It is important to understand that Yuanyang, in fact, refers to three things. There is Yuanyang County, Yuanyang New City (Nansha), and Yuanyang Old Town (Xinjiezhen). Yuanyang New City is the Yuanyang you will see on most maps and the capital of Yuanyang County, while Yuanyang Old Town is the traditional heart of the county and definitely the location you will be heading if you are a tourist. To make things complicated, if you are in Nansha, then you are in Yuanyang, and Yuangyang Old Town is Xinjiezhen (or simply Xinjie), and if you are in Xinjiezhen, then you are in Yuanyang, and Yuangyang New City is Nansha. Make sure you clarify which Yuanyang you are going to when you hop on a bus. For the sake of continuity, in this article "Yuanyang" will refer to Yuanyang Old Town and "Nansha" will refer to Yuanyang New City.
- From Kunming - three buses every day, at 10:00, 12:00 and 18:00 (sleeping), ticket ¥140, about 7 hours.
Note: The night bus arrives at around 2:00. You can either continue sleeping on the bus or find a cheap room at the bus station (from ¥40). Departure from Kunming South bus station. To get to the South Bus Station, take bus 154 close to the main train station. A taxi from the center will cost you around ¥50-60. The Metro takes 20 minutes and costs ¥4.
- !!TIP!! Over Gejiu - several buses everyday, get to Gejiu about ¥80, 4-5h, than ¥20 to Yuanyang (Nansha bus station), 1hour. Buses to Gejiu departure from Kunming East bus station.
- From Jinghong - an interesting, two day trip through mountains and minority areas. Get the bus from Jinhong to Luchun (12 hours) and stay the night. Spend the morning in Luchun, taste the local Yi food and check out the tea terraces, then get the bus at midday to Xinjie (3-4 hours).
- Terrace fields - lot of small buses at Nansha bus station. Most popular areas: Yishu village (依树村; yishucun, 24km), Bada village (坝达村; badacun, 16km), Habo village (哈播村, habocun, 80km), Longshu dam (龙树坝; longshuba, 5km), Xinjie city (新街镇; xinjie zhen). Gates have been put up and you will be charged ¥60 to visit certain areas. In January 2012 it was possible for some travellers to go there without paying the fee (so really just buy a ticket if you really have to). You can take bus, randomly get out and just walk, camp.
- Tour with Sophia (English-speaking guide) (On the main road, in a store a few houses up from Yingyoulian GH). Sophia is a local, very friendly and knowledgeable. Her English is good and she offers a variety of tour services to the terraces and further at reasonable pricing. She also gets you around the tourist cashiers and off the beaten tracks. You can either choose public transport to and from your destination of choice (starting at around ¥15/person, depending to where and when; you also pay her ticket) or arrange private transport with one of her driver friends (¥170-250/car per day). Her guiding services will cost you another ¥25/hour or ¥200/day. She also gives away free maps. All prices as of May 2012.
- Yingyoulian Guest House (Xinjie Town) (On the main road, up the hill from the bus station), ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. Decent hotel just up the street from the main square of Xinjie. Showers are sometimes hot and the rooms are spotless. Owned by a nice Chinese couple. The woman, Belinda, speaks English (one of the few in town that can) and can organize tours to the rice terraces. From ¥40, dorm ¥30.
- Flowers Residence (From Xinjie's bus station, take a minivan that heads to Duoyishu village (a village that's mostly known for rice terraces that serve for an exquisite sunrise spot) and tell the driver to get you off at the main road near the entrance to Sunny Guesthouse (which is located next to the hotel) - or call the owner (Chen) to guide you from Xinjie.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-out: 12:00. A new and very stylish boutique hotel that offers you a room with a glass wall to see the rice terrace view. Located in Duoyishu village and walking distance away from the sunrise spot. The owners are a very friendly, educated Chinese family and speak very good English. The Wi-Fi and hot showers are reliable. Their food is relatively cheaper than the surrounding guesthouses offer. Twin room ¥160, king room ¥260.
- Sunny Guesthouse (Located in Pugaolao village (Duoyishu village). Walk down fromthe main road and follow the signs to Jack's Guesthouse. It is behind it.), ☏ . Good guesthouse with its own viewing terrace. Wifi and hot water available. Good map for trekking instructions
Sunflower Trekker Lodge (Located in Pugaolao village (Duoyishu village). Close to the main road.). Guesthouse with very engaged owner. Knowledgeable about trekking routes, transport and sights. Speaks very good English. Viewing terrace. Clean and well equipped rooms. Lively bar. Suite with full glass window.
- Kunming - Buses leave from Xinjie at 09:00, sleeper buses at 16:00 and 17:30.
- Jianshui - The most comfortable (and probably fastest) route is to get a shared taxi to Nansha (1 hour - ¥15), then a bus to Gejiu (1 hour), then a bus to Jianshui (1 hour).