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Yun Nan

 

 

 

Yunnan (simplified Chinese: 云南; traditional Chinese: 雲南; pinyin: Yúnnán; IPA: [y̌nnǎn] ( listen)) is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately 394,000 square kilometers (152,000 sq mi) and with a population of 45.7 million (2009). The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.

 

Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with high elevations in the northwest and low elevations in the southeast. Most of the population lives in the eastern part of the province. In the west, the relative height from mountain peaks to river valleys can be as much as 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). Yunnan is rich in natural resources and has the largest diversity of plant life in China. Of the approximately 30,000 species of higher plants in China, Yunnan has perhaps 17,000 or more.[3] Yunnan's reserves of aluminium, lead, zinc and tin are the largest in China, and there are also major reserves of copper and nickel.

 

Yunnan became part of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) during 2nd century BC. It became the seat of a Tibeto-Burman speaking kingdom known as the Kingdom of Nanzhao in the 8th century AD. Nanzhao was multi-ethnic, but the elite most likely spoke a northern dialect of Yi, which became established as the prestige dialect (see Nuosu language). The Mongols conquered the region in the 13th century, with local control exercised by warlords until the 1930s. As with other parts of China's southwest, Japanese occupation in the north during World War II forced a migration of majority Han people into the region. Ethnic minorities in Yunnan account for about 34 percent of its total population. Major ethnic groups include Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai and Miao.

 

 

Geography

 

Yunnan is the most southwestern province in China, with the Tropic of Cancer running through its southern part. The province has an area of 394,100 square kilometres (152,200 sq mi), 4.1% of the nation's total. The northern part of the province forms part of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. The province borders Guangxi and Guizhou in the east, Sichuan in the north, and the Tibet Autonomous Region in the northwest. It shares a border of 4,060 kilometres (2,520 mi) with Burma in the west, Laos in the south, and Vietnam in the southeast.

 

The eastern half of the province is a limestone plateau with karst scenery and unnavigable rivers flowing through deep mountain gorges; the western half is characterized by mountain ranges and rivers running north and south. These include the Salween and the Mekong River. The rugged, vertical terrain produces a wide range of flora and fauna, and the province has been called a natural zoological and botanical garden.

 

Yunnan has vast mineral resources that are its chief source of wealth. It is China's leading tin producer and has large deposits of iron, coal, lead, copper, zinc, gold, mercury, silver, antimony, and sulfur.

 

 

Climate

 

Yunnan has a generally mild climate with pleasant and fair weather because of the province's location on south-facing mountain slopes, receiving the influence of both the Pacific and Indian oceans, and although the growing period is long, the rugged terrain provides little arable land. See Agriculture in Yunnan. Under the Köppen climate classification, much of the province lies within the subtropical highland (Köppen Cwb) or humid subtropical zone (Cwa), with mild to warm winters, and tempered summers, except in the almost tropical south, where temperatures regularly exceed 30 °C (86 °F) in the warmer half of the year.[6] In general, January average temperatures range from 8 to 17 °C (46 to 63 °F); July averages vary from 21 to 27 °C (70 to 81 °F). Average annual rainfall ranges from 600 to 2,300 millimetres (24 to 91 in), with over half the rain occurring between June and August. The plateau region has moderate temperatures. The western canyon region is hot and humid at the valley bottoms, but there are freezing winds at the mountaintops.

 

 

Tourism

 

Yunnan Province, due to its beautiful landscapes, mild climate and colorful ethnic minorities, is one of China's major tourist destinations. Most visitors are Chinese tourists, although trips to Yunnan are organized by an increasing number of foreign travel agencies as well. Mainland tourists travel by the masses; 2.75 million Chinese visited Yunnan last October during National Holiday. Also a different trend is slowly developing; small scale and environmentally friendly ecotourism. At the moment projects in this field are often being set up with help of NGO's.

 

In 2004, tourism revenues amounted to 37 billion RMB, and thus accounting for 12, 6% of the provincial GDP. Another fact indicating the importance of tourism in Yunnan Province is capital Kunming hosting the China International Travel Mart every two years. This tourism trade fair is the largest of its kind in Asia and serves as an important platform for professionals in the sector. More than 80 countries and regions were present during the 2005 edition.

 

Tourism is expected to grow further. In 2010, the province welcomed over 2.3 million overseas tourists and the Yunnan Provincial Tourism Bureau aims to draw 4.3 million overseas arrivals under the 12th Five-Year Tourism Development Plan. Kunming city is expected to add 11 new mid- to high-end hotels with an inventory of under 4,000 rooms between 2012 and 2016.

 

Tourist centres in Yunnan include:

 

Dali, the historic center of the Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms.

 

Chuxiong, the first stop on the way to Dali and Lijiang. Home of the Yi ethnic minority and their respective ancient town.

 

Jinghong, the center and prefectural capital of the Xishuangbanna Dai minority autonomous prefecture.

 

Lijiang, a Naxi minority city. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

 

Xamgyi'nyilha County (also known as Shangri-La and formerly Zhongdian), an ethnic Tibetan township and county set high in Yunnan's north-western mountains.

 

Shilin (Stone Forest), a series of karst outcrops east of Kunming.

 

Yuanyang, a Hani minority settlement with vast rice-terraced mountains.

 

Xishuangbanna, a national scenic resort, famous for its natural and cultural attractions.