Kunming Travel Guide
|Kunming airport, bus, attractions|
Kunming is the capital of Yunnan province in Southwestern China. The city is 1900 metres above sea level and has a soft mild climate. The people in China call Kunming therefore the 'Spring City'. Downtown Kunming is a pleasant area with a square with Chinese arches (picture right). From here starts the main shopping area with pedestrian streets, department stores, Pizzahut, supermarket Carrefour. It seems that underground are also a lot of small shops.
Kunming Changshui International Airport is open since summer 2012. Distance is 25km from Kunming. International flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. To the city centre are three airportbus lines. Operating hours are 09.00-24.00; fare is 20 Yuan. It takes 50 minutes to downtown Kunming. A taxi is about 80-100 Yuan. Metro line 6 connect the airport with the East Bus Station between 9.00-19.00. Fare of the metro is 5 Yuan.
Kunming has 4 train stations. Nanyao Station is the main railway station. Travellers to Vietnam leave from the North Railway Station.
Kunming - Guangzhou: 23h.56min-27h.13min (1637km)
Kunming - Dali: 6h.37min-7h.44min (359km)
The nighttrain Kunming (21.58) to Lijiang (07.00) makes two stops between in Dali (04.35) and Heqing (06.28). The fare of a hard seat from Kunming to Dali is 64 Yuan; a soft sleeper is 156 Yuan. Nighttrain K9606 operates nonstop from Kunming (20.53) to Lijiang (6.20). Distance is 518km; softsleeper 217/226 Yuan, hard sleeper 141/152 Yuan and hard seat is 89 Yuan.
Start rate for the first 3 kms is 8 Yuan.
For each kilometer more, 1.8 Yuan will be added. A taxi from the airport to Kunming is about 20 Yuan.
There are 4 long distance bus stations in Kunming.
- The South Station: main bus station opposite Nanyao railway station
- The bus station at the railway station square
- The Western Station
- Huangtupo Station (outside Kunming)
We traveled from Lijiang to Kunming by double-decker bus. Our fare was 196 Yuan including a hot meal with the other passengers in a restaurant along the road. The cheapest fare was 175 Yuan (smaller chairs). Our ride from Lijiang took 8.5 hours (7.30 - 16.00, 500km). From Dali to Kunming is entirely by highway and took only 4 hours. I guess that hostels in Kunming can make bookings for buses to Dali or Lijiang or at least know where to buy the tickets.
Kunming attractions- Stone Forest
Famous attraction 90km south of Kunming. Due of erosion and the weather the rock stones have got all kind of shapes. Best way to go is by train. (departure 8:28, arrival 9:55) Admission is 55 Yuan. - Bamboo Temple: Buddhism temple on the Yuan Mountain (15km)
- Dianchi Lake: largest lake of Kunming
- Golden Temple: largest copper temple in China
- The Western Hills: panoramic views, temples, cable car
- Expo Garden
- Taihua Temple
- Yuantong Temple
- Department stores and shops downtown (Carrefour department store)
- markets: flower & bird market(Guanghua Street, Zhengyi Road), Nanyao market (near the Nanyao train station: tourist souvenirs), the Golden Horse and Phoenix Memorial Archway Jewelry Market (large jewelry market in Jinbi Road).
Luxury hotels are the Kai Wah Plaza International and the Green Lake Hotel.
The New Era and the Sakura Hotel are good 4 star hotels near the city center. The Hump Hostel and Cloudland International Youth Hostel are popular hotels for backpackers in Kunming.
The main railway station in Kunming is the Nanyao Station, 4km from the city center. Two night trains go to Guilin every day. Journey takes between 18-23 hour. To Dali: one day train and two night trains every day. Journey is between 8-9 hours. About 5 trains daily into the direction of Chengdu. Travel time is between 18-23 hours.
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