Mountainous and verdant Yunnan is a byword for beauty in the south of China. This is a wonderful region to explore with friendly locals and a subtropical climate that is far removed from the chilly north of the Middle Kingdom. Have a read through our regional facts to familiarise yourself with this striking part of China.
|Facts at a Glance|
|Population||Approximately 41 Million|
|Language||Mandarin. A local dialect is also spoken, not understood by outsiders. Outside large hotels, very little English is spoken|
|Religion||Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Christianism|
|Climate||Varies widely according to latitude and elevation, from subtropical in the south, to high tundra in northern areas.|
|Local Time||GMT +8|
|Currency||Chinese Renminbi (RMB) is the medium of exchange. The basic unit of RMB is yuan, in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1. The yuan is divided into 10 jiao, which is further divided into 10 fen.|
|Credit Cards||Accepted in large hotels, but generally not in wide use.|
|Business Hours||Government Offices: 8:00-12:00, 14:30-18:30; |
Businesses: 8:30-12:00, 14:30-18:00;
Banks: 8:30-12:00, 14:30-18:00.
Post Offices: 08:00-19:00 hrs
|Travellers cheques||Travellers cheques and currencies may be exchanged into Yuan in major banks and hotels.|
|Tipping||Small tips are expected, in addition to hotel and restaurant service charges.|
|Electricity supply||220V, 50 Hz|
|Tourist Information||Yunnan Airlines - Bangkok: (66-2) 2163067-8; email: firstname.lastname@example.org Air China -Kunming: (86-761) 2730022; Bangkok: (66-2) 6310731-4; Hanoi: (84-4) 8269233 |
Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration -Tel: (86-871) 3543560, 3545832; Fax: (86-871) 3517048
Passport & Visa to Yunnan
Visa required. A three-month visa costs US$30, and processing time is four working days.
Duty free allowance: 200 cigarettes and one quart of wine or spirit. The export of antiques, without official dealer's receipt, is prohibited.
A customs declaration must be completed on arrival and surrendered on departure.
Valuable items, such as video cameras, laptop computers, etc. which are declared on the form must be exported, otherwise import duties will be charged.
Security and Safety
Yunnan is considered very safe, and crime involving foreign visitors is very low. It is wise, however, to observe all normal precautions in crowded areas.
Tap Water Safety
Not potable. Bottled water is available everywhere.
Visitors must fill in a Health Declaration Form on arrival. Medical records may be required for stays exceeding 6 months. Inoculations against influenza, tetanus, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, and Japanese encephalitis are recommended for longer stays. Malaria is endemic in remote tropical areas, check with government health authorities for update.
Airmail from Kunming is efficient and reliable. Express Mail Service is available in all large cities. Major hotels provide convenient postal services for letters and parcels.
Telephone services are generally efficient and good. International IDD calls are expensive by world standards.
The English language China Daily is usually provided free in tourist hotels.
Email and Internet use is growing. Most large hotels offer a service, and there are numerous Internet cafes in Kunming.
The highest organ of state power in China is the National People's Congress (NPC) and, during its five-year term, has the power to amend the constitution and enact laws. Its other duties include electing the President, Vice-President and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission; approving the President's nomination of a Premier, and approving all candidates of the State Council upon the nomination of the Premier. It is also responsible for electing the President of the Supreme People's Court and Procurator-General. The NPC is composed of deputies selected from the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government and from the armed forces.
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) conducts political consultations on major state policies. It is composed of the Communist Party, other non-communist parties, personages without party affiliation, representatives of mass organisations and ethnic minorities, and representatives of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and overseas Chinese. The CPPCC's National Committee serves for five years and generally holds its sessions concurrently with the NPC. When the NPC and CPPCC are not in session, the Standing Committee acts as their permanent working body.
The highest organ of state administration is the State Council, reporting directly to the NPC. It is composed of the Premier, Vice-Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of ministries and commission, the Auditor-General, and the Secretary-General.
Kunming and Dongchuan are provincially administered municipalities, while Zhaotong, Qujing, Yuxi, Simao, Baoshan, Lijiang and Lincang are prefectures. There are eight autonomous prefectures, Chuxiong-Yi, Wenshan-Zhuang and Miao, Xishuangbanna-Dai, Dali-Bai, Dehong-Dai and Jingpo, Nujiang-Lisu and Diqing-Tibetan. There are also 13 prefecturally administered municipalities; 81 counties; 29 autonomous counties and 4 districts under Kunming Municipality.