Geography and climate
Kunming is the capital of Yunnan province, in southwestern China. It is the provincial center of politic, economy and culture. Situated in central Yunnan and north of the Dianchi Basin, the city is skirted on three sides by mountains, with one side opening onto the Dianchi Lake. The city is at almost-tropical latitude but with a 2000 m (6600 ft) altitude, which gives it a very temperate climate. The climate make Kunming covered all the year round with the rich verdure of trees and plants while the city was nicknamed as City of Eternal Spring. Kunming is located between north latitude 24°23′ and 26°22′N, and east longitude 102°10′and 103°40′E, with a total area of 21,600 square km. The population of the prefecture of Kunming is now close to 10 million and the city is expanding rapidly, with numerous highways and modern buildings. In addition, Kunming is among the most famous historical and cultural cities and one of the top tourist cities in China. Due to its pleasant climate, plateau scenery, age-old history, diverse ethnic customs, and unique plants and animals, Kunming attracts domestic and foreign tourists all year round.
Kunming is very rich in agricultural and mineral resources. Due to its position at the geographical center of Yunnan, one of China's largest producers of agricultural products, minerals and hydroelectric power, Kunming is the main commercial hub for most of the province's vast resources. The soil is good for growing grains, oil-bearing plants, cured tobacco, vegetables and fruits. Animal and poultry husbandry is prosperous. The main mineral reserves are phosphate, iron ore, erinaceous quartz, salt, bauxite and others, which are found in more than 100 ore deposit locations.
The industry of Kunming is a key link in her economy. And it has complexes of machinery, metallurgy, foodstuffs, textile, building material and chemicals. Manufactures include steel and nonferrous metals, machine tools, chemicals, and cement. Copper, lead, zinc, and iron ore are mined nearby. Many products occupy important positions in China's markets. One of the largest state companies in Kunming is the Yunnan Copper Company which is Yunnan’s largest mining enterprise. Besides heavy industry, Kunming also bears a reputation for its food and tobacco processing industry.
Kunming has two major development zones, Kunming High-tech Industrial Development Zone (biological medicine, new materials, electronic information, photoelectron, agriculture) and Kunming Economic and Technology Development Zone (mechanical equipment production, biological science and food industry, information industry, software). The establishment of these development zones has accelerated the process of opening up of Kunming and has strengthened the connection between Kunming and other neighboring countries. In recent projects, several railroads and highways have been planned to connect Kunming to areas of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, providing Kunming transportation access to sea ports.
In 2009, the city’s GDP reached 180.9 billion RMB, had a year-on-year growth of 11%. The fixed asset investment was 160.1 billion RMB while the mean real estate accounted for 36.9 billion RMB. The recorded income of Kunming’s average farmer outside the city was 5,080 yuan.
Kunming is world-famous for its abundance of camellias, orchids, azaleas and Primula malacoides, which can be found in the Kunming Botanical Garden, where 4,000 varieties of tropical and subtropical plants grow profusely. Kunming is also a renowned historical and cultural city in southwest China. In ancient times it was an important gateway to the celebrated Silk Road which conducted to Tibet, Sichuan, Myanmar and India. The city's highland scenery is alluring; its karts landform is bewitching. Its people are known for their varied and exotic habits and customs, and its land is pockmarked with historical artifacts, places of cultural interest, and gardens landscaped with a picturesque taste. Among the major scenic spots of Kunming are the Dianchi Lake, the Cuihu Lake, the Village of Ethnic Culture, the Jindian (Golden Temple) Park, the Western Mountain Forest Reserve, the Stone Forest, the Jiuxiang Scenic Belt, the Yuantong Mountain, the Grand View Pavilion, and the Qiongzhu Temple.
Kunming remains a major educational and cultural center in the southwest region of China, with universities, medical and teacher-training colleges, technical schools, and scientific research institutes.
The city has more than 300 scientific research institutions employing 450,000 scientists and technicians. Included were 68,500 people with middle-level and senior professional titles. In 1995, the city achieved 60 research findings, of which one reached the "advanced international standard", 17 "advanced domestic standard" and 21 "advanced provincial standard".
Useful Links about Kunming：
http://en.kunming.cn/ (Homepage of Kunming Gov)