Kunming Transportation: Flight, Train, Metro, Taxi, Bus & Bicycle
Kunming is a capital city of Yunnan, the province arched on the southwest edge of China and neighbors Guangxi and Guizhou in its east, Sichuan in its north, Tibet in its northwest, Laos and Vietnam in its south, and Myanmar in its west. Thanks to the unbeatable physical location, Kunming is always a vital gateway city for tourists traveling Yunnan and even the whole China. International and domestic flights and high speed trains allow you to get there conveniently. And the metro lines, taxi and buses in Kunming will take you travel around the city efficiently.
This Kunming Transportation Guide will introduce you all the transportation means to get to and travel around Kunming. Besides, we will provide more detailed information of how to get to Kunming Stone Forest and Dongchuan Red Land from Kunming downtown and how to go from Kunming to Lijiang, Shangri-La, Dali, Yuanyang, Jianshui, etc. Let’s check them out to better plan your Kunming Yunnan tour!
Hottest Kunming Yunnan Tours 2020:
>> 6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour (Lijiang/Shangri-La/Kunming)
>> 8 Days Classic Yunnan Tour (Kunming/Dali/Lijiang/Shangri-La)
How to Get to/away from Kunming - Flight, Train & Coach
Flights to Kunming
Taking a flight to Kunming is a hot choice. Kunming now has altogether 396 flight lines, including 304 domestic lines and 92 international and regional lines. You can catch a flight from more than 110 domestic cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Harbin and also international and regional cities like Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, San Francisco, Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles…
Besides, convenient intercity flights allow you to travel Kunming between other popular tourist destinations in Yunnan, like Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Xishuangbanna, Pu'er, etc. With the operation of high speed railways in Yunnan, flights are less chosen by tourists now, but they are still good alternative options.
Kunming Changshui International Airport
All the flight will land at or depart from Kunming Changshui International Airport (昆明长水国际机场), the only airport in Kunming. The airport is about 28km northeast from Kunming downtown area, which needs about 40 minutes’ car ride. You can take the Metro line 6 and Airport Shuttle Bus or ask a taxi to get there.
Address: Changshui Village, Guandu District, Kunming, Yunnan (云南省昆明市官渡区长水村，昆明长水国际机场)
Kunming now has 2 mainly-used train stations. There are Kunming Railway Station in Kunming downtown and Kunming South Railway Station about 33km and 1 hour away from Kunming downtown. Almost all the main tourist cities in China have high speed trains to Kunming, like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Chengdu, Chongqing, etc.
Due to the rapid development of Kunming Railways, catching a bullet train to travel Kunming, Lijiang, Dali and Puzhehei has gradually become the hottest choice. All these bullet trains depart from Kunming South Railway Station and most of them will make a short stop at Kunming Railway Station.
Kunming Railway Station
Address: Beijing Road, Guandu District, Kunming (昆明市官渡区北京路，昆明站)
How to get there: Kunming Metro Line 2, taxi or bus.
Kunming South Railway Station
Address: Xiangyuan Street, Chenggong District, Kunming (昆明市呈贡区祥园街，昆明南站)
How to get there: Kunming Metro Line 1, taxi or bus.
There are also long-distance coaches to/from Kunming. Those coaches connect the nearby county areas of Kunming and other destinations in Yunnan with Kunming downtown. Tourists can also take private car to get there. However, flight and bullet train are more convenient and faster.
How to Get around Kunming - Metro, Taxi, Bus & Bicycle
Currently, Kunming has 4 metro lines under operation, including the Line 1, Line 2 and Line 3 and Line 6.
Kunming Railway Station is one Line 1. West Hill is settled at the west end of Line 2. Kunming Changshui Airport is on the east end of Line 6. And the closest metro station to visit Green Lake is Panjiawan Station (潘家湾) on Line 3.
(Updated in May 2020, please check latest Kunming Metro Lines and other metro information from its official website.)
