While visiting China for study abroad programs or volunteering tour, one must visit Kunming, the spring city. It is the capital of Yunnan Province which is home to 26 out of 52 ethnic minorities in the country. Also Kunming lies at a central location from where one can visit all places of cultural importance and natural beauty with ease. Naturally the city becomes an ideal destination for studying abroad as well as travel.
Places of Interest in Kunming
A properly conducted study abroad program provides students with a comprehensive insight into the country they have visited. The objective of these programs is to put the students out of their comfort zone, explore, learn and put their existing knowledge to use. Where gap year programs based in China and India are concerned, this holds particularly true. This is because both these nations are developing and do not offer the same amenities as the developed western nations. Also there are comprehensive cultural differences which make the interaction of a foreigner with the locals even more interesting.
To ensure that one gets to know more about the country he or she is visiting, traveling has become an integral part of all such study abroad programs. It is said that one gets to know one’s true potential when they are traveling. It is a time when one undergoes a lot of change emotionally. One gets to interact, push himself or herself physically and mentally and gets to work with people from a variety of backgrounds. All these factors help advance one’s communication skills along with intrinsic development in personality.
While in choosing a destination for Chinese language programs or volunteering, Yunnan Province is considered to be an ideal destination. It is not only the climate that is a major factor; Yunnan has many travel destinations which depict the lifestyle of Chinese people and gives a comprehensive insight into the Chinese way of life. The capital city of Kunming is the hub of these destinations. From here, almost all the important landmarks in Yunnan are within easy reach.
One such is the Stone Forest with its breathtaking natural splendor. 270 million years in the making, the Stone Forest is without any vegetation and comprises of jagged stones rising beside each other over an area of 135 sq. miles.
Another great place to visit is the Western Hills which rise around Dianchi Lake. The flora and fauna of these hills has been preserved. Nestled in these hills also lies the Dragon Gate. This is a temple which took fifty-four years to build and still stands tall. One can see elegant work of architecture in this temple which stands at a height of almost 2500 feet above sea level.
In the northeast of Kunming lies Mingfeng Hill where Golden Temple was built in the 16th Century. Built by the Ming Dynasty, it also has the Taihe Palace in its vicinity. Inside the temple are girders, statues, screens and decorations made entirely of copper which together weigh almost 20 tons. This makes this temple the biggest copper temple in China. It is a place that offers a unique insight into the architecture and metalwork done by the Ming and the Qing Dynasties.
Other attractions include Green Lake Park and Daguan Park.