Yunnan, on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in the southwest of China, is a land of natural beauty and mystery, which covers an area of 394,000 square kilometers with a population of 40,000,000. Yunnan represents the last great region to join the Chinese empire. Even today many Chinese think of it as a frontier province although it was Kublai and his successor, 200 years before Christopher Columbus, whose forces entered these mountainous lands that lie just below the Tibetan plateau and abut Vietnam, Laos and Burma.
There are great places to visit. Kunming , the capital of this province, is a very interesting town. Most independent travellers head for Dali , once called a second Kathmandu. Other Yunnan, highlights are Lijiang, Shangri-La and Xishuang banna .