The capital of the Yunnan province is located on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau on 1,900 metres above sea level. Because of the all year round pleasant, spring like climate Kunming was nicknamed “The Spring City”. Whether exploring the city by bus, taxi, by bicycle or on foot, visitors will find Kunming a rather easy city to get around.
An early morning visit to the Green Lake Park (Cuihu) is a good opportunity to observe the locals engaged in their morning workouts, practice Tai Chi, show off their birds and enjoy social dancing. During the winter month, the Green Lake Park serves as migration place for thousands of seagulls escaping the cold further north. Within walking distance from Green Lake Park lies the Buddhist temple Yuantong Si. Located on small hills, Yuantong Si was founded in the 8th century and later expanded under the Mongols. The two 13-storey high towers of the east and West Pagodas date back to the Tang dynasty are located near the commercial district in the centre of town.
Destroyed during the Muslim revolt, the east and West Pagodas were rebuilt in the 19th century. An early morning visit to the Dou Nan Flower market should be part of every trip to Kunming. From Dou Nan flower market, flowers are shipped every morning all over China and even to Japan and Russia. The colourful and bustling Dau Nan flower market is held every morning. Despite the modernization, Kunming remains a city with a laid back atmosphere and lots of street markets, snack-stalls, parks, and old temples waiting to be explored.