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Kunming Travel Guide

Visit Kunming

Kunming History
Kunming is known as the spring city because of its year round mild climate. With a history more than 2,400 years, Kunming owns its importance to the fact that it was the gateway to the well-known South Silk Road that facilitated trade with Tibet, Sichuan, Myanmar and India. Kunming's alluring high land scenery, bewitching karsts landform, varied and exotic habitats and customs, places of historical interest can be found major scenic spots in and around the city. The city lives 26 ethnic minorities like Yi, Bai, Miao, Dai and Naxi in the region; each of them has their own featured festivals. For a lot of travelers Kunming is the starting point for travels throughout the colorful province, the land of Chinese national minorities.

Kunming Highlights
Beautiful attractions here include Stone Forest, Xishan (West Hill), Jiuxiang Scenic Area, Yunnan Nationalities Village, Daguan Park, Black Dragon Pool and much more.

Dianchi is a plateau lake with beautiful scenery. The lake is 40 by 8 kilometers and is 1,886 meters above sea level. It is the largest lake in Kunming. The lake water and the sky seem joining mutually like a city sea, dense mist and rolling water are on the surface of the lake, and sails are strolling above the water. It claims to be a pearl on the Yungui Plateau. The most beautiful view appears at dawn and sunset. The ocean-like lake is the best place to go for those people who wish to get away from the bustling city and be close to the nature.

The Stone Forest is a fantastic natural phenomenon located 90 kilometers southeast of Kunming. The various shapes of karst landscape was formed due to the millions years movement of Earth. Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest and Naigu Stone Forest, the entire feature stones in various formations. Animals, plants, and even human figures can be found here. Some are elegant, some are rugged, and each is lifelike with its own distinguishing characteristics. An old local saying says that 'If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.' Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions in Kunming.

Kunming Facts
Kunming is the provincial capital of Yunnan Province, which has an area of 15.6 thousand square kilometers and a population of 3.6 million. It located in the central part of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, with an elevation of 1,891 meters above the sea level and an annual average temperature of 14.8°C, Kunming has no bitter cold in winter and heat in summer with blossoms opening all the year round. It can be visited at any time of the year. The period from May to October is the rainy season and the rest of the year is dry.

Kunming is located on the Yungui (Yunnan and Guizhou) Plateau. Railway and air should be the main two methods to travel to or from Kunming City. As a tourist city, Kunming is also serving the completed city transportation. Tourists will get around the city fast and conveniently.

Cultural Festival
The annual Water Splashing Festival is the New Year Celebration for Dai ethnic group. It begin on April 11 and last for four days. According to local customs, splashing water is a kind of blessing and helps to wash away sickness and bring a happy life.

What to do

Kunming offers many local products. The interaction of different cultures, religions and colorful lifestyles offers visitors so much to see and buy! It is an ideal place to find local products and souvenirs. Bird and Flower Market With bargaining shoppers and indignant store owners, the Bird and Flower Market is typical Chinese market scene. As its name suggests, shoppers might find it possible to purchase both flowers and birds here, but these are by no means the specialties of the market. One can find a wide array of knick knacks, souvenirs, weapons, fish, turtles, rodents, dogs, and more local products.


Kunming nightlife is fairly lively with many bars and a few clubs. Many places have live music and are busy at weekends. The area around Kundu night market is particularly lively however nightspots are dotted all around the city. Further more you can do-it-yourself BBQ on the street. You can also go to bath house.


Try out some unique Dian dishes in Kunming. They are moderately salty and spicy. Some popular dishes are Braised Mushroom (Jizong) in Soy Sauce and Kunming Bitter Duck. Local snacks include Across Bridge Rice Noodle (Guoqiao Mixian), Xuanwei Ham, Modern Cake and Shepherd's-purse dumpling (Jicai Jiao). In addition, there are numerous snack options in high streets and back lanes. Over-the-Bridge Rice Noodles (guoqiao mixian) is a typical Yunnan local flavor that could only be tasted in some parts of Yunnan. This famous dish consists of several courses and a big bowl of chicken soup with very thick oil on top to keep the heat for cooking the food items, including raw pork, cooked chicken pieces, pork liver, slices of squid and slices of carp for the first course to be dipped into the boiling hot soup. Vegetables are then added afterwards as the second course, and the rice noodles follow as the last course. It is a kind of snack food in Yunnan. Surely, you are eager to have a taste of Yunnan over the Bridge Rice Noodles.

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