Kunming, China


Kunming, in southwestern China’s Yunnan province, is a pleasant place to study Chinese. The city of “eternal spring” and the surrounding area offer plenty of sights to occupy your free time, not to mention the variety of “interesting” foods to try.

Trip Overview

This page outlines posts related to a three week study trip I made to the Keats Language School in Kunming, China in August – September 2011. Weekends and afternoons were devoted to exploring the area and taking my new Mandarin skills to the street. The trip ends with a short visit to Beijing and the Great Wall. 

Language Study

Review of Keats Language School

The Vanishing Homestay Option – When is a Lie Not a Lie?
Beware of the Chinese and their promises.

For more details on classroom activities see the following posts.
Keats Language School, First Impressions
First Day of Language Class
Language Lessons Continue
End of the First Week
Second Week of Classes
Third Week of Classes – Review, Review and more Review

In and Around Kunming

First Weekend in Kunming, China
Includes a visit to Green Lake Park and a taste of Dai cuisine.
Yuantong Temple and Golden Temple
Yuantong is Kunming’s largest Buddhist temple and a pleasant place to escape the noisy streets. The Golden Temple is best known for the golden Buddha it houses in a 17th century pavilion.
Bamboo Temple
A tranquil setting just 12 kilometer outside the city. The temple is best known for the 500 19th century,  individually designed and wildly expressive clay figures of holy men.
Expo Gardens, Kunming China – Worth It?
The largest horticultural exhibitions in China, including installations representing each of China’s 34 provinces and regions.
Saying Goodbye to Kunming – For Now
Includes one last visit to Green Lake Park to watch one of the Chinese’s favorite pastimes – singing and dancing in the park.


Dining Alone in Kunming
A taste of Korean food in China.
Ordering Baozi
Names in Chinese and English with descriptions of some of China’s most popular dumplings.
Dinner in a Thunderstorm
More Food Discoveries
Exploring some regional specialties, from the tame (chicken noodle soup) to the spicy (lŭ cài).
Do Duck Tongues Really Have Bones?
The post starts with a plate of duck tongues and continues on to roasted tofu and Husband and Wife Sliced Lung.

Weekend Excursions

Day Trip to Xi Shan
Kunming’s West Mountains offer a pleasant respite from the hectic city. Not be missed is the stunning Long Men grotto carved in the hillside.
Day trip to Shilin
A spectacular array of rock formations, Shilin, or Stone Forest, is one the region’s top sights.
Arriving in Jian Shui
A weekend excursion to Jian Shui by bus. Includes the Zhu Family Gardens and the atmospheric restaurant just across the street.
Exploring the Sights in Jian Shui
Includes the Confucian Temple and Swallow Cave.
Jian Shui to Kunming
Includes the Twin Dragon Bridge and a visit to the Jian Shui Sunday market.


Finding the Beijing Crowne Plaza at Midnight – A Comedy of Errors
Back in Beijing
Includes getting to town from the airport by bus and a spin through the food stalls around the Wangfu Jing shopping street.
Hiking the Great Wall, Jinshanling to Simatai – Take Two
Also includes a Peking Duck dinner.
Last Day in China – The Forbidden City
I Hate Taxis
What you should know before you get in a taxi.

22 thoughts

Leave a Reply