Travel Kunming downtown area by taxi is usually a good choice. The price of taxi is reasonable. During the day, the meter will run at CNY 8 for the first 3km (1.8 miles), with CNY 1.8 added for every kilometer thereafter. The fuel surcharge is about CNY 2. During night hours from 23:00pm to 6:00am of next morning, about 20% more will be charged. More money is needed if you travel more than 10km (6 miles).
Usually, about CNY 20 is needed of getting from Green Lake (5km) to West Hill by taxi.
Bus system in Kunming is very good. Once you are there, you will see many buses running on the streets in the downtown area. After paying for a slight fee for about CNY 2, you can travel as far as the bus line can reach. And another CNY 2 is needed if you make a transfer to another bus.
However, you are not really suggested to travel around Kunming by bus if you are going to Kunming for sightseeing. The taxi and metro are better!
Kunming downtown area is relatively flat and perfectly suited for biking. On every main street in Kunming City area, there are many Mobike, OfoBicycle and other shared bikes. However, they are mainly prepared for Chinese who have ID card and phones with Chinese SIM card. Please note that it won’t be a good idea to enjoy biking during noon hours of hot summer in Kunming. It will be extremely hot and may lead you become exhausted and lightheaded.
|Kunming to Stone Forest||Kunming to Dongchuan Red Land|
|Kunming to Dali||Kunming to Lijiang||Kunming to Shangri-La||Kunming to Yuanyang Rice Terraces||Kunming to Jianshui||From Other Destinations to Kunming|
Kunming Downtown to Kunming Stone Forest (Shilin)
Kunming Stone Forest, or known as Shilin, is located in Shilin Yi Nationality Autonomous County and about 85km away from Kunming downtown. It will take you about 1.5 hours to drive to Stone Forest from Kunming City Center. Tourists prefer to get there by private car. Besides, you can also choose to travel by high speed train or coach. Both Kunming Railway Station and Kunming South Railway Station operate bullet trains to Shilin Station (石林站), which needs about 20 minutes from Kunming South Station and about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Kunming Station. Kunming Changshui International Airport also has direct shuttle buses to Stone Forest, but the bus ride needs 2~2.5 hours and the timetable may be changed sometimes.
Tip: There are two train stations near Stone Forest Scenic Area, one is Shilin Station and the other is Shilin West Station. You are suggested to get off at Shilin Station, which is much closer to the scenic area.
Hot Kunming & Stone Forest Tour:
>> 3 Days Kunming Tour to Stone Forest & Jiuxiang Cave (Kunming/Stone Forest/Jiuxiang)
Kunming Downtown to Dongchuan Red Land
Dongchuan Red Land, the paradise for photography and nature lovers, sites in the remote area of Xintian Village in Kunming’s Dongchuan District, about 150km northeast of Kunming City Center. You can get there from Kunming by private car or long-distance coach. Private car is more recommended, because you can hop on the car at anytime and anywhere as you want, while you have to travel to the appointed bus station like Kunming North Bus Station (昆明北部客运站) if you want to travel by coach.
We China Discovery also offer convenient private car service. Once you booking such a service, your English-speaking tour guide will be waiting for you at your hotel. And your local driver will escort you directly to Dongchuan Red Land in speed and convenience. During the whole Dongchuan tour, the guide will accompany you all the way, telling you the best sites for photography and sharing you some insider tips. If you need such a service, please feel free to send us your group size, traveling date and time for enquiry.
Hot Kunming & Dongchuan Red Land Tours:
>> 4 Days Kunming & Dongchuan Red Land Scenic Tour (Kunming/Dongchuan)
>> 10 Days Beautiful Yunnan Tour with Dongchuan Red Land (Kunming/Dongchuan/Kunming/Dali/Lijiang/Shangri-La)
Kunming to Dali
Dali in middle way between Kunming and Lijiang is about 260km northwest of Kunming. Flight, high speed train and coach are all available to get from Kunming to Dali, and vice versa. Every day, there are more than 20 bullet trains can take you to Dali in about 2~2.5 hours. The duration of a flight from Kunming Changshui International Airport to Dali Huangcaoba Airport is about 45~55 minutes. If you choose the coaches, you will take about 4.5~5 hours on the way. Most of the tourists prefer the high speed train, and you are suggested to select these trains too.
