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Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in China, is located at an altitude of 1900 meters above sea level. It is the financial, cultural, commercial, manufacturing, and business hub in Yunnan, with a population of around 6.6 million as of 2014. It is located on the northern edge of the Dion, also called Dianchi Lake and is surrounded by a stunning limestone hill landscape and many temples, including the amazing Bronze temple of the ancient Ming dynasty. Kunming is close to southeast Asian countries like Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam which makes it a natural choice for all trading activities being well connected to these countries. Visitors to the city can enjoy the numerous attractive public parks and museums. The ancient temples and other famous historical and popular new landmarks give a glimpse of the ancient heritage of the city and the subsequent effortless transformation to the modern era. The city center is a huge attraction with its eye-catching architecture and network of roads with its big commercial activity. The region houses a large group of 26 ethnic minorities preserving their traditional culture. Its height ensures a pleasant climate almost throughout the year making the city famous as the ‘city of eternal spring’ and also ‘a city of flowers. For photography addicts, this city is a paradise with an overdose of scenic spots. As an icing on the cake, the visitors can experience an abundance of great multi-cuisine food, thanks to the presence of a large multi-cultural population in this region.
Tip: pack suncream to protect from UV radiation and adequate warm clothing for possible low night temperatures.
Kunming roots can be traced back to as far back as 279 BC when early townships existed along the banks of Lake Dianchi. The region was always important due to the silk route from China to India, Tibet, Burma, and beyond. The city as we know today was founded in the 8th century when it was known as Tuodong. It was controlled by the Han, Yuan, and then the Ming and Qing dynasties at various times of history. During WWII, rapid war-related industrialization developed the city. However, the modern city development started post-revolution in 1949 and then picked up after 1985 when huge investment in infrastructure and industry turned it around.
Kunming Changshui International Airport, KMG is the primary airport serving Kunming, having started its operations in 2012. It is located about 25 km from the city center. KMG Airport serves as a hub for China Eastern Airlines, Kunming Airlines, Lucky Air, Sichuan Airlines, and Ruili Airlines. It handled around 48 million passengers in the year 2019.
Dozens of airlines operate 338 flights from Kunming to more than 173 cities all over the world. Cheap Flights to Kunming from other cities are offered by numerous low-cost budget airlines like Ruili Airlines, Lucky Air, Indigo, HK Express, and Air Asia. Various Airlines operate Direct Flights to Kunming from 147 destinations in 20 countries. The longest flight from KMG to Paris CDG airport takes around 12 hours. A direct flight from New Delhi IGI airport to Kunming KMG Airport takes about 5 hours.
Once you fly into the Kunming Changshui International Airport, you can easily reach the city by airport shuttle bus, Kunming Rail Transit Line 6, and taxis.
Tips: If you find yourself with a long waiting time at the airport, you can rent a sleep pod.
A visitor has a few good options to go around the city. With around 300 buses which cover all the areas of the city, this is a very convenient and cheap option. The main roads also have MRT for fast travel. A better option is to travel by subway, but only three lines are operational.
As usual, taxis are available to travel around the city if no other mode is available.
Tips: The city has a bicycle rental service also which may be a good choice to explore the city.
The city is such a magnificent blend of ancient and modern structures and monuments that a visitor can spend days enthralled in the beauty of multiple tourist attractions. We list out a few places of interest for your selection.
This has spectacular sceneries and is a karst landscape, with loads of limestone deposits. It is a must-see spot. The stone formations are truly amazing, taking various awe-inspiring natural forms. It covers a massive area of 400 sqkm and houses Greater, Lesser, and Naigu Stone Forests. Subterranean stone forests in natural caves are also found here, along with lakes, a waterfall, and a mountain. The stone forests are supposed to have been formed over 270 million years of geo-activity.
This features tropical forests and clear water. The area consists of four lakes and islands. Each lake has its unique attractions like a temple, bamboo forest, pavilions, tropical plants, and natural springs which make a visitor marvel at nature’s wonders.
This is at the foot of the Luofeng Hills and the biggest Buddhist temple in the province. The novelty of the temple of the Tang dynasty is that the visitors enter the holy place from the top and descend to the hall which is the lowest point of the place. Its serene atmosphere and lovely architecture are supremely enchanting.
This is another attraction which includes a white-fish park, grand view park, an interesting ethnic village, Kwan-yin hill which houses a temple, and the lake itself. A lovely place for photography.
The wonderful Golden temple is entirely made of Copper except for the staircases and handrails which are made of marble. It is dedicated to the Taoist God Zishi. People called it Golden temple since finely polished copper gleams like gold in the sunlight, the name has stuck.
Tips: While visiting minority ethnic villages, be sensitive to their traditional customs.
If you want to try out street food, the middle of Guanshang Road, Xiba Road, Beijing Road, and Sanshi Street location can get you a great gastronomic experience.
If you are a shopping enthusiast, try out Jinma Biji Square. The city center is a shoppers paradise with the three main streets, Qingnian Road, Dongfeng Road, and Zhengyi Road teeming with shopping malls and retail shops which make duty-free shopping a breeze.
Tips: You can buy wood carvings, handbags, brocade, and stone items in this city known for its handicrafts.
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