The D887 Fuxing bullet train exiting from the Laos-China Railway’s Friendship Tunnel

The Laos-China Railway links Vientiane, Laos to the south and Kunming, China to the North. Since its opening in December 2021, the Laos-China Railway has injected strong impetus into regional economic  development.  On  April  13,  2023,  the  Laos-China  Railway  launched  its  cross-border passenger train service, allowing passengers to reach Kunming from Vientiane on the same day.

As the terminus of the Laos-China Railway’s Chinese section, the city Kunming in Yunnan Province, is known as the “Spring City” due to its excellent natural conditions and mild climate throughout the year. Today, let ’s have a closer look at Kunming in May, and get to know a goddess of flower that has lived in Wuhua District of Kunming for 39 years, Jacaranda.

Jacaranda scenery on Jiaochang Middle Road

Flowers blossom everywhere in the Spring City. In late spring and early summer every year, the city will  be  painted  in Jacaranda’s dreamy  mauve-blue color, attracting citizens and tourists to stop under Jacaranda trees and admire the swaying flowers.

The blooming period of Jacaranda is from April to June every year. The flower was introduced to Kunming in 1997. In 2020, based on the existing 250 Jacaranda trees lining on Jiaochang Middle Road in Wuhua District, 301 more Jacaranda trees were planted and a Jacaranda theme park was built. After years of careful maintenance, the total number of Jacaranda trees along the road has reached 551, making Jiaochang Middle Road an internet-famous site among citizens and tourists.

Although Jacaranda in full bloom is ravishingly beautiful, it’s ephemeral with a blooming period of only two to three months. Therefore, in recent years, Wuhua District of Kunming has continued to  explore  ways  to  combine  Jacaranda  scenery  with  cultural  tourism,  cultural  and  creative products, and cultural activities, to build up “unfading” Jacaranda, adding new vigor and vitality to the Spring City.

From April to  May every year, the Jiaochang  Middle  Road embellished  by the  brightly colored Jacaranda becomes a mauve-blue cascade of flowers, and the beautiful blooms are reflected in the water along the Panlong River. With the flowering of the Jacaranda, Lianhua Street in Wuhua District  has  held  the  “Jacaranda  Cultural  Art  Festival”  for  five  consecutive  years.  A  series  of cultural  and  creative  products  have  been  coming  out,  such  as  Jacaranda-themed  ice  cream, Jacaranda  stickers,  and Jacaranda  lollipops,  which  have  helped  Kunming  establish  a  new  city brand, presenting art, culture and education, entertainment, public welfare, popular science, and fashion in various forms.

It is reported that the 5th Jacaranda Cultural Art Festival is held from April 22 to June 30, 2023, in the Jacaranda-themed block on Jiaochang Road. During the festival, Wuhua District will promote the  Jacaranda-themed  music  festival,  the  Jacaranda-themed  special  show,  walking  activities, skateboarding competitions, and other themed events both online and offline, shaping Jacaranda as Kunming’s cultural IP.

It is worth mentioning that the IP image “Lanyingying”, integrating Jacaranda elements into the design, appears at the art festival, representing the Spring City to welcome guests from all over the world .

With the increasing  popularity of the Jacaranda Avenue, the  number of tourists has increased year by year, driving the development of the tourism industry and further effectively boosting the growth of market consumption in surrounding areas. In 2022, more than 400,000 people poured to Jiaochang Middle Road in Wuhua District to enjoy the Jacaranda. Driven by the 4th Jacaranda Cultural Art  Festival,  Wuhua  District  has  received  nearly  640,000 visitors  during the  May  Day holiday, achieving a comprehensive tourism income of 444 million yuan. Currently, the Jacaranda Cultural Art Festival has initially gained certain brand value and has become a business card of the Spring City Kunming.

In Wuhua District, Kunming, except for the romantic Jacaranda in early summer, there is Cuihu Lake full of the city’s cultural heritage, and Nanqiang Street which is of hustle and bustle at night. Why not take a trip to Kunming via the Laos-China Railway and visit Jiaochang Road in Wuhua District for a date with flowers this summer, and experience a lifestyle called Yunnan?