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Green Lake Park, or Cui Hu Park is an urban park in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. It was established in the 17th century on the west side of the Wuhua Mountain and is sometimes described as a "Jade in Kunming". 

Kunming Green Lake Park

Two long dikes divide the lake into four parts. It consists of a group of 4 small lakes linked by bridges in the traditional style. Brightly painted pavilions on the islands inside the park, tree-lined walks, flowers, and the local populace enjoying themselves by exercising in various specialist groups all add to the appeal of the park.Green Lake is surrounded by a ring road, and along the edge of that are restaurants and tea houses (some with rooftop dining), shops, and hotels, including the upscale Green Lake Hotel and Harbour Plaza Hotel.

 Kunming Green Lake Park

During the winter months, black-headed gulls from Siberia migrate to Green Lake and entertain the crowds of visitors as they circle around and snap up bread, usefully provided by a herd of local vendors, thrown up into the air by tourists. There are performances of Chinese operas.

The Green Lake is on the west side of the Wuhua Mountain is extolled as a "Jade in Kunming". Two long dikes divide the lake into four parts .The entire Cuihu Park is a green world, with willow trees swaying gently on the dikes, and the surface of the lake covered all over with lotus plants. All the year round the park is the venue of one sort of exhibition or another, and with its snug seclusion it is frequented by local residents who come here for a few hours of leisure. In winter and spring, Kunming residents flock to the Cuihu Park to feed red-beaked gulls - there are tens of thousands of them, which descend upon the lake.

If you are to look at a map of Kunming City, the green spot in the center is the Green Lake. Now as a public park, it's a good place for sightseeing in the downtown area. With green lake water and vegetation, there are also pavilions and buildings for recreational purposes. During the last century, in the time of the Republic of China, it was reconstructed as a park.

One feature of the Green Lake is that since 1985, seagulls from Siberia migrate to Kunming to avoid the frigid cold there from mid November to February. During this period of time, there are hundreds of thousands of seagulls which come to the Green Lake in the daytime, while some others stay around the Dianchi Lake area. It has become one of the most fascinating scenes in Kunming, especially when all of them are twittering as they hover over the lake.  The green lake and white seagulls present a pretty spectacular scene.

To the west of the Lake is an eye-catching yellow building, the Kunming Army Academy. Founded in 1909 by the Manchurian government at the end of their regime (the Qing Dynasty was taken over by the Republic of China in 1911), the academy was listed as one of the three army academies in the early 20th century. There were hundreds of army generals and marshals that came from this academy who made great contributions to Chinese culture.  

The Green Lake is within walking distance of many universities and can be accessed easily.


Walking on water at Cuihu Park

How do you say 'lawsuit liability' in Chinese?

How do you say 'lawsuit liability' in Chinese?

The people at Cuihu Park are always trying to make the park more interesting for visitors, and we appreciate that. However we're still not sure what to think about the park's new attraction near the north gate: running around in rubber balls on Cuihu's surface.

We first became aware of this via Elizabeth in China, who has posted some video of children trying to get their bearings in the airtight spheres.

My ears!

This weekend we went down to check it out ourselves and it seemed that business was good. There were dozens of children queued up to be put into a zippable rubber ball that is inflated (it looks like the inflation hurts the eardrums a bit) and pushed out onto the water. Most children were unable to stand for the majority of their time in the balls.

Anyone with 10 yuan and no sharp objects on their person can run around on the water in a ball for three minutes. The balls are all on tethers that are used to keep them from going too far from the astroturf shore. Strangely, no adults were in line to join in the fun - maybe it's because of the ban on smoking and high heels.

Seagulls return to Cuihu Park

Migratory Siberian seagulls have arrived at Kunming's Cuihu Park aka Green Lake Park. Saturday thousands of Kunmingese watched from the waterfront while others drifted among the birds in pedal boats.

According to a nearby monument, the gulls first appeared in the winter of 1985. Wu Qinghen, a Kunming native, became known as "Father Seagull" for devoting half his pension to feeding them.

