Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, with a history of more than 2400 years, owes its importance to the fact that it was the gateway to the celebrated Silk Road that facilitated trade with Tibet, Sichuan, Myanmar and India.
Kunming enjoys a pleasant climate, with an average temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), making it spring all year round. Whenever you are planning to go, the temperature is always agreeable.
Kunming is best explored at a leisurely pace. Wander the markets for local handicrafts and herbs, sip fragrant Yunnan tea in a relaxed teahouse, fill up on delicious snacks, and bike through the city and surrounding countryside. Visit temples, lakes (the deep blue Dian Chi is worth at least a day alone) and nearby mountains and forests (including the Shilin "stone forest" rock formation).
Kunming is the focal point of Yunnan minority culture. Some 26 ethnic minorities such as Han, Yi, Bai, Miao, Dai, Hani and more inhabit the region. Each group has its own featured festivals such as the Torch festival of Yi people, the Golden Temple Fair. Kunming has become the most popular center for tourism in Southwest China.