‘The Place South of the Colourful Clouds’

Yunnan is Chinas most south western province which borders the countries of Burma, Laos and Vietnam and neighbours fellow provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Tibet. Yunnan is referred to as ‘the place south of the colourful clouds’. Yunnan is known for its breath taking views of beautiful landscapes, its diverse population of ethnic […]

Yunnan is Chinas most south western province which borders the countries of Burma, Laos and Vietnam and neighbours fellow provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Tibet. Yunnan is referred to as ‘the place south of the colourful clouds’. Yunnan is known for its breath taking views of beautiful landscapes, its diverse population of ethnic groups and creatures. This area is very accessible with many domestic flights arriving in Yunnan, it is best to check out Air China to see the best deal. Yunnan should be highly considered in your China Travels!!

Yunnan is a mountainous area and is surrounded by many lakes
and rivers. On the North West side of the province it is in a high elevation area and the South East it is in a low elevation area. Majority of the population lives on the east side of Yunnan and the population of Yunnan exceeds 45 million people. The capital of Yunnan is Kunming and it is one of the main destinations tourists go to. Majority of tourists are from the mainland but in recent years the number of tourists from other countries have been increasing. The weather in Yunnan is quite adaptable and is relatively good all year round, in January the temperature is roughly 8°-17° and in July the temperature is roughly 21°-27°. However the summer months which are June to August, they get over half of the year’s predicted rain. But it is still a good time to go especially if you do love the rain. This mild climate is very attractive to all.

There are over 600 lakes and rivers in Yunnan which contributes to the beautiful scenery. The main popular lakes which attract the attention of the tourists are the Dianchi Lake, Fuxian Lake, Erhai Lake, Lugu Lake, Qilu Lake, Yangzong Lake, Yilong Lake, Xinyung Lake. Majority of these lakes averages about 30 square kilometres each. Yunnan is also a source of two main rivers they are the Xi River and the Yuan River. Because of this agriculture is a very strong focus and Yunnan is rich in natural resources. Yunnan has the highest reserves of aluminium, lead, zinc and tin in all of China. This province also has a large diversity of plant life. In all of China there are roughly 30,000 different plants and Yunnan has 17,000.


There is a diverse culture in Yunnan; there are many different ethnic groups. Out of the 56 which is recognised by the mainland there are 25 different ethnic groups in Yunnan which are in compacted communities and majority of them are from the minority groups. Some of these groups are part of the Tibetan, Yao, Va, Hui, just to name a few. Therefore when visiting this area one would be able to experience and see many diverse cultures and try out very different foods, cultural events and locations.

 

The main appeal to Yunnan is its glorious landscapes it has to offer from extremely large mountains to beautiful never ending lakes. If you love nature, Yunnan is the place to be. The temperatures of Yunnan is very appealing as well but if you want to go hiking expect to see snow-capped mountain tops, so pack something suitable. Being able to see many different cultures in one or close areas is also a great advantage. So get away from the big cities of Beijing and Shanghai and go to China Tours to see ‘the place south of the colourful clouds’ and enjoy the spectacular views Yunnan has to offer.

The Yulan Garden

On September 6, 2011, in Parks & Gardens, Popular Provinces, Temples, Yunnan, by Jack Li

The Yulan Garden is located on the east mountainside of the Huating Hill. Covering an area of 4.4 hectares, it is the largest magnolia flower garden in China. From inside the garden, you can see the downtown of Kunming to the north, and the beautiful overview of the Dianchi Lake to the south. Magnolia, known […]

The Yulan Garden is located on the east mountainside of the Huating Hill. Covering an area of 4.4 hectares, it is the largest magnolia flower garden in China. From inside the garden, you can see the downtown of Kunming to the north, and the beautiful overview of the Dianchi Lake to the south.

Magnolia, known as “Yulan” or “Mulian”, is a kind of plant originally from China. According to the archaeologists, they were widely planted in imperial palaces, monasteries, and famous ancient Chinese gardens in the Tang Dynasty. In the Yuan Dynsaty, a Taoist Temple called “the Taihua Taoist Temple” was built on the Western Hills, and a large number of magnolia trees were planted inside. The magnolia trees there grew very well and became a well-known scenic spot in Yunnan Province for more than 700 years. To honor the beautiful magnolia blossom in the temple, people even gave them a special name, “the Taihua Magnolia”.

