Yunnan Minority Travel takes care of all your transportation requirements, and of course, we will meet you at the airport, or the train or bus station.
Depending on the direction you're coming from, there are many possibilities to reach Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province.
If you don't want to make travel arrangements yourself, take a look at 'Our choices of guides, hotels, and transportation' to find out what we can arrange for you.
Changshui International Airport, opened June 2012, in Kunming is the biggest airport in Yunnan. The airport is located 30 kilometers northeast of downtown Kunming.
Kunming has non-stop service from Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xiamen, Chingqiing and other Chinese cities.
In addition to expanded domestic flight services, the airport is expected to further internationalize the city with direct links to Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and possibly Australia and the Americas.
Subway, shuttle bus, and taxi are available to the downtown area. The first phase of Subway Line 6 is into operation between the airport and East Bus Station and runs from 09.00 to 19.10 on an interval of 25 minutes. Duration 23 minutes and cost 5 Yuan. Tickets can be purchased from bilingual ticket machines.
Europe - Kunming
From Europe, you can fly to Kunming. You have to transfer either in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing or Chengdu. Chengdu can be reached directly from Schiphol airport - The Netherlands.
Southeast Asia - Kunming
Changshui International Airport also serves flights to, among others, Laos (Ventiane), Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai), and Vietnam (Hanoi). There is even a direct flight between Bangkok and Jinghong.
Within Yunnan province
Kunming airport serves several cities in the province. There are (daily) flights between Kunming and the cities Dali (Xiaguan), Lijiang, Baoshan, Tenchong, Shangri-La (former Zhongdian), Lhasa and Jinghong as well as less known destinations such as Dehong, Wenshan, and Zhotong.
The city Jinghong can also be reached by a direct flight from Beijing, Chengdu, Dali, Lijiang, Chingqiing and Shanghai (Hongqiao), Bangkok (Thailand).
Traveling by train might be the other experience. Railroad tracks offer spectacular sceneries, with long bridges and sometimes endless tunnels.Available seats normal train:
Hard seat (Yingzuo, YZ): cheapest tickets, 110 seats per carriage.
Soft seat (Ruanzuo, RZ): seldom available.
Hard sleeper (Yingwo, YW): a sleeping carriage for both traveling during day or night. There are 6 beds per compartment (without a door), and 66 beds per car.
Soft sleeper (Ruanwo, RW): this is also a sleeping carriage. There are 4 beds per compartment that can be closed.
Fast train connections become more and more important for traveling within the province.
Kunming have a Fast train connection with Dali (about 2 hours) to Lijiang (about 4 hours) and since November 2023 to Shangri-La (about 7 hours). There are 33 trains per day in both directions. There aren't any night trains.
Since 2022 there is also a Fast train connection between the mean cities in Laos and Kunming.
Since April 2023 a Fast train connect Hongkong and Kunming.
Guilin - Kunming
A railroad connects Kunming and Guilin, around 900 km east of Kunming.
Kunming can also be reached by train from central China via Guiyang in the province Guizhou. From the province north of Kunming, Sichuan, a railway track leads from Chengdu to Kunming.
Kunming - Vietnam
Vietnam, the border crossing is from Lao Cai, Vietnam, to Hekou, China. The rail route from Hekou to Kunming remains closed, so the only public transport option is by bus or private car. The ride lasts roughly 10 hours. The Chinese part of the French built a narrow-gauge railroad between Kunming and Hanoi got closed in 2005. Thus, take a bus to get to Hekou at the border. Here you can cross the border to Lao Cai and take the train to Hanoi.
There is a railway from Hanoi to Nanning in Guangxi province, and one from Nanning to Kunming.
By busAll cities and villages are accessible by bus. In general, the easiest way to reach your destination is to travel to the nearest big city, change buses and maybe change again. There are normal buses, express buses, and night buses.
Kunming - DaliThere are several bus stations in Kunming. Each station serves its own destinations. Every hour, a bus leaves between Kunming and Dali. It will take you around five hours, a break en route included. There are also express buses available, that also depart every hour. You will be slightly faster; the trip might last around four hours.
Kunming - other provincial placesThe travel time by car between Kunming and Lijiang is around 6 hours. Kunming - Shangri-La might take you 7,5 hours.
Laos - YunnanThere are multiple roads between Laos and Yunnan. Coming from Luang Namtha in Laos, bus services are available to Jinghong in Xishuangbanna. In Luang Prabang (Laos) a bus leaves daily at 7:00 am and arrives at the long distance bus station in Kunming the next day around 5 or 6 am. That depends on the driver. The condition of Laos's roads are at times of lesser quality and definitely mountainous. Not everybody can handle the discomfort that comes along with it. But, the road gets smoother in China, which improved its road conditions.
By car - for your freedom
Yunnan Minority Travel organizes your private tour to and from almost every destination in Yunnan. It's a very convenient and comfortable way to travel; no waiting in sometimes dirty waiting rooms, no need to search for the right bus or train, no security checks, no lying taxi driver, no transfers. Stop whenever you want; for lunch, sanitary stops, photos.
Besides, a private car is in general much faster than any other mode of transport within the province. For example, you arrive in Kunming airport or at the railway station. The driver is waiting for you with your name on a billboard. He brings you directly to your next destination.
We use a different kinds of cars depending on the number of guests. Our drivers are fairly experienced. Not unimportant, our drivers know how to make you feel at ease at the Yunnan roads.
By speedboat from Thailand
Although Yunnan is not situated near the sea, the extensive network of rivers and lakes in the province Yunnan make a sightseeing tour via water routes more than worthwhile. You can reach Jinghong by (speed)boat from Chiang Saen in Thailand. The boat departs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at around 05:00 am. You will arrive around 18:00 pm the same day. Passengers are not required to have visas for Laos or Myanmar. For a cabin and your meals on board, you will pay around Rmb 500 per person.