Kunming ( 昆明 Kūnmíng )
Kunming ( 昆明 ) is the capital of Yunnan Province, China .
- About Kunming City
- How to Get to Kunming
- How to Get around in Kunming
- When to Visit
- Where to Stay
About Kunming City
Kunming is situated atop a plateau in Yunnan Province and at the northern edge of the massive Lake Dian . It enjoys a protected location with mountains surrounding the city on three sides, and a lake to the south. Kunming has year-round temperate weather like Spring, thus it's also called the " Spring City ( 春城 ). ”
How to Get to Kunming
Kunming International Airport (KMG) has flights from South-East Asian capitals like Bangkok and Singapore , as well as plenty of connections through China .
You can book Air tickets form Air China Office, Wallton Building, 448 Baoshan Jie,(0871)3159171 or any number of travel agents in the King World Hotel a few blocks north of the train station on Beijing Lu. Tickets to Beijing are usually about 1600 to 2000 RMB, to Hong Kong about 1200 to 1500 RMB.
The South train station has recently been refurbished and has a ticket office on its lower level. The station serves destinations throughout China including Nanning , Guilin , Guangzhou , Beijing , Shanghai , and Xi'an . The train service to destinations inside of Yunnan is poor except for an overnight sleeper train to Xiaguan (Dali New Town).
Kunming has several bus stations. In general, the most useful is on Beijing Lu (next to the train station). It serves destinations in Yunnan including Jinghong , Dali, Lijiang , Zhongdian and Ruili . It also has international departures to Laos and Vietnam , though these services are not always running.
Get around in Kunming
City Buses are 1 RMB apiece and cover most of the city. Especially useful is the number 5 bus which runs along Dongfeng lu, and passes the Camelia Hotel, Government Square , and the Provincial Museum .
Taxis start at 8 RMB and usually have reliable meters. As usual, care should be taken when travelling at night or long distances (agree on a price ahead of time), but Kunming 's cabbies are comparatively honest.
By Bicycle:Bicycles can be rented at most hostels and hotels for about 20 RMB a day.
- Provincial Museum - admission is 10 RMB - the museum has several permanent exhibitions on the history of the Kunming area and contains a collectionn of artefacts dating back over 2500 years. The collection is excellent, the exhibition visually spectacular & has a large amount of information in English.
- Kunming City Museum , a simple museum whose main attraction is a central pillar taken from an old temple (now destroyed) and other relics from the Dian kingdom (a tribute state of the Western Song dynasty). Admission is 5 RMB, free on Sundays, and includes a tour. As at August 2006, the main attraction, the fossil & dinosaur exhibition is currently undergoing complete renovation & is not open for visitors. A large part of the museum is taken up by a series of shops selling fossils/minerals (warning : many of the fossils are fakes) plus overpriced Chinese paintings, textiles, porcelains & some furniture.
- Kunming Botanical Gardens
- Karst Topography
- Dianchi Lake
- Cuihu Lake Park , Greenlake Park , located near the University in the Northwestern part of town, is a pleasant expanse of park and lake that serves as a mellow hang-out.
- Village of Ethnic Culture
- Jindian ( Golden Temple ) Park
- Western Mountain Forest Reserve
- Stone Forest
- Jiuxiang Scenic Spot , a complex of caves and scenery about 80 Km outside of Kunming . Tour buses cost about 300 to 400 RMB and usually include admission. Otherwise, public buses run from the Eastern bus station to the town of Jiuxiang or nearby towns. If you time it right, you can get a direct bus, otherwise two buses will do, for a total cost of about 35 RMB per person. Entrance to the park is a steep 90 RMB.
- Yuantong Mountain
- Grand View Pavilion
- Qiongzhu (Bamboo) Temple
- Local Muslim culture and food
When to Visit
Kunming is a "Spring City", since it's Spring like weather all year around, it's good to visit any time of the year.
Where to Stay
- Camelia Hotel is a long standing relatively cheap hotel/hostel. It is located on Dongfeng Donglu a few blocks east of Beijing Lu. Dorms are 30 RMB, Doubles 120 to 240 RMB; prices are fixed. Rooms are clean, staff is polite and mostly English speaking. Showers, laundry, and internet/business services are available.
- City Cafe is a cafe, bar, and erstwhile guesthouse off Dongfeng Donglu, a block West of Camelia Hotel on the North side of the street. Upon last inspection it was still renting rooms, however it has occasionally shut down for unknown reasons in the past. Doubles should go for about 20 to 30 RMB and vary in cleanliness. The staff is very nice, though very little English is spoken. There have been a couple complaints of dishonest behavior by the owner concerning the cafe.
- Hump over the Himalayas is a cafe, bar, and hostel on Jinbi Lu. It is on the third floor and has a balcony where you can have drinks while overlooking Jinbi Square . Dorm beds are 25 RMB per night with a 25 RMB deposit for the key. The staff speaks some English. Upon arriving, you will be handed a card for each night you stay which entitles you to a small breakfast consisting of a coffee and three or four pieces of toast and jam.
- Spring City Inn (also known as Yunnan Machinery Hotel ). A new hotel built in a quiet courtyard off busy Baita Lu. Fantastic value, exceptionally clean twin rooms, nice staff, a/c, breakfast included. Standard rooms with ensuite bath are RMB 138 (June 2006). For laundry service go just around the corner to the Aoma Meili Pub (10 RMB/kg).
This article is based on information from an article on Wikitravel contributed by Hannes Mannerheim, Evan Prodromou, Jani Patokallio, Thomas Hayward, Darrin Magee,Parkerss, WindHorse, Jonboy, Pashley, Ront and anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0