August 30, 2009

Kunming  is a prefecture-level city and capital of Yunnan province, in southwestern China. Because of its year-round temperate climate, Kunming is often called the “Spring City” or “City of Eternal Spring”. Endowed with a pleasant climate, the city is adorned with more than 400 kinds of flowers and is covered all the year round with the rich verdure of trees and plants. Kunming is the political, economic, communications and cultural center of Yunnan, and is the seat of the provincial government. It is also home to several universities, museums, galleries and other important economic, cultural, and educational institutions. The headquarters of many of Yunnan’s large businesses are in Kunming as well. It was important during World War II as a Chinese military center, American air base, and transport terminus for the Burma Road. Located in the middle of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, Kunming is located at an altitude of 1,900 m above sea level and at a latitude just north of the Tropic of Cancer. It covers an area of 21,501 km² and its urban area covers 6,200 km². Kunming has an estimated population of 5,740,000 including 3,055,000 in the urban area and is skirted on three sides by mountains, with one side opening onto the Dianchi Lake.

In ancient times Kunming was an important gateway to the celebrated Silk Road which conducted to Tibet, Sichuan, Myanmar and India. Nowadays, it is still the leading transportation hub (air, road, rail) in SW China, with a rail connection to Vietnam and road links to Burma and Laos as well as an important trading center between the far west and central and south China. It is one of China’s largest producers of copper. Copper is smelted with nearby hydroelectric power. Coal is mined, and the city has a few iron and steel complexes. Other manufactures include phosphorus, chemicals, machinery, textiles, paper, and cement.

The city’s highland scenery is alluring, its karst landform is bewitching. Its people are known for their varied and exotic habits and customs, and its land is pockmarked with historical artifacts, places of cultural interest, and gardens landscaped with a picturesque taste. Among the major scenic spots of Kunming are the Dianchi Lake, the Cuihu Lake, the Village of Ethnic Culture, the Jindian (Golden Temple) Park, the Western Mountain Forest Reserve, the Stone Forest, the Jiuxiang Scenic Belt, the Yuantong Mountain, the Grand View Pavilion, and the Qiongzhu Temple.

Monthly Average Temperature
Climate unit Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
Temperature ‘F 49 52 58 64 67 67 68 68 65 60 55 50 
Precipitation in. 0.6 0.7 1.1 1.6 5.0 5.6 7.7 7.8 3.8 2.0 2.2 0.6

 

August 30, 2009

 

Located in Lunan County, The Stone Forest is known as the ” First Wonder of the World ” for its natural landscape. It is 86 km southeast of Kunming where a high – grade road extends to the park entrance.” If you have visited Kunming without seeing the stone forest, you have wasted your time ” warns a local saying, expressing the deep love of the local people toward this natural wonder. The quintessential karst landscape leaves every tourist lost in wonder.As you wander though the Stone Forest, you will be surrounded by the rising stone peaks, layer after layer of green hills, and the wide -spread stone peaks of the forest. What a strange stone world this is! The scenery of ” Figure of Ashima “, ” Shi Ba Xiang Song ” ( originated from a Chinese love story ” Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai ” ) and ” Lotus peak ” greatly astonish visitors; the scenic spots ” One Piece of Thread Sky ” , ” Close Call “, and ” Sword Peak Pond ” are all miraculous. You will be astonished by the unique peaks and strange caves, by the Flying-Down Mountain Spring, and by Plateau lake. All these wonders combine to present you with a picture of astounding natural beauty.In addition, to the parks natural beauty there are also a number of other cultural attractions which will greatly enhance the enjoyment of the trip as well as increasing your knowledge of the regions rich heritage. Some of the main attractions include: the colorful ethnic cultures and ancient folklore of the Stone Forest, the amazing legends of ” Ashima “, the ” Torchlight Festival ” of the Sani people on June 24 of each year, and of course the warm and spirited Yi nationality dance ” Axi Dance Under Moonlight “

August 30, 2009

The park, sprawling for more than 133.3 hectares on the Mingfeng Mountain seven kilometers northeast of Kunming, is a national forest reserve. With a natural scenery mingled with sites of historical interest and man-made gardens, it is also a large scenic resort in Kunming. The ‘ 99 International Horticultural Exposition will take place there. It covers a total area of 218 hectares, and  76.7% of the site is vegetated. In this exhibition area, 120 hectares are on bush-covered mountain slopes, some 12 percent of the surface are lakes or ponds. The flourishing vegetation and bush – land as well as water surface furnish excellent natural environment for the Exposition.
On the Mingfeng Mountain stands the exquisite and serene Golden Temple, 6.7 meters in height and 7.8 meters in width, and cast of 250 tons of solid bronze. It is the largest bronze hall in China.

 

 

August 30, 2009

Yunnan Ethnic Villages, situated six kilometers south of Kunming, is a 2,000 mu theme park bordering on the south by the Dianchi Lake and on the west by the famous Western Mountains Scenic Area.
The famous historical and cultural city of Kunming is in the north of the villages. Each of the 26 ethnic peoples of Yunnan will have a village built on the premises, and there will also be a square symbolizing unity among various ethnic groups, a theatre for the performance of ethnic songs and dances, a folklore museum, and a museum of ethnic waxworks. When completed, the Yunnan Ethnic Villages will become an epitome of Yunnan as a multi-ethnic province, and an immense garden in south Chinese horticultural and landscaping traditions.

 

 

The forest reserve on the west bank of the Dianchi Lake consists of the Huating, Taihua and Luohan mountains, which extend for more than 40 kilometers at an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level. This is a colossal natural forest reserve, its lofty chain of mountains crisscrossed by gurgling brooks and streams. Ancient trees heap up rich piles of foliage, and birds warble and flutter in the midst of fragrant flowers.
Viewed from the southeast corner of Kunming, the entire forest reserve looks like a beautiful maiden reclining leisurely by the Dianchi Lake, her long hair quivering in the limpid water. Hence the nickname of the Western Mountains Forest Reserve, ” Sleeping Beauty”.

 

August 30, 2009

 

Built on the steep rock hills, the carved stone ” Dragon Gate ” consists of the major part, which was cut from the 46th year of Qianlong Era (178l) to the third year of Xianfeng Time in the Qing Dynasty. No tourist can but be astonished at such elegant carving on such precipitous hills. On March 3, every lunar year, hundreds of Kunming people crowd up to the hills for celebrating their traditional distinguished gathering called “Spring Touring”, dancing and singing on the green western hills.

August 30, 2009

 

The Dianchi Lake, 370 square kilometers in area, 44 meters deep, and 1,885 meters in elevation, is the eighth largest lake in China and the largest in Yunnan Province. Because of its exceptional charms the lake is nicknamed ” Sparkling Pearl Imbedded in a Highland “. Its shores are dotted with scenes of rich scenic beauty and areas of historical significance. Sailing on the lake proves a most enchanting experience with the boat swaying gently on a vast surface of liquid silver. At night, the moon casts a hazy glow over the lake, and the silence of the scene is broken only by the gentle sigh of a refreshing breeze.