- Park and garden
- Art & Culture
The place they call the "City of Eternal Spring" is considered to be one of the nicest cities in China, due to the purity of its air and the mildness of its climate.
Built by the edge of Lake Dian and surrounded by mountains, Kunming is home to some wonderful attractions it would be a shame to miss. Before continuing on your travels through Yunnan, take the time to stroll around the bird and flower market, go for walks in Emerald Lake Park and Daguan Park, or visit the temples outside the city.
Another essential site to visit (though it receives very large numbers of visitors) is the Stone Forest, a natural curiosity consisting of amazing rock formations which has served as the inspiration for Chinese legends and superstitions.
On arriving from Beijing, I immediately decided to hit the countryside by climbing up the stony paths in this rocky forest and brushing up on my geology. Geologists say that this stone forest has a typical karst topography.
I found sunshine, the cherry blossom in full bloom and lovely hot weather. It's said that Kunming is the 'City of Eternal Spring. And, as far as I'm concerned, it's true.
One part of the site was overrun with Chinese tourists, but on leaving the main paths I found myself more or less alone. For three hours I toured the site, which was fascinating and maze-like. I scrambled around, clawed my way over stone blocks, explored quiet tracks and took the time to sketch. Although it meant I couldn't get on the last bus, as it was full by the time I arrived. I decided to hitch back to Kunming, but a local man gave me a lift in his cart and dropped me off at what seemed to be another bus station.
He seemed to know that this was where I should be left, so I put my trust in him and it paid off; at around 9pm I found the Youth Hostel. In brief, go with the flow and welcome the unexpected during your trip to China!