The Pyramidal Hills of Luoping, China

Posted by Chris Parker | April 21, 2009 1

Photo by George Steinmetz for Nat Geo. “Blooming fields of rapeseed plants weave around hills near Luoping in Yunnan Province”.

If nothing else, pictures of the vast rapeseed fields of Luoping, China make beautiful photographs. We however were immediately struck by the large number of triangular “hills” that dot the fields for some distance. Despite all our research, we could find no direct discussion of the hills–at all. How old are they? How did they get there?

No doubt, the explanation for the hills is an unremarkable one and no doubt, archeologists would say that they are natural–if they were in any way anomalous. Provided for your viewing pleasure…s8intcom

Luoping, Yunnan

Photo: Edwin Cheng

“Luoping is a small county in Yunnan located about 228 kilometers north east of Kunming. It is located close to the border of Yunnan with Guizhou and Guangxi provinces. The town was often overlooked by tourists passing through the region until recently. It had become a Mecca for photographers, who flock to this small county every early spring to capture the magnificent “sea of yellow” of blooming rapeseed flowers. The majestic photos in turn, draw more and more tourists to this beautiful rural photographic haven.

In early spring, the sprawling farmlands in Luoping are covered in golden, yellow rapeseed flowers stretching as far as the eyes can see, all the way to the horizon. The blooming buds fill the air with the refreshing smell of spring that not only attracts human, but also bees. The beauty of the yellow sea of rapeseed flowers swaying in slow swirling waves in the gentle breeze is a sight that is out of this world.


Rapeseed flowers are planted to harvest cooking oil from their seeds after the flowers had withered after their colorful bloom. They are planted all over China but bloom at different times of the year, depending on the temperature of the locations. The rapeseed farms in Luoping are among the largest scale in China. They are normally the “first-off-the-block” every year, followed by those in Guizhou and other provinces.

It is also the season for beekeeping and honey processing. Beekeepers set up base in tents amongst the rapeseed farms every spring to keep bees and harvest their honey- the bees feed on the rapeseed flowers. Hence most rapeseed farms are also abuzz with bees in the spring and can be a little irritating. These beekeepers move on to other locations within Luoping after the rapeseed season, using wildflowers as feedstock for their bees.”……

Larger Photos can be enjoyed at these links:
Link 1 (
Link 2 (Edwin Cheng)
Link 3 (Poorfish)
Link 4 (Danny Xu)

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