In times gone by, Kunming was considered a southern gateway to the Silk Road. Nowadays it is the perfect starting point for tourists who wish to travel through Yunnan province. The diversity of Yunnan's landscape, from the jungle of Xishuangbanna to the Himalayan mountains, mirrors the ethnic diversity of its people. 25 of China's 56 ethnic minorities can be found in Yunnan, where they make up around 40% of the population.
Situated on a plateau, and surrounded by mountains and lakes, Kunming has a temperate climate all year round, earning it the nickname "city of eternal spring." It is also one of the least polluted cities in China.
Kunming has plenty to offer tourists planning to travel elsewhere in Yunnan Province, and is certainly worth spending a night there on the way to Yunnan’s other attractions. You can take a relaxing stroll in around the Flower and Bird Market, soak up the atmosphere in the bustling heart of the city around Jinmabiji Archway or visit the serene Golden Temple, named for the color of the sunshine gleaming of the copper roof. The geological wonder of the Stone Forest, a UNESCO world heritage site, is an hour drive outside of the city.
Kunming is the perfect place to sample delicious Yunnan cuisine. Yunnanese cooking uses wild herbs, spices and lime juice to create a fresh flavor. Best in early summer, mushrooms are especially popular in Yunnan food. While in Kunming you can try the regional specialty known as "Crossing the Bridge Noodles," a delicious noodle soup that is brought to you boiling, in a covered stone bowl, with a tray of fresh ingredients such as finely sliced pork, quail eggs and sliced herbs and vegetables for you to add to the broth according to your tastes.