Kunming

South of the Colorful Clouds, City of Perpetual Spring

 

General Information of Kunming

 

Another Name: Spring City (春城 in Chinese)

Location: located in east-central Yunnan province, in the middle of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau

Population: 6.43 million

 

 

 

 

The Black Dragon Pool in Kunming City

Interesting in Kunming

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Introduction of Kunming

Kunming city at the sunset

Kunming City at the Sunset

Kunming Overview: Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, is known as 'the City of Eternal Spring' for its pleasant climate and flowers blooming all year long. With a history of more than 2,400 years, Kunming was the gateway to the celebrated Silk Road. Today it is the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan as well as the most popular tourist destination in southwest China.

 

Kunming Ethnic Culture

 

Kunming China is the focal point of Yunnan minority culture. Some 26 ethnic minorities such as Yi, Bai, Miao, Dai, Hani and more inhabit the region. Each group has its own featured festivals such as the Torch festival of Yi people, the Golden Temple Fair and so on. The hugely successful 1999 International Horticultural Exposition enhanced Kunming's influence in the world resulting in a snowball effect upon tourism as more and more foreigners come to discover this enchanting part of China.

 

Kunming Diaozi (Tunes)

It belongs to civil concert arts. It is performed in various form, such as Civil Minor, folk song, and other forms of informal civil art styles, and it popularizes in the rural outskirts of Kunming. It does not need make-up, or choose places, meeting a wide range.

 

Kunming Decorative Lanterns

Decorative lantern is a local type of opera. Since the middle of Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty, with the development of business and establishment of associations of other provinces, the popular operatic tunes and theatrical troupes were spread to Kunming China. To adapt to the lingual customs, the tunes and the local folk songs were integrated to decorative lantern of Kunming China.

 

Famous Attractions in Kunming

Famous attraction in Kunming city--the Stone Forest

Kunming Stone Forest

 

1. Stone Forest: Stone Forest is known since the Ming Dynasty as the “First Wonder of the World”. It includes both large and small stone forests, as well as many other scenic spots, with an area of 400 square kilometers. Walking through the Stone Forest in Kunming tour, you will marvel at the natural stone masterpieces and are bewitched by the intricate formations.

 

2. Dianchi Lake: It is the largest freshwater lake in Yunnan Province and the sixth largest one in China, with about 300 square kilometers. With picturesque scenery and its location on the Yungui Plateau, the lake has a reputation as “A Pearl on the Plateau”.

 

3. West Hill: West Hills boasts an excellent environment with flourishing flowers and dense forest, providing you an excellent environment to enjoy the tranquility and marvelous scenery. No wonder that the place has gained a reputation as “having the most pleasant environment in the world”.

 

4. Golden Temple: It is the home of the Taoist Taihe Palace (Hall of Supreme Harmony) and the largest copper temple in China, which is located on top of Mingfeng (Singing Phoenix) Hill. It is also known as the Tongwa Temple (Bronze Tile Temple) and by its popular name, the Golden Temple.

 

5. Dragon Gate: Dragon Gate actually refers to a collection of grottoes and sculptures in the stone corridor of Western Hills Park. A series of narrow caves, just wide enough for two thin people in some places, exposes a plethora of ancient inscriptions, drawings and figures.

 

6. World Horticultural Expo Garden: It is a first-class Daguanyuan (Grand View Garden), which has typical Chinese and local Yunnan characteristics. And 10% to 15% of the garden is covered by water. Gardening works of many domestic and foreign places are on display in the garden.

 

7. Yuantong Temple: Yuantong Temple is at the foot of Yuantong Hill in the northern part of Kunming. With a history of more than 1,200 years, Yuantong Temple is the grandest as well as the most important Buddhist temple in Yunnan Province.

 

8. Qiongzhu Temple: On the beautiful wooded Yu'an Mountain, only twelve kilometers northwest of Kunming, is the famous Buddhist Qiongzhu Temple, also called Bamboo Temple. The temple and the bamboo forest that surround it have a wonderful and mysterious legend about their origins.

