Location: on the southern border of southwest China
Area: 394,000 sq km
Climate: The climate in Yunnan is characterized by distinctive features which include: (a) marked regional differences and vertical changes; (b) slight variation in annual temperature changes in contrast to dramatic temperature changes during the day and night; (c) there is plenty of rainfall, but the distribution is not equal; and (d) there is a sharp difference between the dry and the wet seasons.
Provincial Capital: Kunming
Map of Yunnan
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Population: 42.88 millions (March 2001)
Ethnic Groups: Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai, Miao, Lisu, Hui, Lahu, Va, Naxi, Yao, Tibetan, Jingpos, Blang, Achang, Nu, Primi, Jino, De'ang, Mongolian and Derung.
Agriculture: Yunnan's major crops are rice, maize, wheat, tuber crops, peas and beans, rape seed, peanuts, tobacco, tea, cotton, sugar-cane, and fruits.
For Westerners, Yunnan and Kunming are possibly better associated with the Flying Tigers daring pilots who flew "over the hump" from Bengal to help China during the Second World War. Yunnan actually has plenty of other claims to fame.
Yunnan is a cradle of mankind. The Yuanmou Ape Man lived and multiplied in Yunnan as early as 1.7 million years ago. In ancient time, caravans ran through Yunnan along the Southern Silk Road into Burman and India. Today Yunnan boasts the country's most diverse population of cllorful minority peoples and such natural wonders as the Stone Forest, Xishuangbanna, Dali, etc.
Yunnan ranks first in China in terms of the variety of its ethnic groups, with 26 nationalities living in compact communities throughout the region. Among the ethnic groups, the colorful customs of the Yi people at the Stone Forest, Hani people in Yuanyang, Bai people in Dali, Naxi people in Lijiang and Tibetans in Zhongdin are particularly notable. They have each produced rich and unique cultures that are perfectly and harmoniously fused with the wonderful natural landscapes of Yunnan. Together they compose an image of 'Everlasting Shangri-La' that attracts numerous tourists from all over the world.
Yunnan is undoubtedly an ideal tourist destination.