Kunming Travel Guide
the capital city of Yunnan Province, serves as the center of the
province in terms of politics, economics and culture. It is a tourist
city known for its perennially pleasant weather, intriguing highland
scenes and sights, and venerated history. Thus it has been entitled
as "one of the historical and cultural cities of China."
Kunming, although a huge city, is exceptionally clean and tidy.
The city has the best climate of all Chinese cities, and is popularly
known as the "Spring City." The city's products include
foodstuffs, trucks, machine tools, electrical equipment, textiles,
chemicals, building materials and plastics.
Kunming covers an area of 15,561sq.km
with a population of 3.7 million. The area enjoys a
pleasant climate with little change in temperature throughout
the year. The temperature averages about 15 C in the
urban area, 19.7 C in the summer and 7.5 C in the winter.
Kunming does not have severe winters or hot summers
and the natural features of the four seasons are clearly
defined, the rainy season is between May and October
when 85% of the annual rainfall of 1,000mm falls. The
main rivers are the Nujiang, Lancang, Jinsha, Yuanjiang,
One fascinating aspect of the city
is the many different cultures and nationalities thriving
here. Various cultural and religious activities are
practiced by the people and add to the vibrancy and
color of Kunming city life. There are twenty-four ethnic
minorities, mainly: Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai, Miao,
Lisu, Hui, Lahu ,Va, Naxi, Yao, Tibetan, Jingpo, Bulang,
Pumi, Nu, and Achang. Each group has its own language.
The main religion in Kunming is Buddhism.
long as 2,000 years ago, Kunming served as a major textile distribution
center on the "Southern Silk Road." This section of the
road started from Sichuan, traversed through Yunnan and continued
on into Vietnam. In the 14th century the Ming Dynasty took over
Yunnanfu, as Kunming was then known, building a walled town on the
present site. In the 19th century, the city suffered several sieges
at the hands of the sultan of Dali. Kunming came under western influence
during the middle of the 19th century when France took control of
Indochina, and Britain took control of Burma, accessing the city
from the south. By 1900 Kunming had opened for foreign trade. The
French sought to capitalize on the region's copper, tin and lumber
resources and in 1910 their Indochina Railroad reached the city
and is still in operation today. Kunming expanded during WWII, when
factories were established and refugees from eastern China, fleeing
the Japanese, poured into the city. Anglo-American forces sent supplies
to Nationalist troops entrenched in Sichuan and Yunnan to help their
efforts against the Japanese. Supplies came overland on the famous
Burma Road, a 1000-km haul from Lashio to Kunming's Renmin Road,
a road carved out of the mountains in 1937-38 by 160,000 Chinese
with virtually no modern equipment.