Yunnan is a province in the southwest of China. It spans approximately 394,000 square kilometers and has a population of 48.300 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Kunming, formerly also known as Yunnan. The province borders the Chinese provinces Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, and the Tibet Autonomous Region and Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar.
Yunnan lies in a mountainous area, with high elevations in the northwest and low elevations in the southeast. Most of the population lives in the eastern part of the province. In the west, the altitude can vary from the mountain peaks to river valleys by as much as 3,000 meters. Yunnan is rich in natural resources and has the most massive diversity of plant life in China. The Han dynasty first recorded diplomatic relations with the province at the end of the 2nd century BC.
Yunnan is noted for a very high level of ethnic diversity. It has the highest number of ethnic groups among the provinces and autonomous regions in China. Among the country’s 56 recognized ethnic groups, twenty-five can be found in Yunnan. Some 38% of the province population are members of ethnic minorities.
Yunnan Province, due to its landscapes, mild climate and cultural diversity, is one of China’s major tourist destinations.