Welcome to Kunming
Chinese know Kunming as the "city of eternal spring." After all, it's the capital of the province of "Yunnan", meaning "south of the clouds." Dissidents were sent here during the cultural revolution, and many stayed even after the government allowed them to return.
Yunnan is far enough from the central government that policy is less strict than in the north. You spot hawkers selling nudie posters, and you notice a profusion of department stores and electronic equipment.
This area contains an extreme diversity of people and terrains. Peasants sell illegally collected (or fake) tiger claws on the curb. Pineapples have replaced yams as the street-food of choice.
The stone forest is a nearby attraction. Here, the climate has eroded limestone bedrock into some freaky formations. Like northern tourist spots, this one has dozens of locals trying to sell, sell, sell. They do sell some cool stuff, like embroideries that depict their religious cosmology. But what do all those weird symbols mean?
You are nearing the farthest extent of the main train lines, so you'll have to take a bouncy bus ride into the mountains to reach the town of Lijiang .
Jump to any of the main stops in China by clicking on the links below