Rather charmingly known to many as "The City of Eternal Spring", the southern Chinese city of Kunming is home to around 3.5 million people and is the regional center of Yunnan. The first thing you are likely to notice on arrival as an expatriate in Kunming is the juxtaposition of modern and traditional. This is, in part, because while the city's history stretches back to 400BC, its true boom only came after 1910, when the first railway link to the city opened. Its nickname comes from the gentle climate and the year-round proliferation of blossoming flowers, which make the city's flower markets a joy to visit. Other major sights for expats living in Kunming include the incredible Stone Forest (sometimes called the "First Wonder of the World") and the stunning Grand View Park. The idyllic Yuantong Temple is another landmark for expatriates living in Kunming to make time for.
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While there are a number of travel options for expats moving to Kunming, a whole book could be written on just the city's airport. Opened in 2012, the Kunming Changshui International Airport is a stunning construction by two international building firms – one British and the other American, a sign of the city's global outlook – that would be worth a visit as a landmark alone. The grand complex is well-served by flights from a host of national and Asian cities and connected to Kunming's center via a newly-opened metro link. Alternatively, expatriates moving to Kunming will find the city well served by a good train service and a number of intercity buses. You may also like to get in touch with other global minds and expats in Kunming before setting off – this is easy to do via the forums and private messages system on the InterNations website and having a few contacts in the city's international community before you arrive is useful.
As well as contacting other expatriates in Kunming, you may like to browse the InterNations collection of articles on expatriation before travelling. We have content by other InterNations members, and the Expat Magazine covers topics like working abroad, expat finance and cross-cultural communication – our content is tailored around helping you adapt to life as an expatriate working in Kunming. This is not to say there isn't much going on – quite the opposite. The city's first supertower, a thousand foot rectangular construction that is currently rising up above the city's skyline, is a clear symbol of a burgeoning local economy. A combination of well-planned industrial zones, abundant natural resources and a forgiving climate makes this a highly productive city and a mining, engineering and manufacturing hub. Add to that a busy after hour’s scene for expats working in Kunming to explore, with great food and plenty of local culture, and you've got a fantastic city to be based in.