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Yunnan Travel Guide
Yunnan is the most southwestern province in China, with the Tropic of Cancer running through its southern part. The province has an area of 394,000 square kilometers and borders Guangxi and Guizhou in the east, Sichuan in the north, and Tibet in the northwest. It shares a border of 4,060 km with Myanmar in the west, Laos in the south, and Vietnam in the southeast. The provincial capital is Kunming.
Yunnan has sufficient rainfall and many rivers and lakes. The annual water flow originating in the province is 200 billion cubic meters, three times that of the Yellow River. The rivers flowing into the province from outside add 160 billion cubic meters, which means there are more than 10,000 cubic meters of water for each person in the province, four times the country's average. The rich water resources offer abundant hydro-energy.
Yunnan's varied terrain contributes to a diverse climate divided from north to south into three climate zones: temperate, sub-tropical and tropical. The province is split into three regions: the low, hot river valleys, mountain areas, and frigid highlands. Yunnan's climate is characterized by small seasonal change in temperature, great difference in daytime temperature, and regional contrast between dry and wet seasons. Its mean annual temperature increases from 7 degrees Celsius in the northwest to 22 degrees or more in the Yuanjiang River valley. It has abundant rainfall with an average annual precipitation of 750-1,750 mm. The rainfall in the wet season of May to October accounts for 83% of the annual precipitation.
Yunnan Province is divided into 3 districts, 8 autonomous prefectures, 5 prefecture-level cities, 10 county-level cities, 80 counties and 29 autonomous counties with a population of 31.74 million, of which 12.5% live in urban areas and the rest in rural areas. Yunnan province has the largest number of ethnic minorities in China, spanning one third of the province's population. The groups include the Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai, Miao, Lisu, Hui, Lahu, Va, Naxi, Yao, Tibetan, Jingpo, Blang, Achang, Nu, Pumi, Jino, Benlong, Mongolian and Drung. Each has its own customs, architectural styles and colorful literature.
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