I'll be visiting Kunming from May 3 - 20, staying near Kunming University of Science and Technology.
Young professional Canadian, no idea what to for fun do while there. Will be working Mon-Fri 6hrs a day on a business trip.
Would appreciate your suggestions on things to do while in Kunming.
I'll be off to Nanchang afterwards if any suggestions for there as well :)
Which campus will you be staying at?
Good place to find company/chat is sitting outside the little bar at Salvadors (Sals). If alcohol isn't your thing they also do food, coffee, tea, and various fruit drinks.
There are lots of restaurants you can try, many parks and temples to visit, and if you get any days off, there are some trips you can take. Stone Forest (Shi Lin) is a day out. Jianshui is about a 3hr15 train ride from the old train station.
A visit to Dali needs at least 2 days, but preferably 3 or 4, so you may not have time for it. I know nothing about Nanchang, other than it's in Jiangsu which is quite near Shanghai. Bit of a nothing city I daresay but I could be totally wrong. Late May will probably be pretty warm there - mid 20s to low 30s (Celsius).
@tigertiger, the Lianhua Campus. Just west of Lotus Pond. Didn't realize there was more than one campus, sorry.
Thanks for the info @Haali. I'll definitely visit Sals, looks to only be a 20 minute walk :)
I'll have 3 weekends to explore, so I'll look into day trips to Stone Forest and Kianshui.
Appreciate the insights.
Would there best any good recommendations on apps to use while there?
I'm assuming Google Maps won't work all that well, but Baidu maps are in Mandarin.
I've read from the forums ExpressVPN is up and working so I'll be sure to get that before making the journey over.
Google maps will work with a VPN, and Apple maps currently work., and have all of the transport routes working.
Keep an eye on the events calendar, as most things happen down town you will be in easy reach. If you have the budget you could also fly to Shanghai and Beijing for a weekend if you so desired. You could bus or train to Dali for the weekend, I am not sure if the Bullet train will be available by May. You could even fly to Lijiang, not sure how often the flights are.
Suggest you skip weekend flights to Beijing, Shanghai or Lijiang - most of Kunming, and Yunnan, is on the ground, and that's a good place to meet it.
LianHua Park, down the road from you, is worth a look. Apparently there is a cheap all-you-can-eat vegetarian lunch there. Go early or the local senior citizens eat it all!
The "Zoology Museum" is worth an hour of your time too - a 10 minute walk from your workplace.
Some unis have places to rent a bike. Or bike shops nearby that will. Cycling to Haigeng park is pretty enjoyable. www.gokunming.com/en/listings/item/33021/haigeng_park
There was a very pleasant Buddhist temple near the lake in the center of town. There is also a giant Chinese style Disneyland, but that was built after my visit, so don't know if it's any fun.
Alienew has a vendetta against air travel haha.
However, if you only have weekends off, trips to far away cities on planes will not be worth it, especially considering how prone to delays flights are in China.
Stick to Kunming and Eastern Yunnan. There are several destinations in eastern and central Yunnan or just over the provincial border in Guizhou reachable by train or high speed train from Kunming.
Bullet train to Guiyang is 2 hours