 

9. Yunnan Ethnic Villages: The village acts as a good shortcut to understand the social customs of the ethnic groups in Yunnan. Twenty-five ethnic minorities have their respective villages and conduct many activities to present their unique folkways and beautiful clothes. Also you can enjoy the water screen movie and an elephant performance, have a taste of the local dishes and buy pretty handicrafts.

 

10. Daguan Park: Daguan Park, also called Grand View Tower, is the most befitting name for the park and the pavilion which are on the terminus of Daguan Road in the southwest of Kunming city, Daguan Park and Daguan Pavilion.

 

Food in Kunming

Famous Kunming food--Across Bridge Rice Noodle

Kunming Across Bridge Rice Noodle

 

Dian Dishes

Dian dishes, moderately salty and spicy, are the food specialties in Kunming China. The unique delicacies from Kunming are famous throughout China; especially the fresh wild mushrooms. There is an edible wild mushroom family of over 200 varieties in Kunming, the tastes of which remain in mind. Some recommended Dian dishes, such as Steaming-Pot Chicken, Braised Jizong in Soy Sauce, Kunming Bittern Duck and so on.

 

A recommended restaurant for the dishes mentioned is Fuzhao Lou located at Meishicheng crossing near South Gate, prices about 50 yuan per person. Another famous Dian restaurant is Lao Fangzi, located at No. 18 - 19 in Jixiang Xiang, Dongfeng Xi Lu. This charming restaurant is a typical Yunnan residence with a 100-year history.

 

Kunming Snacks
Across Bridge Rice Noodle: It is one of the featured specialties of Kunming China and Yunnan. It has three main parts: a bowl of extremely hot chicken broth, various slices of meat, including chicken, fish, and meat up to nine varieties, with various seasonings and rice noodles. The most authentic and tasty Across Bridge Rice Noodles are served at the Qiao Xiang Yuan, located at No. 2 in Wenlin Jie, Jinma Biji Square.

 

Xuanwei Ham: Xuanwei Ham, also called “Yunnan Ham”, is one of the three famous and best hams in China. The main ingredient in many local dishes, Yunnan Ham retains its unique flavor and can be stored for long periods of time.

 

Modern Cake: Baba is popular in Yunnan. It is a food made of flour, corn powder, sticky rice, lard, sesame and meat. Modern Baba has a crisp exterior and a soft interior; it is sweet with savory cream.

 

Pastry: Xuanwei Ham Moon cake is a Dian style moon cake praised even by emperors. Rose Cake is a seasonal fresh-tasting pastry with a stuffing of fragrant roses in bud. Best known is Dian Eight Articles, the representative pastry in Kunming.

 

Shopping in Kunming

 

What to Buy in Kunming China
The scenery of Kunming Bird and Flower Market

Kunming Bird and Flower Market

Kunming is renowned for its handicrafts such as ivory carvings, wood carvings, Burmese jade and other stone items. And there are also a variety of handicrafts of local ethnic minority groups, such as the wax print, the Sani handbag and Dai brocade. The wax prints are very colorful, with unique and complex geometric patterns as well as naturalistic representations. But surprisingly, the average price for a wax print in Kunming is very affordable. The Sani Handbag, famous the world over for its superb craftsmanship and its intricate and exquisite patterns and designs, represents the epitome of Sani handicraft skills.

 

The women of the Dai ethnic minority are skilled in the art of weaving, and excel in weaving silk brocade in particular. You will find a wide variety of Dai brocades in shops and ethnic vending stalls along the streets of Kunming. The price quite naturally varies depending on the size of the item, its materials (some may still include gold) and the complexity of its design.

 

Where to Buy in Kunming China

Kunming China is a shopper's paradise. Its streets and plazas are filled with shopping malls, department stores, chain-store supermarkets, and specialty boutiques. The shopping malls of Kunming China are located in the city center, with only short distances separating each shopping mall. Three of the principal streets where shops and shopping malls are concentrated are Qingnian Road, Dongfeng Road and Zhengyi Road, making duty-free shopping a breeze for you.

