With a prime location in the middle of Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, 1,894m above sea level, Kunming capital of Yunnan province not only has majestic nature with green mountains and blue waters, but also has many places with ancient beauty that you need to explore. So, is Kunming worth visiting, how to visit Kunming, what to do in Kunming? Let’s check out our Kunming blog (Kunming travel blog) with the fullest Kunming travel guide (Kunming tourist guide, Kunming guide) from how to get to Kunming, best places to visit as well as top things to do in Kunming to help you maximize your trip as follows!

Kunming city by Dianchi Lake | kunming travel blog
Kunming is called the Spring City because its climate in all four seasons is similar to spring with many majestic and poetic mountain landscapes and unique indigenous culture. | kunming travel blog
Traveling to Kunming, you will admire the beautiful nature and ancient architectural works of towns and immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythm of life here | kunming travel blog
Kunming is suitable for those who like to explore nature and admire the historical beauty over time. In addition, coming here you will also enjoy rich and extremely flavorful cuisine. | kunming travel blog

Overview of Kunming (# kunming travel blog)

Yunnan province location on the China map with its capital of Kunming | kunming travel blog

Kunming is the capital of Yunnan province, it is a beautiful city surrounded by mountains on three sides and borders Dianchi Lake to the south. Dianchi is the largest plateau lake in Yunnan province and the sixth largest freshwater lake in the country. Marked by a nearly 2,500-year-old history, Kunming is the gateway to the famous Silk Road, combined with a prime location in subtropical valleys and breathtaking Himalayan peaks, all forming breathtaking landscapes, unique compared to other destinations.

Kunming is known as “the City of Eternal Spring” because the climate is pleasant and flowers bloom all year round. | kunming travel blog
Kunming dubbed Spring City | kunming travel blog
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Coming to Kunming, visitors will feel like they are lost in a fairyland with charming natural scenery, beautiful blue lakes, brilliant flowers, and a warm and sunny climate all year round, which will definitely leave an unforgettable impression for visitors.

Kunming has many majestic mountain landscapes combined with a unique indigenous culture that has made the destination receive a lot of attention and interest of tourists all over the world.

Because it is located on a low-latitude plateau, Kunming has a climate of “four seasons like spring”. This place has fresh air, poetic scenery and certainly makes many tourists regret leaving.

Yuangyang rice terrace, Yunnan, China_GettyImages-563857341
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With a history of nearly 2,500 years, Kunming is the gateway to the famous Silk Road facilitating trade with Tibet, Sichuan, Myanmar, India and beyond. Today, it is the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan province as well as the most popular tourist destination in southwest China.

The city center is an attraction with 2 squares (Jinma Biji Square and Dongfeng Square) and 5 intersecting streets (Dongfeng Street, Jinbi Street, Zhengyi Pedestrian Street, Renmin Street and Qingnian Street). Among them, Jinma Biji Square (also known as Jinbi Square) has the most eye-catching archway and stylish architecture. Qingnian Road, Zhengyi Road and Renmin Road are the main commercial areas. The most popular walking streets are Nanping Street, Jingxing Flower & Bird Market and Jinma Biji Fang.

Kunming street | kunming travel blog
Kunming city is also the epicenter of Yunnan minority culture. Some of 26 ethnic minorities such as Yi, Bai, Miao, Dai and Hani are living in this area. | kunming travel blog
Kunming city at night

If traveling from Vietnam by road, you will pass through Ha Khau (Hekou) border gate (Lao Cai), the road is of very good quality, after only 10 hours of traveling, you will arrive. And you can also easily getting to Kunming from Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an or move from Kunming to other tourist destinations such as Chengdu, Lijiang, Shangri-la etc.

Shangri-La | kunming travel blog

When is the best time to visit Kunming? (# kunming travel guide)

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There is not much of a temperature difference between the four seasons in Kunming, so you can travel here at any time you can arrange. The average annual temperature is about 15-20 degrees Celsius, pleasant all year round, so you can travel at any time of the year.

In the spring, Kunming will become fresh, cool, the climate is pleasant, birds are singing, the forest is vast, hundreds of flowers are blooming. This period is suitable for those who love to travel in a relaxing and enjoyable way.

Cherry blossoms in spring season | kunming travel blog

Summer in Kunming often has sudden showers, the weather is also wetter, and the air is a bit colder at night. But this is a suitable time for couples to walk together to watch the rain or romantically stop to take shelter from the rain next to a hot hot pot and watch the bustling people on the street.