The Yulan Garden is built on the basis of the Taihua Temple. There are more than 1100 magnolia trees in the garden, all of which are the famous Taihua Magnolia. A great number of plum trees, cherry trees, peach trees, and camellia trees are planted in the garden to make it more rich and colorful. Some trees in the garden are hundreds of years old. They are so precious that their exact locations and names are recorded in the official documents. Different flowers are present in the garden according to the seasons, so that tourists can enjoy extraordinary flower scenes no matter when they come.

There is a center for entertainment and accommodation, several pavilions for resting, elegant paths, and public lavatories in the garden. In order to meet the needs of tourists, a number of retail sections and chess rooms are newly established. People who have visited it before said it was a wonderful place to enjoy fascinating blossoms and spend leisure times.

Western Hills Forest Park

The Reclining Buddha Mountains

On September 6, 2011, in Mountain Areas, Nature Scenery, Parks & Gardens, Yunnan, by Jack Li

The Reclining Buddha Mountains, known as the Western Hills, form the basis of the Western Hills Forest Park. Because the mountains look like a Buddha who was lying and resting himself from far away, they were named the Reclining Buddha Mountains. People also refer to them as the Western Hills since they are located in […]

The Reclining Buddha Mountains, known as the Western Hills, form the basis of the Western Hills Forest Park. Because the mountains look like a Buddha who was lying and resting himself from far away, they were named the Reclining Buddha Mountains. People also refer to them as the Western Hills since they are located in the west suburban area of Kunming. The mountains are all thickly dotted by various kinds of flowers and trees, constituting the breathtaking landscape there. The Reclining Buddha Mountains are so famous for their extraordinary natural beauty that people regarded them as “the most beautiful place in Yunnan Province” from ancient ages.

The Reclining Buddha Mountains stretch for 40 kilometers along the western edge of Kunming. The sea level elevation of them range from 1,900 meters to 2,350 meters. Looking out the mountains from Kunming, the Reclining Buddha Mountains appear to be a beauty lying beside the Dianchi Lake. The head, the bosom, the legs, the belly, and even the hairs of the lady are very easy to identify. Local legend has it that the mountain was the incarnation of an ancient princess. She disobeyed her father’s will and married to a young man with no title secretly. Her father was furious when he found out. He managed to kill the young man cruelly. The princess was so desperate and heartbroken that she cried for a long time and died. Her tears gathered into the depression beside her and formed the Dianchi Lake, while she herself turned into mountains, which is the Reclining Buddha Mountains today.

The Reclining Buddha Mountains have been developed into a forest park now. Famous attractions like the Longmen Grottoes and the Xiaoshilin Stone Forest dot amongst the mountains. You can visit them during your trip to the mountains since they are all relatively small in size. And if you visit the mountains on March the 3rd, you will catch the opportunity to experience a traditional party, where you can enjoy traditional Chinese music and dances.

Western Hills Forest Park

The Longmen Grottoes

On September 6, 2011, in Historical Relics, Popular Provinces, Towers, Pagodas & Grottoes, Yunnan, by Jack Li

The Longmen Grottoes are located at the southern end of the Western Hills Park, between the Sanqing Taoist Temple and the Datian Pavilion. They are the largest and most exquisite Taoist grottoes in Yunnan Province. It is said that the Yangs, the officials who were in charge of the construction of the park ordered more […]

The Longmen Grottoes are located at the southern end of the Western Hills Park, between the Sanqing Taoist Temple and the Datian Pavilion. They are the largest and most exquisite Taoist grottoes in Yunnan Province. It is said that the Yangs, the officials who were in charge of the construction of the park ordered more than 70 stonemasons to build the grottoes. These stonemasons spent around 22 years to finish the remarkable grottoes. The Longmen Grottoes are famous for their uniqueness and steepness in the world, making them must visit attractions in Kunming for tourists.

