Kunming is well-known for its Dian Lake, which is the largest lake in town and the province as well as the eighth largest in China with a total area of 298 square kilometers. A prefecture-level city found in east-central of Yunnan, Kunming is the capital of Yunnan province as well as its largest city with a sizeable 21,015 square kilometers of area. Known as the “Spring City” due to its weather, it has had a strategic geographical position that allows it to be a crucial transport hub, having located in the middle of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau at an altitude of 1,900 meters above sea level. As such, over the ages and throughout dynasties, Kunming has been thriving as a political, economic, communications and cultural center of the province till the present day. There is an old walled city as well as a modern commercial district, which makes for a compelling case to travel and explore the city to experience its rich history and rapid modernization further.
Kunming Changshui International Airport is the main international airport that is currently serving the Kunming city and other nearby areas in Yunnan Province. Located in Changshui Village in Guandu District which is about 24.5 kilometers northeast from the Kunming city center, the airport is opened since 2012 to replace the older Kunming Wujiaba International Airport. As one of the two national gateway hub airports of China, it has served about 47 million passengers over 360,785 aircraft movements as of 2018. At an elevation of 2,103 meters, Kunming Changshui International Airport has two asphalt runways that are 4,000 and 4,500 meters respectively. Its terminal, designed by the architectural firm SOM and engineering firm Arup, is the second largest in China, with a total area of 548,300 square meters and a total of 88 gates, 66 of them with jet bridges. Kunming Changshui International Airport is the hub for China Eastern Airlines, Kunming Airlines, Lucky Air, Ruili Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Hongtu Airlines and China Southern Airlines among others. There are connecting flights from Manila to Kunming provided by Cathay Dragon, China Eastern, China Southern, Philippine Airlines and Xiamen via Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Xiamen.
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The off-peak season to visit Kunming is in February which is during the end of winter, in which this could be a great time to get reasonable offers at lower prices. It is excellent news if you plan your trip well, you can save your money because the price for hotels and flights during the peak season will be much higher and cost you a lot of money. Nonetheless, if you want to come over when the crowd is available, the peak season in Kunming is during January, June and October. Meanwhile, the truly best period to visit Kunming is around March to May because of the much better weather during the spring season, which is suitable for going out.
Given Kunming’s elevation at 1,890 meters on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, the city has a subtropical highland climate, characterized by short, cool, dry winters and long, warm, humid summers that are typically much cooler than the lowlands. The average temperature is usually measured to be ranging from 8.9 degree Celsius during winter in January to 20.3 degree Celsius during the summer in July. This causes the weather to be almost spring-like throughout the year, hence making Kunming nicknamed as the “City of Eternal Spring”. Meanwhile, the annual precipitation is around 979.1 mm in which the highest rainfall is typically being delivered during rains from June to August. With the relative humidity of 71%, Kunming receives about 2,197.7 hours of sunshine annually. These combinations of climate factors make it ideal for planting flowers and plants.
Dian Lake – Also known as Kunming Lake, the freshwater lake is at 1,886.5 meters above sea level with 39 kilometers of distance from the north to south of the lake and has an average depth of 4.4 kilometers. In addition to the views of the lake, there are multiple other attractions nearby, such as the Yunnan Nationalities Village and Grand View Park.
Yuantong Temple – Yuantong Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple that can be found further in the natural depression. Built around the late 8th to the early 9th century during the Nanzhao Kingdom period in the Tang dynasty, it has been continuously restored, expanded and maintained over the centuries, with fundings coming from Thailand in the present day. The temple comprises of Yuantong Wonderful Realm, Octagonal Pavilion, Yuantong Hall and Copper Buddha Hall among others.
Stone Forest – Located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County which is about 90 kilometers away from town, the Stone Forest is very outstanding limestone formations that cover an area of 500 square meters. The national scenic area covers about 400 square kilometers and comprises of seven different scenic areas. Most of these formations are caused by limestone erosions and have been around for 270 million years.