Kick start your travel bug by visiting the gorgeous Green Lake in downtown area. Absorb the ancient charm of the city by visiting the Golden Horse and Jade Phoenix Archway at dawn. Prior to that, you can either choose to explore the splendid Yuantong Temple or the bustling flower and bird market. You’ll visit the Stone Forest the next day to explore one of the greatest geological wonders on the entire planet.
Upon arrival, you will be picked up at Kunming airport by a local guide and chauffeured to the downtown area where you can gorge on local delicacies. Note: You can decide to visit either the splendid Yuantong Temple or the bustling flower and bird market (detailed introduction about the two places are listed in the following paragraphs). By choosing Yuantong Temple, you can start the visit directly. By picking the flower and bird market, you can visit it later today after the trip to the Green Lake. You will be delivered to the Green Lake which is nicknamed ‘the gem of the city’.
You can take a gentle stroll around the lakeside adorned with an abundance of charming teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. Afterwards, you’ll visit the Golden Horse and Jade Phoenix Archway situated only a few steps away from the city center for a glimpse of Kunming’s ancient glory. It is a city landmark decorated with animal carvings that provide evidence for totem worship practiced by some of the ancient ethnic tribes of Yunnan province for centuries. The archways are at their most glamorous when illuminated at night.
Tailor-make your own itinerary by picking one tourist attraction from the following two options:
A: You can visit Yuantong Temple to savor its old-world taste. Yuantong Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in the city with a history of more than 12 centuries. Located in downtown Kunming, it offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The temple hosts a series of pavilions and Buddhist halls, and it is noted for its gradually descending terrain from the entrance to the back as well as its unique structure with many of its Buddhist halls built around waters.
B: You can spend some time exploring the bustling flower and bird market. The equable climate in Kunming is conducive to the blooming of flowers and the living of birds. So the market is definitely worth a visit.
flower and bird market
Golden Horse and Jade Phoenix Archway
The highlight of today’s trip is to visit the magnificent Stone Forest. In the morning after breakfast, we’ll head towards the Stone Forest located 90 kilometers to the south of Kunming. Due to a process of weathering and erosion, nature has created an art gallery of limestone sculpture there. You’ll be amazed to discover the striking resemblance between the stones and trees, animals and even fungi. The quintessential karst landscape will make every visitor lost in wonder.
After that, you’ll be delivered to the airport to catch your flight if you plan to call an end to the journey. Otherwise, you can extend your trip to stay one more day in Kunming and explore what more the city has to offer. A visit to the spectacular Western Hills Forest Park and the gorgeous Dianchi Lake is something you won’t be regretful about.
The Stone Forest