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Kunming Travel Guide

Kunming city, also know as the "eternal spring city", is by far the nicest provincial capital city in China. Situated in central Yunnan, surrounded by mountains and located on the northern of Lake Dian, Kunming is China's southwestern oasis. Endowed with a mild climate, neither too hot nor too cold, ornamental flower arrangements pleasantly dot the city; displaying over 400 different flower species. It is also China's most culturally diverse city, home to 26 of China's 56 ethnic minority groups; including Hani, Bai, Dai, Naxi, Yi, Miao and Tibetan. Kunming is host to quite a few scenic spots, among them are Dianchi Lake (Lake Dian), Cuihu Lake (Green Lake), Ethnic Culture Village (Min Zu Cun), Golden Temple Park (Jindian), the Western Mountain Forest Reserve(Xi Shan), the Stone Forest , Yuantong Mountain, the Grand View Pavilion and Qiongzhu Temple.

Kunming is also China's most tourist-friendly city, making it easy for non-Chinese speaking tourists to access this geologically, culturally and bio-diverse wonderland. Kunming International Airport is conveniently located 20 Minutes from downtown, and with the addition of the new train station and the vast network of highways, Kunming is now the portal to China's southwestern paradise.

Major Attractions

The Provincial Museum

The Provincial Museum in Kunming houses an extraordinary, startling collection of bronze and iron castings found south of Lake Dian Xi in Yunnan. The collection is excellent, the exhibition visually spectacular and has a large amount of information in English.

Dianchi Lake

Picture of Dianchi LakeDianchi, also called Kunming Lake, is located southwest of downtown Kunming. It is a freshwater fault lake at an altitude of 1,886.5 meters above sea level. The lake covers 298 square kilometers. It is 39 kilometers long from north to south, and the average depth is 4.4 meters.

Dianchi Lake is one of China's key scenic areas. Sailing on the lake, with the boat swaying gently on a vast expanse of liquid silver, proves to be a most enchanting experience.

Cuihu Lake

The Cuihu Lake on the west side of the Wuhua Mountain is extolled as a "Jade in Kunming". Cuihu Park, covering an area of 210,000 square meters, is located in the northern part of Kunming's city proper. The entire Cuihu Park is a green world, with willow trees swaying gently on the dikes, and the surface of the lake covered all over with lotus plants.

Ethnic Culture Village

Picture of Ethinic Culture Village

Yunnan Ethnic Villages is situated six kilometres south of Kunming, the Yunnan Ethnic Villages is a 2,000-mu affair bordering on the south by the Dianchi Lake and on the west by the famous Western Mountains Scenic Area.

The Yunnan Ethnic Villages will become an epitome of Yunnan as a multi-ethnic province, and an immense garden in south Chinese horticultural and landscaping traditions. If you don't have any time to get outside of Kunming, this might be your best bet to experience the province's minority culture.

Stone Forest

Picture of Stone Forest

The Stone Forest Scenic Area is located in Shilin County, 89 kilometers from Kunming. The area, covering 350 square kilometers, is the highest karst terrain in the world and a national scenic area in China.

Stone Forest is known as "One of Earth's Natural Wonders. Covering a few hundred square kilometres, stone peaks rise abruptly from the ground in numerous layers like bamboo shoots, forests and pagodas. Wandering in the Stone Forest is a unique experience.


How to Get in?

By 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. In hot travel season, there are daily flight fly from Kunming to Lhasa directly.

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.

Yunnan tourist trains:
Kunming to Shilin (Number 202): 8:28am-9:55am
Returning (Number 201): 3:20-4:47

Kunming to Dali (Number 213): 10:10pm-6:45am
Returning (214): 7:42am-10:50pm

Best Time to Come

Kunming, "eternal spring city", so it's suitable for coming here for the whole year.

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