China boasts 56 nationalities. Southwest China's Yunnan,Guizhou, Guangxi,Sichuan and Tibet are provinces and regions inhabited by more than 30 different ethnic groups, well-known for their simple but unique cultures in agriculture, nomadism , festivals, costumes , food, marriage and funeral customs, architecture, languages and religious beliefs. In addition, the marvelous natural scenery of these areas adds extra color to tours.
Western Hill in Kunming
The Western Hill is situated in the midst of hills on the western outskirts of Kunming. The range, stretching as long as 10 kilometers, is 2,500 meters above sea level. Viewed at a distance, it looks like a beauty lying on the shore of Dianchi Lake. Amidst ancient trees and winding paths, there are Huating Temple, Taihua Temple and Sanqing Pavilion built respectively in the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. The area is a spacious natural park in the mountain
Golden Temple, also known as Bronze Tile Temple or Palace of Supreme Harmony, lies seven kilometers from Kunming. The bronze hall, 6.7 meters in height, 6.2 meters in width, 6.2 meters in depth and 200 tons in weight, is wholly made of bronze. Different patterns of dragons and pheonixes on window and door frames demonstrate to the full the superb quality of casting in Yunnan Province 300 years ago. The bronze hall sits on a two-tiered platform. Birds and animals are carved on the foundation stones of the lower tier while the balustrades and the stepping stones of the upper tier are all made of marble. In front of the hall is erected a bronze flag with the design of seven constellations, including the sun and the moon.
Grand View Pavilion Park
six hectares in size, Grand View Pavilion Park lies four kilometers south of Kunming, bordering on Dianchi Lake and just opposite Taihua Hill. It was built in 1696 and was called the Buddha Temple. In its neighborhood are causeways flanked by willows, rain-bow-like arch-bridges as well as arbors and galleries surrounded by trees and flowers. All these add to the beauty of this elegant pavilion and its surroundings. Grand View Pavilion has been a popular scenic spot for many generations. Men of letters in the past left many famous lines in praise of the pavilion. A long couplet of 180 characters, written by Sun Ranweng - a Qing Dynasty scholar, hangs on the front of the pavilion. It is reputed as the best and longest couplet in the country.
Dianchi Lake, lying in the south of Kunming, is often compared to a sapphire on the highlands of Yunnan. It is a highland lake, much treasured both for Kunming's perennial spring weather and the splendid scenic beauty of the lake district. The lake is 40 kilometers north to south and 8 kilometers east to west. It measures about 320 square kilometers - the sixth biggest fresh water lake in China. Surrounded by hills and criss-crossed by streams, the lake basin is fertile land that spreads for thousands of acres.
Besides, the whole district enjoys a greater prosperity of cultural life. Among places of interest are : West Garden Villa, Buddha Hill, Solitary Vale Garden, Haigeng beach and the famous Grand View Pavilion Park.
Stone Forest in Lunan
The world-famous Stone Forest lies within the boundaries of Lunan County, 126 kilometers southeast of Kunming. Covering an area of more than 400,000 mu, it is reputed as the Number One Grand Spectacle on Earth.
About 270 million years ago, the area where now stands the Stone Forest was submerged in a vast ocean. As a result of countless earthquakes, landslides, and the continuous rise and fall of the earths crust which raised the ground to a high level, the sea gave place to a tableland. The constant seeping of rain water containing carbonic acid through the cracks of the stones gradually dissolved the stone and broadened the fissures. This gave birth to small stone sprouts, which in course of time grew into separate pillars. Owing to the weathering process through the millennia there finally came into being a typical karst physiognomy - a most enchanting sight of fantastic stone pillars.
The total area is about 27 thousand square meters. Tourists can follow the tourist route which extends more than 5,000 meters.
Old Cave in Arlu
Located in Luxi County of Honghe Prefecture, the Old Cave is 170 kilometers east of the Stone Forest. It used to be the dwelling cave of the ancient Arlu tribe. The cave consists of a group of smaller karst formation caves. Tourists can take a tour in the cave enjoying the splendid view of the karst formation in various shapes.
Tong Village at Hongfeng Lake
Hongfeng Lake, thirty three kilometers from Guiyang City and covering an area of 57.2 square kilometers, is the largest lake in the Guizhou Plateau. There are islands in the lake. On the island there are caves and in the caves there are lakes. In recent years are set up some minority villages such as Tong village, Miao village and Buyi village. Tourists can enjoy a day with ethnic-groups and share with them their favorite cuisine.
Tong VillageTowers in Kaili
The Tong Village Tower is a building of the Tong style. The shape of the building is unique. The highest tower, is 15-story high, made of wood, The whole building is constructed without the use of any nails, and it is beautifully colored and decorated.