Kunming, a city of rich history, exotic flavor and mesmerizing scenery, is known as the "Spring City" due to its eternal mild climate. It is the capital city of China's southwest Yunnan Province. The Kunming city is the political, commercial, financial and cultural center of Yunnan and the only Chinese gateway to ASEAN.
With international flights from most countries (Learn about Kunming Changshui Internatioanl Airport), well developed railways and highways connecting other parts of China, get there and get away is super convenient.
Kunming serves as the entry city of numerous travelers in their journey to Yunnan. It is the first stop of many. You can visit many other charming Yunnan attractions including Lijiang, Shangri-la and Lugu Lake from here. Read more Kunming travel tips below.
Covering an area of 21,473 sq. km. (8,291 sq. mi.) and with a population of 6.3 million, it is not only an important cultural and historical city but also a paradise for travelers. The climate here is mild all the year round, with an annual temperature of 15 C (60 F), which makes it agreeable in every season.
The history of Kunming dates back to the 2, 200 years ago and it is one of oldest cities in China. The city of Kunming is a converge pot of 25 ethnic groups, making it the center of Yunnan minority culture and ethnic custom.
Note that people do not speak Mandarin Chinese here, but rather something similar to the Sichuan dialect.
What to See in Kunming - Kunming Attractions
Kunming is a city rich in beautiful natural landscape, brilliant cultural relics and gorgeous ethnic custom, which make it top 10 tourism city in China.
There are over 100 scenic area and 200 cultural heritages in Kunming. Highlight Kunming attractions include:
Stone Forest is featured by the scenic spots of surprisingly artistic stones and breathtaking geomorphologic landscape. It is the Natural Museum of Geomorphologic Wonders and one of Chinese Famous Natural Wonders.
Located 120 km away from Kunming, it is featured by the scenic spots of surprisingly artistic stones and breathtaking geomorphologic landscape, which is precious and marvelous spectacle worldwide. Learn More About Stone Forest.
Dian Lake is a typical freshwater lake in the southwestern Kunming City and the largest inland lake in Yunnan Province. It is famous for its natural beauty, scenic spots and cultural heritage nearby.
The lake is also an ideal summer resorts. It is surrounded by numerous mountains and many rivers join with each other here. Moreover, the color of the lake will change according to the weather and it is now a home for all kinds of birds. Learn More About Dian Lake.
Qiongzhu Temple is a Buddhist temple 12 km. (7.5 mi) to the northwest of Kunming City. It has many painted sculptures, and is a noted cultural heritage. It got its name because of the grand temple and flourish bamboo forest.
The Arhat Sculptures in Qiongzhu Temple are of the highest artistic value. The 500 sculptures are the important attraction in the temple and are regarded as the Bright Pearl of Oriental Sculpture treasury. Learn More About Qiongzhu Temple.
Kunming Yuantong Temple is the largest and oldest Buddhist temple located in the Yuantong Street of Kunming City, Yunnan Province. It is famous its architectural style, grandness, cultural heritage and Buddhism atmosphere.
It was first built in Tang Dynasty and got its name Yuantong Temple in Yuan Dynasty (1301 A.D.). There is a copper Buddha palace and a copper statue of Sakyamuni in the temple, which is the only Buddhism Hall in the inner land of China. Learn More About Yuantong Temple.
Kunming West Hill is the most famous hill in Kunming and one of the four scenic hills in Yunnan Province. Viewing from afar, it looks like a giant sleeping Buddha or sleeping beauty, so it is also called the sleeping Beauty Hills.
West Hill has enjoyed the reputation as the First wonderland in Yunnan. The main attraction is the Huating Temple with a history of 900 year. Learn More About West Hills
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Kunming Ethnic Groups - Festivals - Customs
Except for all these attractions, all kinds of ethnic custom and a variety of featured festivals add great fun to travelers. Most people living here is Han Nationality and the ethnic groups take up 13.84 % of the whole population, including Yi, Hui, Bai, Tibetan, Dai, Miao ect.
Every ethnic group in Kunming has its own custom, meanwhile all ethnic cultures are influenced by each other. Their unique dancing, dress, etiquette, eating, wedding of their own peculiar style will surely amaze you and broaden your horizons.
Famous festivals here include: Torch Festival of Yi Nationality, Songkran of Dai, Flowers Stepping Festival of Miao, Cutter Arbor Festival of Li and beyond. At that time, all the people will dress up in their traditional costumes and gather together to sing, dance, watching bullfight etc..
Local Food in Kunming
Local food in Kunming is also of distinguish feature. The most outstanding and delicious food are Guoqiao rice noddle, gas boiler chicken, purple rice pudding, spring rolls, scratched powder, gas pot chicken etc., which will surely be a great treat for your mouth.
There are numerous restaurants, bars, cafe or night markets, where you can find these food and many other high quality meals. Try the famous 18 Oddities in Yunnan!
Shopping in Kunming is a delightful experience. There are many markets, boutiques, supermarkets for you to buy the local products including wax printings, ivory or wood carvings, sculptures etc.
Gems and jewels, as well as Pu'er Tea can be a good choice for gift buying.
Don't forget to go to these places to have a look with your companies and grab something nice for your friends and family.
Kunming is among the top 10 most attractive cities in China. Most WindhorseTour clients spent around 10 days in Yunnan, and they generally allocated 2 days for exploring Kunming. To better appreciate the Yunnan culture, you can go to watch a Dian Opera Show or listen to Kunming Tune.
This Kunming travel guide will prove handy to you when you plan your visit to Yunnan. Final Kunming travel tips for travelers: The price level of food and accomodaiton in Kunming is not as lower than that of Beijing and Shanghai as you might have expected.
Note that Kunming is one of the safest places to visit in China, but watch out for your bags as there are pickpockets in public places packed with people.
Come on and Start Your Yunnan Tour Today!