City overview
City Impression
- Spring City
 
Numbers
21,600---The total area of Kunming is 21,600 square km.
1,000---The city has a mean annual rainfall of 1,000 mm.
2,250---An annual sunshine period is 2,250 hours.
 
Geography and Climate
Kunming is located between 24°23´ and 26°22´N, and 102°10´and 103°40´E, with a total area of 21,600 square km. Its widest stretch from the east to the west amounts to 140 km and its largest expansion from the north to the south amounts to 220 km. Its highest point is Mazong Ridge of the Jiaozi Mountain in Luquan with an elevation of 4,247 m, and its lowest point is the joint of the Xiaojiang River and the Jinsha River in Dongchuan District, with an elevation of 695m. Its downtown area is 1,891 m above sea level. Kunming is the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan Province as well as the gateway of China to the Southeast Asian countries.
 
Kunming enjoys a pleasant climate with little change in temperature throughout the year. The temperature averages about 15 degrees C. in the urban area, 19.7 degrees C. peaks in the summer and 7.5 degrees C. troughs in the winter.
 
The rainy season is between May and Oct when 85% of the annual rainfall of 1000mm falls. Due to Kunming's moderate humidity and temperature, as well as the plentiful sunshine the city receives, Kunming is known as the "Spring City" and is green throughout the year.
 
History
Kunming's history goes back thousands of years. The city obtained fame during Ming dynasty because of Kunming's ready supply of metals, the main source for Ming coins. Also a large center of trade, the city nonetheless remained relatively isolated from the rest of China. In fact, it was considered a form of semi-banishment for imperial officials to be posted here. Upon the completion of the Indochina railroad in 1910, Kunming rapidly opened up and became more accessible to the rest of the world, but still remains a nice contrast to the bustling chaos of other Chinese cities. Kunming is also a major exporter of flowers – it's impossible for their presence to go unnoticed because their scent wafts through the streets.
 
Culture
Kunming has a unique culture consisting of splendid cultural heritage of multiple nationalities. Since ancient times, people in the region have engraved painting on precipices and on bronze wares. They depicted their rich feelings and beliefs through characters and paintings.

"Dongba" (the highly educated man) culture of Naxi Nationality and its "Dongba Scripture", the earliest hieroglyph existing in the world, is indications that the plateau had once been cut off from the outside world. The culture of Dai Nationality is symbolized by its unique "Beiye Scripture", Buddhist temples of different sizes, the Jingzhen Octagon Pavilion, and the Manfeilong White Temple. Every nationality has its unique way of cultural expression, such as the New Year Song Festival of the Tibetan Nationality, Munao Mass Song and Dance Festival of Jingbo, the Three-Pagoda Building in Dali and the Golden Palace built mainly out of copper.

Holiday celebrations, religions, rites, weddings, burials, and people's daily lives have all been imbued with the strong cultural colour of different nationalities. Inspired by these activities, people have created a variety of arts characteristic of their national background, including construction, engraving, knitting, wax printing, embroidery, song and dance, paintings, poems and legends.
2012 China University Ranking
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