"His spirit sets a model for man and nature living together in harmony," reads the inscription.

In a modern twist, opportunistic vendors circulate today's crowds hawking crusty sweetbread for feeding the gulls.

Let a hundred lotus flowers bloom

This week workers at Cuihu Park are shoveling through the muck as they drain the green out of Cuihu aka Green Lake, ostensibly to help the plant life.

"We must take out the lake water and let things dry in the sun," a sign stuck in the muddy lake-bed proclaimed, "this will make the lotus flowers grow and

flourish even more."

The seagulls were not available for comment.

Free hugs at Cuihu Park

Need a hug?A group of Kunming students believe the city has become too unfriendly. On crowded afternoons by Cuihu Park they can be found offering hugs to strangers.

"Free hugs!" read the do-gooders' placards. One was written in English to attract laowai in need of affection. Chinese signs beckoned Kunmingers to "reject coldness" and hug a stranger.

GoKunming found its hug chaste, like a sustained pat on the back, but we like the idea. In spite of this call for public friendliness, not many passersby stop for an embrace. The students seem content to spread their message via their poster boards, standing passively by the waterfront with tireless smiles.

If you've been needing a hug, now you know where to go.

Class of 1902 - Kunming's Wubei Xuetang around Cuihu Park

Editor's note: Every week for the remainder of 2008 GoKunming will publish photos from the collection of Auguste François (1857-1935), who served as French consul in south China between 1896 and 1904, during which he spent several years in Kunming. The photos have been provided by Kunming resident and private collector Yin Xiaojun (ÒóÏþ¿¡). GoKunming thanks Yin Xiaojun for providing us a glimpse of Yunnan at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Year: 1902

Subject: First graduating class of Kunming's Wubei Xuetang (Î䱸ѧÌÃ)

Location: Present-day Jiangwutang (½²ÎäÌÃ), west side of Cuihu Park


The above photo is of 13 students from the first graduating class of the Wubei Xuetang (Î䱸ѧÌÃ), Kunming's first military academy, which was founded in 1899. The students, who completed three years of training, are centered around an unidentified teacher from the academy.

By the end of the 19th Century, a little over a decade before the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, Kunming had become more than just a place to exile disgraced officials, it had become a strategically important outpost at the crossroads of China, Tibet and Southeast Asia. Creating a strong local military force had become a necessity, prompting the establishment of the Wubei Xuetang on the west side of present-day Cuihu Park.

The curriculum at the Wubei Xuetang featured four main subjects: Chinese language, mathematics, cannons and the military drill book (²Ùµä). The drill book used at the academy was a book of German military drills.

Shortly after the demise of the Qing, a new military academy, the Jiangwutang (½²ÎäÌà – see right image), was built where the Wubei Xuetang had once been located. Today, the Jiangwutang is still standing. A large mustard yellow building from another era, the building is one of the most recognizable architectural works in Kunming.

Within the Jiangwutang is a vast, flat courtyard that was once used for military drills. The building's south wing contains a free museum which narrates the role the academy has played in Kunming and Yunnan's history.

Admission Fee:¥0

Attraction Transportation:Location:
Green Lake Park is located at the foot of the Luo Feng Mountain in Kunming.

How to Get There?
Take public bus No. 1 and get off at Yunnan University station; take public bus No. 101 and get off at Cuihu station; take public bus No. 4, 5, 26, 69, 83 and 96 and get off at Baihui Shangchang station, and walk to Green Lake Park; take public bus No. K2, 54 and 61 and get off at Xiaoximen Station; public bus No. 133 behind Carrefour Plaza at the city center is available to go to Green Lake directly.

Attraction Travel Tips: There are lots of cafes and restaurants nearby, and at the centre of the city, 500 meter far from the lake, many local famous and delicious foods are offered, you can taste these foods after you enjoy the picturesque park.

Nearby Attractions
There are many tourist destinations nearby, like Kunming Zoo and Yuantong Temple.

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