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Located in the tropical highlands of southwest China, Kunming sits at 6,600 feet (2,011 meters), making it a temperate and mild city. Though Kunming first rose to prominence under the Nanzhao Kingdom, it played a key role at several important points in history; during World War II, it served as a base for the famous Flying Tigers, a squadron of American pilots who dueled Imperial Japanese pilots in the skies over southwest China.
Today, as the gateway to China's southwestern Yunnan province, Kunming has seen a variety of infrastructure projects in recent years, including a new airport that features flights to destinations across Asia. Its conspicuous greenery, wide avenues, and lakeside views make it one of China's most pleasant cities.
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Visit the Flower and Bird Market for a unique shopping experience. Among the flora and fauna for sale, guests can also find many souvenirs crafted by local minorities, include jade and Chinese games.
Dongchuan Rice Terraces
Drive to Dongchuan, home of the beautiful Red Land rice terraces: iron oxide deposits in the soil cause beautiful patches of yellow, red, green and white to grow. Take in the scenery as the multitudinous colors of the rice fields spread out like a palate across the horizon.
Visit the beautiful Tanhua Temple, built in 1634 and home to magnificent gardens designed in the traditional Chinese style. The temple grounds are filled with the famous perennial flowers of Kunming, as well as ancient Buddhist statues and relics.
Shilin Stone Forest
Drive 2.5 hours to the Shilin Stone Forest, a natural wonder of limestone
formations as tall as 100 feet, much like a petrified forest. The park is
littered with pagodas, lakes and vantage points from which to take in the
The area is inhabited by the Sani minority. A distinctive feature of this southern tribe, which descends from the much larger Yi minority, is their hats. On women’s hats in particular, one can identify the person’s marital status.
Yunnan Provincial Museum
Visit the Provincial Museum, where an expert in Yunnan’s eclectic history
and peoples will guide you through the collection of ancient relics of the
many ethnic minorities that populate this diverse province.
Impression of Yunnan
See Impression of Yunnan, a spectacular combination of song and dance that
highlights various customs and celebrations of Yunnan’s many ethnic
Enjoy local Yunnanese food at one of the city’s most exclusive restaurants. Specialties include over-the-bridge rice noodles (guoqiao mixian), steamed potted chicken, and Xuanwei ham.
The story behind guoqiao mixian is a fascinating one: after her husband secluded himself on an island to study for the imperial examinations, his wife brought him daily meals. Unfortunately, by the time she crossed the bridge, the food was often cold; as a solution, she put a thin layer of oil on top of the soup, and separated the ingredients - combining them only before eating. Thus, this distinct noodle soup was born, and has since become a trademark of the area.
Golf your way through China as you travel to some of the country’s best, most prestigious golf courses, in places like Beijing, Xian, Kunming, Lijiang, Guilin, and Shanghai. Among them, you’ll test drive the likes of Spring City Golf & Lake Resort and Merryland Golf Course, all grounds surrounded by stunning nature.
Spend 11 days luxuriating in China’s lush Yunnan province, making your way from Kunming to Dali, Shangri-la, and Lijiang. You’ll stop at local markets, enjoy a fascinating look into China’s lush nature at Green Lake Park and the Yangtze Valley, hike through the iconic Shangri-La, and stay at the luxurious Banyan Tree.
Take an incredible 19-day luxury journey through Vietnam and Cambodia, seeing local life in villages to big cities as you stop in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Yuanyang, Lijiang, and Kunming. You’ll ride a traditional Vietnamese junk, make friends in a Black Hmong village, and wander through the Stone Forest.
Overlooking the tranquil waters of Green Lake, one of Kunmingâ€™s signature landmarks, this hotel is a true, five-star resort. Each of the 365 comfortable, stylish guest rooms and suites feature plush beds, free internet access, air conditioning, and televisions. There is also an in-house restaurant, shopping center, swimming pool, bar, and fitness center. The Green Lake is situated less than half an hour away from Kunming Airport and the Railway Station, and is within walking distance of downtown Kunming and Green Lake Park.
In the bustling capital of China’s southern province of Yunnan, the Sofitel Kunming offers easy access to and an escape from the central business district. The decor throughout the hotel is a blend of continental French chic with touches of local influence, and in the 397 rooms, 42 of which are suites, guests can relax in comfort, enjoying Sofitel’s signature bedding concept - the perfect balance of soft and firm. The hotel’s three restaurants serve a variety of French-influenced, international and local cuisine, so diners are spoiled for choice whether dining in or ordering room service. From the lobby bar to Voyage, the Sofitel’s elegant cocktail lounge, a refreshing selection of drinks are available amid sleek decor, and the hotel’s comprehensive amenities, from the spa and pool to the sporting facilities, are world class.