The province of Yunnan lies in the far southwest of China. It’s home to over 45.7 million people and is one of the most diverse provinces in China, both biologically and culturally. Its landscape shifts between snowy mountains in the northwest bordering Tibet to the jungles of the Mekong River in the south to the rice paddies of the southeast. On China tours, it’s one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, dominating its growing domestic tourism marketing and enticing more foreign Globetrotters to include it on a China vacation year after year.
Yunnan’s natural splendour makes it an obvious destination on tours to China. The province’s climate is mild and humid, as the Plateau of Tibet traps moisture in the province during the summertime. This causes Yunnan to explode with growth during the summer months. In fact, Yunnan might be the lushest region in all of Asia. It’s also remarkable since jungle climates are usually not possible this far north. However, Yunnan is a truly unique province, where snub-nosed monkeys feed in snowbound forests and over 18,000 species of plants thrive, of which 3,000 are found nowhere else on the planet. Yunnan is also home to a massive share of China’s birds and mammals, including rare Indochinese tigers and wild Asian elephants.
The province’s diversity extends to its people. While over 90 percent of China’s population is Han Chinese, the country is home to 56 distinct ethnic groups. Over 25 of these groups are accounted for in Yunnan, with the majority of the Dai, Hani, and Yi groups calling the province home. As Yunnan borders Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, it’s also an important travel hub in addition to being a cultural hub on tours to China. Historically, Han Chinese, Burmese, and Thai have vied for control of large portions of the province, leaving behind a wealth of historical sites.
Most tours to Yunnan focus on the natural landscape, exploring the stone forest of Shilin, where fascinating karst peaks have stood for 270 million years, and the gorgeously-cultivated rice terraces of Yuanyang. For historical sites, nothing beats Kunming, the “Spring City,” where museums and temples abound, including the popular Yuantong Temple. The old towns of Dali and Lijiang offer a glimpse into the province’s past. Many China tour packages also flock to the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple and Xamgyi’nyilha County or Zhongidan, a Tibetan town that served as the inspiration for James Hilton’s famous novel, Lost Horizon, and the concept of Shangri-La.
It’s easier than ever before to visit Yunnan on a China vacation. The province is constantly developing and road and rail infrastructure is rapidly improving. Most visitors will fly in through Kunming Changshui International Airport in the province capital or connect from Sichuan to the north or Guangxi to the east. River cruises up the Mekong will find port in Jinghong while rail travel connecting from Vietnam will pass through Dali and Lijiang.
China and Tibet Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to a China vacation.
Learn about the history and culture of China, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about China's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering China for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our China tours today!
Extend Your Trip
After your China tour consider taking the time to visit other destinations. Goway offers exciting India tours and Thailand vacation packages plus a comprehensive selection of vacation packages in many other Asian countries.
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