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Overview

Kunming, located on the high plateau of Yunnan Province in southwest China, is famous for its year-round spring climate, its flowers, and its large minority population. It is an easy city to walk, filled with cafes serving local dishes, though its best sights are in the outlying hills: the Bamboo Temple and the Golden Temple with its huge bronze halls; Grand View Park on Lake Dian, resplendent with flower gardens, and above the lake the dizzying heights of Dragon Gate, a Daoist pathway carved into a cliff face. Kunming is gateway to the Stone Forest, a monumental maze of limestone towers and pinnacles, Yunnan's top attraction. Beyond Kunming ...

Kunming, located on the high plateau of Yunnan Province in southwest China, is famous for its year-round spring climate, its flowers, and its large minority population. It is an easy city to walk, filled with cafes serving local dishes, though its best sights are in the outlying hills: the Bamboo Temple and the Golden Temple with its huge bronze halls; Grand View Park on Lake Dian, resplendent with flower gardens, and above the lake the dizzying heights of Dragon Gate, a Daoist pathway carved into a cliff face. Kunming is gateway to the Stone Forest, a monumental maze of limestone towers and pinnacles, Yunnan's top attraction. Beyond Kunming the plateau rises, and snow-capped peaks frame one of China's most enchanting villages, Dali. Long popular with independent travelers, Dali is famed for its café life and the friendliness of the Bai people. This is a prime spot to kick back and enjoy the slower pace of village life. Dali's mountain temples are worth exploring, as are the weekly markets that dot the lakeshore.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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J.D. Brown for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Mild most of the year, especially late autumn into December