunnan's most colourful festivals, the Dress Competition Festival or Caizhuangjie 赛装节.
Mountains and forests dominate this sparsely populated and poorly connected county.
Gaofeng Torch Festival 05 Aug 2021
Changmei Festival 07 Aug 2021
Jumping Song Fair 22 Aug 2021
Confucius Festival 03 Oct 2021
Holy Crane Festival 07 Oct 2021
Meige Festival 12 Nov 2021
Yi New Year 14 Nov 2021
Longsa Festival 02 Feb 2022
Lantern Festival 08 Feb 2022
Jumping Tiger Festival 08 Feb 2022
Dragon King 13 Feb 2022
Costume Competition 15 Feb 2022
Flower Festival 05 Mar 2022
Heinishan Bathing Festival 10 Mar 2022
Flower Arranging Festival 10 Mar 2022
Dancing Tiger Festival 10 Mar 2022
Camellia Festival 10 Mar 2022
Cattle Festival 10 Mar 2022
Woba Festival 07 Apr 2022
Water Splashing Festival 08 Apr 2022
Master Earth 28 Apr 2022
Baimakou Village Festival 28 Apr 2022
Yi Costume Festival 28 Apr 2022
Mouding March Fair 28 Apr 2022
Prince Festival 08 May 2022
Dongpo Fair 08 May 2022
Flower Mountain 03 Jun 2022
Waxberry Festival 04 Jul 2022
Yi Torch Festival 22 Jul 2022