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Autumn in Kunming begins from August to October with charming landscapes, nature changing into new clothes and the pace of life seems to be less hurried. Coming here in the fall, you will be able to stroll under the yellow-leafed trees and enjoy the romantic, poetic feeling that can only be found in romantic movies.

Autumn color | kunming travel blog

March – May: Mild climate, creating the most beautiful scenery for Kunming. In early spring, you can admire the snow-capped mountains and cherry blossoms blooming on Yuantong Mountain. At the same time, this is also the time of many ethnic minority festivals and events.

June – November: During this time, Kunming often has rains that bring cool atmosphere. Groups of tourists come one after another to enjoy the harmonious beauty paradise scenery here. The hottest time in Kunming is in July, about 22 degrees Celsius. The coldest time, the lowest temperature is in January with about 13 degrees Celsius.

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December – February: Winter comes bringing cold air, this is also the migration season of black-headed gulls. The “visit” of these birds always attracts the attention of both locals and tourists alike. The resting spots of black-headed gulls are usually off the coast of Panlong River, Dianchi Lake and other waters in Kunming City. You can take the opportunity to visit these places and see tens of thousands of seagulls covering the sky.

You can see the snow mountains and winter flowers, red willow flowers and cherry blossoms on Yuantong Mountain. This is also the time of extremely unique ethnic minority festivals. In January, this city recorded the lowest temperature of 13 degrees Celsius.

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Kunming streets in winter | kunming travel blog

In winter, you will have the opportunity to see snow-covered mountains and participate in games with snow or simply save thousands of vivid pictures with white snow.

The period from March to October next year will be the best time to travel to Kunming. At this time, the weather will not be too cold or less rainy, so you can consider visiting the city at this time.

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Tip: You should spend 2-3 days to tour around Kunming and explore the characteristics and famous tourist attractions here. Many tourists often go shopping because this is where special products from other cities in the province gather.

Getting to Kunming (# kunming blog)

Currently from Vietnam, there are many airlines offer flights from Vietnam to Kunming, including Noi Bai Airport (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat Airport (HCMC). Some airlines that you can refer to: Vietnam Airlines, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines or China Eastern Airlines…

To hunt for cheap flights, you should follow the updated flight information of the airlines to book tickets several months in advance to avoid the case of flying close to the date when the ticket price will be very high!

By air (# kunming travel guide)

Kunming airport | kunming travel blog

Kunming Changshui International Airport is the China’s national gateway airport to Southeast Asia and South Asia. At the same time, it is the only national gateway airport in southwest China. Together with Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, they are China’s two major national gateway airports.

How to get to the airport?

  • Metro: Take metro line 6 from the east bus station to Changshui airport.
  • Taxi: From News Road to Changshui airport about 39 minutes at a cost of 86 Yuan or more, not including airport expressway toll (more than 10 RMB).
  • Car: Parking fee at Changshui airport according to Kunming city development and reform commission costs 8 yuan (indoor parking) and 5 yuan (outdoor parking).
  • Train: Kunming railway station is located at the intersection of Guikun route, Chengdu – Kunming route, Nan-Kun route, Kun-Yu route and Nei-Kun route. It is the largest railway station in southwest China.
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Bus (# kunming guide)

  • Eastern bus station: Located between Hongqiao intersection and Liangmiansi intersection in the third eastern ring road, Panlong district, about 1 km from Hongqiao intersection.
  • Western bus station: Northeast of the intersection of Chunyu Street and Yining Street, Majie Street, Xishan District.
  • Southern bus station: East of Xinkunluo Road, Liuliu Road, Guandu District, opposite Wula Village, about 1.6 km from the intersection of Guangfu Road and Xinkunluo Road.
  • Northern bus station: Wayao village, Longtou street, Panlong district, north of national highway 7204 about 1.1 km from Jindian intersection of Kunqu highway.
  • Northwest bus station: Southwest of Phuket village, Wuhua district, about 600 meters from Kunsha road (next to Phuket road bus repair shop).
Kunming Eastern Bus Station | kunming travel blog

Getting around Kunming

Traffic in Kunming | kunming travel blog

You don’t need to worry too much about transportation in Kunming. Because the transportation system here is extremely developed with 200 bus routes operating in all areas of the city, passing through most of the prominent attractions and places in Kunming. In addition, at nearby locations, visitors can choose a taxi to travel more conveniently!


Most buses in Kunming are automatic ticket vending vehicles, priced from 1 – 2 yuan/ticket. Please pay attention to strictly comply with the rules for getting on at the front door and getting off at the back door.

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The first 3km total costs about 8 yuan, after 10:00 p.m. it costs 9.8 yuan. From 3km onwards, the price is 1.8 yuan/km.

