Thailand is far too hot!!! over 30 degrees every day, so unless you want to get burnt, day-time activities are pretty non-existent only coming alive at night. KM in winter is very dry, low humidity, mild temperatures in low 20's every day and wall-to-wall sunshine. Great for outdoor activities like cycling without suncream! Just beware of 1-2 weeks grey/cold weather, normally forecasted and don't come then!!
Weather in Chiangmai is not too hot in winter - doesn't hit 30C but stays above 20C except for maybe a couple of days, and it's pretty dry, plenty of sunshine. Best time to go there, people don't have to wait for night to come alive. Kunming in winter usually does not have wall-to-wall sunshine; temperature can go down to 0C. I count winter here from late November/early December through February, can be miserable, weather erratic, though yes there are also nice days when the temperature may hit 20C or even slightly warmer - but winters here vary, forecasts not too reliable, those in Chiangmai more reliable. I like to spend a month in Chiangmai in January/February (late January/early March are usually the worst in Kunming). Other areas in northern Thailand are also very nice during November-February or early March (mid-late March it does get up to 30C and more).
Back to original question.
Anyone have anymore suggestions for kunming surrounding areas and outside as well?
I've recently heard of Jian Shui, the "home" of tofu.
Fuxian lake is nearby.
I"m looking for places of scenery, lakes, etc.
For non tourist traps.
Yi Liang is non touristy, apart from people coming to eat duck. It is in a quiet river valley, on a flood plain with mountains on both sides. Very quiet and pretty, once you get out of town. Along the river it is very flat and would be easy cycling. I cannot remember if they have share bikes, I wasn't paying attention. It is a lazy town, with not much going on.
Weishan, which is about 30km south of Dali new town. Ancient city, again built on a flood plain between mountains. This is a living city (real businesses, not just tourism). I would guess that there is a bus every hour from Dali Xiaguan (the new town).
For really spectacular scenery there is Jizushan (Chicken foot mountain). This is about 50km by road, NNE of Dali Xiaguan. I think about 2 hours by bus. There is a temple about 3200m, which is above the town, that is already about 1800m. You can bus up/down or walk. There are many temples in the area, if that interests you. It is an area for Buddhist pilgrims, but mostly people going to pray for family fortunes. Lots of guest houses in the village. No nightlife, not many shops. The nicer guest houses are on the fringe of the village, not the new development area. There are also a lot of monkeys that come for the tourists.
Thailand would have been my personal choice
I went home for the winter, and look what i came back to. i don't know, i can't go away for 5 minutes...