Located in the Southwest China (西南), Yunnan is the eighth largest province in China. It covers an area of 384,000 sq km (240,000 sq miles), with a population of 45 million (as of 2006). It boarders Tibet (西藏) to the northwest, Sichuan (四川) to the north, Guizhou (贵州) and Guangxi (广西) to the east, Vietnam and Laos to the south, and Myanmar to the southwest.
Yunnan is known as the Mysterious Land. It attracts travelers all over the world because of its beauty, mystery, scenery, and rich culture. A strong movement of the earth's crust about 3 million years ago formed a unique plateau covered with rivers and mountains. This unusual geographical layout created a distinctive climate of "cold" Lijiang (丽江), "temperate" Kunming (昆明), and tropical Xishuangbanna (西双版纳) all within the Yunnan province.
Yunnan, with its Chinese name literally meaning "the clouds in the south", is also known as the Flower Kingdom, Garden of the Nature, Village of Spice, and Treasure Trove of the Medicine. The land is as beautiful as its name. The people are as tender as its name. No wonder that visitors love Yunnan when they enter the province and leave with loving memories and unforgettable experiences.
Yunnan was an independent kingdom which was occupied by non-Chinese aboriginal peoples during the Qin and Han Dynasties (201BC-263AD).
During the Tang Dynasty (618-906), the local minority Bai established a powerful kingdom, Nanzhao, in the south of Dali. It was able to challenge and defeat the Tang troops, took control of a large slice of the Southwest China (西南) and established itself as a fully independent region, dominating the trade routes from China to India and Myanmar.
The Nanzhao (南诏) kingdom fell in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and was replaced by the kingdom of Dali (since then the name Dali has been used for the Bai Autonomous Prefecture).
During the Yuan Dynasty (1280-1368), Khubla Khan conquered the area, and this part of the southwest was finally integrated into the empire as the province of Yunnan.
During World War II, Yunnan was the stronghold defense against the Japanese invaders. The war materials were first taken into this province through the "Burma Road", which ended in Yunnan. After the Japanese overran Burma in 1942, the "Flying Tigers" flew some military supplies and equipment into this province.
Yunnan is part of the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau where the average elevation is 2,000 meters above sea level. The height gradually drops from 6,700 meters at the peak of Meili Snow Mountain (梅里雪山) in the north to 76 meters in the south close to Vietnam.
Yunnan boarders several countries in South Asia. It has more diverse climate than any other provinces in China. Yunnan is covered with icy towering mountains adjoining Tibet and Myanmar in the northwest, and lush tropical jungles bordering Laos and Vietnam in the south where wild elephants still roam.
The Mekong River originated from Yunnan.
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|Yunnan, with its Chinese name literally meaning the clouds in the south, is also known as the Flower Kingdom, Garden of the Nature, Village of Spice, and Treasure Trove of the Medicine.|
- Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Si, 筇竹寺) - famous for its 500 clay figures representing various real and imaginary nobles.
- Stone Forest (Shilin, 石林) - a massive collection of grey limestone pillars, has long been one of the most famous scenic spots in the country.
- Lake Dianchi (滇池) - enjoy the Western Hills and Daguang Park.
- Three Pagodas (大理三塔, or 崇圣寺三塔) - some of the oldest still intact structures in Southwest China (西南).
- Lake Erhai (洱海) - more picturesque than Switzerland's Lake Lucerne. o trip to Dali is complete without taking a cruise on one of the many boats plying the waters of Lake Erhai.
- Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山) - The peak is 5500 meters above the city. There is a chairlift to its lower reaches and a ski resort.
- Black Dragon Pool (黑龙潭) - a park located on north side of Lijiang. Great views of Jade Snow Mountain from here.
- Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡)
- Manfeilong Pagoda (曼飞龙佛塔) - A Buddhism temple where some people use for meditation and spiritual revival.
- Xishuangbanna Nationality Culture Park
- The Octagonal Pavilion
Yunnan is well knows for its rich and distinctive culture. You can see many vastly different styles of buildings, the varicolored costumes and ornaments, the folk songs and dances brimming with idyllic flavors and very interesting marital customs.
While many languages are spoken and written by the different minorities, Mandarin is the official language. A very interesting but totally different from Chinese characters is the written language still practiced by the Naxi (纳西) of Lijiang (丽江).
The Songkran Festival (or Water-Splashing Festival) (泼水节) of the Dai (傣族), Torch Festival of the Yi (彝族) and March Fair of the Bai (白族) are the main celebrations of these minority groups.
The official language of Yunnan is Mandarin Chinese (or Putonghua as it is known). The region is home to a plethora of dialects from Chinese, Tibetan and Thai language families. Yunnan is home to many minority groups who each have their own different language.
Local towns will often have their own version of Mandarin which are sub-dialects of the South-Western dialect of Mandarin common to Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan. Despite a heavy accent, the local dialect of Chinese is very similar to Northern Mandarin with only minor regional differences in grammar and pronunciation.
- Boluo fan 菠萝饭 (Pineapple rice, found in Xishuangbanna and possibly other Dai areas)
- Guoqiao mixian 过桥米线 ('Crossing the bridge' or 'Across the bridge' noodles, Yunnan's best known dish. Consists of a bowl of chicken stock to which diners add their own selection of paper-thin meat slices, noodles, vegetables and spices, much like a hot pot. Found throughout the province.)
- Qi guo ji 气锅鸡 (Steam pot chicken, chicken steamed with tonic herbs in a special ceramic pot)
- Pu'er cha 普洱茶 (Pu-erh tea, traditionally grown in Simao)
- Yiliang Roast Duck 宜良烤鴨 crispy skin roast duck similar to Peking duck but uses honey on to crisp and colour the skin and roasted with pine branches and needles, which imparts a unique flavour on the duck.
- Shiping doufu 石屏豆腐 (Shiping tofu)
- Erkuai 饵块 (highly refined and compressed rice cakes)
- Rubing 乳并 (goat's milk cheese, from Bai cuisine in the area near Dali)
- Rushan (cow milk cheese)
The lusheng is a type of mouth organ used by the Miao of Guizhou for pentatonic antiphonal courtship songs. The Hani of Honghe are known for a unique kind of choral, micro-tonal rice-transplanting songs.
 Ethnic Groups
One third of Yunnan's population are ethic minorities. While the predominate group is the Han Chinese, there are 24 minority nationalities, among which Dai (傣族), Yi (彝族) and Bai (白族) are the most prominent.
Yunnan (Kunming (昆明) in particular]] are home to many refugees from Vietnam. These refugees started arriving in 1977 and today there are over 150,000 Vietnamese living in Kunming alone. Many more call the border area to Vietnam home.
 Area and Postal Codes
|City||Area Code||Postal Code||City||Area Code||Postal Code|
|Baoshan (保山)||875||678000||Chuxiong (楚雄)||878||675000|
|Dali (大理)||872||671000||Diqing (迪庆)||887||674400|
|Gejiu (个旧)||873||661000||Jinghong (景洪)||691||666100|
|Kunming (昆明)||871||650000||Lijiang (丽江)||888||674100|
|Lincang (临沧)||883||677000||Lushui (泸水)||886||673200|
|Pu'er (普洱)||879||665000||Qujing (曲靖)||874||655000|
|Ruili (瑞丽)||692||678600||Shangri-la (香格里拉)||887||674400|
|Wenshan (文山)||876||663000||Xishuangbanna (西双版纳)||691||666100|
|Yuxi (玉溪)||877||653100||Zhaotong (昭通)||870||657000|