As I emerged from Kunming airport under a dazzling sky and rows of elegant palms, two things struck me.
Firstly, that I was wearing too many clothes. Secondly, a distinct, earthy aroma hanging in the air, with a subtle suggestion of tropical fecundity. A world away from northerly Beijing’s desiccated drabness, this city – capital of China’s land “south of the clouds” – promised warmth, vitality, and more than a touch of the exotic. I was ready to explore.
Widely hailed as the “City of Eternal Spring”, Kunming is a sun-kissed metropolis, nestling at 2000 meters among lakes and terraced hillsides of tea and tobacco.
“This city has the best weather in Yunnan and all of China,” said my taxi driver with good-natured pride, as we drove down boulevards toward my well-appointed hotel. “It has the freshest air and the most beautiful girls. Some people say Chengdu girls are more beautiful, but I think they’re wrong.” I assured him I’d conduct my own careful survey.
Itinerant Italian Marco Polo once described Kunming as a “very great and noble city”. Staring out of my taxi window over seven centuries later, I couldn’t help but agree. Shimmering towers of glass and concrete overshadowed side streets edged with magnolia, while carefree couples strolled along sidewalks decorated with luxuriant camellia blooms. With roadside verges chipping in with profusions of scarlet azalea, February in Kunming was starting to seem more like summer.
Kunming, the modern capital city and transportation hub of China’s southern Yunnan province, has a large student population and a temperate year-round climate.
Kunming, the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province, is the political, cultural, economic, and transportation center of Yunnan Province. Kunming is well-connected with Southeast Asia and is a pivotal destination on the south China tourist loop (Chengdu–Kunming–Guilin–HK).
Known as ‘the City of Eternal Spring’ and ‘the City of Flowers’, visitors come in great numbers to enjoy the spring-like climate and spectacular scenery.
Kunming is located on the elevated and mountainous Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in sub-tropical south China. From Kunming, you can visit tropical Xishuangbanna to the south, explore snow-capped Shangri-La in the Tibetan foothills to the west, and appreciate Luoping’s rape flowers on mountain rice terraces to the east.
Top Reasons to Visit Kunming
Kunming is known as ‘the Spring City’ as every season is like spring: changeable but not too extreme. It is a good place to escape a hot summer or a frozen winter.
Covered with blossoms and lush vegetation all year round, Kunming is named and famed as ‘the Flower City’.
Home to 25 ethnic minority groups, Kunming is the focal point of Yunnan’s minority culture.
Blessed with karst landscapes, snowcapped mountains, and red lands surrounding it, Kunming is a heaven for photographers.
It is convenient for travel from the large China cities with international flights as far as America (pandemic measures permitting) and to Yunnan’s popular destinations.
Exploring Kunming’s Old Street – where history meets modernity
The Old Street is the only traditional street block in Kunming which retains the layout from the Ming and Qing dynasty. The block is home to plenty of historical relics and protected buildings. The main parts of the quarter are Wenming, Guanghua, Qianwang, and Jingxing Streets.
Entering the Old Street from Zhengyi Square, the flagstones beneath ones feet are rinsed clean by rainwater. There is a modern shopping centre building with glass walls on the right side, and historical architecture to the left.
A new era and the past are fused simply within metres of one another. Old buildings are dyed amber with time, matched with brick red tiles and glossy green trees, offering a harmonious and refined sight.
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Night Walking Tour In China’s Metropolitan Cities:
4K⁶⁰ Traditional Chinese Architectures:
China’s Stunning Old Towns:
Shanghai City Classic Scenes:
4K⁶⁰ Driving In China:
1:56 Kunming Old Street
27:56 Downtown Shopping Area
43:35 Night Markets
1:32:58 People playing with Seagulls on the lakeside
2:02:15 The Tulip Garden
2:09:24 Flowers Trading Market
2:23:57 The bridge mall
2:39:12 Park 1903 Shopping area