mild weather for most of the year, this historic subtropical capital
city, 1,900 meters above sea level, is skirted by mountains to
the north, east and west, and Dianchi lake in the south.
Kunming is a Jewel of the Mekong.
Stone Forest ( A national grade scenic and tourist spot ):
Stone Forest is located 126 kilometers southeast of Kunming
city of Yunnan Province, covering an area of 2667 square kilometers.
Due to erosion and brushing along the crevices of limestones
over aeons by sea waters, the sea bottom was broken up and moulded
into a multitude of stone pillars, V-shaped gorges and eroded
cracks. A myriad of grotesque pinnacles shot up and formed a
spectacular stone forest.
Front Scenery of Stone Forest:- As soon as
one enters the Stone Forest scenic area, a crystal-clear lake
comes into focus. By the east lakeside, rise from the water
a good array of fantastic stone pinnacles, pillars, shoots,
and stalactites, resembling a natural potted scenery. A few
hundred steps beyond the lake, there is a pool with a huge boulder
in the shape of a squatting lion. Hence it's given the name
of "Lion Pool". Further on, a couple of tall limestones
block the way like a green screen.
Greater Stone Forest:- Inside the sea of
Stone Forest, one feels as if were in a bizarre fairyland. The
stone formations standing still resemble a variety of things
such as ancient fortresses, birds, beasts, flowers, trees, human
beings, and whatever else one can imagine.
Lesser Stone Forest:- It adjoins the Greater
Stone Forest, and has large lawns, lush growth of bamboos and
trees as well as mountain flowers in Spring and Autumn. Most
fantastic are "The Cluster of Pinnacles Propping up the
Sky" and "The Stone Singing Praises of Plums".
Outer Stone Forest:- It's gifted with myriad
of stone peaks of various shapes. The Lion Hill resembles a
squatting male lion on a height.
Performances of Chinese operas and people watching make this park, near Yuantong Temple, a pleasant place to spend some time.
Lake Dian: Covering 300 square km and extending 40 km from north to south, the lake is dotted with sail boats and has many scenic spots and picnic sites along its shores. It is best viewed from Kumning's Western Hills Forest Reserve.
Although thought to be more than 1,000 years old, Kunming's largest Buddhist temple has undergone many renovations. A new building contains a statue of Sakyamuni, presented as a gift from the King of Thailand.
Jindian ( Golden Temple ) Park:
The park, sprawling for more than 2,000 mu on the Mingfeng Mountain seven kilometres northeast of Kunming, is a national forest reserve.
With a natural scenery mingled with sites of historical interest and man-made gardens, it is also a large scenic resort in Kunming.
On the Mingfeng Mountain stands the exquisite and serene Golden Temple, 6.7 metres in height and 7.8 metres in width, and cast of 250 tons of solid
bronze. It is the largest bronze hall in China.
Yunnan Ethnic Villages:
Yunnan Ethnic Villages, situated six kilometres south of Kunming, is a 2,000 mu theme park bordering on the south by the Dianchi Lake and on the west by the famous Western Mountains
The famous historical and cultural city of Kunming is in the north of the villages. Each of the 26 ethnic peoples of Yunnan will have a village built on the premises, and there will also be a square symbolizing unity among various ethnic oroups, a theatre for the performance of ethnic songs and dances, a folklore museum, and a museum of ethnic waxworks. When completed, the Yunnan Ethnic Villages will become an epitome of Yunnan as a multi-ethnic province, and an immense garden in south Chinese horticultural and landscaping traditions.
Haigeng Park, a National Sport Training Base, is only two kilomeyers away from the Minority Nationalities Park.
Western Hills Forest Reserve:
The forest reserve on the west bank of the Dianchi Lake consists of the Huating, Taihua and Luohan mountains, which extend for more than 40 kilometres at an altitude of 2,500 metres above sea level. This is a colossal natural forest reserve, its lofty chain of mountains crisscrossed by gurgling brooks and streams. Ancient trees heap up rich piles of foliage, and birds warble and flutter in the midst of fragrant flowers.
Viewed from the southeast corner of Kunming, the entire forest reserve looks like a beautiful maiden reclining leisurely by the Dianchi Lake, her long hair quivering in the limpid water. Hence the nickname of the Western Mountains Forest Reserve, " Sleeping Beauty".
Qiongzhu Si ( Bamboo Temple ):
This Tang Dynasty temple is twelve km northwest of the city. The current structure is not that old,
however. After burning down in the 15th century it had to be rebuilt during a major renovation between 1833 and 1850, some 500 life-size sulptures of Buddhism arhats were molded and colored.
Dianchi Lack & Daguan Park :
The Dianchi Lake, 370 square kilometres in area, 44 metres in depth, and 1,885 metres in altitude, is the eighth largest lake in China and the largest in Yunnan Province. For its exceptional charms the lake is nicknamed " Sparkling Pearl Imbedded in a Highland " . Its shores are strewn with scenic spots and places of folklores.
Sailing on the lake, with the boat swaying gently on a vast expanse of liquid silver, proves to be a most enchanting experience. At night, the moon casts a gauzy veil over the lake, and the silence of the scene is broken only by the soughing of a refreshing breeze.
Known for its longest antithetical couplet in China, the Grand View Park, also called Daguan Park, is found within a walking distance from the Western Hills. It shares the same Dianchi lake water with the Western Hills, which are on the opposite side, the total area, including water and land, is approximate 60 ha.