Kunming residents may have noticed a tall, barren mountain dotted with white stone that projects to the north of the Green Lake area and to the west of Beichen.
This is the 2,345 meter-high Changchong Mountain (长虫山), which provides a convenient way to get out of town, see some nature, and get panoramic views of Kunming—in a much more relaxed atmosphere than the occasionally circus-like Xishan.
Changchong Mountain has hiking paths and a road that allows people to drive almost all the way to the top, but a big draw for local cyclists is that it provides the most grueling bicycle ascent anywhere near Kunming.
To get to the base of the mountain from the Green Lake area, go east on Yieryi Dajie to the traffic interchange and then head north on Longquan Lu (龙泉路) for about six kilometers—until reaching the mouth of Hongyun Lu (红云路), shortly after passing the Kunming Cigarette Factory (昆明卷烟厂) on the left side.
Hikers could also take the number 84 bus north from the Jianshe Lu (建设路) bus stop to the Shangzhuang (上庄) stop, which will place you on Hongyun Lu, about 100 meters east from the road up the mountain.
You will soon see the peak of the mountain and it is easy enough to find one's own way to the top.
Upon reaching the top you will be more than 450 vertical meters higher than Green Lake, and if you have been cycling continuously from the cigarette factory, your legs will be on fire and you'll be gasping for breath.
Barring smog or fog, your reward for the climb will be a 360-degree view of Kunming, Xishan, and the forested hills to the north.