What it is:
Known locally as the “City of Eternal Spring”, Kunming is one of the only cities in all of China that enjoys beautiful weather and blooming flowers year-round. Kunming is also home to some of southwest China’s most pleasant walking streets and public squares, as well as 26 of Yunnan Province’s ethnic minority groups. Kunming city is the focal point of these ethnic cultures, and it’s not uncommon to see men and women in traditional dress roaming the city streets alongside domestic and international tourists.
Central Kunming is a great place to see stunning architecture like the Golden Temple, the largest copper temple in China, and the Western Hills, where a number of landmarks are nestled within the landscape thought to look like a giant sleeping Buddha.
Kunming is also home to the incredible Stone Forest. This astounding natural wonder is one of Asia’s best examples of karst topography, with jagged stones jutting up from the grass in a grandiose collection of stone sculptures across 400 square kilometers.
How to get there:
Changshui International Airport can be reached from domestic destinations such as Beijing, Chengdu, Guilin, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Xian, as well as international airports like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
There are a number of bus stations in Kunming with the West Bus Station alone operating almost 1000 bus services. With such a vast choice, it is easy to find long-haul bus services from many places in China. Some of the most popular starting points are Beijing, Shanghai and Yunnan Province, but there are many more cities that offer direct buses to Kunming.
There are also some international bus services from Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos that stop at Kunming’s South Bus Station.
The main train station in the city is Kunming Railway Station which has regular services from Beijing, Chengdu, Guilin, Shanghai, Qujing and Xi’an.
There are also train services from Hanoi, Vietnam to Kunming’s North Railway Station but these services are less frequent and require organizing a visa in advance.
Both train stations are less than three miles from the city centre, only a short taxi ride away.