THE BEST WAY TO YUNNAN PROVINCE, CHINA
Before traveling, visitors must apply for tourist visas at a Chinese consulate.
From LAX, connecting service (change of planes) to Kunming, a good starting point for most Yunnan excursions, is offered on Korean, China Eastern, Air China and China Southern. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $720. From Kunming to Lijiang, nonstop service is offered on Shanghai Airlines, China Southern and China Eastern. Restricted nonstop fares begin at $142. From Kunming to Daqing, connecting service is offered on China Southern and Air China. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $414.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 86 (the country code for China) and the local number.
WHAT TO DO
Yue Wang of the Nature Conservancy China suggests visiting northwest Yunnan from April to October because the region gets too cold in winter. Southern Yunnan welcomes tourists year-round.
Yunnan currently has five pilot national parks in various stages of official approval: Meili Snow Mountain, Laojunshan, Pudacuo, Xishuangbanna and Pu'er. To plan a hike, camping trip or home stay in these parks, consult travel agents in Kunming or cities near the parks such as Lijiang, Zhongdian, Diqing, Dali or Jinghong.
WHERE TO STAY
The Hump Hostel, Jinmabiji Square, Jinbi Road, Kunming; 871-3640359, http://www.thehumphostel.com. More than a cozy backpacker hangout. In addition to dorm beds ($5 a night), the centrally located hostel has private doubles starting at $13 a night. Expats chill on the Hump's rooftop patio. The English-speaking staff can help plan your Yunnan tour.
TO LEARN MORE
Yunnan Provincial Tourism Information Center, http://www.yunnantourism.com
The Nature Conservancy China Program, http://www.nature.org/wherewework/asiapacific/china
GoKunming, Yunnan's leading English-language news website, http://www.gokunming.com
Pudacuo National Park, http://www.puda-cuo.com
Laojunshan National Park, http://www.ljljs.com (Chinese-only)