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Finding Kunming's long distance bus stations

By in Features on

The Spring Festival travel season is upon us and in light of some recent questions in the GoKunming forums we have consolidated the information we have about Kunming's new long distance bus stations.

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
西部汽车客运站
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
南部汽车客运站
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
东部汽车客运站
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
北部汽车客运站
Serves destinations in north Yunnan including: Qujing, Zhaotong, Xundian, Songming, Lüquan, and Dongchuan

Northwest Bus Station - Puji Lu
西北部汽车客运站
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

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Comments

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Lucky me, I found this link, and info on buses to Yuangyang. But.... can someone help further? I will be in Kunming later this year (2011), and will be going to Yuangyang. So, I will be doing the bus trip, via the South Bus Station. Can someone provide some more tips for me to pinpoint the South Bus Station on the map I have (it probably is not that current)? What is Xin Kunluo Lu in Chinese? Any nearby streets you can also provide. I can't seem to find any name even close to Xin Kunluo Lu. My guess is that it's a smaller street, so my map doesn't show the name, but rather some "bigger" names, like Er Huan Nan Lu (south of the railroad track on map). Hopefully that will help me more. Much appreciated.

Sam, did you try clicking on the link for the South Bus Station listings page and looking at the map point there? The Chinese address is also on that page.

Pinyin for 元阳 is Yuanyang, not Yuangyang

There's been some renaming of the roads in that area. The bus station is on Caiyun Bei Lu (formerly Xin Kunluo Lu). A timetable I have from Jan 2010 has five buses to Yuanyang per day - one in the morning, and four in the evening. The map point on the listings page was a little out - i've just repositioned it.

I am having serious difficulty getting train tickets from Kunming to Guangzhou. Is it possible to get a sleeper bus between the two cities?

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