Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province, south-west China. Originally developed as a trading port in 1905, it is known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its temperate climate and flowers that bloom all year due to its tropical latitude while at the same time sitting 2,000 metres above sea level. Kunming was once a gateway to Silk Road, making trade possible between India, Myanmar, Tibet, Sichuan and beyond.
Kunming is the focal point of Yunnan minority culture with some 26 ethnic minorities. The city centre has two squares, Jinma Biji and Dongfeng, with five intersecting roads sporting striking archways and elegant architecture. Within the squares is Nanping Street, originally known as the “Wall Street of Kunming”, where a combination of traditional and modern is reflected in shops selling up-to-date fashion and intricately designed local crafts. Also here is the melodiously named Jingxing Flower & Bird Market, full of colourful stalls and bird vendors selling beautiful handmade cages, ornamental birds and bird food, as well as an eclectic mix of mice, insects and exotic Koi and Dragonfish. Next to it is the Horticulture Expo Flower Market with a large variety of flowers, Bonsai, rare plants, tree-root carvings and woodcarvings.
Changshui International Airport is about 25 kilometres north-east of Kunming and served by taxis, and the Airport Express bus runs to Kunming Railway Station. Bicycles are a popular way of getting around the city which has dedicated bike lanes. Buses and metered taxis are plentiful. Kunming also has a subway that traverses the city.
Kunming can boast a history which can be traced back 30,000 years. The city received its name from the Yuan Dynasty. It was developed as a trading port in 1905.