Kunming is the capital of Yunnan district, one of the most remote provinces in China. You can here discover the cultural wealth in the wide variety of traditional clothes, colors and smiles.
In this Chinese trip remember always:
I lived for 6 months in Kunming and with 8 millions people around me, it’s really an anthill. For China, it is the 16th most populated city. It is regarded by the citizens of Beijing and Shanghai as a resort place and it is nicknamed “the city of eternal spring”.
In winter, from October to early April, thousands of black-headed gulls migrate here from Siberia to stay in the DianChi Lake, on the edge of the city, and the Green Lake. This is an artificial lake built over 300 years ago in the city center. It is a real tourist attraction in the migration months. The local government even allocates annually special funds to encourage people to feed the birds that sleep around the great DianChi lake and they commute to feed in the early morning to the Green Lake
If you are interested in birdlife photography, this is a must go place to visit
Chinese people love to spend a considerable amount of time in public parks and gardens, doing sports and performing group activities as dancing. This is part of the Chinese culture, and interesting part of the local life to observe.
There is a very sweet and pleasant feeling to watch the sunrise with the birds singing and the traditional music on speakers with the elderly people doing their gym, dancing, playing badminton and many other activities (sometime unusual ones).
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The Confucius Park is for the lovers of the Chinese chess and the game of Go. This place is very popular with the male population, drinking tea and smoking cigarettes, surrounded by the excited and sometime loud strategy discussions. Move away from the gaming groups and you will find a quiet area in the middle of the urban traffic where time has no hold. This is the perfect place for a break, admire the local flowers and be part of the unique Chinese atmosphere with plenty of portrait photography opportunities
Everyone knows that China is the top concrete consumer in the world. Kunming is a huge construction site. Buildings grow one floor a day and companies build up to 15 towers at the same time! If you like to wander between tools, hoists and the surprised eyes of the local workers, do not hesitate to do it! Do not feel afraid to walk everywhere camera in hand. Such a great place for urban and portrait photography.
Sorry for the street art fans, you will find only displays of the Communist Party here 🙂
If you don’t suffer of acrophobia, you will have plenty of opportunities for landscape photography from the top of the buildings. It’s very easy to spot a tall building, take the elevator to the top (it is better to choose a finished building cause 28 floor by foot it’s tiresome..) and sometimes the roof door is open and you have 360 degrees of amazing view.
Suggestion : bring empty SD card and full battery…;)
Go to climb the XiChan’s mountain, overlooking the DianChi’s lake, for a good day out of the city. You can take the cable car to reach the point of view or you can climb through the forest crossing many of the local temples. This path will be your first pilgrimage in the Chinese religion.
From the peak you will have a wonderful view over the huge lake and you can finally realize how big is actually the city.
I would highly suggest also to go to the famous Stone Forest, or Shilin (80 km east of Kunming) – an unusual limestone formation and an amazing site for some landscape photography. Shilin is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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