Autonomous prefectures are one of the administrative divisions of the People’s Republic of China. They are at the same level as municipalities, regions and leagues at the prefectural level and are under the jurisdiction of provinces and autonomous regions. The autonomous are established in the areas where ethnic minorities live together. There are 30 autonomous prefectures in China and 8 in Yunnan.
1. Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture
Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture has jurisdiction over 9 counties, 1 county-level city, 103 towns and townships. It is located in central Yunnan Province, east of Kunming City, west of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, south of Puer City and Yuxi City, north of Panzhihua City, Sichuan Province.
- 1 City: Chuxiong City(楚雄市)
- 9 Counties: Shuangbai County(双柏县), Mouding County(牟定县), Nanhua County(南华县), Yaoan County(姚安县), Dayao County(大姚县), Yongren County(永仁县), Yuanmou County(元谋县), Wuding County(武定县), Lufeng County(禄丰县).
Top Chuxiong Attractions include Yiren Ancient Town, Jiyi Grand Valley, Guanglu Old Town, Shiyang Ancient Town, etc.
2. Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture
Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture has jurisdiction over 4 county-level cities, 6 counties and 3 autonomous counties. It is the epitome of Yunnan’s economy, society, humanity and nature, is the birthplace of Yunnan’s modern industry, as well as China’s the landway passage and bridgehead towards asean.
- County-level Cities: Gejiu City(个旧市), Kaiyuan City(开远市), Mengzi City(蒙自市) and Mile City(弥勒市).
- Counties: Jianshui County(建水县), Shiping County(石屏县), Luxi County(泸西县), Yuanyang County(元阳县), Honghe County(红河县) and Lvchun County(绿春县).
- Autonomous Counties: Pingbian Miao Autonomous County(屏边苗族自治县), Jinping Miao, Yao and Dai Autonomous County(金平苗族瑶族傣族自治县) and Hekou Yao Autonomous County(河口瑶族自治县).
The top sights in Honghe are Yuanyang Hani rice terraces and Jianshui Old Town.
- 3 Days Yuanyang Rice Terrace Photography Tour from Kunming
- 6 Days Kunming Jianshui Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces Photography Tour
3. Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture
Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture has jurisdiction over 1 county-level city and 7 counties. The government is located in Wenshan City. With the rich natural tourism resource and profound history culture, Wenshan enjoys the ancient land and heroic people.
- 1 County-level city: Wenshan City(文山市)
- 7 Counties: Yanshan County(砚山县), Xichou County(西畴县), Malipo County(麻栗坡县), Maguan County(马关县), Qiubei County(丘北县), Guangnan County(广南县), Funing County(富宁县)
Top attractions in Wenshan are Puzhehei Scenic Area and Bamei Village.
- 3 Days Puzhehei Lotus Flowers Tour and Bamei Xanadu Discovery
- 3 Days Yi Ethnic Minority’s Hualian Festival Tour
4. Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture
Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture has jurisdiction over one county-level city and two counties: Jinghong City, Menghai County and Mengla County. The prefectural seat locates in Jinghong City. It is connected with Laos and Myanmar by mountains and rivers and also close to Thailand and Vietnam. The annual splash festival is held on April 13-15, known as the “Oriental Carnival”.
- 1 city: Jinghong City (景洪市)
- 2 counties: Menghai County (勐海县), Mengla County (勐腊县)
The top attractions in Xishuangbanna includes Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Wild Elephant Valley, WangTianShu Scenic Spot, etc.
- 3 Days XishuangBanna Tea Culture Tour to Yiwu and Nannuo Tea Mountains
- 6 Days Xishuangbanna Tropical Rain Forest Adventure and Ethnic Culture Education Tour
5. Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture
Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture has jurisdiction over 1 county-level city, 8 counties and 3 autonomous counties. Enjoying long history, Dali is one of the earliest cradle of Yunnan culture and has created glorious Dali Kingdom.
- 1 County-level City: Dali City(大理市)
- 8 Counties: Xiangyun County(祥云县), Binchuan County(宾川县), Midu County(弥渡县), Yongping County(永平县), Yunlong County(云龙县), Eryuan County(洱源县), Jianchuan County(剑川县), Heqing County(鹤庆县),
- 3 Autonomous Counties: Yangbi Yi Autonomous County(漾濞彝族自治县), Nanjian Yi Autonomous County(南涧彝族自治县), Weishan Yi and Hui Autonomous County(巍山彝族回族自治县)
Cangshan Mountain, Erhai Lake, Dali Ancient Town and Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple are the representative scenic spots in Dali.
6. Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture
Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture covers 2 cities and 3 counties. Its government seat is located in Mangshi City. Dehong Prefecture is the juncture for the Chinese Economic Area, Southeast Economic Area and South Asia Economic Area.
- 2 Cities: Mangshi City(芒市), Ruili City(瑞丽市)
- 3 Counties: Longchuan County(陇川县), Lianghe County(梁河县), Yingjiang County(盈江县)
The the famous attractions in Dehong are One Tree Forest, Moli Tropical Rainforest, Ruili River.
- 4 Days Jingpo Ethnic Minority’s Munao Zongge Festival Tour
- 5 Days Western Yunnan Border and Tropical Forest Tour
7. Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture
Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture has jurisdiction over 1 city, 1 county and 2 autonomous counties. Its government is located in Liuku Town of Lushui City. It is the only autonomous prefecture of Lisu ethnic minority in China. Among all the ethnic minorities inhabited in Nujiang, Dulong nationality and Nu nationality can be only found here.
- One City: Lushui City (泸水市)
- One County: Fugong County (福贡县)
- Two Autonomous Counties : Gongshan Dulong and Nu Autonomous County (贡山独龙族怒族自治县), Lanping Bai and Pumi Autonomous County (兰坪白族普米族自治县)
Nujiang Grand Canyon, Bingzhongluo Scenic Area, Three Parallel Rivers Natural Reserve are the top attractions in Nujiang.
- 5 Days Amazing Nujiang Valley and Biluo Moutain Trekking
- 6 Days Nujiang Grand Canyon Adventure with Bingzhongluo Hiking Tour
8. Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture
Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture has jurisdiction over 3 county-level administrative regions, including 1 county-level city, 1 county and 1 autonomous county. namely, and . The people’s government of Diqing prefecture is stationed in Changzheng Avenue of Shangri-la city. Diqing is a glorious place, with dense forests, alpine lakes, grasslands, and gorges distributed among the meadows and plains.
- 1 county-level city: Shangri-la city(香格里拉市)
- 1 county: Deqin county(德钦县)
- 1 autonomous county: Weixi Lisu autonomous county(维西傈僳族自治县)
Top Diqing attractions are Pudacuo National Park, Napahai lake, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Songzanlin Monastery, Meili Snow Mountain.