Your City Match: Kunming
Population: 6.7 million
Average Wage: $10,683/year
Air Quality Index: 61 (Moderate)
Migrant Percentage: 32%
The capital of China’s most ethnically diverse province Yunnan, Kunming is considered one of China’s most livable cities. The city is known for its laid-back attitude and mild climate, earning Kunming the nickname “Spring City.” Kunming also thrives on the tourism economy, with foreign and domestic tourists contributing more than $25 billion to the local GDP in 2017. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, Kunming is becoming an important trading node and gateway to Southeast Asia, not the least of which is the construction of a $1.5 billion oil pipeline that connects to Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu.
Kunming has also expanded its public transport system in recent years. Currently, the city has a 50-mile light rail system with 59 stops. Visitors can catch a show at Yunnan’s Art Center, explore Green Lake Park, or engage with indigenous culture. For the more adventurous, Kunming is a favored destination for backpackers and hikers to explore the limestone formations at the Stone Forest and view rice terraces at Dongchuan Red Land. The city also boasts some of Asia’s top golf courses, including one designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Yunnan cuisine, consisting of spicy and tropical flavors reminiscent of Southeast Asia, has also gained immense popularity nationally.