Yunnan Travel Guide
Yunnan (云南, Yúnnán) is the most diverse province in all China, is a province in Southwest China. , both in its extraordinary mix of peoples and in the splendour of its landscapes. That combination of superlative sights and many different ethnic groups has made Yunnan the trendiest destination for China’s exploding domestic tourist industry.The province spans approximately 394,000 square kilometres and has a population of 47.368 million. The capital of the province is Kunming, formerly also known as Yunnan. The province borders the Chinese provinces Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, and the Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as the countries Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar.
More than half of the country’s minority groups reside here, providing a glimpse into China’s hugely varied mix of humanity. Then there’s the eye-catching contrasts of the land itself: dense jungle sliced by the Mekong River in the far south; soul-recharging glimpses of the sunset over rice terraces in the southeastern regions; snowcapped mountains as you edge towards Tibet.
Infrastructure development makes travel here easier than ever, but you’ll need time to see it all – whatever time you’ve set aside for Yunnan, double it.
Yunnan east to west. Yunnan lies on a subtropical latitude, with the Tropic of Cancer running across its southerly reaches. To the west lies Myanmar; to the south, Laos; to the southeast, Vietnam; to the east, China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (aka Guangxi Province); to the east-northeast, China's Guizhou Province; to the north, China's Sichuan Province; and to the northwest, Tibet Autonomous Region. The nan of Yunnan means "south" while the Yun of Yunnan refers to the Yun Ling Mountains, or the Yun Range to be more correct, as ling means "range". This irregular-shaped province is nearly as "wide" (measured east to west) as it is "tall", or about 900 kilometers by 900 kilometers. Like Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, or Xinjiang, for short, Yunnan Province is surrounded by one of the largest number of political (foreign) and administrative (domestic) entities in China (Xinjiang has the distinction of being surrounded by the largest number of foreign countries among all of China's provinces and regions).