Leisure and entertainment
Within Kunming, the entertainment district has its focus around Kundu Square, with many cinemas, bars, clubs and restaurants. Food aside, one feature of less formal Yunnanese restaurants is that they often have a communal bamboo water pipe and tobacco for their customers. There are plenty of student bars and clubs. The city has several operatic troupes and indigenous entertainments which include huadeng, a lantern dance. Although indoor performances are lacking, there are often informal shows at the weekend outside the Workers’ Cultural Hall and in Cuihu Park. There are similar shows at the Yunnan Arts Theater on Dongfeng Xi Lu. Kunming’s main cinema house is on the south side of the Dongfeng Lu/Zhengyi Lu intersection. The other main multiplex, the XJS, at the junction of Wenlin Jie and Dongfeng Xi Lu.
The Kunming dialect is very similar to that of Sichuan and Guizhou but uses the third tone much less than standard Chinese. Many terms are used only in Kunming dialect, such as 板扎 meaning ‘terrific’.
Hong Kong China International and Dianchi National Tourist Resort will jointly invest and construct a new television and film base in Kunming. The Kunming TV, Film and New Media Industry Base (昆明影视与新媒体产业基地) or “Dream City” will be built by a joint venture created for the project with an investment of three billion yuan (US$418 million) allocated for the base’s first phase, which will cover 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi). The base will feature television and film studios, shooting stages and equipment, state-of-the-art production facilities and video game production, and a film school established by Peking University and Beijing Film Academy. The whole project is expected to be completed by 2013 with a total investment of 17 billion yuan ($2.3 billion).
Kunming attracts domestic and foreign tourists year round. At the center of Yunnan and as its capital,
Kunming is also a transport hub for tourists heading to other parts of Yunnan such as Dali, Lijiang and Shangrila.
In 2003, this city was elected among the top 10 best summer resort cities around the world and it was ranked as China’s top summer resort city.
Conference and exhibition venues in Kunming include the Kunming International Convention and Exhibition Center and the Yunnan Provincial Science and Technology Hall.
Kingdom of the Little People, a theme park featuring performers with dwarfism, is also located near Kunming.