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You’ve decided that Kunming, China is the best place for you to study Mandarin, but now you’re thinking “what can I do when I’m not studying?”

It’s a very serious question and we’re here to answer it for you.

Kunming, China is known for its beautiful, breathtaking, unique landscapes and not to mention has the nickname “city of eternal spring.” What city could beat that?

It is is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province in Southwestern China and is the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan. Kunming is also home to several universities, Mandarin study schools like Keats School, museums, galleries, etc. There are so many things to see, that’s why we’re sharing with you 7 places to visit in Kunming, China when you’re not studying.


If you’re wanting to look out at the landscape and be in awe that such a beautiful view exists, you’re going to want to visit Dongchuan Red Land.

The colours of the land combined makes it look like someone magically dropped a palette of paint on the ground to create this natural masterpiece. You can see reds, greens, whites and yellows together in the hills.

The beauty is said to have been created by iron oxide being deposited slowly throughout centuries, gradually forming the colours.

Driving to this attraction will take awhile, approximately a beautiful 3 hour drive by car from Kunming. There are several points of interest on the drive. Be sure to stop at one of the many of resturants to try Dongchuan noodles, Dongchuan potatoes, Dongchuan muttons or yak hotpot.

There are buses that can take you there for a trip, but expect a slightly longer ride.

This attraction is free and we suggest you visit in the late spring or early summer.


These amazing karst formations are located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, around 90km east of Kunming. The tall rocks seem to pop up from the ground, with many looking like petrified trees, which explains the name “The Stone Forest”.

The Stone Forest became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and has become a huge tourist attraction.

In addition to the forest, there are the nearby Qifeng Caves, Lake Yue and the Dadie Waterfall.

To sees these formations that are believed to be over 270 million years old, it will cost you CNY 175.


You can’t move to Kunming and not visit the Yuantong Temple.

The multi-coloured temple is located centrally in the city and is one of the more popular temples in Kunming. It’s located close to Green Lake Park, an added bonus spot you should walk along!

Yuantong Temple is the most famous Buddhist temple in the city. It was first built in the late 8th and early 9th century, the time of the Nanzhao Kingdom in the Tang Dynasty.

The temple is known for its unusual structure which is quite high in the front and lower in the back. Don’t forget to look out for the koi fish in the water below the bridge.

This attraction will cost you CNY 8 / 1 Euro / 1 USD to enter.


Dian Lake is the perfect spot to go for a walk along the nearby promenade, take a boat on or ride your bike around the lake. Don’t forget to bring some goodies for the nearby seagulls. You can’t visit Dian Lake without feeding the nearly famous birds that hang out there.

The lake is close to the Yunnan Ethnic Villages, Haigeng Bank and the Xishan Forest Park as well as several temples. It’s the 6th largest freshwater lake in China and has an area of 340 square feet.

This attraction will cost you nothing to view and it’s open all year-around. Lakes don’t go anywhere!


Just to the west of Kunming, practically right next door to Dianchi Lake, the Sleeping Buddha Hill rise above the city. The nickname was created because when you look at the Western Hills from a distance, they look like a giant sleeping Buddha.

There are several scenic spots to visit around this area including the Kunming Dragon Gate. The gate peaks up to 8,202 feet and has breathtaking views over the nearby lake and the city of Kunming.

It will cost you CNY 90 / 13.50 USD / 11 Euro to travel to the Dragon gate but this does include the cable car and shuttle bus rides.


Located in old Kunming, Nanping Business Street is a collection of finance and commerce buildings.

Take a walk through the street which has become an emerging landmark of Kunming and an entertainment centre. You can expect beautiful elaborate local crafts and fashionable stylish clothing.

In addition to shopping, you need to taste the local snacks and food options on Nanping Street.

It will cost you nothing to visit the street and window shop but you will more than likely spend a little cash when you’re on Nanping Street.


The beautiful ancient town is different from the rest of Kunming. There is beautiful old architecture to gaze at, take pictures of and dream about.

A lot of money has been spent on sprucing up this old town, with parts being converted into park space and pedestrian streets.

Not only is this town a place for tourists to visit, but many locals spend time there hanging out, having tea, playing games and having meals together.

Like the attraction above, it’s free to visit the Ancient Town, but you could end up spending a bit of money, so prepare yourself for that.


Kunming and the surrounding areas offer so many attractions. Not only are there tourist attractions, but there are also attractions that are free that locals even love exploring, which means it’s worth the trip!

So, it’s time start planning the trips you’re going to take when you’re not studying. Not sure where to start? Keats School in Kunming China offers a study program that includes touring around China. Not only that but Keats teachers will help you plan your next day trip and give you advice on what to see, where to eat and what to bring with you.

Contact Keats School today to apply to the Chinese Language Course + Tour In China or to learn more about what Keats Offers.

Which Chinese Language Program
is right for you?


Jim's Story at Keats HSK 5 in One Year


Matteo testimonial for keats chinese school

Matteo | Italy

Small Group Chinese Class

David testimonial for keats chinese schoo

David | Australia

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

It has been notable because I have met a lot of people who I met first time last year like me to come back to Keats this year. The teaching has been fantastic. The teachers carefully prepare each lesson. I think this one-on-one approach is really a great way perhaps anyway to rapidly increase your level of Chinese and increase your confidence and fluency with the language.

Sully testimonial for keats chinese school

Sully | France

Small Group Chinese Class

All my classmates stay together for one year and we improved so much! The teachers are all very great. They like to organize a lot of activities to help us learn Chinese.

Duwenyu testimonial for keats chinese school

Du Wenyu | Netherlands

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

So during my first week at Keats, I didn’t dare to speak any Chinese words. I found out that my Chinese level quickly improved since then. Although I have many options to study in China, for example some other schools have homestay, I found I could immerse myself and fully focus on learning Chinese by staying at Keats.

Richard testimonial for keats chinese school

Richard | UK

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

This is my second time coming. Last year, I also came for about 12 weeks. This time I came for 13 weeks. The reason why I particularly want to come to this school was because of the one-on-one classes. I was able to increase my level and learn more quickly than group classes. If I have a chance again to come next year, I certainly will.

Ben testimonial for keats chinese school

Ben | USA

Small Group Chinese Class

My first semester that I studied at another school, and the pressure there was pretty high, the classroom hour was long, and the homework was pretty tedious. Since I came to Keats, I found I have a lot more opportunities to speak in the classroom. My classmates all are fluent and love speaking and participating in the class. We have great classroom dynamic.

Martine testimonial for keats chinese school

Martine | France

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I really enjoy this place because we have private lessons. I took the 6-hour program, 4 hours in the morning, 2 in the afternoon. Even though it is quite a lot, the teaching is complimentary. This is very helpful because I could review what I did before and learn new things. My 2 teachers are fantastic. We live in the school, so it is convenient. It is interesting to me to meet people from all over the world.

Rients testimonial for keats chinese school

Rients | Netherlands

Small Group Chinese Class

Kunming is a great place to learn Chinese because not many Chinese on the street speak English. Keats has been a great school for me and a lot of other foreigners who studied in china recommended it to me. I think they are all right. The study method here is really structured. They make learning Chinese really easy. There are also a lot of cultural and natural places to visit.

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