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Colorful Kunming (7-11 December 2013) ; How Great Thou Art

Hi all, after being away from blogging for a while, I would like to share you some photos that might inspire you to visit a city that I recently visited, Kunming.

I flew with AirAsia to Kunming. A great experience to fly with the world’s best low cost carrier. From Jakarta, I took the first flight to Kuala Lumpur using AirAsia Indonesia (QZ), and connecting to Kunming for 2 hours with AirAsia Malaysia (AK). The schedule is very convenient, the flight arrived in the afternoon, not too late before dark.

I will not say too much here, but my photos will speak themselves, how beautiful the city is. If you guys happen to seek nature and serenity, this place is very recommended.

All pictures are taken by iPhone 5. I am a proud iPhone photographer.

Kunming is located in Southwest China, not too far from Hanoi and this city has a lot to offer. I feel so grateful to get a chance to visit this city for a 5 days trip. Colorful city, all seasons, spring weather, authentic heritage and cultural. For those who had visited Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou before might find this city a bit different. This city doesn’t have MRT only bus, and the capital Kunming is not as packed as those three cities. However, there are still some areas that can be found similar such as Dongfeng Road the shopping district (similar to Wangfujing Road in Beijing or Nanjing Road in Shanghai).

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Kunming from 20th floor, New Era Kunming Hotel.
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Besides Dong Feng area, Kunming has some night market shops that you can find around the area. What I found was strange was, I couldn’t find folding fan, and fridge magnet for souvenirs, only accessories, furniture, clothes, and foods.

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One of the souvenir shops I visited.

Apart from shopping indulgence, Kunming pleases its visitors with many natural attractions. You should complete your journey by interacting with nature. It may takes big effort for this but the experience you’ll get pays off the hassle.

Xishan (West Mountain)

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Xi Shan (West Mountain) is the closest natural site to Kunming city. Located in the west side of the city this mountain’s elevation is around 2.500 meters high. From this mountain you can take cable car, which is not the usual cable car. This thing will make you feel like flying off the mountain, and for those who have high altitude phobia are actually not recommended to take this.

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Trees Underneath.

What I wore? Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico Mid Runner

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Cable car track

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Finally, I reached the top end!

What I wore? Brown Wayfarer glasses: Tom Ford, Unbranded scarf, Blue Sweater : Next, Blue Jeans: Nudie, Watch: Swatch Irony

Yunnan Nationalities Village

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Colorful trees captured in Yunnan Nationalities Village in Kunming. As I mentioned earlier, Kunming is known as Spring City. It offers the best weather and you will get all season here!

When you are in Kunming, visiting Yunnan Nationalities Village is a must. This village is similar to a recreational park which showcases Yunnan’s tribes that account to 25 tribe nationalities. You will get to experience their lifestyle, visiting the mock-up of their house, watching performance, and most importantly this park is designed flawlessly gorgeous, lots of trees, lake and many more.

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The lake in Yunnan Nationalities Village somewhat makes you feel like being in Europe

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What I wore? Brown Wayfarer glasses: Tom Ford, Unbranded scarf, Blue Sweater : Next, Blue Jeans: Nudie

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Cui Hu Lake

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Cui Hu Lake Park, Kunming. This is where you could play with the seagulls. The seagulls are known to fly from Siberia to Kunming every winter, making this lake as their playground.

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Let’s see the gulls closer

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One of ancient buildings in Cui Hu Lake Park.

Stone Forest Park

I also managed to visit stone forest park, the biggest stone forest in China and probably in the world. The stone forest park is formed million years ago, when the earth moved and the sea water eroded. If there is stonehenge in the U.K, in China there is stone forest park. The stones were formed nearly thousands years ago in giant sizes. What makes it interesting, the local folks still believes in the romantic Ahei ann Ashima love story which becomes a substance of the stone forest journey experience. The tour guide says we must use our imagination in ord enjoy the stones. Your imagination will lead you to think of many unique shape that represents things around us.

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What I wore? White long sleeve Polo Shirt, St. Michael (Marks & Spencer) black sweater, Burberry Scarf, Zara black leather gloves and Brown Swatch Irony.

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There are many lake inside the forest

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They believe this is the Ashima stones. The left tip is the head and the two on the right is believed as flower bucket that she carries all the time

Jiaozi Mountain

I also got a chance to visit Jiaozi Mountain, the highest mountain in Yunnan (4.200 m below sea level or approx. 12.000 feet) which is also known as a snowy mountain. The mountain is located at Liuxijiang district, 4 hours ride from Kunming. The weather is extremely cold up there so you will need to prepare thick jackets, layered shirts and sweaters.

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The view along the way

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What I wore? Knit Blue Sweater by H&M, Knit scarf by H&M, Honey pants by H&M, Leather gloves by Zara, Suede winter boots: Unbranded

The snow is not an eternal snow, but only seasonal. The mountain isn’t covered by snow during my visit, only some areas due to the season transition from autumn to winter. Despite there is only less snow at that time, but I was still grateful to go up and see the beauty nature.

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The frozen waterfall

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Do not ever step on the ice. This one was accidentally taken right after I slipped on the ice. I asked someone to help me taking a picture of me sitting on the ice, but it turned out I slipped on the ice and hit my elbow against the rock.

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Enjoying Sunset from 3.800 meters above the sea level

Guangdu Ancient Town & Copper Palace

The two final places we visited were Guangdu Ancient Town and Copper Palace. These sites mark China’s solid culture which has been established for hundred years. The ancient town is secluded around the wall just like forbidden city or Nanshi Old Town in Huangpu, Shanghai. only the area is smaller. The district now has transformed as a shopping area selling foods, souvenirs, clothes, flowers and many more.

Just right before the old town, there is a river that occupied with seagulls. This is also a quiet interesting attraction for the tourists to feed the bird and they would fly to you.

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Siberian Seagulls at Guangdu Old town

What I wore? Grey turtleneck by H&M, Knit scarf by H&M, brown belt by Next, Leather gloves by Zara, Khakis pants by Dockers

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Guangdu Old town

What I wore? Grey turtleneck by H&M, Knit scarf by H&M, brown belt by Next, Leather gloves by Zara, Khakis pants by Dockers

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What are your 2014’s wishes?

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Reminds me of a Golden temple in Kyoto, Japan

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Conclusion

To conclude I actually very enjoyed my last trip to Kunming. I didn’t know anything about the city, but when I was assigned to visit the city, I felt so grateful and being even more thankful for my creature. China has always been a favorite destination to me, as I am a person who rather enjoys hills, mountains, and nature than beaches. I sent some of the pictures to my friends and families, they were even asking where I had been. I said Kunming and they were like “Oh? Where is it?” I said China.

Kunming is known as spring city, but it gets very cold in winter, so if you are planning to visit between December – March 2013 just prepare your thick jackets or sweater, gloves and scarf. The Jiaozi mountain isn’t covered with snow in early December, if you want to feel the snow you may visit in January – March.

In my own perspective (if I could compare this with two others like Beijing and Shanghai is still different. Kunming has less population but the city is still the central industry in Southwest China. It hasn’t any MRT or subways like Beijing and Shanghai, public bus is the main transportation. If you guys want to visit Kunming, I recommend you join local tour or commute with Taxi if you are unsure about language barriers.

In terms of shopping, in Kunming the night market offers you many products starting from clothing, accessories, home decorations, until electronics. It is cheaper here! I think due to proximity to Guangzhou, this city could sell more cheaper products.

Since the nature tourism is very important here, you should go to the outskirts city. Climb the mountain and see how the nature treats your eyes. Last but not least, Kunming is a worth city to visit!

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