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.
Flower Festival 15 Mar 2021
Dancing Tiger Festival 20 Mar 2021
Flower Arranging Festival 20 Mar 2021
Camellia Festival 20 Mar 2021
Cattle Festival 20 Mar 2021
Heinishan Bathing Festival 20 Mar 2021
Woba Festival 18 Apr 2021
Water Splashing Festival 19 Apr 2021
Mouding March Fair 09 May 2021
Yi Costume Festival 09 May 2021
Baimakou Village Festival 09 May 2021
Master Earth 09 May 2021
Prince Festival 19 May 2021
Dongpo Fair 19 May 2021
Flower Mountain 14 Jun 2021
Waxberry Festival 15 Jul 2021
Yi Torch Festival 02 Aug 2021
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