Kunming Travel Guide

  • Taihua Temple
    Taihua Temple
    by Willettsworld
  • Look at this in enlargement
    Look at this in enlargement
    by melosh
  • Kunming
    by elpariente

Kunming Highlights

  • Pro
    xaver profile photo

    xaver says…

     nice and cheap accomodation, cheap food and drinks 

  • Con
    hooiluangoh profile photo

    hooiluangoh says…

     Litterring, random spitting, and smelly public toilets 

  • In a nutshell
    Ines28 profile photo

    Ines28 says…

     Good starting point to explore China on your own! 

Kunming Things to Do

  • World Horti-Expo Garden

    I visited the World Horti-Expo Garden in August 2003 and was very impressed. The Garden was created for an international expo in 1999. The garden is quite amazing in its contents and selection, and is kept in immaculate condition. It shows the dedication of the Communist leadership to deliver world-class events and sites.The only bad part is the...

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  • Nationalities Village

    I thought this was a cool place. It shows the different minority groups in Yunnan. There is a little 'village' for each group with some buildings and pavilions. There are also people in costume. There is a sign also giving information on the group. I thought the Mongol group was especially interesting. I also thought it was interesting learning how...

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  • Yuantong Temple

    This temple looked really pretty in the posts here with the lake around it. When I went though, there was no water! I don't know if that's permanent or seasonal or what. Now it just looks like all the other temples. The Thai one in the back is unique though. Worth a visit if you have the time. I went on Chinese New Year day, so it was especially...

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Kunming Hotels

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Kunming Restaurants

  • It's a slice of heaven for travelers

    This cafe is a welcome hide-out spot on a pretty tree lined street for when you're needing a break from of China. The coffee is good and the cakes are made on the premises. There seemed to be a good selection of reasonably priced imported wines, some available by the glass. I had a pizza. the sauce and toppings, pork sausage, mushroom, onion jam...

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  • Yunnan Must : Rice Noodles Over the...

    The noodle has a story behind. A man was hiding away in the forest to concentrate on his studies, in preparation for the emperor's examination. The wife took care to deliver his meals everyday from her kitchen in town, only to see the piping hot dishes turn cold when she finally got to where he was. She invented a combo-meal instead, which was a...

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  • Even more erratic service

    I ordered a six course steak meal for Y53, here, which consisted of a soup, shrimps in some kind of sauce, salad, sirloin steak, dessert and a coffee. Well, I have to say that the service was terrible. The steak arrived as the second dish so I had to send it back. It then arrived again at the same time as the salad and was taken away again and then...

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Kunming Nightlife

  • American Barman, great cocktails

    Right by the Camellia Hotel, this was the only place I found in Kunming with a Western barman. The place seems almost like a bar, but not completely... There were no cocktails worth mentioning on the menu, but they could make anything I asked for (I am not a drinker of obscure cocktails). Oh! And they have BBQ ribs!!! Small portion, but still BBQ...

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  • Bar with music

    This bar was very close to where I was staying on the southern side of Green Lake Park and so I popped in one evening to see what it was all about. The place was packed and a live band were playing some kind of Chinese attempt at Rock 'N' Roll. Anyway, I didn't stay very long. A small bottle of Heineken beer cost RNB20.

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  • Discotheque

    At the side entrance of the Bao Shan Hotel, you will find on the third floor a discotheque and at the same floor a big scenery, where every evening a special (chinese) show is performed.Good entertainment, joyful shows and every evening another show. Drinks are not expensive.A nice place, good music, a bit noicy, nice people, good service and very...

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Kunming Transportation

  • Airplane to Kunming

    A good way to reach Kunming is by airplane. From big cities, you have several flights daily and, if you book well in advance, you can buy a ticket for a very good price. I travelled from Shenzhen to Kunming with 40% off the normal fare.

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  • Bus to Dali

    The bus for Dali leaves from the bus station near the train station. Despite the sign saying that it went to Dali (which I checked the Chinese characters in my Lonely Planet against) and not Dali City, the bus only went to Dali City and I had to get another bus the short distance to Dali itself. The main bus cost RMB84 and took around 5 hours....

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  • Buses to the Vietnam border

    We took an overnight sleeper bus from Kunming to the border. It was not pleasant, but it got us where we needed to go! A few things to say about the bus journey, which I hope will prepare you!Upon arrival at Kunming Bus Station we found chaos! We found the bay that our bus was supposed to be in and it was not there! Eventually we located the bus,...

