Kunming is the capital and largest city in Yunnan Province, located in Southwest China.
Dating back to 279 BC, today Kunming it is a prefecture-level city and the political, economic, communications and cultural centre of the province as well as the seat of the provincial government. The city is also home to several universities, museums, galleries and other important economic, cultural, and educational institutions.
Kunming has a population of almost 6.5 million people, including 3.5 million in the built-up area made up of 4 urban and 1 suburban districts. The city is located at the northern edge of the large Lake Dian, titled as "the Pearl of the Plateau" which forms the sixth largest fresh water lake in China, and the largest lake in Yunnan. Surrounded by temples and lake-and-limestone hill landscapes. Kunming consists of an old, previously walled city, a modern commercial district, residential and university areas. On the outskirts is a famed bronze temple, dating from the Ming dynasty.
Its economic importance derives from its geographical position. Positioned near the border with South-eastern Asian countries, serving as a transportation hub in Southwest China, linking by rail to Vietnam and by road to Burma and Laos. The city has continued to develop rapidly under China's modernization efforts, the streets have widened while office buildings and housing projects develop at a fast pace. Kunming has been designated a special tourism centre and as such sports a wide array of high-rises and luxury hotels.