Located in the south west, the province 394,000 km square is the area comprising the largest numbers of different ethnicities. With the proximity to the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam there are 25 different ethnic groups.
You will discover famous tourism sites and unexplored areas : the capital city Kunming, the rice fields of Yuangyuan, the city of Dali, the Luoping landscape, the old city of Lijiang but also a wonderful trek on the edge of the Himalayas and a small village on the silk road.
Unfortunately in Yunnan nobody speaks English so you should learn a little Chinese and this is surprisingly easier than it seems. Speaking few words of Chinese show the locals how interested you are to their culture and as a result people will be keen to help you. (we will give you a pinning form)
The present Kunming airport will become the second of China and will serve all big cities of south west Asia. As of January 2015, it costs around 120 rmb (25 AUD, 17EUR, 19USD) for a taxi to the city center. To avoid unusual high fees, ask for the taxi meter : “Da Biao”.
Spend few days to make a tour of the city, visit the green lake, see the parks early in the morning, wander throught Bird and Flowers Market – typical Chinese market where you can find everything from kitsch to weird – stop to see the “Jing Xing Jewelry World” before going to eat at the delicious restaurant Laofangzi, in the middle of the flowers market.
If you are in Kunming and you need photographic and/or computer equipment, go to the Electronic Plaza in Yuantong road, which has all that exists. In China, there is a million photographic lovers (Don’t talk to me selfie!) It’s a really huge business and sometimes you will be jostling in a spot…
Remember: the marked price is an indication, everything in China can be negotiated, especially if you are a foreigner.
– I want …: “Wǒ yào… “- too expensive! : “Tài guì le!” –
And most important, when you travel in the region and you need to buy a ticket, remember this basic sentence – I want to go … : “Wǒ yào qù …” – and the finger on the map 😉
The Yunnan region is well served by plane or by bus/train, as a cheaper alternative. There are several bus stations, based on the geographical direction of your destination. Take a sleeper wagon for a comfortable overnight trip or choose just a seat for a real matchless experience.