In Kunming, there are main train stations that tourists can choose when traveling to Kunming, which are Kunming South and Kunming North. Most of these stations are used for high-speed trains.


Kuming metro map | kunming travel blog

Metro is one of the most convenient way to get around the Kunming city. Currently, there are 9 lines in Kunming metro system in total. In which line 1, line 2, line 3, line 6 are in operation. Line 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 are under construction or to be constructed.

From Kunming to other places

The train station’s operating schedule is as follows:

  • Train to Dali (2-3 hours)
  • Lijiang (3 hours)
  • Stone Forest (20 minutes)
  • Beijing (11 hours)
  • Shanghai (11 hours)
  • Hong Kong (7.5 hours)
Kunming Railway Station | kunming travel blog

To Dali: From Kunming, you can take a taxi or bus to the West bus station to catch a bus to Dali, the price is about 100 yuan/person. Or you can buy train tickets and hard seats for about 17 yuan. If you come to Dali at night, you can book a room in advance to avoid having to look for a room in the middle of the night.

To Lijiang: In case of not going to Dali, you can buy train tickets from Kunming to Lijiang, the ticket price for soft seats is about 90 yuan, hard bed is about 151 yuan.

China high-speed train | kunming travel blog

Travel from Dali to Lijiang is about 190km. If you travel in a large group, you should rent a private car to save money. If you travel with few people or alone, you can take the train or bus as guided above.

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In general, traveling this way is suitable for travelers who have a lot of time, want to travel by road and save on airfare costs. The advantage of traveling along this route is that you can visit two famous destinations, Dali and Shangri-la. However, it takes a lot of time to travel by road.

Where to go and what to do in Kunming and around?

Golden Temple (# kunming travel blog)

Address: 3QQC+9MQ, Chuanjin Rd, Panlong District, Kunming, Yunnan, China, 650225

The temple is located on Mingfeng mountain in the northeast of Kunming city and is the largest copper temple in Kunming. The architecture of the temple clearly shows the characteristic features of Chinese bronze culture. In particular, at the 30m high bell tower located in the temple grounds, visitors will admire the 3.5m high bronze bell, weighing up to 14 tons with very sophisticated craftsmanship.

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If the hallways and stairs are made of marble, the walls, columns, beams, roof, screws, altar, Buddha statue, incense burner, etc. are all made of beautiful red copper. Total weight is estimated to be more than 200 tons of copper.

In addition, it also has ancient trees planted in the Ming Dynasty such as Camellia trees and Crape Myrtle trees. Even though it has been 400 years, every spring thousands of brilliant flowers bloom. Golden temple will be a place not to be missed when tourists visit Kunming city.

Daguan Pavilion Park and Dianchi Lake (# kunming tourist guide)

Daguan Park brings an impression of the peaceful beauty of the air, trees, bridges, and lakes. This is Kunming’s famous cultural park. When coming here, visitors can visit structures such as Yongyue Pavilion, Ningbi Hall, Range Rover Pavilion, and Guanjia Hall. In particular, the Grand View building, built during the Kangxi period, located opposite Dien Tri lake, is considered a precious cultural symbol.

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Daguan Pavilion Park is one of three parks located in Kunming city, built in 1690 on a precincts next to Dianchi lake. The scenery here is very poetic and beautiful. When you come here, remember to visit and take photos with the two longest parallel sentences in China, with about 180 words. Of which 90 words above describe the beautiful natural scenery at Dianchi Lake and Daguan Pavilion. The remaining 90 words mark 4 important events of the Han, Tang, Ming, and Yuan dynasties with a long history. This place is the convergence of calligraphers and writers who come to enjoy the moon and comment on poetry.

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Dianchi Lake has a crescent shape, about 39 km in length and 13 km in width, formed by mountains on all four sides. More than 20 rivers feed the lake, which has a shoreline of 163.2 km. You can sit on a boat to wander around, admire the landscape and explore the cradle of Yunnan culture.

Dianchi Lake or Kunming Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Yunnan and the 6th largest freshwater lake in China. The lake is located at the foot of Xishan Mountain, about 5 km from the urban area. Not far away are Daguan Park at the north end, Yunnan ethnic village and opposite Xishan park.

Daguan Park is often where traditional festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival take place. It is the space and unique cultural features that attract a large number of tourists to visit every year. | kunming travel guide

This is a destination not to be missed in Kunming. Popular tourist activities such as walking the lake, boating, feeding birds in winter, and climbing Longmen Mountain always bring fascinating experiences.

