Bordering Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, Yunnan is a mountainous province in the far southwest of China. It’s home to spectacular natural landscapes, such as the Shilin Stone Forest and Tiger Leaping Gorge, as well as charismatic old towns and vibrant modern cities.
Things to do in Yunnan
Explore the lively city of Kunming, which is clustered with excellent museums and the 8th-century Buddhist temple of Yuantong Si. Admire old locomotives at the Yunnan Railway Museum and delve into the province’s ancient history at the Wu Mayao Museum of Anthropology, then stroll across the bridges linking the islands of Green Lake.
Hike through the magnificent Shilin Stone Forest, which encompasses limestone karst peaks resembling stalagmites and petrified trees. Explore the UNESCO-listed Naigu Stone Forest and Suogeyi Village before experiencing the thunderous roar of the 88-metre-high Dadieshui Waterfall.
Want to see one of the most spectacular river canyons in the world? Follow one of the trekking routes through the Tiger Leaping Gorge, which rises 3,790 metres high above the Jinsha River. Home to the indigenous Naxi people, it’s the narrowest, longest and deepest gorge in the world.
Wander through the charming streets of Lijiang’s Old Town, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the elaborately constructed timber houses as you explore the waterways and bridges, then shop for intricately carved window panels that make for a unique souvenir.
Getting around Yunnan
Kunming Changshui International Airport is around 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of Kunming and there are road connections across the border into Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. Buses connect most towns and cities across Yunnan province while the Dian-Zang highway is one of the best cycling routes in China.