Getting there & away
There seem to be buses leaving from everywhere in Kūnmíng and bus transport can be a little confusing at first. However, the long-distance bus station on Beijing Lu is the best place to organise bus tickets to almost anywhere in Yúnnán or further afield. Exceptions to this are more local destinations like Diān Chí.
From the sleeper bus stand close to the main train station you can get sleeper buses to most of the same destinations. Buses here tend to be a bit older and so ticket prices are generally a bit cheaper.
You can buy train tickets up to 10 days in advance, which is good news because at peak times, especially public holidays, tickets get sold out days ahead of departure.
At the time of writing, the train to Hekou in Vietnam had been suspended indefinitely, so you’ll have to get the bus instead.
Rail options from Kūnmíng (all prices listed are for hard sleepers) include trains to Běijīng (Y578), Shànghǎi (Y519), Guìyáng (Y162), Guǎngzhōu (Y353), Xī’ān (Y258), Emei Town (Y209), Chéngdū (Y252) and Liùpánshuǐ (Y96). Several overnight trains run daily to Dàlǐ (Y95). Check at the train ticket office for times.
Yunnan Airlines/CAAC (Zhōngguó Mínháng; 316 4270, 313 8562; Tuodong Lu; 24hr) issues tickets for any Chinese airline but the office only offers discounts on Yunnan Airlines flights. From 8pm to 8am buy your tickets from the small ticket window on the left side of the building.
A good one-stop shop for booking flights is the Sanye International Air Service (Sānyè Guójì Hángkōng Fúwù Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī; 353 0773; fax 354 3370; 66-68 Beijing Lu), next door to the long-distance bus station. The office deals with more than 20 international carriers and all the national ones.
Flights are scheduled to depart daily from Kūnmíng for Běijīng (Y1940), Chéngdū (Y830), Chóngqìng (Y840), Guǎngzhōu (Y1290), Guìyáng (Y570), Nánjīng (Y1680), Nánníng (Y710), Shànghǎi (Y2030), Shēnzhèn (Y1370), Qīngdǎo (Y1730) and Xī’ān (Y1100).
There is now a weekly flight to Lhasa (Y1670).
Foreign airline offices in Kūnmíng include the following:
Dragonair (356 1208, 356 1209; 2/F Kaīhuá Guǎngchǎng, 157 Beijing Lu)
Malaysia Airlines (316 5888; Sakura Kūnmíng, 25 Dongfeng Donglu) Office is outside, on your right-hand side approaching the hotel entrance.
Lao Aviation (312 5748; Camellia Hotel, 154 Dongfeng Donglu)
Thai Airways (351 1515; 68 Beijing Lu) Next to the King World Hotel.