Kunming, a city nicknamed “the spring city”, enjoys superb natural and cultural resource. TopChinaTravel would like to introduce some of the Best Places to visit in Kunming, to help you find your way to explore the amorous beauty of this spring city. Where to visit in Kunming? Travel with us, you will have chance to visit one of the natural wonders, experience ethnic culture, and well-preserved majestic architectures that built hundreds years ago, etc.
Stone Forest is a natural wonder that located about 120km from Kunming City and requires a three-hour drive. It covers an area of 400 square kilometers and included both large and small forest as well as many other scenic spots. It has been know since the Ming Dynasty as the First Wonder of the World.
This forest is a notable set of limestone formations. The magnificent, strange and steep landscape of the Stone Forest creates countless labyrinthine vistas, all of which feature stones in various formations. Animals, plants, and even human figures can be found here. Some are elegant, some are rugged, and each is lifelike with its own distinguishing characteristics.
These formations, caused by the dissolution of limestone, are believed to be over 270 million years old and are a tourist attraction for both overseas and domestic tourists, with bus tours bringing tourists from Kunming. There are also a number of hotels in the area.
The Western Hill is actually a forest reserve site that located at the west bank of the Dianchi Lake of Kunming. It is set in mountains well covered by evergreen woods and filled with sweet songs by lovely birds.
With a height of 2,500 meters above sea level, Western Hill is also called the Green Peacock Mountain, refers to a range of five mountains stretching over 40 kilometers. Seen from afar, its undulating skyline resembles a graceful young lady sleeping on her back, hence the name of the "sleeping beauty". Its luxuriant trees and bamboos set off splendid Huating Temple, Taihua Temple, Sanqing Monastery and the Dragon Gate.
Dragon Gate in the Western Hills is close to the west shore of the Dianchi Lake. It consists of the Sanqing Temple Complex and the Dragon Gate Grotto Complex.
As a Chinese idiom says, 'Once you ascend Longmen (Dragon Gate), you would receive a sudden boost in your prestige'. Dragon Gate is a certain gorge on a river flanked by precipices and with a natural dam.
Located on the south side of Yuantong Hill, Yuantong Temple is the largest and most active temple in Kunming with a history of more than 1,200 years. It was first built during the late 8th century of the Tang Dynasty, named Putuo Temple originally. During Yuan Dynasty, it received its major restorations and expansion from 1301 to 1319, and got its present name as Yuantong Temple. After another two major restorations and expansions during the middle 15th century and the late 17th century, the temple took on its present design.
It is the earliest temple to worship Avalokitesvara. Besides, as the most famous temple in China and Southeast Asia, it is the base of the provincial Buddhist Association. It is therefore a destination of pilgrimage for pilgrims worldwide. In 1956, the temple held a tooth of the Buddha here for a short time.
On the 1st and 15th of each lunar month, people gather here to take part in all kinds of Buddhist services. There is also a good vegetarian restaurant on the premises serving lunch and dinner.
Located on Yongdao Street, downtown Kunming, the Flower-and-Bird Market was originally the site selling flowers, birds, pets, insects and goldfishs to the locals. As business prospered, it has begun to attract more and more visitors, and has gradually developed into an enchanting shopping and sightseeing center with a true local flavor.
A multitude of shops and stores stand along the long and narrow street displaying a huge variety of flowers, various kinds of rare plants and different seeds and fertilizers. Bonsai, tree-root carvings and woodcarvings are also available. Apart from these, ornamental birds, various kinds of bird food, birdcages and other equipment, tropical fishes, goldfish and red carp, fish tanks and fishing tackle can also be found here.
The market also acts as a trading center for various kinds of antiques, including jade objects, ink slabs, ancient coins, porcelain, agates and other handicrafts. Teahouses and shops selling interesting delicacies, such as sweet wine, fried spiral shells, braised bean curd and others are dotted in the market, forming a great convenient shopping environment to visitors.