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Kunming Travel Guide

Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, is the political, cultural, economic, and transportation center of Yunnan Province and a portal to Southeast Asia and southwest China. A large number of travelers have been attracted there to enjoy its spring-like climate and spectacular scenery.

Where is Kunming Located?

Kunming is located on the Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, in southwest China. From Kunming, you can visit Xishuangbanna to the south, explore snow-capped Shangri-La to the west, and appreciate Luoping's rape flowers to the east.

Visa-Free Travel

Want a visa-free trip to Kunming? This has been available since October 1st, 2014. Passengers from 51 countries/regions including the US, Canada, and most of the countries in Europe using Chuangshui International Airport for transit are now allowed 3 visa-free days in Kunming. More on the 72-Hour Visa-Free Policy>>>

See our 3-Day Kunming Highlight Tour.

Top Reasons to Visit Kunming

Dongchuan Red LandDongchuan Red Land
  • Kunming is known as "the Spring City" due to the fact that every season is like spring. It is a good place to escape the hot summer and the frozen winter.
  • Covered with blossoms and lush vegetation all year round, Kunming is reputed as "the Flower City".
  • Home to many ethnic minority groups, Kunming is the focal point of the Yunnan minority culture.
  • Blessed with karst landscapes, snowcapped mountains, and red lands, Kunming is a heaven for photographers.
  • It is convenient to travel from Beijing/Shanghai/Xi'an, and easy to travel to Lijiang/Dali/Shangri-La/Chengdu.

The Must-See Attractions

The beautiful natural scenery, glorious historical heritages, and colorful folk customs made Kunming one of the first excellent tourist destination cities in China. Kunming has become a comprehensive tourist destination with tourism, holiday-spending, sightseeing, and entertainment combined as one.

Naigu Stone ForestNaigu Stone Forest
  • The Stone Forest World Geopark: It is a large comprehensive tourist zone with natural scenery, folk customs, and scientific research combined; and it's the spikiest karst landscape in the world.
  • Dongchuan Red Land: It is the most typical and characteristic red land in Yunnan Plateau. Praised as "God's palette", it is an ideal place for photography.
  • Green Lake Park (Cuihu Park): Dotted with verdant bamboo forests and willows, it is a green gem embedded in Kunming.
  • Western Hills (Xishan) Forest Park: It has enjoyed great fame for its beautiful and unique natural scenery since ancient times and is renowned as "the most beautiful place in Yunnan".
  • Yuantong Temple: It is the oldest Buddhist temple in Kunming and it houses the 3.5-meter (11.5 feet) tall statue of Sakyamuni.

Best Times to Visit Kunming

Kunming is suitable for travel throughout the year. The annual average temperature of Kunming is 15°C (59°F); the hottest and coldest temperatures are 32°C (89°F) in summer and 6°C (43°F) in winter respectively.

It's rather rainy in April, May, October, and November due to the influence of a monsoon wind. You're highly recommended to take a coat with you owing to the large temperature difference between the daytime and the nighttime.

Many ethnic festivals, such as the Flower Appreciating Festival (on March 3rd) and the Water Splashing Festival (from April 13th to April 15th), are held from March to April; what's more, you also have a chance to appreciate the flowers in full bloom.

Western HillWestern Hills

Know Before Visiting 

1. Situated on a high plateau, Kunming is exposed to strong ultraviolet radiation, so visitors are advised to bring along sun cream with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor).

2. The weather is changeable, with very big difference of temperature between day and night. So adequate outer clothing is a must for evening and night use, and this is even more important during the fall.

3. Kunming is blessed with cultural diversity, thanks to its large and thriving population of ethnic minorities. Since each ethnic group may have certain unique customs and traditions, you are urged to show restraint in general when visiting ethnic villages.

The Most Popular Kunming Tours

Naxi MinorityThe Naxi Minority

Do you want to tour Kunming with a local expert? Our professional guide will lead you to explore the less visited and more remote areas of the Stone Forest, and tell you the best places to take photographs in Dongchuan Red Land.

Here are our most popular Kunming tours, for your reference:

Contact us for a customized tour.

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