Nicknamed the “Spring City” due to its warm climate all-year round, Kunming attracts a lot of migratory birds in the winter, many of which gather in one of Kunming’s several scenic parks. Many of the parks include lakes, where you’re guaranteed to spot hundreds of these winged beauties. Popular parks include Cuihu Park, perhaps the most famous of the bunch; Haigeng Park which offers splendid view of Dianchi Lake; The World Expo Garden which features impressive architectural structures and the Golden Temple Park, a popular destination for hikers or anyone wishing to breathe in some fresh air.
1) Cuihu Park
Situated directly opposite Yunnan University (在云南大学), Cuihu Park (Green Lake Park) is divided into four sections. These include a bamboo forest island where you can catch the locals having a good old song and dance session, and a goldfish island, which provides a peaceful environment for people to sit down and relax with a book. The center of the park has a pavilion where visitors can climb up and get a proper view of the surrounding scenery. Around November each year, several thousand Siberian gulls will stop off here to escape the bitter winter of northern Russia, and are worth taking a peek at if you’re a true nature lover.
Add: Cuihu Park
Tel: 0871 6531 8808; 6532 6664
Opening hours: 7:00-23:00
2) World Expo Garden
Built when Kunming held the World Horticultural Exhibition in 1999, the World Expo Garden (世界园艺博览园) is located six kilometers outside of the city. Featured pavilions include the China Pavilion, the International Pavilion and the Technology Pavilion among others. As it’s been over a decade since the event, the pavilions don’t look as attractive as they once did, though the China Pavilion has been maintained well enough, and visitors can get a glimpse of architectural influence from every province across the country. The park also features a 68-meter high tower for people to climb and get a good view of the park and surrounding areas. The overall size of the park is pretty huge, so if you’re intent on seeing everything you can take a ride in an electric car for quick and easy travel.
Add: World Expo Garden
Tel: 0871 6501 4606
Opening hours: 8:00-17:00
Price: 100 RMB
3) Golden Temple Forest Park
The Golden Temple Forest Park (金殿国家森林公园) is located in the north-east suburbs of Kunming, on Mingfeng Mountain (鸣凤山). Obviously, the most famous part of this park is the Golden Temple, which was built way back 1602, and is China’s largest and heaviest bronze structure at over 200 tons. The climb only takes around 10 minutes, so there’s really no need to spend the 15 RMB required for the cable car, unless you’re feeling really lazy! There’s also a greenhouse on the mountain where you can immerse yourself in tropical plants, and if you’re around in Spring, the blooming flowers make it a very pretty scene.
Add: Golden Temple Forest Park
Tel: 0871 6501 8306
Opening hours: 7:30-18:00
Price: 30 RMB
4) Haigeng ParkView In Map
Located around ten kilometers from the city, Haigeng Park (海埂公园), is known best as the place to go if you’re after views of the Dianchi Lake (滇池湖). The park itself is divided into four sections that include a national base for winter sports training, and a beach area to relax and soak up the sights of the lake. Much like Cuihu Park, visitors can see migratory winter birds that flock to the area each year, and these feathered friends are not afraid to get close to you and say hello! When the weather’s good, you can bring a tent and a picnic to this tranquil natural setting.
Add: 1318 Dianchi Lu, Xishan District, Kunming
Tel: 0871 6431 1627
Opening hours: 24 hours
Price: 10 RMB
Getting there: Take bus 24, 44, 73, 94, 135, 172, or a4 to Haigeng Park Station (海埂公园站车)
5) Grand View ParkView In Map
Positioned in the south-western suburbs of Kunming, the Grand View Park (大观楼公园) is up there with the rest in terms of lakeside beauty. Upon entering the park you’ll soon run into a pavilion, the view from which justifies the park’s name. Many famous writers and scholars of old were known to climb this pavilion and gain inspiration for poems and songs. Profoundness aside, visitors can also enjoy a ride in a nearby Ferris Wheel for 30 RMB.
Add: 72 Daguan Lu, Xishan District, Kunming
Tel: 0871 6824 2448
Opening hours: 07:00-23:00
Price: 20 RMB, 10 RMB after 19:00
Getting there: take bus 4, 22, 52, 95, 100, 104, 124, 131, or 183 to Daguan Lou Station (大观楼站)
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Keywords: Parks in Kunming
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