Kunming is Yunnan's capital and one of the economic powerhouses in South China. The city sprawls around the heavily polluted Dianchi Lake and goes by the nickname Spring City, thanks to the pleasant climate.
Humans have lived around the fertile shores of Lake Dianchi for at least 30.000 years and some pundits see the area as one of the cradles of mankind.
The city of Kunming dates from 768, and saw the rise and fall of the Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms , before it became the capital of Yunnan under Yuan rule.
Marco Polo is said to have visited the city around 1285 as envoy from Kublai Kahn and noticed to his surprise that the locals had the strange habit to eat their meat raw.
Kunming has always profited of Its strategic geographical location. first as a stop on the ancient southern Silk Road, during WWII as an allied military base to protect the Burma Road and presently as an economic hub to Southeast Asia.
The town is the terminus of the Pan Asia High Speed Network with train connections to Singapore, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh city. A high speed connection with Shanghai started in 2016, cutting the travel time to merely 11 hours.
The Western Hills feature the famous Taoist grottoes of Dragon Gate. Close by you find  the tranquil and elegant Tai Hua Buddhist temple.
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Tai Hua temple
Dragon Gate