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Kunming

Markedly more cosmopolitan, modern and crowded than the rest of Yunnan, the provincial capital of Kunming remains very laid back, especially compared to the hyperactive metropolises of coastal China. Known as the 'City of Eternal Spring' because of its year-round temperate weather, Kunming is girded by mountains on three sides and a lake to the south. Though it has undergone considerable development in recent years and its population has ballooned to 4.5 million, many of its old structures still stand, made identifiable by the grass sprouting on their roofs. Kunming is home to no fewer than 25 different ethnic minorities, each of which celebrates its own holidays. It is a great city for leisurely urban adventures.

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