Kunming and Changes in China’s Cities
What the heck happened in three years?
It’s been that long since I’ve been to Kunming.
The first time was part of a three week journey across Sichuan and Northern Yunnan during my first spring festival in China – as a stopover between Dali and Lijiang, Kunming was great.
At the time downtown Kunming, rather the Green Lake area (翠湖公园), was still mostly rough around the edges. The famous Wenlin road (文林街) just had a handful of foreign restaurants.
Now the place has gone all yuppy – Wenlin road has expanded and there is one street nearby lined with posh foreign restaurants. As for the rest of Kunming (you know, the real Kunming), there are now shopping centers and new high rise apartments jutting out from every corner of the city. The bigger thoroughfares have been repaved and are about as nice as Shenzhen’s.
This sentiment could be used for any major city in China – if you’ve been here and seen the changes you know exactly what I mean – but I didn’t quite expect it here, the staging point for backpackers through Yunnan province.
Somehow, it seemed more likely to change less, to keep its rugged edge.
Do you feel the same about Kunming or any other cities in China? If so, please leave your thoughts below.