as the capital city of Yunnan, serves as the center of the province
in terms of politics, economics and culture. Although a huge city
(population 3.75 million), Kunming is exceptionally clean and tidy.
What's more, the city has the best climate of all Chinese cities,
popularly known as the "Spring City". Kunming does not
have severe winters or hot summers and the natural features of the
four seasons are clearly defined.
Although the city is not the final
destination for many travelers to Yunnan, Kunming has
a lot to offer visitors. The rich cultural and historical
heritage here offer a wealth of treasures. The Golden
Temple Park and the Bamboo Temple are essential stops
on the tourist route.
The city also boasts numerous natural
attractions, the Stone Forest being the most popular,
winning world fame for of its breathtaking beauty.
Another fascinating aspect of the
city are the many different cultures and nationalities
thriving here. Various cultural and religious activities
are practiced by the people here and add to the vibrancy
and color of Kunming city life. These different minority
groups produce a wealth of cuisine and entertainment-
inspirational to the weary China traveler.
As early as 2000 years ago, Kunming
served as a major textile distribution center on the
"Southern Silk Road" which started from Sichuan,
traversed through Yunnan and continued on to Vietnam.
In 1910, the Dianyue railway (from Yunnan to Vietnam)
was opened, thus enabling Kunming to develop as a business
and industrial center.
Tourism is now one of the major incomes
here. The recent 1999 Kunming International Horticulture
Exposition gave the city a major face lift, making it
an even more attractive spot to be based for travel