The city is in a mountain valley that was important as a trade route in the region. It was strategically important and often changed hands among empires and kingdoms. During WWII, it was a strategic allied city and a supply base.
109 BC The Han Empire captured the city and gained partial control of the Southern Silk Road.
765 AD The Nanzhao captured the city after rebelling against the Tang Empire.
1253 The Mongols captured the city.
1910 A rail line to Hanoi was built, and the city began to modernize and grow.
1937 Kunming grew rapidly and industrialized when wealthy businessmen, the Chinese army and Western air forces made Kunming a major war base against Japan.
Significance of the city: The city has natural resources and energy resources to exploit that has made it an industrial city, and it is also a major tourist city.
Nearby cities: Dali (251 km/156 mi), Lijiang (315 km/196 mi)
Municipality terrain: The city is on the north shore of the large Dianchi Lake in a mountain valley amid high mountains.
Municipality location: 24 °23′—26 °22′N, 102 °10′—103 °40′E; in southwestern China
Municipality population: 6,432,212
Municipality area: 31,473 sq km (8,290 sq mi)
Municipality population density: 300/sq km (776/sq mi)
Urban area: 2,081 sq km (805 sq mi)
Urban population: 3,200,000
Urban population density: 1,537/sq km (3,982/sq mi)
North to south distance of main urban area: 16 km (10 mi)
East to west distance of main urban area: 21 km (13 mi)
City Center: Yunnan University (25.05N, 102.71E)
Annual average low temperature in January: 2.3 °C (36 °F)
Annual average high temperature in June:24.1 °C (75.4 °F)
Humid subtropical climate; annual precipitation: 1,011 mm (40 in) The climate is cool and frosty at night in the winters.
Average annual income: 33,550 RMB (4,800 USD)
Development: developing; the city is developing as a tourist and resort region an as an industrial center with commercial connections to Southeast Asian countries.
Shopping Streets: Dongfeng East Road (camping and outdoors gear), Kunming Flower and Bird Market (local products)
Kunming Changshui International Airport is a very large and new airport costing 3 billion US that opens in 2011 and will replace the older Kunming airport. Air traffic is expected to surge when it is fully operational in 2012, and it is projected to be the country's fourth busiest airport.