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If you go: Yunnan province, China

TravelChinaTourism and LeisureNational ParksSocial IssuesCharityLos Angeles International Airport

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.

TELEPHONES

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)

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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