A Peaceful Retreat to Kunming – China

Kunming is a beautiful city which is also known as the “Spring City of China” due to the pleasant spring like climate that persist all year long in the city. Also it is the capital city of China Yunnan province. The city enjoys excellent natural sceneries and is surrounded by attractive mountains, lakes and many more beautiful places to visit. A great number of tourists visit Kunming to enjoy the beauty of the city as well for business purposes.

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Places to visit

Stone Forest at Kunming

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The Stone Forest is one of the world’s most stunning natural creations. It is just southeast of Kunming in Shilin County. It is only a three hour drive from Kunming and is commonly said that a visit there without visiting the stone forest is “a waste of time”. The Stone Forest is made up of countless awesome natural rock formations that will truly boggle your mind. This natural phenomenon is said to have begun taking shape about 270 million years ago in the Carboniferous Period. The area is believed to have been originally under the ocean. With eons of movement of the earth crust the area rose and broke through. The limestone left behind went through sun, rain, wind, and earthquakes and finally developed into the beautiful Stone Forest we see today. This amazing labyrinth is 350 square kilometers (135 square miles) and boasts many different areas each with its own special features. They include the Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Subterranean Stone Forest, Strange Wind Cave, Long Lake, and Dadie Waterfall.

Fuxian Lake at Kunming

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Clear, blue, swimmable water – it sounds more like a fantasy than a description of a modern Chinese lake. But Fuxian Lake remains one of the country’s best-preserved lakes, due to its remarkable depth and relative obscurity. Yunnan’s deepest and clearest lake is only a couple of hours from Kunming. Fuxian’s cleanness makes it unique; also Fuxian has boating, beaching and even swimming. These activities, combined with the lake’s proximity to Kunming, make it good place for an enjoyable stay.

Daguan Park at Kunming

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As one of the popular parks in Kunming City, Daguan Park (means Grand View Park) covers an area of 478,000 square meters. The park consists of seven tourist areas, including Jinhuapu, Louwailou (pavilion beyond pavilion), Mindscape Garden, East Garden, Yu Manor, Lu Garden and New West Garden. Divided by style of different ages, Daguan Park can be classified into three regions – the “historic garden” that is made up of the Jinwupu, the Louwailou, the Mindscape Garden and the East Garden and features in the style of Ming and Qing dynasties; the “south garden” that contains the Yu Manor and Lu Garden and features the confluent beauty of Chinese and western gardening popular in China between 1912 and 1949; and the “west garden”, a modern scenic area that reflects the art of modern landscape architecture and captivates people with its interesting and exciting leisure and recreations. The three regions are elaborately connected by traditional Chinese bridges, pavilions and embankments, together with green trees and flower blossoming creating a nice Chinese classical frame.

Yuantong Temple at Kunming

Temple

Nestled in the heart of central Kunming, Yuantong Temple is a popular tourist destination. Originally built over 1,000 years ago, the Buddhist temple has undergone multiple restorations – including one currently in progress.

Visitors descend through several gates and eventually emerge in a watery courtyard. Turtles populate the pond, drawing at least as much attention as the architecture. Red and gold lions claw their way out of the mouldings. Worshippers stand before the murky water, incense sticks clasped between two palms. The temple is an important pilgrimage site in Yunnan, and it attracts Buddhists from around the province.

Shopping at Kunming

With the interaction and blending of different cultures, religions and lifestyles, travelers coming to Kunming regard shopping as a form of entertainment. There is a treasure trove of great souvenirs here ready for you to dig up. While jade and marble arts and crafts are abundant, there are plenty of special and rare items unique to Yunnan.

Kunming is one of the country’s best places to purchase wood carvings carved from blocks of natural wood. Also Dai brocade is famous not only for its beauty and durability, but for the rich symbolism woven into it with silk or cotton. The vibrant reds and greens pay homage to the ancestors of the Dai; elephant patterns stand for a good harvest season; while peacocks indicate luck and fortune. Kunming is a heaven for Brocade shopping. Kunming is also famous for Batik. Batik is a special process used by Yunnan’s ethnic minorities to pattern cloth. Wax is melted and splotched onto (usually cotton) textiles in the desired pattern. The cloth is then dropped into a vat of dye, after which the wax is boiled off, leaving intricate impressions on the material.

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Entertainment at Kunming

Teahouses & Bars

Located on the east side of the city, the Xinyin Residential District is renowned for its typical Chinese teahouses and Chinese bars. Locals and tourists alike frequent the various teahouses sampling the finest tea that the province has to offer. Visitors interested in exchanging travel stories and tips always find this a worthwhile cultural experience. The Kundu Bar Area is the place for those seeking a livelier time. Many of Kunming’s young people flock here nightly to enjoy rock n’ roll music, karaoke, flashy discos, and video arcades. Meanwhile, the bars and cafes around Yunnan University are good bets for a festive evening full of fun. Two of the more famous hangouts are Black Knight Club and Camel Bar.

Kundu Night Market

Visitors that missed the chance to browse the markets during the daytime can instead head to the Kundu Night Market. It offers many ethnic specialties as well as jewelry, brocades, and jade. The hustle and bustle of the night market, combined with bargain hunting and lots of gift items, are sure to bring a merry evening and happy memories.

Festival Events

Festivals play an important role in the lives of Kunming’s people. Among the most popular are the Kunming International Culture and Tourism Festival, the Kunming International Flower Exhibition, and the Yi Torch Festival. Be sure to check out when these will be held so that you can join in the fun.

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