Unique rock formations comprise what is known as the Lunan Stone Forest. Visitors can get up close to these attractions on paths leading through the towering rocks.
Lake Dianchi, now known as Lake Kunming, is back on the west by the Western Mountains. Daguan Lou Gongyuan Park, also on the west, contains an historic 17th C tower.
On a foothill of Yu'anshan Mountain, 10km/6mi northwest of Kunming stands the Bamboo Temple. As yet the exact date of its construction has not been determined, but it can be said with certainty to have been before the end of the 13th C.The temple contains several valuable works of art: the Yuan period (1271-1368) statue of the Buddhas of the Three Worlds made of variegated clay (in the Buddha Hall); a small stone tablet on which is engraved in Chinese and Mongolian an imperial edict of 1316 calling on the army and the civilian population to protect the temple; the 500 Luohan statues of clay (1883-90) by the sculptor Li Guangxiu (in the Buddha Hall and two neighboring buildings), which represent the various social strata in a very vivid and individual way.
Pool of the Black Dragon
The Pool of the Black Dragon, situated 14km/8.5mi north of the city in the park of the same name, is famous mainly for the Taoist Temple of the Dragon Spring (Longquan Guan), which is believed to have been founded under the Han dynasty, i.e. some 2000 years ago.Further down, on the west bank of the pool, stands the second part of the temple complex, the Palace of the Black Dragon (Heilong Gong), dating from 1454. Growing on the temple site today are a plum tree from the Tang period (618-907), a cypress from the Song era (960-1279) and a camellia from the Ming period (1368-1644).
Pavilion of the Three Pure Ones
The construction of the Taoist Pavilion of the Three Pure Ones took place over six centuries, during the Yuan, Ming and Qing periods (1279-1911).From here one can reach the cave of Ciyun Dong, and from there proceed to the Dragon's Gate (Longmen), situated 500m/1640ft high and also served by a cable car. The Stone Pavilion (Datian Ge) is reached by a tunnel with stone steps and offers a wonderful view across Lake Dianchi.At the foot of Taihuashan lies the temple of the same name, dating from the Yuan period (1279-1368). Nearby stands the ''Lakeview Tower'' (Wanghai Lou).To the north of the temple we come to Huating Si, dating from the Song period (960-1279), the main hall of which contains three gilded Buddha sculptures and 500 Luohan figures.
The Golden Hall, built in 1671 and situated to the northeast of the city on Minfeng Shan Mountain, is modeled on an earlier building dating from 1602, which was moved to Binchuan near Dali in 1637.The building has a square ground-plan with 6.2m/20ft sides and is 6.7m/22ft high. It is made completely of bronze, as are its fittings and statues. It gets its name from the way its roofs shine like gold in the sun.
Thermal Springs of Anning
The Thermal Springs of Anning (Anning Wenquan) lie 40km/25mi to the southwest of Kunming near the village of Anning. They were discovered as early as the Eastern Han period (25-220), but were not made use of until the early 15th C.The 45°C (113°F) hot springs contain calcium, magnesium, natrium and other minerals; they are particularly recommended for skin diseases and rheumatism.
Caoxi Si Temple
To the west of the Thermal Springs of Anning (1km/.6mi) stands the Caoxi Si Temple, erected under the Tang dynasty (618-907) and later rebuilt on several occasions. In honored place in the main hall dating from the Song period (960-1279) is a Buddha statue which by some strange phenomenon is invested with almost mythical powers of attraction. Every 60 years on the evening of the 15th day of the 8th month (according to the Chinese calendar) a ray of moonlight passes through a small window and falls on the middle of the Buddha's brow, forming a point of light there; as the moon slowly rises up in the sky, the point of light moves further and further down, until finally it reaches the navel of the sculpture and disappears.Mention should be made of the Pearl Spring (Zhenzhu Quan) to the south of the temple.