Park is a good place to relax both your mind and body. It also provides a chance to connect to the rare natural environment that you won’t enjoy during your daily work and study. Park is also a good occasion to hang out with friends and family on weekends or holidays. Let’s look together, which park you cannot miss when you learn Chinese in Kunming.
Top1. The Green Lake
Green Lake Park is a rather distinctive park located opposite the main entrance of Yunnan University in Kunming, and it is also a tourist attraction. As the name suggests, it is called the Green Lake because it is as refreshing as the emerald green jade. Coupled with Kunming’s warm climate like spring, the Green Lake Park attracts countless red-headed seagulls every winter. The citizens here get along well with the seagulls. In the late winter, you will see thousands of red-headed seagulls hovering or staying around Green Lake, and local people will feed them, which is a very harmonious picture to enjoy. Therefore, winter is one of the best seasons to visit Green Lake Park. It’s a public park so everybody can enjoy their free chilling time here. Taking the No.133 bus, you can circle the entire Green Lake and enjoy the unique scenery of the park in all directions. Besides, there are some other attractions near Green Lake Park, such as Kunming Zoo, Yuantong Temple, etc., which are also worth visiting and can be reached by walking. Of course, the Yunnan University opposite the park can also be a tourist attraction if you’re interested in constructions in Chinese-French style and want to feel the strong academic atmosphere here. Besides the pretty scenery, you can try out all the special street foods of Kunming here in your spare time.
Opening hours: 24 hours
Ticket Price: for free
Top2. Yunnan Nationalities village
The Yunnan Nationalities Village is a sightseeing place dominated by natural village-style residential buildings while integrating gardens and landscapes, pretty scenery of rivers and plants at the same time.
There are 25 ethnic minority villages in the park, including Dai, Bai, Yi, and Jingpo, each with different folk customs and craft performances.
Among them, Dai village and Yi village are the best two that are worth visiting. Tuzhang houses, roasted wine workshops, and cultural buildings unique to the Yi people in the village.
During the Songkran Festival, Torch Festival, and other ethnic festivals, lively celebrations will be held in the scenic area, so you might as well go and play during this period.
Opening hours: 8：30-17：00 on the day; 18：00-22：00 at the night
Ticket Price: 90 RMB
Top 3. Western Hill Park
Western Hill Park is also known as Xishan or Biji mountain in Chinese. From a distance, the Western Hill looks just like a beauty lying on the shore of Dianchi Lake and is known as the “Sleeping Beauty of Xishan.”
With its dense forest, fresh air, and tranquil environment, it has always been a good place for tourists to climb mountains and view the scenery of the vast Dianchi Lake.
The Longmen Grottoes scenic spot on the mountain is even more ancient and precious, and they are a must-visit for tourists who love humanities. This is also the only paid part of this park. The rest of the park is open and charge for free for the public.
There is a cable running from the Western Hill to Dianchi Lake Park. It charges 40 RMB for a single ride and 70RMB for a round trip. You can arrange your visit to these two parks on the same day.
Among locals in Kunming, there is a saying that “March 3rd is the time to have fun in the Western Hill”. The Lunar date, March 3rd, is a traditional folk festival in Kunming. The citizens of Kunming will gather in the Western Hill Park on the third day of March every year, singing and dancing to celebrate the arrival of the spring season.
Opening hours: from 8:00 to 17:00
Ticket Price: the park is for free, but the ticket for the Longmen Grottoes is 40RMB
Top 4. The Daguan Building Park
The Daguan Building Park is located on the north side of Dianchi Lake. It is a beautiful park with dense vegetation and elegant pavilions. There are tourist areas including Jinhuapu, Daguanlou, and Louwailou. Daguan Park is built upon the water; lake banks, lotus ponds, exquisite pavilions, etc., which are organized and built exquisitely.
The Daguan Building in the park was built during the Kangxi Empire period. Standing on this building, you can overlook the Western Hill and Dianchi Lake.
During the festive season, this park will often be the host place for garden parties and sometimes traditional lantern festivals, which are full of visitors and lively bustling with noise.
The Daguan Building Park is also a free excursion provided by Keats School for Keats students. Curious about how to be a member of Keats School? Where else can you go to see Kunming? You can check places for the weekend in Kunming out!
Opening hours: from 8：00 to 17：00
Ticket Price: 10RMB
Top 5. The Yunnan Safari Park
Yunnan Safari Park is the only tourist attraction in Yunnan Province that focuses on domestication, breeding, viewing, and displaying wild animals. As an innovative safari park, Yunnan Safari Park integrates multiple sightseeing, science education, and ex-situ conservation functions. Seven kilometers away from Kunming city center, it is situated in the Golden Palace National Forest Park, adjacent to the Golden Palace Reservoir, and standing across the water from the Expo Garden. The total area of the park counts 2,800 acres. It features the theme of “Animal Kingdom” in Yunnan. The park has verdant forests and beautiful scenery. There are rare animal areas, African herbivore areas, giant panda halls, Liger Villa, and other theme attractions. There are more than 200 species and more than 10,000 animals in the park. There are “national treasures,” giant pandas, golden monkeys, and other animal stars, as well as rare animals such as giraffes, rhinos, and orangutans from exotic places. Most of them live in groups in the form of natural stockings. Visitors will have a special experience as if they are in the virgin forest and have a wonderful journey with excitement; Yunnan Safari Park is a concrete manifestation of the purpose of “70% of natural resource and 30% of artificial construction”. The park is well equipped with various facilities. Catering and entertainment facilities are all available.
Opening hours: from 9：00 to 17：30
Ticket Price: 100RMB
Top 6. The Golden Palace Scenic Area
The Golden Palace Scenic Area is located in the north suburbs of Kunming. It’s the famous historical remains made of copper. The whole building is shining and glowing like gold in the sunlight, making the green valley and forest resplendent, so this building is named the Golden Palace even if it’s not made of gold. It is also called the Tongwa Temple in Chinese. The prestigious Golden Palace is part of the Taoist Taihe Palace built in the Ming Dynasty (1602). It is one of the four major bronze halls in China and is the best-preserved one as well. In the tenth year of the Kangxi Empire (1671 AD), General Wu Sangui, who was in charge of the western territory of the Qing Kingdom, rebuilt the Golden Palace, which endowing this palace with profound culture and history.
The natural scenery of the Golden Palace is beautiful. With paths paving and passing through the forest, green trees are dense and covering the sky, and occasionally popped singing birds, the Golden Palace Scenic Area appears the essence of Taoism and Taoist culture. A hundred acres of camellia will be blooming in the “Golden Palace Expo Garden” in the scenic spot in the early spring. The crimson color of the camellia is spreading and connected into one grand piece that can even reach the sky, which is magnificent scenery.
Opening hours: from 7：00 to 17：00
Ticket Price: 15RMB
There’re more parks in Kunming city that I didn’t list out in this article. The above six parks are highly recommended by both locals and international visitors. I hope you will enjoy your exploration at these parks and enjoy your stay at Kunming!