Yunnan Travel Guide
Yunnan Province, Dian for short, has Kunming
as its provincial capital. It is located the most southwestern
boundary of China with the Tropic of Cancer running through
its south. It borders the countries of Vietnam, Laos, and
Burma and Chinese provinces of Tibet, Sichuan, Guizhou and
Guangxi. Yunnan takes its name from its location to the
south of Yunling Mountains. The provinces encompasses approximately
394,000 square kilometers (152,000 square miles).
In the entire province, about 84 percent
area is mountainous, and the rest are plateau, hilly land,
basin and valley. The east features a limestone plateau
with karst scenery and unnavigable rivers flowing through,
while the west is characterized by mountain ranges and rivers
running north and south. Yunnan has a diversified mild climate
which is divided into three climatic zones-temperate, sub-tropical
and tropical from north to south. The balmy and fair climate
is characterized by small seasonal change in temperature,
but great range in temperature between the day and the night.
The rugged terrain and diverse climate produces a wide range
of flora and fauna, and the province is called a natural
zoological and botanical garden. Here offers the largest
number of plant species in China and an incredible array
of animals, including Asian elephants and golden monkeys.
There is even a rainforest known as Xishuangbanna where
you will find many rare and endangered species of plants
and animals. Yunnan is one of the regions in the world with
the most abundant resources of wild edible mushrooms. The
so-called 'pine mushroom' is the main product in Yunnan
and is exported to Japan in large quantities.
With 38 percent of the total population in the province
being minorities, Yunnan is noted for the biggest number
of ethnic minorities. Twenty-five minorities live in compact
settlements, and each retains its distinct languages, typical
custom, architectural style and colorful literature. The
Miao, Yao, Lolo, Lao, Shan, Thai, and Lisu are some of the
larger tribes; there is also a considerable Tibetan minority.
There are several other groups living in border areas and
river valleys. Operas of ethnic minorities like Dianju,
Baiju, Daiju, and dances like Peacock Dance, Fan Dance,
and Lushen Dance are very popular with tourists.
Due to its beautiful landscapes and colorful ethnic customs,
Yunnan becomes one of China's major tourist destinations
immediately communications are available. The natural beauty
here defies description. There are alpine landscapes, glaciers
and snow-capped mountain, precipitous valleys, luxuriant
virgin forests, lakes and hot springs, rivers and streams
and floral splendor. Shangri-La, an Tibetan county set high
in north-western mountains, is maybe the last virgin land
where one can observe culture which date back for thousands
of years. Yunnan boasts a lot of places of interest, such
as Stone Forest, a gigantic forest of stone formed by karst
outcrops in Kunming; Lijiang, a Naxi minority city listed
as UNESCO World Heritage, Dali, gifted with Dianchi Lake,
Cangshan Mountain and the historic center of the Nanzhao
and Dali kingdoms; and Yuanyang, a Hani minority community
with vast rice-terraces.