As a lover of the real “off the beaten track tourist gems”, this is one of the latest editions to my list. Enchanted and inspired by my visit to the Yunnan Province in December 2012, I returned in March 2013 (last weekend) to check out the sights in and around the city of Luoping, the main point was to admire the marvellous Yellow Canola Fields at Jin Ji Cun.
Luoping in its splendid disconnected world, “isn’t even in the Lonely Planet” and that’s what made me more eager to check out this place. There are yellow canola fields everywhere, the plant is grown in the remote countryside near Luoping, mainly next to a village called Jin Ji Cun (but in other parts too). Basically to see the yellow fields in Luoping (as they are often referred to) head to the village of Jin Ji Cun.
What are the Yellow Fields at Jin Ji Cun?
The yellow fields are an awesome array of endless pretty fields coloured in yellow due to the colour of the canola flowers, also known as rapeseed. The flowers themselves are harvested for export, and making rapeseed oil from.
When should you visit the Yellow Canola Fields at Jin Ji Cun?
You can ONLY see these yellow canola fields in Spring time, so this is ESSENTIAL to know. Generally this means January to April, but really do your research first. As I say, I’ve just been there a few days ago so early March is a decent time to see them.
How do you get to Yellow Canola Fields at Jin Ji Cun?
OK, as with all travel in China, this is NOT EASY unless you speak the language or are with a local guide. You might want to print off some photos of the fields of flowers for showing people at the bus station when you arrive so that they can direct you to the correct mini bus. It also is an idea to write down the Chinese characters for Jin Ji Cun, the village. Google all this stuff, then copy and paste onto a simple A4 page and you’ll be fine. I was with my girlfriend who speaks, reads and writes Chinese, so for us it was easy, this is how we got there…
From Luoping bus station, ask how to get to Jin Ji Cun, Yellow Canola Fields. You will get a green minibus from the main road, which costs just 5RMB each. It’s a very local bus and a local experience. If you are foreign like me (a travelling Northern Irishman) you will really stand out from the crowd. There were NO other foreigners anywhere in sight in this part of the Yunnan Province.
The bus takes around 20 – 25 minutes and drops you right off at the entrance to the Yellow Canola Fields. The fields will be on your right, and the village of Jin Ji Cun will be on your left – you will most likely head to Jin Ji Cun after seeing the Yellow Canola Fields, as there are ample accommodation options there.
How much is the entry fee to Yellow Canola Fields?
There isn’t one. They are remote lonely fields in the Chinese countryside and wilderness. You just walk down the path to the fields and that’s it – no charge whatsoever. Enjoy – IT’S FREE!!!!!
What do you do at the Yellow Canola Fields in Jin Ji Cun?
They are yellow canola fields. You look at them and you admire them and you take some photos. Yes that’s it. On the way there you walk down a path through a market where there are lots of local food stalls – things like potato, chicken and honey are all sold here. The path is less than 500 metres long and that’s the only commercial thing here! There is no ticket booth and certainly no widespread advertising. This is as natural and uncommercial as a top tourist attraction can get.
To get a good view, simply climb up some of the small hills, there are lots – you will see other tourists on top of them, follow the paths up to the top.
We climbed up two of them, but there are lots. Take your quirky photos – jumping up, walking through the fields, standing on rocks staring down etc.
Once you’ve seen it, head to the village of Jin Ji Cun to get a place to stay for the night. The yellow canola fields are meant to look great at sunrise and sunset. When we visited, you couldn’t see the sun at all, so it was just admiring the fields themselves!
Are the Yellow Canola Fields in Jin Ji Cun unique?
NO, of course not – these types of fields are everywhere, including parts of China, Australia, Canada and the USA. BUT this is a great place to see a vast number of them looking so pretty. It is also a fantastic off the beaten track spot and it was my first time to see these types of yellow fields. I really recommend it!
What else is there to do near the Yellow Canola Fields?
I’ll be writing about this at some point too! But as a taster, trying the local food, visiting the 9 Dragons Waterfalls, checking out awesome views of the countryside and riding on a cart escorted by a yak are a few tips! There’s also a hillside temple in the village of Jin Ji Cun and the local beer Lan Cang River met my expectations!
Here are my videos from my trip to Jin Ji Cun to see the bright yellow canola fields:
At Luoping Bus Station
Bus from Luoping to Jin Ji Cun to see the yellow canola fields:
Arrival at the Yellow Canola Fields:
The Yellow Canola Fields at Jin Ji Cun, near Luoping, Yunnan Province, China:
Markets on the walk into the Yellow Canola Fields at Jin Ji Cun:
1. Sting – Fields of Gold:
2. Coldplay – Yellow: