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Top Things to Do in Kunming

Last updated by vincentg1991 at 2016/4/5; Destinations: Kunming

Kunming is also referred to as spring city. It is very appropriate for people to escape from hot summer day. Because of the geographical position of Kunming, it is featured in the weather. Visitors come to Kunming will find it cool in summer and not so cold in winter. It makes the city covered with verdure of trees and plants all the year round.

Kunming is the provincial capital city of Yunnan. It is also the “business card” of Yunnan. The comfortable climate, charming landscapes and the long history and culture are always the attractive reasons for visiting Kunming.

Below are some suggestions on what to do in Kunming. Welcome to the graceful Kunming and enjoy the trip in the charming city!


Top 10 Attractions in Kunming

No. 1 Stone Forest

Stone Forest(石林) is a giant forest of limestone pillars and  is located in the northeast of Kunming. Visitors can take a train from Kunming for one and a half hour to Stone Forest. Kunming is featured in karst landform. It is the only scenic spot area on the plateau in the world. Visitors can see dark grey stones protruding from the ground and form different shapes.

The stones stand like forest around visitors. It is a good idea to find a tour guide to lead to right way to visit the scenic spot. Using the imagination and the creation, visitors can find out the rocks is whatever it is wanted to be. The stones are said to be in the ocean million years ago and now are the fossils of the undersea world. Visitors can see what the undersea world is like millions years ago.

Admission Fee: 175Yuan/Person
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:00
How to get there: take buses from Kunming East Station or Kunming North Station

Kunming Stone Forest

No. 2 Dianchi Lake

Dianchi Lake(滇池) is the biggest freshwater lake in Yunnan Province. The lake is located in the southwest of Kunming and is famous for reputation of the Pearl on the Plateau. The lake is a charming scenic spot because it is on the plateau; the lake will reflex the blue sky and the changing cloud and golden sunshine.

In winter, there are plenty of Larus ridibundus(红嘴鸥) coming to Dianchi Lake to live through and escape from the cold weather in the north. Visitors can see a lot of Larus ridibundus flying the on surface of the lake.

Admission Fee: free
Opening Hours: all day long
How to get there: take Buses No. 24 or 44 to Haigeng Park from the Train Station

Kunming Dianchi Lake

No. 3 Jiuxiang

Jiuxiang(九乡) is located in the Yi and Hui Autonomous Township. There are five attractions in the area, including: the Diehong Bridge, the Dasha Dam, the Sanjiao Cave, the Alu Long and the Mingyue Lake. The highlight of the scenic spot is the karst cave. The caves are formed over 600 million year ago. A massive cave contains many small caves, gorges, rivers, bridges and one 10000 square meter large underground hall with a white-elephant-shaped cave gate.

Admission Fee: 90Yuan/
Opening Hours: 08:30 to 17:30
How to get there: take Bus No. 5 to Kunming Chengxi Station and then transfer Bus No. 6 to Jiuxiang Scenic Area

No. 4 Fly Dragon Waterfall

The fly Dragon Waterfall(飞龙瀑) is also called Dadieshui(大叠水) Waterfall. The waterfall is divided into two parts. The first part is called the Xiaodieshui(小叠水). The drop height of Xiaodieshui is about 5 meters. Another part is called the Dadieshui. It has a drop height of about 88 meters. The waterfall is the biggest one in Yunnan Province. The gorge where the waterfall locates boasts charming scenery of verdure of trees and varieties of shapes of stones.

Admission Fee: 18Yuan/Person
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:00
How to get there: take bus from Shilin County for about 25 kilometers to the Dieshui Electricity Station and walk alone the path for 2 to 3 kilometers

No. 5 Western Hills

Western Hills lies in the western suburbs of Kunming. It is also called the “Sleeping Buddha Hills” or “sleeping beauty”. This is a tourist spot many foreigners will visit. The interesting thing about it is that the stone-slabbed path to reach the dragon gate was entirely built by some religious hermits, manually, using simple tools, about 400 years ago.

There is a legend of the Western Hills. In the ancient time, there was a princess couldn’t stand the loneliness in the palace, so she escaped and get married with a man out of the palace. The king knew about it and separated them. The man was killed and the princess’s heart broke and cried bitterly. Then the tears of her became the Dianchi Lake and she fell to the ground becoming the Western Hills.

