On my bucket list for the past 1,5 years was the Dwarf Empire. An amusement park where you can go to see little people dance, sing and perform. Nope, I’m not kidding. It is hilarious, shameful, entertaining, ridiculous and then hilarious some more. It’s a 45 minute drive from city center and a 100 rmb entrance fee. Getting there by public transport is nearly impossibe, so we took a van that the hostel booked for us for 200 rmb.
The entrance also has a butterfly farm and exposition which is nice, but obviously not as fun as the midget’s show. To spice things up, they have a (In China very famous) tight rope walker. Not secured or attached to anything he literally runs the rope. Very impressive. Some people feel you shouldn’t go to the park since it is embarrassing for the dwarfs there, but I think that if nobody goes, they will be out of a job soon. So I say: go and enjoy this little show!
Stone forest, 石林
To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect. Just some stones? But hey, it’s a tourist attraction, so why wouldn’t I go. Apart from the crowds and long queues here and there it was quite wonderful. You walk under, over and through many huge rocks that have been shaped by nature over hundreds of years. Combined with blue skies it gets you gorgeous pictures. Ticket is 175 rmb and a 25rmb ticket for the optional electric bus, which saves you a3 km walk (twice), so well worth the money in my opinion. Go to east bus station first and get a bus to the stone forest from there. Don’t forget your passport…been there, done that.
Dragon gate and Dianchi Lake.
Take the bus line 73 for about 40 minutes to dianchi lake，(滇池) . They will drop you off at a central bus station where people are telling you to get in to the vans to go to the cable cart. It’s okay. You’re not paying them anything, it’s just a service. Yep, I thought I was being ripped off, but they were just being nice, whoops. Easiest is to take the cable car up(70 rmb), then either a bus(10 rmb) or dodgy cable seats(25 kuai) with no protection, Whaaaa! I was not comfortable, I can tell you that.
Once you’re all the way up, start walking down following the signs Dragon Gate(ticket 32 kuai). You might have to share the tight and narrow steps with about 10.000 Chinese people, but it’s worth it. We had a tea ceremony on top of the Western Hill mountain with an awesome view!
Caihu or Green lake park
Located close to the bar street WenLinJie(文林街） is the Green lake park (翠湖公园). A nice park to take a stroll and see people singing, dancing and relaxing. It even has a little amusement park and boats you can rent for a Pleasure Cruise (really, that’s what they call it).
Yuantong temple, 圆通
Seen one temple and you’ve seen them all right? Wrong! This one was more special than all the others I’ve seen before. Maybe because there were monks praying at the time or because of the platforms and stairs you can climb up onto, I don’t know. But this one really stood out from the rest that I’ve ever seen. And I’ve had my share…
Lots to see in this lovely Spring city and accommodation is very cheap, even in high season! You’ll be sure to have a great time!