Known as the "Land South of Colorful Clouds", the Yunnan province is approximately 394,000 Square kilometers in size and has a population of 42.88 million, in which 12 million of the total population is consisted of 26 different minority ethnic groups; it is the only province in China that has the largest number of minority nationalities, however, the population of these ethnic groups are not the highest in the country. The province pursues a monsoon and mountainous climate, and is occupied by snow-covered mountains, glaciers, lakes, hot springs and tropical rain forests. Together with the minorities' colorful costumes and tents, the natural resources have added much fantastic colors to Yunnan. The province is rated as "the Origins of Colored Metals" and focused on manufacturing copper, lead, etc. At the same time, tea, tobacco, sugar cane and vegetables are the main agricultural crops of the province, whereas authentic traditional dishes include: Yunnan Chicken in Steam Pot, Yunnan style salted ham, rice noodles* and roast duck of Yiliang.
*The thick layers of oil in the rice noodle soup keep it in a really high temperature. Be cautious while consuming the noodles despite there's no visible steam!
Attractions to visit
As the capital of Yunnan province, Kunming pursues an annual spring-like weather, and therefore earned the nickname "Spring City". The warm and gorgeous weather has given rise to a flower-growing industry, in which camellias, orchids, azaleas, primroses and tulips are usually grown. Furthermore, the spectacular sceneries and interesting attractions usually capture all visitors' attention.
- Stone Forest (Shilin)-"Number one Grand Spectacle on Earth"
Do not miss out the gigantic forest of stones, located 84 kilometers southeast of Kunming. The incredible forest is made up of roughly 100 stones, which look very similar to the shape of animals, such as snakes, dragons, elephants, birds, etc.
- World Horticulture Expo Garden
This gorgeous site contains 77% of land coverage and 15% of water surface. Visitors can find merged mountains, forests, water and the combination of gardens and horticulture from various countries, with the implementation of advanced science and technology.
- Cangshan Mountain
As the grand spectacle of Dali, the 19 peaks of the mountain are all 3,500 above sea level. A profusion of color blossoms in the spring and summer from numerous varieties of azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons can be found everywhere.
- Lake Erhai
A tall mountain lake with an elevation of 1,980 meters and the second largest lake in Yunnan, Lake Erhai is reputable for its fabulous scenery under the moonlight.
The ancient city, also known as Dayanzhen, is famous for its scientific architectural layout. There are plenty of tile-roofed houses, especially double-deckers with three memorial archways and one screen wall facing the gate of the house. The architectures certainly have shown some antique flavors and the techniques of the ancient Naxi Nationality. Most tourists are attracted to Lijiang for a week's long vacation in order to explore the beautiful canal town and enjoy the spectacular sceneries within the area.
- Yulong Snow Mountain
Located in the northern part of Lijiang, and 15 kilometers from the city, the 13 peaks of the mountain are covered with snow all-year-round. At the same time, it is also rated the tallest snow mountain in the south of the northern latitude.
- Yufeng Temple
The temple is situated at the foot of the Yulong Snow Mountain and is one of the seven lamaseries in Lijiang.
Tiger Leaping Gorge-- 95 kilometers away from Lijiang, the gorge is located 105 kilometers southeast of Zhongdian. Known as one of the deepest gorges in the world, it drops more than 3,900 meters from the top to the ranging river that feeds into the legendary Yangtze River below, earning its name from the legend of a tiger jumping across at its narrowest point of only 30 meters.
Situated in southwestern Yunnan, the area is occupied by primitive forests and tropical rain forests. Visitors will be amazed by 5,000 kinds of tropical plants, hundreds of animals and rare birds during their explorations; the Wild Elephant Valley is especially remarkable and breathtaking.
If travelers happen to be in the area during April 13-15, do not miss the chance to participate in the special Water Splashing Festival. Participants will splash water among the group, the more one gets wet, the more happiness will follow. Besides, dragon boat racing, folk song singing and dancing, firework displays and elephant performances will take place.