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Kunming Travel Guide

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  • Stone Forest
    Stone Forest
  • Kunming Golden Temple
    Kunming Golden Temple
  • Western Hills
    Western Hills
  • Night of Daguan Park
    Night of Daguan Park
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Phone Code: 0871
Postal Code: 650000
Area: 21,473 Sq km (8,290.7 Sq miles)
Population: 6.432221 million (in 2010)
Nationalities: Han, Hui, Manchu, Yi, Bai, Dai, Zhuang, Hani, Naxi and Mongolian
Neighboring Areas: Sichuan and Guizhou Provinces, Tibet Autonomous Region and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Location: Located in the central part of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, Kunming faces Sichuan Province across the Jinsha River in the north, neighbors Yuxi and Honghe cities in the south, borders Qujing City in the east, and connects with Chuxiong City in the west

 Physical Features: with plateau as its main landform, the Kunming terrain generally descends from north to south like a staircase, rises slightly in the central part and is relatively low in the east and west sides. Located in the watershed of the Jinsha River, Nanpan River and Yuanjiang River and without strong fluvial erosion, most parts of the city are gentle, only with some north-south structural, irregularly-shaped intermountain basins of various sizes.

Yunnan Map
Kunming Maps
 History: Having over 2,200 years’ history, it is a national famous historical and cultural city. As early as tens of thousands years ago, there were human beings in Kunming, living in caves and inhabiting the wilderness. In the Warring States Period (476BC-221BC), Zhuang Qiao, General of the Chu State, established the ‘Dian State’. Later, Emperor Wudi of the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD) established Yizhou Prefecture, centered on Dianchi Area, and Kunming was Guchang County under the prefecture. During the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, Nanzhao and Dali states were established here respectively. The present Kunming City was founded in 1928.

 Recommended Kunming Tour Itineraries: 
Kunming Extension Tour: 9 Days of Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-La - Kunming
China Yunnan Tour: 15 Days of Kunming - Lijiang - Kunming - Lunan - Xingyi - Huangguoshu Waterfall - Guiyang - Kaili - Rongjiang - Congjiang - Zhaoxing - Sanjiang - Longsheng - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin

 Attractions: Kunming numbers among the top ten hot tourist cities in China, with its beautiful natural landscape, brilliant historical sites and rich ethnic folklore. The Stone Forest, 'the First Wonder under Heaven', shows natural stone masterpieces and tells you the story about Ashima; Dianchi Lake is famed as ‘A Pearl on the Plateau’ and the World Horticultural Expo Garden is a rich collection of notable gardening and rare plants. In addition to the Western Hills, Cuihu Lake and Black Dragon Pool, they make up the magnificent natural scenery of the city. Qiongzhu Temple, Daguan Park and Yuantong Temple are historical sites. Yunnan Nationalities Village is the window of the 26 ethnic nationalities’ culture and folklore. Distinctive ethnic festivals are also shining points of the city, including the Torch Festival, the Flower Arrangement Festival and the Water-Splashing Festival.

 Air: Kunming Wujiaba International Airport, the nearest airport to the urban area in China, has opened over 20 international routes to Osaka, Seoul, the Maldives, etc., three regional routes to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, 140 routes to large and medium cities in China, as well as 10 routes to other cities in Yunnan Province.
 Train: There are 5 railway stations in the city, of which Kunming Railway Station and the South Railway Station are for passenger transport.
Subway: A total of 6 subway lines have been planned in the city, with a mileage of 190 km (118.1 miles). Four of them are under construction.
 Bus: There are 7 major long-distance bus stations operating buses to the cities inside and outside Yunnan Province and buses to Vietnam, Myanmar and other neighboring countries. City buses radiate in all directions, and most of them have no conductor on board. The ticket fare is generally CNY1.
 Taxi: The flag-fall fare of taxis is CNY8 for the first 3 km (1.9 miles), and then CNY1.8 per km for the latter way. Additional CNY1 will be charged as the fuel surcharge for the journey.

 Weather: Known as ‘Spring City’ nationally and internationally, it is a good tourist destination all year round.

 Dining and Shopping
Food in Kunming has distinctive ethnic and local features. The representative dishes are Qi Guo Ji (Steaming-Pot Chicken), Yunnan rice noodles (literally ‘Rice Noodles Crossing the Bridge’) and dishes made of wild mushrooms. 'Wild Mushroom Street' on Guanshang Road is a good place for tasting all kinds of mushroom dishes, while '1910 South Railway Station’ in Houjie Lane and the ‘Shanghe Guildhall’ aside are for pure local food. Also, the Qi Guo Ji at Beidamen Shifu and the Dai Minority flavor dishes at Kundu are also unique. If you want to taste the local snacks like dairy cake, Grandma's Potatoes, Xuanwei Ham, Zhuazhuafen (a sweet cold food for summer) and Shaoerkuai (baked cake made of boiled rice), go to Shuncheng Street, Jingxin Street, Southwest Commercial Building and Baoshan Street.

As a popular tourist city, Kunming has all that a modern city offers, including shopping malls, supermarkets, franchised stores and commercial buildings. The business areas are Youth Road, Dongfeng Road and Zhengyi Road. Shangyi Street Flower Market is also famous, where the flowers can be bought by weight. Jingxing Street Bird & Flower Market has birds and flowers, as well as minority handicrafts. You can also buy some special local products like tropical fruit, Myanmar gems, red teak, characteristic minority ornaments and other items.

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