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  • Rick

China #11: Dongchuan Red Land in Kunming (东川红土地)

Updated: Jul 5, 2020

Sights: Dongchuan Red Land (Dongchuan Hongtudi, 东川红土地)

Region: Hongtudi Town, Dongchuan District, Kunming Prefecture, Yunnan


Previous story:

Story #10: Market Day in Yuanyang Sheng Village (元阳胜村赶集日)

Dongchuan Red Land, also called Red Soil or Red Earth, is located along the way between Kunming City and Hongtudi Town (红土地镇) in Dongchuan District, about 250Km from the city. The area is known for its reddish acidic soil. Not any kind of crops can be grown on these soil, only those that can adapt to its acidity like potatoes, rapeseed, etc, will survive.

Unlike Longji Rice Terraces (Story #6) and Yuanyang Hani Terraced Fields (Story #9) that cultivate crops on steep hillsides, the farmlands in Dongchuan are on flatter grounds and hence wider terraces. As different crops are grown on the land in different tiers, a colourful piece of landscape was created. And that is how Dongchuan Red Land has a beautiful name called "上帝打翻的调色板" or "the colour palette that god knocked over".

Dongchuan Red Land used to be popular among Chinese photographers. As its fame spreads, backpackers started visiting the area and more tourists will soon follow — if not already so.