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Kunming Shopping

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  • Traditional Chinese drums and western...

    This amazing instrument shop is located on Renmin Xilu near the Muslim quarter. Inside, it sells a host of different instruments such as acoustic guitars and other western instruments but the main items it seems to specialise in are traditional Chinese drums which were stacked up all over the shop.

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  • Western style shopping

    The main shopping area lies right in the centre of Kunming and is pedestrianised. As well as fashion shops and the like, there are also several good looking restaurants plus the ubiquitous McDonald's and KFC. The area makes for quite a pleasant walk past fountain areas where people in white coats were giving passersby massages. Kunming was the...

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  • Chinese hypermarket

    This was the first Carrefour hypermarket that I came across in China. I love walking round foreign supermarkets as they always offer an insight into the cuisine culture of the locals and this one was selling all kinds of products such as whole fresh chickens, pigs trotters, fresh fish (a lady was trying to catch one with a net when I was there),...

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Kunming Local Customs

  • Local Artist.

    This girl is amazing! She spent 6 years of her life learning how to draw & she'll draw anything for the tourists for only RMB2 (US$0.25) for each proverb. And on top of it all, she'll recite wonderful phrases & wishings while she was drawing. I thought that was such a wonderful experience!

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  • Pork Fat Later

    Nothing is taster the a nite cap of "fei jiu" (pork wine), an alcoholic beverage made only in Yunnan. The only english on the label is " Strong and Handson disposed wine"

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  • Addressing the males and females

    In Kuming, you shall address the female as "Ar Si Ma" and the male as "Ar Hei Ge"Don't call them "Miss" in chinese which is "Xiao Jie" because to them, "Xiao Jie" means those who works in nightclubs and bars.

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Kunming Warnings and Dangers

  • Don't Miss the Urinal

    Apparently, people here need instructions on how to A. use a urinal and B. be decent to one another as far as bathroom etiquette. (Other bathrooms in China tell people how to not miss the urinals, et cetera.) But, I must say, they are quite skilled at going "hands free" at the urinal. This sign was at the Kunming Airport.Self flush...

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  • Almost scammed!

    Don't believe if someone tells you you have to purchase a minimum of a bucket of beers or at least a bottle of whiskey in Barbi. Although it's a norm that the locals drink by the buckets, you can purchase single shots for reasonable price.I almost fell for this but realized later it wasn't, after talking to some people inside...So it's always good...

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  • Men at Work

    In 2002, huge parts of Kunming were sprouting skyscrapers or piling up rubble from demolition of the old quarters. I imagine that work is ongoing. Be careful while walking in areas where work is underway. Often large pieces of metal or other heavy stuff is thrown from up high and land on the sidewalks.On my first day in Kunming, I took this pic of...

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Kunming Tourist Traps

  • Sauna

    I stayed in hotel Camelia and, just next to the hotel there is a sauna.I asked for info and they told me the price for sauna, foot massage and chinese massage, was about 9 euro and it would be 2 hours long.I thought it was a deal and enjoyed.The only problem was that the only minuts I enjoyed, were the ones inside the sauna, as the rest of the...

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  • Kunming international airport

    I arrived at Kunming at 4 pm so, I did expect to find an exchange office opened or, at least some atms in the airport.Once I was done with immigration procedures, I got out, found the atm, tried all the cards I had and got a: your card is not valid answer.So I looked around to check where an excahnge office was and there was none.I went to the...

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  • Kunming seagulls

    Every year the seagulls come top Kunming (green lake) to eat trash What is the big deal about these birds anyways? All they are is Seagull. Basically rats with wings that eat trash and spread disease. And with the threat of bird flu, these birds should be on top of list of birds that should be eradicated. Some people might not agree with point of...

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Kunming What to Pack

  • Pack VERY light if you are a shopaholic

    HUGE, LIGHT and DURABLE. You can buy a lot of things in Kunming and completely go overboard your baggage allowance. Socks and walking shoes, rain gear. Your contact lens disinfectant. If you are a smoker, it's cheaper to buy your cigarettes overseas (max 2 cartons) Your batteries.

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  • Umbrella is a good-to-have (april to...

    umbrella and raincoat. Kunming's rainy season starts from April and ends only in Oct.Kunming can be cold when it rains. And it is normal to have rain, sunshine, rain all within a day.So prepare to wear layers of clothing, so you can peel off or put on depending on the temperature.

