Reasons Why Kunming Is Awesome!

I’m in Yunnan right now and suffering from behind the great firewall of China. I’m trying to post this by email, so write me a comment if you can read this. I’ve been in Kunming for a few days and I’m absolutely loving this city. It suits my laid back personality and is the perfect blend of China and Southeast Asia. As I was walking around the other afternoon, I thought to myself, this feels like home. I was overwhelmed by how amazing this place is, so I sat down and started writing a list of reasons why I like it here so much. Before I knew it, I had filled a page (front and back). So without further ado, here is a list of "Reasons why Kunming is Awesome"…

-Flowers, trees (even palm trees) and green space around every corner.
-Old people wearing grey Mao suits and blue caps, sitting on street corners and in parks playing mahjong or Chinese chess. Chinese women out singing and dancing, or playing badminton.
-Surprises down every alley. Old houses with character!
-Delicious food- all kinds. Noodles everywhere, but also Korean, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Mediterranean, Western (including hearty American breakfasts with free coffee refiles).
-People spend time outdoors. There is outdoor seating for most restaurants, the windows and doors are open, and people are always out walking around.
-Coffeeshops and tea houses. Cozy places to sit, think, or chat with friends. All of them seem to be locally owned (or Chinese companies)– no huge chains.
-The city is old but not in a falling apart way. Just kind of "distinguished" or "experienced." Lots of history and foreign influence.
-Friendly people. I aksed for directions about five ftimes today, everyone (from the old man smoking to the crossing guard to the lady on the bus) smiled and gave me great directions! Unheard of in China!
-Tons of boutiques selling (gasp) fashionable clothes. Not too expensive either!
-You can wander on the streets and not get lost. (That’s saying a lot coming from my directionally-challenged self)
-People don’t honk nearly as much as other places in China. Un-be-lievable!
-Bus drivers are not gruff, angry men with attitudes. They wait calmly for people to get on/off. Pushing not necessary!
-Bike lanes are actually for bikes (and electric motorcycles) but there aren’t too many that they blog the roads and intersections.
-Backpacker/study abroad scene here– if you want it. As a result, there are great hostels!
-Diversity of people. Young/old, tourists/townspeople, migrants, Chinese minorities etc.
-Streets are relatively clean. Plenty of trashcans and public toilets.
-Bootleg DVD/software stores out in the open. English bookstores with cheap books (photocopies of real books!)
-Cultural sites to visit all over the city and nearby for weekend trips.
-People are always willing to speak Chinese with you. They can speak putonghua (Mandarin) but they are also very proud of Kunminghua. (Eric’s reason)
-The cats like to sit in your lap and purr (Glen’s reason after I told him about how I bonded with one of the cats in the hostel)

Start planning your trips to visit!

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8 thoughts on “Reasons Why Kunming Is Awesome!

  1. I’m so glad to hear that you love that cicy, kim. In fact, I figured this since I knew how the weather is there and how much you like the sunshine. Some friends and I were planning to go to Yunnan because it’s not too hot there in Summer and not far from my hometown,Chongqing. Anyway, wish you a wonderful vacation in Kunming! (Simon)

  2. Your description makes it sound like a wonderful place to go. It will be great getting some of your wonderful photos.
    We are heading into at least 4 days of heat in the high 90’s or 100’s with the due point in the high 90’s so the coolness sounds extra good.
    I love your enthusiasm and hope you continue to find fun and amazing things to see and do.

    Love,
    Aunt Noreen

  3. Sounds like you’re an ambassador for Kunming already! Blogs and pictures will continue to be fascinating, Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Love,
    Aunt Anne

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone! I’m having problems accessing my email (gmail seems to be on China’s latest naughty list), but I really enjoyed hearing from you all. I’m off to Beijing tomorrow to do some touristy sightseeing and catch up with a few friends. I’m looking forward to getting back to Dalian and using my VPN again! I miss Facebook 😦

  5. Hi Kimberly! Happily, your post got through the firewall so I was able to read about the wonderful city life you found. Always great reading your posts and the fun you find. Even your bad days / hard luck cases are turned into a contemplative study of life.

  6. Kimberley,
    I too am enjoying your travels. You have a gift for seeing details and describing them in a way that gives us readers wonderful, vivid glimpses of Chinese culture. I hope you are as happy as you sound!

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