Although of largely modern appearance, Yunnan’s relaxed capital is regarded by many travellers as among China’s most pleasant cities. Orderly and clean, it boasts a particularly mild, dry climate (whence its name, which translates as ‘City of the Eternal Spring’) and offers an easygoing point of arrival if you’re flying directly into the province from abroad or the east coast.

Most travellers just pass straight through, but Kunming holds a fine selection of temples, museums and relaxing parks, including a lively ‘Yunnan Nationalities Village’, where the region’s 30 or more minority groups are represented in a series of installations staging music, dance and craft demonstrations daily.

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