"Kunming - the Spring City in the Southwest" Top 5 Page for this destination Kunming by hooiluangoh

Kunming Travel Guide: 639 reviews and 1,586 photos

Kunming Yunnan South West China

Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province, which is located in the south west of China. The province borders Myanmar, Vietnam, and Loas, and four other Chinese provinces : Tibet, Sichuan, Guichou and, Guangxi. Yunnan has a population of 43 mil (Thailand - 60 mil; Malaysia - 24 mil; Singapore - 4 mil) and a GDP of RMB 246 mil (2003).

As the city is built on a hill plateau, Kunming is closer to the sky. When you look out of the window, you see the clouds hanging lower than in many other cities. And there are many mountains surrounding it.

The temperature is always kind. Currently (Oct) it fluctures between 16 to 24C. It is a real pity I cannot take a picture of cool, crisp, fresh air of Kunming and publish it on the web. You have to come here to experience it yourself. Do note that the rainy season falls between April to October.

There are lots of minority races in Kunming, 26 of them to be exact. You can get a taste of what that's like in the Yunnannese Culture Park, next to Dian Chi.

Flowers, tobacco, processed ham, and tea are available in abundance in Kunming. I have yet to see a famous industrial product coming out of Kunming though.

The cost of living is very reasonable. A public bus trip in the city costs RMB1.

Yunnannese snacks

Roadside stalls are something to be adventurous about. You observe how they cook the food, and decide for yourself whether your stomach can take it.

I discover several things I like:
1) chinese pancake cooked in an "oven" with a little sweet (or savoury) stuffing. - RMB 0.50 each

2. Er Quai BBQ on charcoal fire - RMB 1 each.

3. Deep-fried potatoe served with sauce and mint leaves - this is now my absolute best love - RMB 0.50 each.

4. chick pea cold noodles - unfortunately, the best is found in Dali, which is about 400 KM away from Kunming.

Experience Kunming this way:

Kunming is a place you have to come and travel and SPEND money, and still will not feel a dent in your pocket.

These are my suggestions:
1) massage - RMB 20 for min one-hour full body massage. You may ask for more in specific areas (eg. shoulders). Foot massage - RMB30 including a medicinal foot spa.

2) tea-tasting - taste as much as you like. And buy some local yunnanese tea (Pu Er) to take home. The tea has recently gone through some tests conducted by the health authorities - 100% passing rate in terms of pesticide residue.

3) hair cut/wash/style - RMB 9 to RMB 15. Of course you can always go for a very expensive one should you wish.

4) pedicure/manicure - RMB 20 for manicure including a finger spa. Nail art starts from RMB 5 for 10 fingers.

5) Shop for ethnic craft. They are pretty, and CHEAP.

6) food - good local specialities, plus Korean, Thai, Japanese, PIZZA.

7) Flowers - have a look. You will be pleasantly surprised.

8) Cheap DVD's - starting from RMB6 who can believe it is true.

9) Chinese herbs (tianma and sanqi) plus countless traditional medicines.

10) BREATHE the air !!!!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Excellent weather cool temperature
  • Cons:Litterring, random spitting, and smelly public toilets
  • In a nutshell:Smell the crisp fresh air in the right places
  • Last visit to Kunming: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated May 12, 2006
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Reviews (139)

Comments (33)

  • Sep 7, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    Thanks for the great information! I just got back, they have the best teapots there. I bought a bunch of them for my family and friends. Thanks for sharing!


  • tremendopunto's Profile Photo
    May 25, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    YAY, another tea lover here on VT. Hey, I got that chess game, too - way too cool to break it for making tea ;-) And what about the flower tea - those balls that open up in hot water like beautiful flowers? Chris

  • snuggie's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2007 at 6:22 PM

    thanks for the info..i was hoping to visit it next year :)

  • jelw's Profile Photo
    Aug 30, 2007 at 6:45 PM

    Wonderful food tips. Ummm, makes me hungry. I also liked the travelouge with the beautiful flowers. Jill

  • sicr_2000's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2007 at 12:17 AM

    The amount of honking is insane compared to American streets where honking is rare and accompanied by a few brief expletives. They actually honk so often because the law states that they aren't liable for any accidents if they honk. Go figure.

  • ellielou's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2007 at 6:47 PM

    fantastic and funny foodie tips! great writing and so informative...you don't want to be my foodie guide when I get there by any chance? ;-) well done, and I'll be back to look at more of your tips!

  • louisv's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2006 at 3:46 PM

    fine photos ! very informative / helpful for those of us planning to visit, study, work......thanks !

  • wanderlustI's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2006 at 2:07 AM

    Great info...I will be there in one month. This helps. :) Hope all is well with you.

  • Jul 28, 2006 at 7:04 AM

    Hi, U mentioned Malaysia several times in your article. Are U a Malaysian by any chance?

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2006 at 4:29 AM

    Great page. if my luck improves, maybe I will go there one day.


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