Yuantong Temple

Address: 30 Yuantong St, Wuhua District, Kunming, Yunnan, China, 650091

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Yuantong temple, which is more than 1,000 years old, is a favorite place for many tourists when traveling to Kunming. Yuantong is a famous pilgrimage site that attracts many believers to come here to offer incense. Coming here you will feel a strangely peaceful scene. Yuantong is a complex surrounding a small lake with an arch bridge crossing it, creating a highlight for this central lake.

Kunming Old Town

Address: XM98+2RV, Dianchi Rd, Xishan, Kunming, Yunnan, China, 650111

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Almost every city in China has at least one old town. Kunming Old Town attracts tourists because of its traditional culture and ancient architecture. When you come to Kunming Old Town, you will see the Many of the wooden houses have been degraded, bearing a clear mark of time. There are also many stalls selling many Kunming specialties.

Cuihu Green Lake Park

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After visiting Yuantong Temple, visitors can stroll in the green lake park not far away. This is the largest city park in Kunming. There are many bridges and paths that allow visitors to walk and admire the scenery around the lake.

Initially, this was just a water reservoir for the city, you can see there is still a small water pumping plant next to the lake, but later this place was developed into a destination for tourists and locals to enjoy. If you come here on a weekend morning, you will meet many locals who come here to exercise.

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Every year, in winter, seagulls from Siberia fly to Kunming to winter, many of them stop at Cuihu lake. During this time, wandering around the lake to watch seagulls is a joy for local people as well as tourists and photographers who come here to take photos. Visitors can watch these birds and buy food from roadside stalls to feed them.

This is another quiet place in Kunming, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Come here to enjoy a vacation after days burying yourself in work, maybe you will love this land more!

Jilin Qianan Nilin National Geopark

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It is a large scenic area with unique mountain and water scenery. Most of the hills and mountains here experience karst, a weathering phenomenon typical of limestone mountains. The scenic area includes Black Pine Rocks Scenic Spot (Naigu Stone Forest), Zhiyun Cave, Long Lake, Feilong Waterfall, Guishan National Forest Park and Qifeng Cave.

Yunnan University

Address: 2 Cuihu N Rd, Wuhua District, Kunming, Yunnan, China, 650106

Yunnan University was founded in 1922, formerly a Donglu private university. In 1934, it was renamed Yunnan Provincial University and changed to Yunnan National University in 1938.

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The old buildings on its campus are living witnesses to the ups and downs of the school. Try walking leisurely on the trail, admiring the rows of ginkgo trees, observing the squirrels playing on campus,… there will definitely be many interesting feelings waiting for you.

Jinma Biji Fang

Jinma Biji Fang is the name of the combination of two gates, Jinma and Biji Fang. This is an iconic spot of Kunming. Built during the Ming Dynasty, these two arches are 12m high and 18m wide.

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Experiencing the devastation of war, Jinma Biji Fang was renovated and restored in 1999. Most visitors to Kunming pass through here to visit and take photos. At the same time, this is also an area of shopping centers and night markets, a must-see destination for gourmets.

Yunnan Military Lecture Room

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Army Military Academy is a famous military academy in China. Originally, it was a military school established during the Qing Dynasty to train new troops and strengthen border defense. The Army Military Academy trained a large number of outstanding revolutionary soldiers such as Zhu De, Ye Jianying and Cui Yongjian. Currently, this place is preserving some valuable historical documents of China.

Guandu Ancient Town

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This is a destination for tourists who want to explore Chinese history. When talking about Guandu ancient town, it is impossible not to mention Tuzhu temple. Built during the Tang Dynasty and reformed by each dynasty, it carries with it the ancient ups and downs of time. The interesting thing is that Guandu old town is also a shopping destination not to be missed with a variety of products and many attractive eateries.

Jianshui Ancient Town

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If you were to choose a place to visit to experience the traditional cultural beauty of Kunming, it would definitely be Jianshui ancient town. Although it appeared thousands of years ago, until now the old town still retains its interesting customs and traditions that visitors to Kunming can experience.

Jiaozi Snow Mountain

Located 155km from Kunming city, Jiaozi Snow Mountain is an ideal place for winter tourism and winter sports. Its main peak, at 4,247 meters, is the highest point in the central region of Yunnan province.

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This place has a wonderful landscape that conquers any demanding guest. The natural scenery here is even more attractive when there are countless azalea flowers blooming in spring, lakes and alpine meadows also make it more charming than ever.

The best time to visit this place is from October to mid-April next year, you can admire the snowfall scenery, glacial lakes, ice waterfalls and other landscapes. Besides, visitors can also enjoy winter activities such as skiing.

Yuanyang terraced fields

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