In the last three months, 11 bus stations close to the city center have been closed, and long distance buses are now running out of five stations on the city's perimeter—presumably to make it easier for buses to get onto highways and out of the city. The abruptness and insufficient publicizing of the bus station reorganization has created difficulties for many Chinese and foreign travelers.
Addresses and map points for all of the new bus stations can be found in the GoKunming listings section. Here's a quick overview of each station and the areas they serve:
West Bus Station - Chunyu Lu / Yining Lu intersection
Serves west and northwest Yunnan destinations including: Lincang, Dehong Prefecture, Jingdong, Lancang, Shangchong, Nujiang Prefecture, Diqing Prefecture, Baoshan, Lijiang, Dali, and Zhongdian/Shangri-la
This station, likely to be one of the most heavily used by foreigners because it serves the northwestern tourist circuit, is commonly known by locals as Majie bus station (马街客运站), this is probably the best name to give to a taxi driver.
South Bus Station - Xin Kunluo Lu
Serves destinations in southern Yunnan including: Pu'er, Xishuangbanna, Jinghong, Yuxi, Jianshui, Shiping, Yuanyang, Lüchun, Honghe, Luang Prabang, and many others.
East Bus Station - Dongsanhuan Hongqiao Flyover
Serves destinations in east and southeast Yunnan including: Shilin, Hekou, Yiliang, selected destinations in Honghe Prefecture, Wenshan Prefecture, Luliang, Shizong, and Luoping.
North Bus Station - Longtou Lu
Serves destinations in north Yunnan including: Qujing, Zhaotong, Xundian, Songming, Lüquan, and Dongchuan
Northwest Bus Station - Puji Lu
Serves destinations in northwest Yunnan including: Wuding, Yuanmou, Yongren, Huaping, Panzhihua, Chuxiong, Datao, Taoan, Lüfeng, Shuangbai, Nanhua, Mouding, Yimen, and Anning.
Please note the stations are expecting to handle 7,000 to 15,000 passengers daily during the height of the Spring Festival travel season next week, so expect some chaos if attempting to travel then.
Additionally, passengers buying more than five tickets will be asked to display identification in order to prevent scalping. It's unclear how strongly this will be applied to foreigners, but it is advised to bring your passport if you're purchasing for a group.
Tickets can be purchased at the stations seven days before the date of departure, or can be booked online two days in advance through the official passenger transit website, which has no English interface.
Booking online still requires a trip out to the station to pay for the ticket, which must occur more than 24 hours before scheduled departure. This takes some of the convenience out of online booking, but it does in theory ensure a ticket will be waiting for you at the station.
South bus station image: Shenghuo Xinbao© Copyright 2005-2019 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.