The first thing that appears into your eyes when you reach the grottoes is the delicate Longmen Gate. The gate is a true gem of the grottoes because of its exquisite workmanship. There is this stele beside the gate, with the shape of ancient Chinese coins carved on it. Rumor has it that those who touch the stele will make a fortune soon, so almost all the visitors to the grottoes will touch it. There is a little balcony bounded by white marble railings near the entrance of the grottoes. From inside the balcony, you can enjoy the overview of the gorgeous Dianchi Lake. The main chamber of the grottoes is not far away from the balcony. The name of the chamber, “the Datian Chamber” is carved above the entrance, and several words that intend to help people calm down are carved around it. The chamber is built to honor several primary Taoist Gods such as the God of Wisdom, the God of Literature, and the God of War (General Guan Yu). Their shrines are placed at the centre of the chamber. If you are careful enough, you will notice that the brush pen in the God of Wisdom’s hand had been repaired before. There is a sad story behind it. It is said that a stonemason who took part in building the grottoes accidently broke the brush as soon as he finished the statue of the God of Wisdom. He was so self-accused for leaving a flaw on this marvelous statue that later he jumped from a nearby cliff and killed himself. Apart from the statues of Taoist Gods, there are beautiful frescos on the ceiling and the walls of the chamber. On the ceiling of it, there carves a vivid picture of auspicious clouds and crowned cranes, and on the wall, a picture on running horses in the Heavenly Palace. The whole Longmen Grottoes is build inside a piece of giant rock. The unique design and refined craftsmanship of it represent the wisdom and diligence of the ancient Chinese people.

Western Hills Forest Park

Hall of Pure Trinity

On September 5, 2011, in Kunming, Temples, Towers, Pagodas & Grottoes, Yunnan, by Jack Li

Hall of Pure Trinity is a Taoist temple which is located in the mountain side of West Mountain in Kunming. It was originally an imperial palace for short stays away from the capital in hot summer days for Liang Wang in Yuan Dynasty. Then it was transformed into Pavilion of Jade Emperor in the beginning […]

Hall of Pure Trinity is a Taoist temple which is located in the mountain side of West Mountain in Kunming. It was originally an imperial palace for short stays away from the capital in hot summer days for Liang Wang in Yuan Dynasty. Then it was transformed into Pavilion of Jade Emperor in the beginning of Ming Dynasty. In the next few years, Hall of Divine Inspiration, Hall of Pure Trinity, Sanfeng Palace, Lvzu Palace, Yuan Emperor Palace, Zhenwu Palace, Qizhen Palace, Zhangxian Palace, Laojun Palace, Baoyi Palace, Feiyun Pavilion, Doumu Pavion were built in succession. These palaces stand tier upon tier and arranged in close order with outstanding features.

Above Hall of Pure Trinity is the Longmen Grottoes, which was cut on steep precipices and cliffs of Luohan Mountain. There are 22 Taoist statues in total, being the largest Taoist grottoes in Yunnan Province. Hall of Pure Trinity was firstly a pavilion for Liangwang to spend hot summer days; then it gradually developed into a recessed cliff architecture complex with rise of Taoist palaces. If you ascend the stairs from Longmen Village under the cliff, look up 1000 wandering stone steps, you will have a special feeling.

Because Hall of Pure Trinity was built on cliff, it seems that the air castle of Taoist immortals is just in front of your eyes and it looks like carved beams and painted rafters. There are many bizarre stones and artful holes in the architecture complex, the most interesting of which is called “Obedient Cow Spring”. It was said that once upon a time, a butcher lived at the foot of the mountain. One day, when he tried to slaughter a cow, a calf suddenly snapped the butcher’s knife and rushed to the mountain. When arriving at “Obedient Cow Spring”, it weighed down the knife with its small body. Seeing the scene, the butcher returned with complex feelings and set the cow free. From then on, the spring has been called “Obedient Cow Spring”.

The Dian Lake

Haigeng Park

On September 5, 2011, in Kunming, Lakes, Parks & Gardens, Yunnan, by Jack Li

Haigeng Park was built in the early years of 1960s, in the south of the “Spring City” Kunming in Yunnan Province and at the bank of “Pearl of Plateau” Dian Lake. It is about 10 kilometers away from the center of Kunming and the transportation there is very convenient. “Haigeng” means the dyke of the […]

Haigeng Park was built in the early years of 1960s, in the south of the “Spring City” Kunming in Yunnan Province and at the bank of “Pearl of Plateau” Dian Lake. It is about 10 kilometers away from the center of Kunming and the transportation there is very convenient. “Haigeng” means the dyke of the sea and originally it is a long dyke in the Dian Lake.

