Kunming’s Green Lake is also known as the “Jade of Kunming City.” Originally an extension of Dianchi Lake, it later became its own independent lake due to declining water levels. Every November, red-headed seagulls from Siberia fly to Kunming for the winter, with some making Green Lake their home for these winter months. Come March and April of the following year, they leave Kunming and fly back to northeastern China and Siberia. It has become a tradition for locals and tourists alike to feed the seagulls at Green Lake during the winter and early spring.
Green Lake is a perfect place for a relaxing stroll in the summer. As one poem describes it, “Lotus flowers blossom on the lake as willow trees dance on the shore.” A large variety of trees offer ample shade, and a gentle breeze carries a sweet fragrance across the premises. Another poem paints the picture quite well: “Deep in the bamboo forest, someone quietly recites poetry. A pavilion rests at the heart of the lake and fish leap out from beneath the surface of the water. Perched atop a nearby bridge, swallows watch as the days pass by, and swans swim happily in the Pond of the Nine Dragons.”
In the park, old folks play different instruments and sing to entertain themselves. Local opera and square dance are also popular activities. If you are lucky, you might even see people in ethnic costumes singing and dancing.
There are running routes surrounding the park for people who love to run. There is also outdoor fitness equipment, which is very popular among the elderly. Every morning, lots of people come to Green Lake Park, put on their favorite tunes, and do some exercise in the park. There is no better way to start your day.
There are also cafes, tea shops, and interesting little shops surrounding the park, which are perfect for taking photos for your social media accounts.
The Kunming Zoo and Yuantong Temple are not far from the lake either. You can also visit the Army Lecture Hall near the west entrance of the lake.
A nice place for people watching (though Guandu Old Town beats it hands down), and a pleasant stroll on a weekend whenever you need to re-ignite your love for China; the people's enjoyment and enthusiasm and random tibetan mass dancing will do the trick for sure.
This park is great!! It's big and green--a nice surprise in the middle of this city--and it is always full of tons of people, many of whom are playing instruments. Very good place to wander for an afternoon.