Yunnan-Tibet! The Ancient Tea Horse Caravan Road
... This route would appear to have been in use long before it became an avenue for the tea and horse trade during the Tang and the Song dynasties, for it was a very important corridor connecting the ancient cultures of the areas of present Tibet, Yunnan and Sichuan.
In such places as Ganzi and Aba districts of Sichuan and the Hengduan Mountains of Northwest Yunnan archaeologists have discovered many cist tombs which date from the Shang (ca. 1600-ca.1100 BCE) and the Zhou (ca. 1100-256 BCE) dynasties. These cist tombs are scattered broadly in the canyons and valleys of the upper reaches of the Min River as well as the Yalong and Jinsha Rivers. Most of these tombs are located in western Sichuan and western Yunnan, although a few have also been found in Tibet.
Kunming, also known as Spring City for its lovely weather year round, is a relaxed haven to get some rest, eat well and in case you are active a good basis for exploring Yunnan. It's not a place of great culture or old buildings. It's just a friendly city you'll enjoy. The best place to see life in Kunming passing by is taking a seat in the Dianchi Lake and watch the seagulls, praised as "the Pearl of the Plateau", the lake is the sixth largest fresh water lake in China. The Bamboo Temple is another place to go. The 500 arhat statues in the halls are the pride of the temple. An hour outside of Kunming you'll find Stone Forest with it's impressive Karst Peaks...
"South of the Clouds" is the literal meaning of Yunnan, and stretching from the high Tibetan Plateau down to the subtropical climes bordering Southeast Asia, it is an amazingly diverse place. Yunnan is the most biologically diverse area in the temperate world, and contains a host of rare and endangered wildlife that will delight any naturalist. Located at the crossroads of Tibet, China and Southeast Asia, it is home to a mix of ethnic groups - from Naxi and Tibetan to Dai, Ake, and Hani. The temperature is mild and pleasant throughout most of the year, but can get quite cold in the winter at higher elevations. Southern Yunnan also experiences a rainy season from May to October...