The dyke, from Haigeng Country in the east to the West Mountain in the west is five kilometers long with from 60 to 300 meters wide. The over 300 square kilometers Dian Lake is separated into two parts: the south part is broad Dian Lake while the north part is “Grass Sea”. Here with dense and green forests, rippling lake surface, and sails of fish boats, bringing the garden landscape and country landscape, quite attractive and beautiful. The whole sea dyke can be four scenic spots: in the east, there is national sport training center; in the middle there is beach outdoor bathing place with soft sand; in the west, there is park area, in which you can appreciate beautiful view of lake and mountains; in the north, there are travelling center. There are also many other large-scale vocation resorts and gardens where travelers can enjoy themselves. You can spend holidays here all the year round and you can take bus 24 to get here.

The long sea dyke from west to east lasting almost for four kilometers and a half is like a jade ribbon floating on the lake, separating the lake into two parts. The south part is the main body of the Dian Lake, surrounded by mountains and filled with sails, quite tremendous. While the north part is “Grass Sea”, of which the water is like as peaceful as a mirror and the banks are twisted. On the banks, the trees are tall enough to reach the sky with braches dwelling on the lake surface. Watching the lake afar here, you can have a special experience. In the south part of the sea dyke, the soft sand shaped beaches and green waters make this place a perfect natural swimming place. Every summer, numerous people come here to enjoy their time.

The Dian Lake

Guanyin Mountain

On September 2, 2011, in Kunming, Lakes, More Cities, Nature Scenery, Yunnan, by Jack Li

Guanyin Moutain is in the central part of the Dian Lake west bank, which is about 18 kilometers from West Mountain. It is a stone mountain standing abruptly. It is not very high but very cliffy. The shape of the mountain is quite unique like a flying phoenix. Taking a boat on the Dian Lake, […]

Guanyin Moutain is in the central part of the Dian Lake west bank, which is about 18 kilometers from West Mountain. It is a stone mountain standing abruptly. It is not very high but very cliffy. The shape of the mountain is quite unique like a flying phoenix. Taking a boat on the Dian Lake, the flying phoenix is vivid and true to life, so people in Kunming call it “Spread Phoenix”.

The forests are dense and the buildings stand upright magnificently. The temple is just located in on the back of the “phoenix”, taking a sense of sacred sky. The Dian Lake is broad and beautiful with thousands of sails, as if it were a fairyland on earth. At the foot of Guanyin Mountain, there are villages of people of Bai nationality, about over 500 families here. The rich culture of Bai nationality makes Guanyin Mountain more charming and attractive.

During Ming Dynasty, two famous monks Wuzhen and Mingquan, built the back palace of Guanyin Mountain and rebuilt the Jialan Palace and Sacred Monk Palace, so there are a group of buildings with three floors. Standing on the Guanyin Mountain and looking up, the clouds are vast and boundless and the sky is quite near. Looking down, you will see the beautiful lake with fish boats and sea birds on it, which is too beautiful to be absorbed all at once.

The Dian Lake

White Fish Mouth

On September 2, 2011, in Kunming, Lakes, Valleys and Scenic Spots, Yunnan, by Jack Li

White Fish Mouth Scenic Spot is located in the west bank of the Dian Lake, 30 kilometers away from Kunming. It looks like a peninsula sticks into the Dian Lake. There are exuberant trees and bright and clean lake water, creating a beautiful environment. When the flood season comes, silts come from the west and […]

White Fish Mouth Scenic Spot is located in the west bank of the Dian Lake, 30 kilometers away from Kunming. It looks like a peninsula sticks into the Dian Lake. There are exuberant trees and bright and clean lake water, creating a beautiful environment. When the flood season comes, silts come from the west and deposit in the lake. The water body is so quiet that white fish come in large numbers, they play in the Dian Lake, and so the sight is called “White Fish Mouth”. Another version says that there is a hill besides the valley, which looks like a open-mouthed white fish, so it is called “White Fish Mouth”.

In the north of White Fish Mouth Valley, there are 6,666 square meters flatland that leans against a precipitous cliff and faces the Dian Lake. In early years of Republic of China, there built a garden villa and a tower which was completely piled up by blocks and looks like a Chinese character “Lei”; therefore, it was called “Lei Garden”. There are three stories in Lei Garden, which look solemn, archaic and like old European castle. The wall of the small hall on the second floor is vitreous and there is French window fronting towards the lake. Staying in the hall, tourists can have a panoramic view of a landscape of lakes and mountains.