Hot Kunming & Dali Tours:
>> 4 Days Kunming & Dali Highlights Tour (Kunming/Dali)
>> 6 Days Kunming, Dali & Lijiang Essence Tour (Kunming/Dali/Lijiang)
Kunming to Lijiang
After arriving at Dali, go further north for about 2.5~3 hours by car you will be in Lijiang. The whole driving route from Kunming to Lijiang measures about 500km, which is too far and takes as long as 6.5 hours around by car. To avoid the long driving, tourists will take a flight or high speed train to Lijiang from Kunming. High Speed Train is newly built and most recommended for most visitors. There are about 4 daily D trains for you to choose, and the train ride needs only about 3~3.5 hours. If you go by flight, the time will be shorted to 1 hour around. However, since it will take you half an hour or more to get from Kunming Airport or Lijiang Airport to the downtown areas, the flight is only suggested for those staying at hotels near the airports.
Hot Kunming & Lijiang Tour:
>> 5 Days Kunming Lijiang High Speed Train Tour (Kunming/Lijiang)
Kunming to Shangri-La
Go further north from Lijiang, and then you will find Shangri-La on the way. Driving from Lijiang to Shangri-La takes less than 4 hours. However, if you drive from Kunming, it will take you more than 8.5 hours. At present, the best way to go from Kunming to Shangri-La and Shangri-La to Kunming is by direct flight. The flight journey needs only 1 hour around. The Kunming Tiger Leaping Gorge Shangri-La Railway is under construction and will be put into use in late 2020. Once the bullet train is available, traveling by high speed train will also be a good idea.
Hot Kunming & Lijiang & Shangri-La Tour:
Kunming to Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Yuanyang Rice Terraces, different from Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La, is located in the south part of Yunnan instead of the north part. It is about 210km south of Kunming. Driving from Kunming to Yuanyang takes 5.5 hours or more. Yuanyang Rice Terraces is located in the remote area that far from the rail lines or flight lines. The best ways to get there are by coach or private car. The amount of coaches from Kunming to Yuanyang is relative limited. Every day, you can only find 1~3 coaches, which depart from Kunming South Coach Station (南部汽车站). Those coaches will take you to the Yuanyang County, where you have to find a local minibus to the scenic area. Private car is more convenient and safer. If you need such a service, please feel free to let us know.
On the driving route from Kunming to Yuanyang, you will pass by Jianshui first. Therefore, many tourists travel Jianshui Ancient Town and Yuanyang Rice Terraces together. They will firstly get to Jianshui for the ancient atmosphere and then drive to Yuanyang for the amazing natural rice terraces views.
Hot Yuanyang Rice Terraces & Yunnan Tours:
>> 5 Days Kunming, Jianshui & Yuanyang Rice Terraces Tour (Kunming/Jianshui/Yuanyang)
>> 11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour (Kunming/Yuanyang/Jianshui/Dali/Lijiang/Shangri-La)
Kunming to Jianshui
Jianshui is settled on the middle way from Kunming to Yuanyang Rice Terraces. It can be reached by high speed train in 2~2.5 hours. If you go by car, the driving time is about 2.5~4 hours. Compared with high speed trains, you are more recommended to travel by private car if you have extend plans to visit Yuanyang, because it may be a tough journey to go further south to Yuanyang from Jianshui by coach. There is also no train available to finish the trip. However, if you only want to visit Jianshui and then go back to Kunming, these high speed trains are better! Every day, there are about 6 bullet trains scheduled on this line.
