The Kunming Rundown
Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, is known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ due to its pleasant climate and fragrant blossoms all year. This town sits in Dian Lake’s basin and is surrounded by mountains. With its rich culture and history spanning more than 2,400 years, it has grown into a political, economical and cultural centre. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in southwest China, Kunmingboasts galleries, stunning architecture, and museums such as the Kunming Zoological Museum. There are also many universities like the Yunnan University and Kunming Medical University.
Known also for its religious roots in Buddhism, Kunmingis host to several temples like
Yuantong and Tanhua. For those seeking the stars, and not ones from Hollywood, the Yunnan Astronomical Observatory is a great place to visit. Perched atop Phoenix Hill, visitors can observe the stars along with the city's vibrant lights. On the outskirts of town is the famed Golden Temple Park, which dates from the Ming Dynasty. Oddly enough, it is actually tiled in bronze rather than gold as its name suggests. Whether it’s religious or cultural, artistic or educational, Kunmingwill deliver a holiday experience of a lifetime.
When To Go
Kunming boasts one of the mildest climates in China, and each season tends to blend into another. Winters are cool and short-lived, and summers are long and warm. The temperatures during the summer are never too hot, but there is humidity. With its year-round spring-like climate, the weather provides the perfect temperatures for plants and flowers to grow and blossom.
December through February: Average daily high is 15°C (59°F)
March through August: Average daily high is 23°C (74°F)
September through December: Average daily high is 17°C (63°F)
KunmingWujiaba International Airport is located southeast of the city and offers various flights to and from cities throughout China and Southeast Asia by way of major airlines.
If you are traveling by rail, Kunming has two railway stations, Kunming Railway Station and the North Railway Station. Both stations serve various major cities in China. Tourists should be advised that these train trips can take several days to complete, so be prepared to spend some time traveling.
There are four bus stations in Kunming. Each bus station is named for the direction that it travels in, so the general rule is if travelers are headed west then they should use the West Bus Station.
By air: For the fastest arrival to Kunming fly into KunmingWujiaba International Airport
By train: A leisurely and picturesque multi-day ride from major cities is offered by train
By bus: Travel by bus is made simple and cost-effective by the four convenient bus stations around Kunming
With monikers like "Spring City" or the more elegant "City of Eternal Spring", Kunming sounds like a wonderful place. For those familiar with the frenetic hustle and bustle of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Kunming is certainly that and much more. Although the city in southwest China's Yunnan province plans to double in size by 2010, to a metro population somewhere in the vicinity of 8 million, Kunming is nonetheless a destination with a lot of charm.
Major attractions include vital Buddhist pilgrimmage sites, from the Yuantong Temple, built over 1,200 years ago, to the spectacular Bamboo Temple, built in 639. Other options include the Natural History Museum of Zoology, with terrific prehistoric fossil exhibits from the region, and the Western Hills Forest Reserve, just outside of the city, which contains beautiful and ancient temples, in addition to some of the most beautiful vistas in all of China. When in Kunming, be sure to experience the city's notable culinary heritage and sample some of the local fare.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurant & Nightlife
Kunming has a temperate monsoon climate, with a rainy season from May to October and mild weather on average for most of the year.
- Winter (December to February) 2-17°C
- Spring (March to May) 7.5-25°C
- Summer (June to September) 14-25°C
- Fall (October to November) 7-21°C
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