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Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, is balmy all the year round. The natural beauty and minority culture flourish in this mild climate. Kunming has always played a pivotal role in the communication of southwestern China.

Kunming map

Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, is an important communication hub and trade center between Southwest China and the Southeast and South Asia, as well as a famous historical, cultural and tourist city with its special charm and convenient transportation. It has a total population of 6.29 million (Dec, 2009) with 24 ethnic minority groups living here for generations, including Yi, Hui, Miao, Bai, etc. Thus, varied ethnic customs are woven into this city's culture and history of more than 2,200 years.

What must be mentioned is the special climate when talking about Kunming. This city is located at an elevation of about 1890m on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, having a milder climate than other Chinese cities. Owing to its comfortably warm weather, with flowers and plants being exuberant all year round, Kunming is given the title – the "Spring City". It is suitable to visit this city at any time of a year.

You can see obvious signs of Chinese rapid modernization in this city from its skyscrapers and various shopping malls, but it is also a nice place for people who just want to enjoy a couple of leisure days and relax for it has some distinctive scenic spots to offer.

The "Plateau Pearl" – Dian Lake, for instance, is characterized as a combination of the lake's gracefulness and the sea's imposingness. Surrounded by a number of places of interest, it is the central scenic area in Kunming. The Stone Forest which is 85 kilometers from Kunming city is one of the four biggest natural landscape areas in China, renowned for the bizarre and grotesque pinnacle karst formations, and the annual winter migration of the Siberian Red beaked seagulls in the Green Lake will probably impress you a lot. Some other attractions such as the Golden Temple, Jiuxiang (Nine Villages), the Western Hills are also the highlights of Kunming.

In addition to the impressive scenery, the fact that Kunming is a multicultural city with many ethnic minorities makes it a host of various traditional ethnic minority festivals, such as the Yi People's Torch Festival in summer, Dai People's "Water-sprinkling Festival in middle April and so on. Having an experience of celebrating these big days with local people can be really memorable.

  • Air quality: ★★★★★
  • Foreigner-friendly degree: ★★★★
  • Public security degree: ★★★☆☆
  • Hygienic degree: ★★★★
  • Traffic jam degree: ★★★☆☆
  • Internationalization level: ★★★☆☆
  • Consumption level: ★★★☆☆
  • Language: Mandarin, Southwestern mandarin
  • Best traveling season: Mar. to Oct.
  • Tourist resources: landscape
  • Airport to downtown: 5 km
  • Demographics: Han (87.67%), Yi (8%), Hui (2.98%)
  • Key words: balmy, peacock, limestone, temperature difference, multi-ethnic, blossom, terraced field, crossing-over bridge rice noodles, jade.

Local Delicacies: Fried Cowhide (Youzha Niupi油炸牛皮), Crossing-over Bridge Rice Noodles (Guoqiao Mixian过桥米线), Steam Pot Chicken (Qiguoji汽锅鸡), Flowers Cakes (Xianhuabing鲜花饼), Sweet Bamboo Meal (Xiangzhufan香竹饭), Yunnan Spring Rolls (Yunan Chunjuan云南春卷), Pumi Rice Sausage (Pumi Fanchang普米饭肠).

Local Specialities: Porphyry Copper Arts and Rafts (Bantong Gongyi斑铜工艺), Yunnan Go Chess Pieces (Yunnan Weiqizi云南围棋子), Batik (Laran蜡染), Tie-dyeing Cloth (Zharanbu扎染布), Ivory Carving Products (Yadiao Zhipin牙雕制品), National Costume and Ornaments (Mingzu Fushi民族服装服饰), Tinware (Xiqi锡器), Telescope (Wangyuanjing 望远镜), Cigarette (Xiangyan香烟), Tea Leaves (Chaye茶叶), Wild Edible Fungus (Yesheng Shiyongjun野生食用菌), Yuannan Tributary Rice (Yunnan Gongmi云南贡米), Glass Painting (Bolihua玻璃画), Feather Picture (Yumaohua羽毛画), Yunnan Bamboo Shoots (Yunnan Zhusun云南竹笋), Jade (Yuqi玉器).

    Travel Tips:

  • ·Usually food and fruits are sold by Kilo instead of Chinese Jin (half kilo), it would be better to confirm that before you buy.
  • ·The ultraviolet radiation in Kunming is always strong , so it's a good idea to bring along a hat or an umbrella. For the sharp temperature difference,  a nice coat or nice outer ware would keep you warm in the morning and evening, especially in autumn and winter.

    Useful lines:

  • 昆明市旅游局咨询电话 Kunming Tourist Information Service
  • 0871-3149748
  • 云南省旅游局服务电话 Yunnan Tourism Administration Service
  • 0871-12301