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Yuanyang County Overview

Geographical Location

Yuanyang county lies at an altitude ranging from 140 along the Red River up to nearly 3000 metres above sea level in the Ailao mountains and is situated about 50 km north of the border with Vietnam. It covers an area of 2,200 km2 (850 sq mi) and has a population of approximately 365,000 (2002), of which 88% belong to ethnic minorities and 95% is associated with agriculture. The majority of the inhabitants of the county are from the Hani ethnic group. The GDP of Yuanyang county in 2002 was 630 million Yuan.



The town of Old Yuanyang is a Hani minority settlement atop a ridge of the Ailao mountain range at an elevation of around 1570 metres. It is a popular destination with photographers due to the vast areas of nearby mountains which have been cultivated into terraced rice paddies for at least the past 1300 years by the Hani people. Despite the overwhelming scenic beauty of its landscape and colourful local minorities, mass tourism has not developed in this region, mainly due to its remote location, lack of a nearby airport, and until fairly recent, relative inaccessibility due to bad road conditions.


Administrative Division

Yuanyang County jurisdiction over 2 towns, 12 townships: Nansha Town南沙镇, xinjiezhen新街镇, Niujiaozhai Township牛角寨乡, Shala Tuo village沙拉托乡, Ga Niang village嘎娘乡, Shangxincheng Township上新城乡, Xiaoxinjie Township小新街乡, Fengchunling Township逢春岭乡, Daping Township大坪乡, Panzhihua Township攀枝花乡, Huangmaoling Township黄茅岭乡, Huangcaoling Township黄草岭乡、,Erzha Township俄扎乡, Majie Township.马街


Ethnic Groups

Vertical distribution of the various ethnic minority groups:

Hani people(哈尼族):Luobi 罗碧Luomian 罗缅Awu 阿邬  Haoni 豪尼 GuohongDuoni 多尼/堕尼 Baihong 白宏 Asong 阿松 Yi people(彝族):Nisu 尼苏 Bula 卜拉 Alu 阿鲁 Muji 姆基 Han Chinese(汉族)Miao people(苗族)Yao people(瑶族)Dai people(傣族)Zhuang people(壮族)

The Hani and Yi, the creators of the monumental rice terraced mountains which have made Yuanyang famous, are the original inhabitants of these regions. Both their languages belong to the Tibeto-Burman group. Their villages can mainly be found between 1300 to 1600 metres above sea level.

The Dai moved here 700 years ago, and the Zhuang 400 years ago. Both their languages belong to the Tai–Kadai language group. Their villages are situated in the warmer areas below 700 metres elevation, near and along the rivers. Their main crop is rice grow in paddy fields.

The Miao and Yao (of the Hmong–Mien language group) are fairly recent arrivals to the region, only settling here 200 and 270 years ago. Their villages are in the cooler and drier upland areas, between 1600 and 1800 metres above sea level, where they grow maize.

 Yuanyang county



Yuanyang County

Location of the   seat in Yunnan

Coordinates:°9′32″N 102°44′41″E


People's   Republic of China



Autonomous   prefecture



 • Total

2,292 km2 (885 sq mi)


 • Total


 • Density

160/km2 (420/sq mi)

Postal code


Area code(s)




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