Admission Fee: free
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 6 or 51 to get there; or take Tourist Bus from Yunnan Hotel

Kunming Western Hills

No. 6 Kunming Horticulture Expo Garden

Kunming horticulture Expo Garden is located in the northeast suburbs of Kunming. It is the site where used to host the Kunming International Horticultural Exposition. It really attracts many horticulture addicts to come to have a visit to the varieties of plants. In this garden, visitors can enjoy over 2,000 different kinds of magnificent plants, and 112 categories of them are considered rare and are listed endangered species.

The contents of the garden are very amazing. There is a park in the garden. In the park, there are gardens showing the buildings and typical elements of Chinese and the international garden. When visitors stroll in the garden, it is like walking in a world of international typical building.

Admission Fee: 100Yuan/Person (in the morning); 70Yuan/Person (after 2 p.m.)
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 10, 68, 69 or 71 to Kunming Horticulture Expo Garden

No. 7 Black Dragon Pool

Black Dragon Pool(黑龙潭) is located in the 15 kilometers to the north of Kunming. The water in the pool is deep and clean and never dried even in the year of drought.

The best season to visit the place is winter. There is a plum garden contains 150 different kinds of plums and 10, 000 plum trees, making it one of the few-in-number biggest plum gardens in China. In winter, visitors can appreciate the plum blossom

Admission Fee: 10Yuan/Person
Opening Hours: all day long
How to get there: take Bus No. 9 to the Black Dragon PoolKunming Black Dragon Pool

No. 8 Yuantong Temple

Yuantong Temple is one of the oldest temples in Kunming and also the most special. It has a temple-like outlook and a garden-like interior. An octagonal pavilion situated in a square lake is the main highlight and was picturesque in sunshine. Visitors can see gold fish in the lake and turtles in the temple.

The Hall of Perfection and Success (Yuantong Baodian) is the main temple where there are some 14th century Buddhist statues donated by the king of Thailand and two Ming period (1368-1644) dragons made from coloured clay, which are coiled around two pillars, in order to calm the dragon in the lake according to the legend. 

Admission Fee: 8Yuan/Person
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 17:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 4, 59, 74, 83 or 101 to Yuantong Mountain Station

Kunming Yuantong Temple

No. 9 Qiongzhu Temple

Qiongzhu Temple is a place of interest located on the Yu’an Mountain. The name of the temple comes from a type of bamboo. The highlight of Qiongzhu Temple is the five hundred of colored clay sculptures of Arhats.

In the legend, there are two brothers hunting on the mountain. They saw a rhinoceros and decided to seize it. When they ran to the north of Yu’an Mountain, the rhinoceros disappeared, only seeing some bamboo (qiongzhu) cane sticked in the earth. The next day, they came back to the place where the cane standing, they found the bamboo cane became a bamboo forest. The brothers thought it was a sacred place and built a temple named Qiongzhu Temple.

Admission Fee: 6Yuan/Person
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 17:00
How to get there: take Buses 7 or Fu 7 to Heilinpu, then transfer the minibus to Qiongzhu Temple

No. 10 Daguan Park

Daguan Park is located in the southwestern suburb of Kunming City. The highlight of the park is to enjoy the magnificent scenery. Visitors can sail the boat to the middle of the Dianchi Lake and take a good view of the Western Hills.

Admission Fee: 10Yuan/Person
Opening Hours: 07:00 to 19:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 4, 54, 22, 52 or 100 from the downtown area to get there

Snacks in Kunming

Kunming boasts magnificent scenery and the ethnic culture as well as the featuring local snacks. Across Bridge Rice Noodle(过桥米线), Xuanwei Ham(宣威火腿), Modern Cake or Modern Baba(摩登粑粑), Shao Mai(烧卖) are must-eat-snack in Kunming. Visitors can go to the streets of food to have a bite of Kunming.

Across Bridge Rice Noodle

Related Kunming Tours

For sheer dramatic natural beauty, Kunming in Yunnan province takes some beating. China Travel provides professional travel service and knowlegeable local guides with our local agents. The Half Day Kunming Culture Tour (Private Tour, 1-Day Private Kunming Classic City Tour and 1-Day Private Stone Forest Tour from Kunming are our newest tour elaborately designed for foreign travelers. Visitors can also contact us and we will help you design your China dream trip. China Travel is a travel agency specializing in tailor-made travel service.