Kūnmíng has become a thoroughly modern Chinese city with wide, palm-lined roads and sky-scraping modern buildings. What was left of the quaint back alleyways and wooden buildings have been replaced by shopping malls and modern apartment blocks. However, as far as Chinese cities go, Kūnmíng is very laid-back and an enjoyable place to spend a few days.
At an elevation of 1890m, Kūnmíng has a milder climate than most other Chinese cities, and can be visited at any time of the year. Light clothes will usually be adequate, but it’s wise to bring some woollies during the winter months when temperatures can suddenly drop. However, snow is still rare and afternoon daytime temperatures from December to January are often downright springlike. Winters are short, sunny and dry. In summer (June to August) Kūnmíng offers cool respite, though rain is more prevalent.