Monday, April 12, 2010


I left Shangri-La early this morning, caught a flight straight to Kunming. I could have gone by bus, but I didn't feel like a fifteen hour bus ride. A one hour flight was more to my liking and worth the extra money. I figure the less I spent on the bus or train, the more I can spend sight-seeing.

I really didn't think about spending too much time in Kunming. It's a city of just over a million people and the capital of the Yunnan province. Reading the guidebook, there wasn't too much in the city I wanted to see, but to get to my next destination, it was a required stop.

I spent most of the day exploring and found it a fairly easy place to walk around. I must have walked a good portion of the city today. Everything seems fairly new. Malls, McDonalds and KFC are everywhere, though I did see an occasional row of old wooden buildings hidden in alleyways.

Kunming has a large Chinese Muslim population (known as the Hui) and a couple of sights indicated in the guidebook were mosques. I was pretty impressed with the architecture of mosques I've seen in the past, while traveling through India and the Middle East. These ones here were so ordinary that I actually walked right by. I don't know why they were indicated in the guidebook. I suppose just because it's unique to see a mosque in this area.

I also visited two pagodas which seemed to be quite old and the Yuantong Temple, which was the only sight I spent a bit of time at. The temple is quite pretty and much bigger than I thought. Spending some time on its grounds was a nice escape from the very noisy city streets.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Kunming has been the number of bakeries I've come across. I've filled up on a whole bunch of unique baked goods. The most interesting was a sweet pastry that had a muffin like bottom and a fried egg on top.

East Pagoda:

Old and new:

Yuantong Temple:

Unimpressive Mosque:

Kunming Downtown:


Mandy said...

this entry needs more monkey :)

Marko said...

Stay tuned for more monkeys, I think I will see some in the next place I'm going to.

Anonymous said...

Don;t forget to bring a stick!


Steve said...

Mmmmmmm - bakeries.... I'm going to have to go for cocktail buns now. Thanks Marko... ;)

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