As both the capital city of Yunnan Province and a significant central urban area in southwest China, Kunming — often referred to as the Spring City — is a gateway of China to Southeast Asia.
Spring has various meanings in Chinese culture. It stands for the season of spring, but also refers to a whole new beginning, vitality, and hope. The most important Chinese festival — Chinese New Year — is named after spring and, thanks partly to its monthly average temperature of between 10 and 22 degrees Celsius and year-round beauty, Kunming is also praised as the ‘Spring City.’
There are in fact many Chinese cities named after spring but, in recent years, Kunming has become better known to an increasing number of both domestic and foreign tourists. It is because of this pleasant climate — where even in January the average temperature is still higher than that of Beijing in March — different types of flowers bloom at different times of a year, meaning flowers have become one of Kunming’s best-selling products.
In the past year, Kunming was selected from a list of ten cities as the ‘most attractive city for foreign talent’ so spotting foreigners out and about is a common occurrence. Kunming also ranked highest in the evaluation of ‘natural residential environment,’ which perfectly resonates with its Spring City reputation.
Constructing a gateway to Southeast Asia, an international city in the China-ASEAN region, has been Kunmin g’s mission for the past few years, and steadily the city is turning that dream into a reality. Among other things, the impressive development in transportation is a good example of the so-called ‘Kunming speed’, including the formal opening in 2012 of Kunming Changshui International Airport, which quickly became the fourth busiest international airport in China.
As some Chinese specialists suggested, Kunming has become an international aviation hub be it for its shipping capacity oradvantageous geographical location. As regards the railway network, the currently under construction Kunming South Railway Station will be the largest in southwest China and will exceed the passenger capacity of the airport.
Since the establishment of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, Kunming’s regional advantage as the only metropolitan area facing ASEAN has become more and more prominent and tourism in the city has been flourishing and typically internationalized.
Besides maintaining a stable tourist market in Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, Kunming has also started exploring potential markets in Europe and America. “Today, Kunming is no longer a traditional inland city,” said one Chinese tourism official. “It is now a key city at the forefront of opening-up. There are reasons to believe that Kunming will be an international tourism city that welcomes guests from every corner of the world.”
The Spring City is opening its arms and waiting to greet visitors from all over the world. Welcome to Kunming.