as the capital city of Yunnan, serves as the center of the
province in terms of politics, economics and culture. Although
a huge city (population 3.75 million), Kunming is exceptionally
clean and tidy. What's more, the city has the best climate
of all Chinese cities, popularly known as the "Spring
City". Kunming does not have severe winters or hot summers
and the natural features of the four seasons are clearly defined.
Although the city is not the final destination
for many travelers to Yunnan, Kunming has a lot to offer visitors.
The rich cultural and historical heritage here offer a wealth
of treasures. The Golden Temple Park and the Bamboo Temple
are essential stops on the tourist route.
The city also boasts numerous natural attractions,
the Stone Forest being the most popular, winning world fame
for of its breathtaking beauty.
fascinating aspect of the city are the many different cultures
and nationalities thriving here. Various cultural and religious
activities are practiced by the people here and add to the
vibrancy and color of Kunming city life. These different minority
groups produce a wealth of cuisine and entertainment- inspirational
to the weary China traveler.
As early as 2000 years ago, Kunming served
as a major textile distribution center on the "Southern
Silk Road" which started from Sichuan, traversed through
Yunnan and continued on to Vietnam. In 1910, the Dianyue railway
(from Yunnan to Vietnam) was opened, thus enabling Kunming
to develop as a business and industrial center.
Weather & Climate In Kunming
Kunming enjoys a pleasant climate with little
change in temperature throughout the year. The temperature
averages about 15 degrees C. in the urban area, 19.7 degrees
C. peaks in the summer and 7.5 degrees C. troughs in the winter.
The rainy season is between May and Oct when 85% of the annual
rainfall of 1000mm falls. Due to Kunming's moderate humidity
and temperature, as well as the plentiful sunshine the city
receives, Kunming is known as the "Spring City"
and is green throughout the year.
Cuisines in Kunming
most fabulous of all Yunnan food is Yunnan rice noodles (Guoqiao
mixian, literally "Crossing the bridge rice noodles").
This tasty noodle dish made with chicken broth and super thin
slices of meat is famous throughout all of China and you can
try this typical Yunnan dish at the "Jixin Yunnan Flavor
Restaurant" and the Guoqiaodu Restaurant. Other Yunnan
treats to look for are the Yunnan Eight Pastries and also
Xuanwei Ham (as a common Yunnan ingredient). For a taste of
ethnic cuisine, such as Dai or Bai, there are many good restaurants
in Kunming. Laozhiqing Restaurant is well known for its authentic,
delicious Dai food. While not Yunnanese or minority food,
if your looking for something different after too much rice
noodles, then try Kunming's Beijing restaurant near Dongfeng
Lu and the Shanghainese Restaurant in the King World Hotel.
Foreign travelers are not likely to feel very far away from
home in Kunming because of the numerous Western restaurants.
Try near the Green Lake (Cuihu) area or around Yunnan University
where lots of restaurants cater to the foreign exchange students
who flock to Kunming to study Chinese. Among these restaurants
are Face to Face, Journey To the East, Blue Bird and Teresa
Pizza. The Thai Kitchen located in the center of the city,
while not Western food per se, is another of Kunming's BEST
non-Chinese restaurants. and Jack In The Box, a local fast
food burger chain, are also located nearby. After dark, street
peddlers are all around the city selling noodles, snacks and
other "street food". While street food can be lacking
in the hygiene department on occasion, it is also GOOD and
CHEAP! If you are brave (or completely insane!) enough, try
snake, grilled rat or even fried bee!
Shopping in Kunming
has one of the most complicated ethnic and religious situations
in all of China's provinces. The interaction and collision
of different cultures, religions and lifestyles gives visitors
to this beautiful and colorful province lots to see, and to
buy! Kunming, as the cultural and economic center of Yunnan,
is an ideal place to dig up some great souvenirs of your trip
to Yunnan! While jade and marble arts and crafts items are
plentiful, there are plenty of items that are even more special
and unique to Yunnan. Among the top choices of Kunming specialties
to decorate your living room are bronzeware, Dai brocade and
wax dyed cloth all of which epitomize Yunnan ethnic style.
Yunnan is also famous for its tobacco. The city boasts a lot
of famous shops and markets, many of them are really worth
visiting for being mirrors of the local life. The Flower and
Bird Market, The Yunnan Antique City, the Nanyao Market, the
Golden Horse and Phoenix Memorial Archway Jewelry Market and
the Flower Street are all worth a look. There are some good,
big department stores here, since Kunming is the biggest city
in the Province, these shops are an ideal place to stock up
on supplies for your excursions throughout Yunnan. The biggest
department stores in Kunming are the Southwestern Commercial
Building, the Qiancun Department Store and the Kunming Department
Attraction & Sightseeing
long history, many minority nationalities and the unique natural
resources of Kunming help make the city rich and colorful,
filled with historical and cultural relics as well as exquisite
natural beauty. The Stone Forest, one of the city's most famous
sights, came into being about 270 million years ago. It is
filled with wonderful fairy tales as well as the colorful
folk customs of the Sani minority group. On the way to the
Stone Forest lies the Jiuxiang Scenic Area, a pleasant spot
to split up your journey. Lake Dian is the sixth largest freshwater
lake in the nation. Alongside is the famous Yunan Nationalities
Village. This spot is filled with colorful ethnic customs,
residences, and singing and dancing, as well as beautiful
mountains, clear water and elegant gardens. The Western Hills
Forest Park is also located near the lake bank, and in the
park itself stands an exquisite Dragon Gate suspended between
the blue sky and the dangerous steep cliffs. The Daguan Tower
Park, is renowned for the long couplet with inscription of
180 Chinese characters by Sun Ranwong, a poet in the Qing
Dynasty. There are also many cultural attractions in Kunming
leftover from the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Among these, the most popular and well known are the Bamboo
Temple, the Yuantong Temple, and the Golden Palace.
Transportation of Kunming
plane: Kunming Wujiaba International
Airport has managed to connect the city with other places
within Yunnan, in China, and even around the world. Flights
are available to most major Chinese cities such as Beijing
(3 hours), Shanghai (2.5 hours), Chengdu (1 hour), Guangzhou
(1 hour), Guilin (1.25 hours) as well as international destinations
such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Flights
to regional Yunnan tourist destinations ( Baoshan, Jinghong,
Lijiang, Manshi, Xiaguan and Zhaotong ) are generally available.
The airport is 5 km south of the city center (Dongfeng Square).
To get to the airport by taxi usually costs about RMB15 and
takes 20 minutes. Bus No. 52 runs from Daguan Tower via the
main railway station to the airport. Also, bus No.67 runs
by the north railway station via the main railway station.
Lastly, bus No.78 runs between the airport and the north railway
station via the municipal government building. Most of the
above buses are available from 6am to 10pm. There is no money
exchange service at the airport, but there are ATMs that accept
the Bank of China's Changcheng card and most international
cards. However, there is a Bank of China branch opposite the
the arrival gate with a credit card service (3% processing
fee), traveler's check exchange (0.75% fee) and other money
There are two railway stations in Kunming. The main railway
station (also known as Nanyao station) is located about 4
km from the city, a RMB10 taxi ride that takes about 15 minutes.
Apart from bus lines that link the railway station with the
airport, bus No.68 runs to the Expo '99 Garden and bus No.80
runs to the Xiyuan bus station. Most hotels in Kunming have
rail ticket booking services. The main railway ticket office
is at 19 Kubshi Lu not far from the Nanjing Hotel. There,
tickets can be arranged from 8am-5:30pm (with a long lunch
Kunming Travel Attractions
Kunming Travel Map