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  • Packing List

    The average temperature is 15 degrees Celsius, but it will suddenly drop down to only 5 degrees when it rains. Jacket or sweater should be put in the packing list. Unless rainning, the sun shines strongly enough to cause skin damage. Bring anything that could moisturize the skin and block sun ray.

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Kunming Off The Beaten Path

  • Stone Forest

    Yes, it is incredibly touristy. But walk away from the tourists, don't take a guide and find your own path. You would be surprised how big the forest is and a mere 500 metres from the tourist spots, there is nobody. No noise, no tourists, just you and the forest. Meander away but remember your tracks! Even within the the main tourist spots just go...

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  • Moslem restaurant

    We went to this Moslem restaurant, where the owner tried to shoo us away because he didn't have an English menu! But we stayed on the steps till they accepted us in. And our preseverance paid off. Very nice food.. unless you know a smatter of mandarin you may have to order dishes by the meat name (chicken, duck, fish) or point to something...

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  • Evening / Night walk at the Green lake...

    Take a walk around 8-9 pm in the evening inside the Green lake (2nd entrance) premises. You will find a whole host of Chinese musicians and dancers formed in little groups singing and dancing away. There was a solo woman just singing and dancing by herself. Very friendly folk who try their best to talk to you, despite your horribly accented or...

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Kunming Sports & Outdoors

  • Cometas ( Papalotes ) / Kites

    Aquí como en toda China hay una gran afición a los papalotes , como los llaman en México , y aparte de lo bonito que es ver el cielo con las piruetas que hacen y la gran altura que consiguen da gusto ver a los señores que las manejan la seriedad y profesionalidad con que lo hacen Here as throughout China there is a great love for kites and apart...

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  • Swimming in Kunming

    At home I have a regular swim routine, and one of the first things I did when I arrived in Kunming was find a swimming pool. It was not to had to find, I big red building right off of Dong fen Lu next to the Yunnan Normal university. The pool was not so bad, slightly heated, had a small slightly cool hot tub. Only cost 10 RMB, plus another 10 RMB...

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  • Kunming Hotels

    127 Hotels in Kunming

    22 Reviews and Opinions

Kunming Favorites

  • Siberian gulls at Cuihu park

    Siberian gulls spend harsh winters of their homeland in Kunming. We saw them every day at Cuihu park untill March or begining of April when they were about to fly back to Siberia.Cuihu is admission free park in city centre near Yunnan University and it's one of the popular places to spot gulls, especially in the spring. It's amazing that birds draw...

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  • Springtime All Year Round

    Ever think of going on a holiday in China where the climate is always spring? Then, Kunming should be the answer. It’s a place where spring is all year round thus popularly dubbed as The City of Eternal Spring. It’s the pleasant climate and the colorful blooms that are in abundance in all parks and corners of the city that makes Kunming a lovely...

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  • telephones

    The thing impressed me more going around Kunming was the incredible amount of cellulars shops.One next to the other one, I tried to count them but I soon gave up.This impressed me, because the feeling I had in this city was just that people were absolutely not willing to comunicate, but, seing the number of telephones they sell, I must have been...

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Explore Deeper into Kunming
Stone Forest (Shilin)
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Pine forest at Xi Shan
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So it’s always spring time here in Kunming!
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The Golden Temple
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The Provincial Museum
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Kunming City Museum - Dinosaurs
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Kunming City Museum - Pillar
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Kunming City Museum
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Kunming Zoo - Part 1
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Yuantong Temple
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Bamboo Temple
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Golden Temple Scenic Area - Bell Tower
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Golden Temple
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Golden Temple Scenic Area
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Huating Temple
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Tai Hua ancient mountain track
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Taihua Temple
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Xi Shan
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Xi Shan Cable Car
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Lake Dian
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Erratic service but good food
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Green Lake Park
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West Pagoda
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City Gate
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East Pagoda
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Jinma Biji Square
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Nancheng Mosque
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Muslim Quarter
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Flower & Bird Market
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Yunnan Provincial Museum
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Yunnan Provincial Museum - Bronzes
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Trinity Church
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Kunming-Xishuangbanna
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Kunming-Xishuangbanna
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South China Cuisine
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Car and Driver
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Yummy Fried Goat Cheese
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Western Hills (Xi Shan)
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De / From Kunming a/to Dali
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Templo de - Yuantong - Temple
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Map of Kunming

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