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Home >> China Kunming Travel Guide & Tour Tips: Tourist Attractions, Food, Weather Climate, Transportation & Maps

Kunming Travel

Yunnan provinceKunming, with its perpetual spring-like weather which provides the ideal climate for plants and flowers, is known as the "City of Perpetual Spring" and "City of Flowers". Capital of China's southwestern border province Yunnan, Kunming has a year-round average temperature of 15¡æ. Camellia, magnolia, azalea and fairy primrose are considered to be the four most precious species of Kunming's many flowers and of these, camellia enjoys the highest reputation.

Kunming, located in a basin on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, lies in the midst of a beautiful natural environment of hills and rivers complemented with sites of historical interest left from past dynasties.

Kunming's 340-square-kilometre Dianchi Lake impresses visitors with the vastness of a sea and the charm characteristic of a plateau lake. In a gentle wind, the great expanse with weeping willows on its shore mirrors the sun in its calm. But in a storm, the lake becomes strong with surging waves and leaping breakers.

Grand View Tower north of the lake provides a vantage point to view the lake and draws people to it with a 180-character couplet describing the scenery around the lake. The Western Hills stretching 40 kilometres and rising 2,500 metres above sea level on the western shores, is also a good place to see the lake. Ancient paths winding through dense woods and along streams lead to some large, old temples like Huating Temple and Taihua Temple. Dragon Gate, is a place chiselled out on the cliffs more than 300 metres above the lake water. This series of Qing Dynasty structures which took 72 years to complete include Arhat Cliff, Three-Purity Tower, Yunhua Cave and Pavilion Leading to Heaven.

Kunming Jinma Bbiji archwayIn Kunming, Bamboo Temple, Black Dragon Pool, Golden Hall, Green Lake, Yuantong Hill and the Warm Spring are other tourist attractions.

Bamboo Temple at the foot of Jade Table Hill northwest of the city proper has valuable life-like clay sculptures of 500 arhats which show the 500 Buddha disciples in varying moods and expressions.

Yuantong Hill by the Green Lake houses the Kunming Zoo with over 400 types of rare animals and birds. Down the hill is the ancient Yuantong Temple. Though flowers bloom throughout the year, the several thousand Yunnan cherries which bloom in March are one of Kunming's best attractions.

Walking along the stone steps up the ancient cypress and pine-covered Singing Phoenix Hill in northern suburban Kunming and after going through three "heavenly gates", one will reach the Golden Hall, a 200-ton structure cast in bronze. The building, dating back over 300 years, testifies to the achievements of the people in Yunnan in mining, metallurgy and bronze casting.

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.

Kunming Weather
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Ave. Temp. (Celsius) 7.7 9.6 13.0 16.5 19.1 19.5 19.8 19.1 17.5 14.9 11.3 8.2
Rainfall 11.6 11.2 15.2 21.1 93.0 183.7 212.3 202.3 119.5 85.0 38.6 13.0

 

Cuisines in Kunming

Cuisines in Kunming, Kunming travelThe 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

Shopping in Kunming, Kunming travelYunnan 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 Store.

 

Attraction & Sightseeing In Kunming

Attraction & Sightseeing In Kunming, Kunming travelThe 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

Transportation of Kunming, Kunming travelBy 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 exchange services.

By train: 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 break).

 

Kunming Travel Attractions

Stone Forest
Jiuxiang Scenic Resort
Golden Temple
Western Hills And Dragon Gate
Daguan (Grand View) Park
Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Dianchi Lake
Ancient Alu Cave
Tanhua Temple
Bamboo Monastery
Yuantong Temple
Cuihu Lake
World Horti-expo Garden
Black Dragon Pool
Puzehei Scenic Region
Yunnan Museum
Yunnan Nationalities Villages
Kunming Spring City Golf
Kunming Country Golf
Kunming Sunshine Golf

 

Kunming Travel Map

Kunming travel map

 

Kunming Travel Attractions
Stone Forest
Jiuxiang Scenic Resort
Golden Temple
Western Hills And Dragon Gate
Daguan (Grand View) Park
Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Dianchi Lake
Ancient Alu Cave
Bamboo Monastery
Dongchuan Red Soil
Yuantong Temple
Cuihu Lake
World Horti-expo Garden
Black Dragon Pool
Puzehei Scenic Region
Yunnan Museum
Tanhua Temple
Anning Hot Spring
Yunnan Nationalities Villages
Kunming Spring City Golf
Kunming Country Golf
Kunming Sunshine Golf
Kunming Travel Map
 
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