Discovering Kunming: A Journey Through the City of Eternal Spring

Kunming street life bustling with local activity
A vibrant street in Kunming, Yunnan, China, showcasing the bustling local life with people walking, street vendors selling goods, and traditional architecture in the background. The scene captures the lively atmosphere and cultural richness of Kunming’s streets.

Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in Southwest China, is often referred to as the „City of Eternal Spring“ for its mild climate and beautiful weather year-round. My recent trip to this vibrant city was an incredible adventure filled with stunning sights, rich cultural experiences, and mouth-watering cuisine. Join me as I take you through the highlights of my journey through Kunming.

Arrival and First Impressions

From the moment I arrived at Kunming Changshui International Airport, I was impressed by the efficiency and friendliness of the staff. Navigating through the airport was a breeze, thanks to clear signage and quick baggage transfer. The ride from the airport to the city center offered a glimpse of Kunming’s picturesque landscapes, setting the tone for an unforgettable visit.

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Exploring Guandu Ancient Town

One of my first stops was Guandu Ancient Town, a historic area brimming with charm and character. Walking through its narrow streets lined with traditional Chinese architecture, I felt transported back in time. The town is a perfect blend of old and new, with ancient temples, vibrant markets, and quaint tea houses coexisting harmoniously.

A Stroll Through Green Lake Park

Green Lake Park, or Cuihu Park, is a must-visit in Kunming. This urban oasis is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. I spent a peaceful afternoon wandering around the lake, watching people practice tai chi, and admiring the beautiful lotus flowers. The park’s serene atmosphere is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Exploring Tai Hua Si Temple in Yunnan

During my adventure in Kunming, a visit to Tai Hua Si Temple was an unexpected delight that added a spiritual and cultural depth to my journey. Nestled on the western shore of Dianchi Lake and at the foot of the Western Hills, Tai Hua Si Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Yunnan Province.

As I approached the temple, the serene ambiance was immediately apparent. Surrounded by lush greenery and towering ancient trees, the temple complex exudes a sense of tranquility and calm. The air was filled with the faint scent of incense, and the gentle sound of chanting monks added to the peaceful atmosphere.

Tai Hua Si Temple, originally built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), boasts a rich history that is reflected in its stunning architecture. The temple complex includes several halls and pavilions, each adorned with intricate carvings and detailed paintings. The main hall houses a magnificent statue of Buddha, while the surrounding halls contain various deities and historical relics.

Savoring Local Cuisine in Kunming

One of the highlights of my journey to Kunming was undoubtedly the exploration of its vibrant local cuisine. Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, boasts a unique culinary landscape that is both diverse and delicious, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and the abundance of fresh ingredients available in the region. Must-try dishes:

  1. Crossing the Bridge Noodles (过桥米线) A trip to Kunming is incomplete without trying the famous Crossing the Bridge Noodles. This iconic dish consists of a rich, steaming broth served with a variety of ingredients including thinly sliced meat, vegetables, and rice noodles. The unique aspect is that the ingredients are added to the hot broth at the table, ensuring they are perfectly cooked and fresh.
  2. Steam Pot Chicken (汽锅鸡) Another local favorite is Steam Pot Chicken. This dish is prepared using a special clay pot with a central chimney. The chicken is slow-cooked with herbs and spices, resulting in tender meat and a flavorful broth that is both comforting and nourishing.
  3. Erkuai (饵块) Erkuai is a traditional Yunnan rice cake made from glutinous rice. It can be served in various ways, such as stir-fried with vegetables and meats, or grilled and topped with savory or sweet condiments. Its chewy texture and versatility make it a beloved snack among locals and visitors alike.

Discovering Kunming Old Street

Kunming Old Street is another highlight of the city. The area is a fascinating blend of traditional and modern, with unique snacks, upscale vintage hotels, and vibrant street life. A notable stop was Xiongqi Yingxiang Hotpot, where the rich flavors and authentic ingredients made for a memorable meal.

Review: Perfect Retro Gaming on the Go

This photo shows the RG353V by ANBERNIC being used during a flight. The device is running the classic DOS game Digger. The compact size and bright 3.5-inch IPS touchscreen display make the RG353V an ideal companion for retro gaming on the go. Perfect for passing the time while traveling.
RG353V by ANBERNIC running the DOS game Digger.

During my trip, I discovered the RG353V by ANBERNIC – a small, handy retro gaming device that fits perfectly in the hand. It offers excellent picture quality thanks to its 3.5-inch IPS touchscreen and is perfect for passing the time during flights. The device can emulate numerous systems, including NES, SNES, N64, GBA, PS1, PSP, DOS, and even Dreamcast. With its RK3566 chip and 2 GB RAM, the RG353V provides enough power for smooth gameplay. The RG353V features two analog sticks, a precise D-pad, and well-placed action buttons. It is equipped with two SD card slots, a mini HDMI output, two USB-C ports, and a 3200 mAh battery that ensures long gaming sessions. The combination of portable size and high performance makes the RG353V the perfect companion for retro gaming on the go.

Final Thoughts and Further Reading

Kunming is truly a gem in China’s travel landscape. Its perfect blend of cultural heritage and modern vibrancy makes it a unique destination. I highly recommend adding Kunming to your travel bucket list – you won’t be disappointed!

If you’ve enjoyed reading about my journey, be sure to follow me on Instagram and TikTok for more travel updates and photos from my adventures in Kunming and beyond. For deeper insights into China’s modern culture, I highly recommend the book Young China by Zak Dychtwald. It offers a fascinating look into the lives and perspectives of China’s youth today.

I hope this blog post inspires you to explore Kunming and experience all the amazing things this city has to offer. Happy travels!