 

The flower markets in Shangyi Street are quite famous. The florists there sell their wares by weight, so one can buy as little as a single rose. There is a flower & bird market in Jingxing Street, with numerous market stalls and shops run by ethnic minorities where one can buy all manner of ethnic handicrafts, including flowers and even live birds. The food specialty shops of Kunming also offer many unique food and health-food items (aka Medicinal Foodstuffs) that are not available elsewhere in China, including tropical fruits.

 

Nightlife in Kunming

 

Things to Do at Night in Kunming
Scenery of Kunming Night Market

Kunming Night Market

As for nightlife activities, Kunming does not differ a lot from other cities in China. Bars, KTV, disco and other clubs can easily be found around the city. Kun To Night Market gathers a lots of bars and clubs for people to enjoy their night in Kunming China.

 

The fantastic Yunnan ethnic folk dance is also one of the most wonderful nightlife activities for you to take part in. Among all the dances there, Peacock Dance is the most popular one, which will be introduced later.

 

Generally speaking, there are special cultural activities in Kunming all the year round, including flowers and plants exhibitions, festivals, photography exhibitions and so on.

 

Popular Nightlife Destinations in Kunming

Kun To Night Market

This night market is simply the biggest night spots of Kunming. The area consists of a few streets, full of bars, discos, night clubs, and live music place. There's even a big gay nightclub located near to the entrance, with attractive big nude male posters. Cannot imagine China is so open nowadays.

 

Hump Pub

The most famous in Kunming supplying all sorts of wine, beer, also internet service, and performance by an energetic band on weekends. Here is a gathering place for the tourists to exchange travel experience. If you are lucky enough, you may even encounter some expert on traveling.

 

Face to Face Coffee House

It is run by a famous local painter, thus be full of cultural atmosphere. Tasting a cup of coffee here, you'll also have the chance to communicate with some artists, view and admire the host's works. On every Friday, the bar will hold art performance and intercourse.

 

Kunming Travel Guide

Information on Kunming Transport
Beautiful scenery of Kunming Green Lake Park

Kunming Green Lake Park

By Air

As one of the most important and busiest airports in China, Kunming Wujiaba International Airport was built in 1923. It has 167 airlines to 57 domestic cities and 17 international cities and regions.  Passengers can easily travel to Kunming by air

 

By Train

Kunming has four railway stations. The main one is the Nanyao Station, about four kilometers from the center of the city, which would take about 10 yuan within 15 minutes by Taxi to. Trains to Dali, Yuxi etc., run every day. The Ticket Booking Office is at No. 19, Kunshi Lu, hours of operation is from 8:00 to 17:30.

 

By Long-distance Bus

Highway transportation has developed rapidly in Kunming. You can also choose long-distance buses to Kunming from Beijing, Lanzhou, Shanghai, Fuzhou or other cities. While there are many bus stations in Kunming, for safety we recommend that tourists take buses at Kunming Passenger Transport Bus Station, a well-operated station.

 

Best Time to Visit Kunming China

In terms of Kunming weather and Kunming climate, the best time to visit Kunming is the whole year. Whenever you are planning to go, the temperature is always pleasant. Kunming is a city abundant in natural attractions and colorful cultural scenes. The Kunming International Tourist Festival held every April 10 to May 10 promotes tourism throughout Yunnan Province as well as within Kunming. The festival features performances and activities in Kunming downtown and local scenic spots that attract tourists from all over the world.

 

Moreover, Kunming China is home to various ethnic minority groups. These groups sponsor many minority festivals throughout the year, especially from March to October, including the Knife-pole Festival of Lisu in March, the Water-splashing Festival of Dai in April, and a Torch Festival. It is also the season when most fruits ripen. During this period, you will enjoy not only the stunning natural landscape, but also the fascinating minority cultures.

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