Kunming

Kunming, an ancient cultural city, is the capital of Yunnan Province. It is situated 1,894 meters above sea level, with an annual mean temperature of 14.5 centigrade, hence its name the City of Perpetual Spring. Kunming has 26 ethnic peoples including Han, Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai, and Miao. It is one of Southeast Asia’s transportation hubs, with convenient land and air connections. Kunming is known for its rich tourist resources, mild climate, beautiful plateau landscape, long history, and ethnic folklore. It is known as the Kingdom of Animals, Plants, and Non-Ferrous Metals.

Stone Forest: The Stone Forest consists of exceptionally beautiful limestone formations. In a 350-square-kilometer area, there are oddly-shaped peaks, waterfalls, caves, and lakes. The craggy peaks of Stone Forest were created some 270 million years ago when the sea covered the whole region and a thick layer of limestone was deposited on the seabed. Movement of the earth’s crust caused the seabed to thrust upward and become land. Eons of weathering and erosion have molded the stone into groups of pillars, which from a distance resemble a dense mass of trees.

West Mountain: Rising on the western shore of Dianchi Lake, on the southwestern outskirts of Kunming, the mountain is a large nature reserve with many places of interest, such as the Longmen and Tiange grottoes. Grand view Pavilion: The Grand View Pavilion on the southern tip of Grand View Park in western Kunming was built in 1690 and rebuilt in 1866. The door posts are inscribed with 180-word couplets in the handwriting of the popular Qing-Dynasty poet Sun Ranwong.

Dianchi Lake: Lying at the foot of the West Mountain in Kunming, Dianchi Lake covers an area of 320 square kilometers, surrounded by 10 scenic spots. This pearl of the high land is over 40km (25 miles) in length and stretches magnificently from the southwest of Kunming into the Yunnan countryside. In fine weather, fishing boats and small cargo carrying vessels weave across the lakes between villages, but the lake can become as stormy as the sea with seething waves.

Village of Ethnic Culture: Located on the northern side of Dianchi Lake, the village serves as a window through which people learn about the life styles of the 26 ethnic peoples. Jiuxiang Scenic Spot: 90 kilometers from downtown Kunming, this scenic spot has over 100 limestone caves. It is a national-level scenic spot with the greatest number of limestone caves of any scenic spot in China.

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