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China: Kunming

China: Kunming

story by: Inspire Hong Kong & China

The capital of Yunnan Province, Kunming lies 1895m above sea level in southwest China. With its mild, year-round climate, it is known as the ‘Spring City’ or ‘Capital of Flowers’. One of Kunming’s most famous attractions is the Stone Forest (Shilin), 80 hectares of incredibly-shaped, towering limestone peaks formed by erosion over millions of years. Its population of nearly 3.5 million has an ethnic mix of more than 10 nationalities.

As the capital of postcard-perfect southern province Yunnan, Kunming has a lot to live up to – and it achieves that goal with flying colours.

Like its most famous attraction, the naturally created Stone Forest, Kunming is rock solid when it comes to keeping visitors occupied, its historical sites - and the scenery that surrounds them – the makings for a memorable stay.

Stretch the legs and visit the Dragon Gate, built on the summit of the Western Hills and comprising stone chambers, columns, corridors, sculptures and pavilions carved into the precipitous of cliffs by Taoist monks, a project that began in 1781 and took 70 years to complete.

Not only does Kunming boast a melting pot of nationalities. The variety of regional food is as varied, from specialties as Yiliang Duck and herbed chicken steam-pots to Yunnan-style ham, goat’s cheese and various delicacies of the local ethnic people. The most famous dish is “Crossing-the-bridge” noodles a large dish filled with slivers of raw meat or fish.

Shopping in Kunming focuses on Yunnan tea, painted pottery, jade and marble carvings from nearby Dali, tinware, various colourful garments and Chinese herbal medicine.

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