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6 Magical Reasons to Visit Yunnan Province in China – 2024 Guide

China has it all! From highly developed cities and skyscrapers in Beijing to stunning nature in Yunnan, China is probably a must on your list when it comes to traveling. There is nothing more interesting than exploring cultures of far countries that are in another part of the world. The beautiful variety of cultures that China has is certainly worth visiting.

Yunnan Province is often out of focus when it comes to tourists, simply because cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are the most popular. China has a lot to offer – on one side, the futuristic cities with developed architecture, and provinces such as Yunnan on the other side. Yunnan is one of the most attractive places in the world, simply because of its natural beauty. Yunnan is home to gorgeous sights, landscapes, and heaven-like lakes. If you are a nature enthusiast or simply like the sight of green fields, this province is a place you should certainly visit. We will provide you with a list of reasons why you should visit this divine province.

1. Kunming

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Does the sound of an eternal spring sound unrealistic? Well, in Kunming, it is always spring. This city is the capital of Yunnan province and has a reputation for being a “Spring City.” The temperature is mild all year round. In summer, the temperature rarely goes higher than 30 degrees Celsius, and wintertime is also moderate when it comes to weather. Because of this, Kunming is decorated with beautiful green trees and fresh flowers throughout the whole year.

This kind of weather attracts black-necked gulls that come to this beautiful city to enjoy winter days. The city is enriched with both ancient and modern architecture, which will appeal to any history geek. You should not miss visiting the Stone Forest, which was listed as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is also known as the “First Wonder Under the Heaven” Stone Forest and it is quite a unique karst landform thanks to many years of geological evolution. Here you could find a variety of scenes: karst caves, underground rivers, waterfalls and much more. This one-of-a-kind scenery will surely be appealing to all photographers out there!

2. Lijiang

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Another destination worth mentioning is Lijiang. It is located in the northwest of Yunnan Province and is the hottest city. Its Old Town is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of four best-preserved ancient cities in China, which alone is a great reason for visiting it because breathtaking landscapes are everywhere. In addition to that, it is the home of the Naxi people. Their architecture can be found everywhere, as well as the language, music, and dances of these natives. Another notable location is magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It is covered by snow all year round, so it is a great location for all lovers of hiking, climbing, and sightseeing.

3. Shangri-La

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How can we not mention a place that is known as “the Lost Paradise”? This is another magical location that is enriched with natural resources and stunning landscapes. It’s surprisingly beautiful meadows with perfectly green grass, breathtaking mirror-like lake, and crystal water will assure you that paradise does exist on Earth. The largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery is located in Shangri-Li. Songzanlin Monastery is one of the numerous locations you must visit. It was built in 1679, and nowadays, it is the most important monastery in southwest China.  On top of this, Shangri-La is home to the first national park in China – Pudacuo National Park. Its fairytale-like scenery will take your breath for sure. Lush forests, perfect lakes, and small villages are one more reason you would not regret visiting this heaven-like national park.

4. Dali

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This city is one of the most romantic places in Yunnan province for a reason. Dali is the capital of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture and is once again a heaven-like destination. Its scenery is almost painted-like, and if you are visiting with the love of your life, you must go to Erhai Lake. Its crystal clear and mirror-like water surely look like something from a movie scene, but it is quite real! Dali is also home to the Bai ethnic minority. These people will surely amaze you with their laid-back nature and their specific type of architecture.

5. People

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If you want to learn about numerous different cultures, Yunnan is the perfect place to visit. There are 26 different ethnic minorities, with Han Chinese being the dominant culture. Still, each of these ethnic minorities has its own language, festivals, traditions, and customs, some of which are quite fascinating.

Even though it is quite rare nowadays, especially for a developed country such as China, some of these ethnic minorities, like the Naxi people, still practice Shamanism today. Interestingly, the traditional music of some ethnic minorities has highly influenced popular Chinese mainstream music.

People in Yunnan are really friendly to visitors and are quite laid back and relaxed. This is due to the fact that this city is far away from hardworking and always rushing people in Beijing. The Yunnan saying “the mountains are high and the emperor is far away” can explain their nonchalant and casual nature. The fact that they don’t speak Mandarin Chinese will not prevent them from offering you tasty food and drinks. If you want to learn about all the activities you can engage in, visit this website.

6. Food

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The inevitable part of every trip for many world travelers is trying out the natives’ cuisine. The food of the people of Yunnan would not disappoint you because it is a blend of Southeast Asian, Chinese and Tibetan flavors.  Most of their food is spicy, but from Dai like lemony-sour spices in their diet. On the other hand, people from northwestern Yunnan often use yak meat or yak milk in their dishes, so you will certainly find interesting dishes if you are an adventurous eater. Of course, one of the best ways to taste local’s food is certainly street food. You can find specialties such as live shrimp and raw pork. The hospitality of the native people will certainly not let you roam around hungry.

About Peter Janos