Green Lake Park
Located on the west side of Wuhua Mountain in Kunming, Green Lake Park, extolled as a "Jade in Kunming", is one of the most picturesque parks in downtown Kunming.
With a history than stretches back to the 17th century, the present lake is a remnant of the Kunming region's much larger and more famous lake, Dianchi. Over the centuries, falling water levels in Dianchi and civil engineering projects resulted in the small body of water which today is divided roughly into four parts by a set of dikes, traditional Chinese bridges and landscaped gardens.
The Haixinting Pavilion sits at the centre of the Lake. On the north and south stand imposingly two octagonal pavilions with craved beams, painted rafters, beautiful glazed tiles and elegant eaves. Inside the Haixinting there are two courtyards, where all kinds of shows are held throughout the four seasons: flower shows, lantern shows, fish shows and picture shows. Flowers and trees are growing luxuriantly in the yards.
Willows hang over the lake waters and a variety of vibrant lotuses dot the lake. This contrast between the pale green of the willows and the array of colors in the lotuses makes the park a popular destination for nature lovers. Pavilions and pathways provide numerous spots for enjoying the scenery, relaxing, or joining locals in a spot of badminton, tai chi, casual ballroom dancing or any number of other cheery activities that typify China's parks.
One popular activity is bird-watching in winter. During the winter months, the Kunming daytime is still warm and sunny and Green Lake attracts thousands of black-headed gulls from Siberia who migrate there to escape the arctic chill. They entertain the crowds of visitors as they swoop and dive across the lake. This charming scene, in which man, birds, and nature mingle in such harmony has added to the allure of Green Lake.
Around the Green Lake Park, a number of indoor-outdoor teahouses, cafés and small restaurants make it a fantastic spot to wander, linger, snack, rest and, in general, make the most of a day in the "City of Eternal Spring," away from the traffic and tall-block high-rises that define much of the city's modern makeover.
Nearby attractions and points of interest include Yunnan University, located just to the north of the park, the Kunming Zooand Yuantong Temple, both located on the wooded, landscaped slopes of Yuantong Hill to the east of Green Lake.