How to Get Kunming
Kunming, the capital city of the Yunnan Province, is the political, educational and cultural centre of the province. It is called the "spring city" and "flower city" for its comfortable climate, is an ideal place to relax, travel, take a vacation and live. It is a transportation hub with a well-developed transportation system. You can get there by plane, train and long-distance bus.
Get In and Out
Kunming Changshui International Airport, or New Kunming Airport is the primary airport serving Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. It is located in Dabanqiao Town of Kunming's Guandu District. The airport has flights from South-East Asia and cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, as well as plenty of domestic connections through China. Immigration can sometimes be congested. Hong Kong flights are processed fairly quickly as Chinese from there need only show their identity card. For the old airport, processing of foreigners can take about two minutes per person and with only three immigration officers working this can get rather frustrating, but this has since improved with the opening of the new airport.
The new Changshui Airport is located about 25km north-east of the city area (Please note that the old Wujiaba airport is now out of use since 28 June 2012). A taxi ride to the city centre will take approximately 30-40 minutes, at peak times you can expect to double this, as Kunming suffers major traffic congestion.
There is also a Metro line (Line 6) now in service, running between the Airport and the City East Bus Station. East Bus Station provides a large number of bus services into the city centre within a short ride. There are two intermediate stops between the two stations, but these are not yet open as of August 2012. Currently the hours of operation for line 6 is from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily. Currently the daytime frequency averages 20–30 minutes, and during peak hours, it is expected to be reduced to every 5–10 minutes. A single ride takes about 20 minutes, and costs ¥5.
You can book Air tickets from Air China Office, Wallton Building, 448 Baoshan Jie,(0871)3159171 or any number of travel agents in the King World Hotel a few blocks north of the train station on Beijing Lu. Tickets to Beijing are usually about ¥1600 to 2000, to Hong Kong about ¥1200 to 1500, with closer destinations getting ever cheaper as China's domestic carriers jostle for market share.
International Flights to and from Kunming
China Eastern Airlines
Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Colombo, Da Nang, Dhaka, Dubai, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Luang Prabang , Malé, Mandalay, Osaka-Kansai, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Seoul-Incheon, Siem Reap, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Vientiane, Yangon
Thai Airways International
Domestic Flights to and from Kunming
Beijing Capital Airlines
Chengdu, Liuzhou, Xiamen
China Eastern Airlines
Baoshan, Beihai, Beijing-Capital, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Chifeng, Dali, Dalian, Diqing, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hailar, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Hohhot, Jiayuguan, Jinan, Jining, Lanzhou, Lianyungang, Lijiang, Lincang, Linyi, Lhasa, Luoyang, Luzhou, Mangshi, Nanchang, Nanchong, Nanjing, Nanning, Nantong, Ningbo, Ordos, Pu'er, Qianjiang, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Taiyuan, Tengchong, Tongliao, Urumqi, Wenshan, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Wuxi, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xichang [begins 9 July 2013], Xining, Xishuangbanna, Yancheng, Yibin, Yinchuan, Yongzhou, Yuncheng, Zhaotong, Zhengzhou
China Express Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Baoshan, Beijing-Capital, Changchun, Changsha, Chongqing, Dali, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Harbin, Jieyang, Lanzhou, Lijiang, Nanning, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Urumqi, Wuhan, Xi'an, Xishuangbanna, Yiwu, Zhengzhou, Zhuhai
China Southern Airlines
(operated by Chongqing Airlines)
China United Airlines
Beijing-Capital, Haikou, Shenzhen, Xi'an
Changsha, Changzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Harbin, Jinan, Lijiang [begins 5 July 2013], Liuzhou, Mangshi, Nanjing, Nanning, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Taizhou, Tengchong, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xishuangbanna, Yinchuan, Yiwu, Zhengzhou
Baotou, Beijing-Capital, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dali, Dalian, Diqing, Fuzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Hohhot, Jinan, Lanzhou, Lijiang, Mangshi, Nanjing, Nanning, Pu'er, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Tangshan, Tengchong, Urumqi, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xishuangbanna, Xuzhou, Yichang, Yichun, Zhengzhou
Changsha, Hefei, Tianjin, Yulin
Guiyang, Jinan, Nanjing, Qingdao, Xiamen, Yantai
Changsha, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Quanzhou, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Taiyuan, Wuhan, Wuxi, Yangzhou
Beijing-Capital, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guiyang, Harbin, Hohhot, Jinan, Lanzhou, Mangshi, Nanchang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Shijiazhuang, Shenyang, Wanzhou, Wenzhou, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xining, Xishuangbanna, Xuzhou, Yichang, Yinchuan, Zhengzhou
Changde, Huaihua, Mianyang, Qianjiang, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Shijiazhuang, Zunyi
West Air (China)
Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Quanzhou, Wuhan, Xiamen
Hong Kong Airlines
Kunming is the main rail hub of Yunnan province. It has three railway stations, details are as the following:
1. Kunming Railway Station
It is located at the Panlong district of Kunming. Compared with the other railway station (North Railway Station), Kunming Railway Station services most of the trains to places to other provinces of China. Trains run north to Chengdu, southeast via Xingyi to Baise and Nanning in Guangxi, and east through Guizhou, via Liupanshui, Anshun, Guiyang, into the rest of the country. Tickets are sold in three days in advance.
2. Kunming North Railway Station
(Serviced by the No. 23 Bus) located at the heritage meter gauge Kunming–Hai Phong Railway, which runs to Hekou and Vietnam. In the past, every Friday and Sunday, a train used to depart to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam (the train from Kunming to Hekou and Hekou to Hanoi is currently not operating). It took about 16 hours to reach Hekou (a seat is ￥35, berths around ￥90), and 32 hours to Hanoi (hard sleeper lower bunk ￥175, upper bunk ￥235).
3. Kunming South train station
Has recently been refurbished and has a ticket office on its lower level. The station serves destinations throughout China including Nanning, Guilin, Chengdu (Sichuan), Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai (around 37 hours!) and Xi'an. The train service to destinations inside of Yunnan is poor except for overnight sleeper trains to Xiaguan (Dali New Town, about 8 hours) and Lijiang.
Kunming has moved its bus stations to the edge of the city in a bid to decrease traffic congestion. There are four bus stations for each of the cardinal directions (N, S, E, and W). The general rule of thumb is you should go to the bus station in the direction you want to travel (if you are headed to Dali or Lijiang you will need to use the West Bus Station (Xibu Keyun Zhan); or if you are headed to Jinghong or Jianshui you will need the South Bus Station). You can reach Eastern bus station from railway station by bus 60 (2 CNY, about 30min).
Getting Around Kunming
Bicycle is a very popular way. Bicycles can be rented at some hostels for about ￥20 a day. There are bike lanes along the edges of many major roads and traffic generally moves fairly slowly.
Bus is a very convenient way to get around the city. City Buses are ￥1 apiece (￥2 for buses with air-condition, around ￥5 for minibuses to the city's outskirts). They operate from about 6AM until late evening 21:30/22:00.
Taxi is also a good way to travel around. The starting fare of taxi is ￥8, a fuel tax of ￥3 has been added to fares and is explained on a small sign on the dashboards of all taxis.
Tips: It is especially difficult to get a taxi around 6:30pm, when taxi shifts switch and drivers need to return their cars.