As one of the most popular tourist centers in the south west, much of its importance stems from the fact that it stands at the gateway to the Silk Road which facilitated trade with Tibet, India, Myanmar and Sichuan. Kunming is famous for its ancient buildings, fascinating landscapes and many relics.
The National Scenic resort of Stone Forest is located some 80km from Kunming and is one of the most visited attractions in the region.
The area is populated by the Yi and Sani ethnic groups who have a long history of folklore and culture. Easy to get to from Kunming, the area has a temperate type climate and its 400 square km area is filled with splendid cliffs, peaks ( up to 1800 meters ), tranquil lakes and mysterious caves.
Situated at the base of the Western Hills, south west of Kunming, the beautiful landscape of the Dianchi Lake covers just under 300 square kilometers and is known as the Pearl of the Plateau.
Forests reach down to the western shores whilst fishing dominates the eastern shore with traditional fishing boats still plying their trade on the lake. The area has many peacefully attractive spots with an abundance of wildlife and visitors should enjoy a relaxing boat trip over the tranquil waters.
The biggest Copper Temple in China, also known as the Bronze Tile Temple, was constructed from 250 tons of bronze and it's origins can be traced back to 1602 during the Ming Dynasty.
Now situated at the top of Mingfeng Hill, the temple is dedicated to the Taoist God Zishi and can be reached by climbing the hillside on a winding set of stone steps. Visitors pass beneath three highly decorated Heavenly Gates to the temple itself which apart from the staircases and balconies is completely made from highly polished copper so giving it the appearance of gold.
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