There are many small rooms besides Lei Garden, fishpond and rockery have been built in the west while sakura, junipers and Malus spectabilises are planted in the east. There is a causeway beside the lake with weeping willow. Moreover, there is a lilypond along the causeway where hibiscus rising out of water. There are arch bridges and paved roads surrounded the pond, as well as two stone pavilions which is the typical European style. In 1953, workers’ sanatorium was built at White Fish Mouth and Lei Garden was incorporated to it. Since then White Fish Mouth has become a wonderful health resort which is also called “Konggu Garden”. In addition, there built yacht dock at the lakeside in the southeast of villa; there is a stone causeway sticking into the Dian Lake where can park boats and enjoy the sight.

The Dian Lake

Fuxian Lake

On September 1, 2011, in Lakes, Nature Scenery, Popular Provinces, Yunnan, by Jack Li

As the largest lake in the headstream of Zhu River, Fuxian Lake is satuated among Chengjiang, Jiangchuan and Huaning County.  Resembling an inverted gourd, the second largest fresh lake in China has an average depth of 87m and covers an area of 212sqm.  Having high content of phosphorus but no pollution, the whole lake surface […]

As the largest lake in the headstream of Zhu River, Fuxian Lake is satuated among Chengjiang, Jiangchuan and Huaning County.  Resembling an inverted gourd, the second largest fresh lake in China has an average depth of 87m and covers an area of 212sqm.  Having high content of phosphorus but no pollution, the whole lake surface rippled green waves.  The mountain in its west is in a shape of bamboo shoot, rising from the level ground.  Huilong Mountain is located on its northeast side.  It is called as “Xiangbi Ling” because its shape is similar with an elephant’s nose.  Mingling with these beautiful mountains, the lake forms a picturesque landscape nearby.  Besides that, Fuxian Lake is a hot spring resort.  In the east of Fuxian Lake, there are many spring mouths.  Having an average temperature of 40℃ and abundant Sulphur, there is an ideal place of bathing and recuperate.  Moreover, the whole lake is a nice place for swimming.  Low temperature variation of summer and winter, adding to good water quality, the lake attracts thousands of visitors who are fond of swimming.  To provide better services, many swimming facilities have been constructed in the lake and the single mountain.  In a word, the Fuxian Lake is a superexcellent attraction for summer vacation tour.

Delta of Yuxi

Yingyue Lake

On September 1, 2011, in Chinese Towns & Villages, Lakes, Nature Scenery, Yunnan, by Jack Li

Yingyue Lake Leisure Cultural Center is situated in ‘the No. 1 Village in Yunnan’ – Da Yingjie which is at the downstream of Yuxi River. Nine streams flow to Da Yingjie. It was said that this place could bring people luck and happiness. Yingyue Lake Leisure Cultural Center is composed of Yingyue Lake Spring, Yingyue […]

Yingyue Lake Leisure Cultural Center is situated in ‘the No. 1 Village in Yunnan’ – Da Yingjie which is at the downstream of Yuxi River. Nine streams flow to Da Yingjie. It was said that this place could bring people luck and happiness. Yingyue Lake Leisure Cultural Center is composed of Yingyue Lake Spring, Yingyue Lake Fitness Center, Tourism Commodity Street, Yingyue Spring Hotel, Buddhist Culture Garden and Yuquna Temple. Buddhist culture, thanksgiving culture, spring culture, traditional ethnic culture, regional culture and ecological culture mixed up create the ideal atmosphere for Heart Enlightenment. Let me introduce the special way of Yingyue Lake to relax. First put your body into the warm water of Yingyue Spring and forget all your worries and wash off the dust of the world. Listen to the singing of birds and breathe the fragrance of pine trees; through the mist to appreciate the beauty of the moon and the blooming flowers, doing these your soul will get distillation. And the sounds of bells, drums and chime from the Buddhist Culture Garden will make you more intelligent. At last in Yuquan Temple, while enjoy the quietness of rain falling on the leaves of lotus, you should look back at your life, and then you would know how to cherish the flying time and enjoy the happy experience of thinking.

Delta of Yuxi

Page 1 of 3123