Hot Jianshui & Yunnan Tours:
>> 5 Days Kunming, Jianshui & Yuanyang Rice Terraces Tour (Kunming/Jianshui/Yuanyang)
>> 11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour (Kunming/Yuanyang/Jianshui/Dali/Lijiang/Shangri-La)
Bridge in Jianshui
How to Get from Other Destinations like Beijing and Chengdu to Kunming
If you are going to visit Kunming and Yunnan from China’s other destinations like Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hong Kong, etc., you are suggested to travel by flight or high speed train. Usually, almost all the main tourist cities in China (except cities in Tibet) have flights and high speed trains to Kunming. Select a flight or train according to your time, plan and budget! If there is no flight or bullet train available, you can make a transfer at Chengdu or Chongqing. These two cities are relatively close to Kunming and have convenient flight and train for you to choose.
Hot China & Yunnan Tours:
>> 9 Days Meet Yunnan Nature & Culture from Hong Kong by Bullet Train (Hong Kong/Kunming/Lijiang/Shangri-La)
>> 14 Days Wild China Tours from Shanghai to Yunnan on Expresses (Shanghai/Zhangjiajie/Kaili/Kunming/Lijiang/Shangri-La)
Adorable Pandas in Chengdu
How to Plan a Kunming Tour
Tourists prefer to spend 1~2 days in Kunming. Most of them will have a one-day tour to explore the attractions in Kunming downtown, like Green Lake, Yuantong Temple, West Hill and Dragon Gate Park, etc. Some also take another one day to visit Kunming Stone Forest to enjoy the massive otherworldly landscape of karst formations over 270 million years old.
Photographers and nature lovers will also spend one day more to discover the Dongchuan Red Land, where they will get amazing natural and colorful terraces.
And if you want to savor more essences of this glamorous city, we recommend 1~3 more days to enjoying playing golf in this Spring City.
Few tourists heading to Kunming for the attractions in Kunming only! The reasons attracting them to Yunnan are the world-renowned Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La. Therefore, after landing in Kunming and having a short tour there, they will extend their journey to these popular destinations. Such a Classic Yunnan Tour is really hot and needs only 8 days around.
Travel Kunming with China Discovery
Have plan to visit Kunming and Yunnan, but feel trouble about the transportation, hotel, tickets, best visiting time and other trip plan? Travel with us China Discovery and let our experienced travel consultants help you! We will take care of everything for you and then you can focus on the great scenery, culture, story and history of Yunnan! Our local driver and guide will accompany you all the way and tell you every insider tips and stories.
The tour can be tailor-made according to your group size, interests, physical condition, time, plan, budget and every special need. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help!
- Kunming Travel Guide
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- Top Attractions in Kunming City
- Featured Activities in Kunming
- Luxury Hotels in Kunming
- Comfortable Hotels in Kunming
- Budget Hotels in Kunming
- Kunming Weather & Seasons
- Kunming Maps
- Kunming Dali Transportation
- Kunming Shangri-La Transportation
- Kunming Yuanyang Transportation
Recommended Kunming Tours
Top 3 Kunming tours chosen by most customers to explore Kunming in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
- 6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour
Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming
- 8 Days Classic Yunnan Tour
Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La
- 11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour
Kunming / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.Customize a Trip
Questions & Discussions
Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.
Thanks for your message. Currently the metro line 6 is not under operation. You can walk 1.9km or take a taxi to Hongqiao Flyover East( 虹桥立交桥东) to take bus 919k to the airport.
Thanks for your questions about transportation to Jiuxiang and Stone Forest. The first bus leaves Kunming East Bus Station is at 07:00, then 07:15, 07:30…buses are a lot to Yiliang. It takes about 1 hour for around 17 Yuan (schedules and price may adjust according to the real situation, please go to the bus station one day ahead to check it). If take Kunming-Yiliang bus, you can get off at Yiliang Shuanglu Hotel to transfer bus no.21 to reach Jiuxiang, about 1 hour around 10 Yuan.
It is inconvenient to transfer from Jiuxiang to Stone Forest directly. You should get back to Yiliang county and then take bus to Stone Forest. As for transportation from Stone Forest to Kunming, the last bus is at 18:30. To be honest, if you use public transportation on your own, it will be a tight day to visit two tourist spots.
If you have more questions about Kunming and nearby sites, or want to use private car service, please feel free to let us know. We are here ready to help!
Have a nice day!
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