Kunming China Spring Break 2020

Bellevue College China Program – Spring-break 2020

This is a faculty-led program at Bellevue College. Please contact Prof. Liu at li.liu@bellevuecollege.edu to start your inquiry and application.

Application and program fee ($510) due: Dec 6, 2019

Pre-departure Program Orientation: TBD

Depart from Seattle, USA: Friday, March 20, 2020

Arrive in Kunming, China: Saturday, March 21, 2020

Depart from Kunming China: March 31, 2020

Arrive at Seattle, USA: March 31, 2020

Credit available:  CMST 299, Independent Study (1 cr.)  

No language requirements. Readings and orientation are offered in English by Bellevue College faculty. Open to anyone who’s interested in China and travel in general! You will finish reading and write a report reflecting your understanding of culture and cultural sustainability based on your program experience.

Your program fee ($510) includes:

  • Hotel stay throughout the program in Kunming, two person per room;
  • Hiking around the Stone Forrest in Kunming;
  • City walking tour, including visit to Yuantong Temple;
  • Bicycle tour around the Green Lake;
  • Entrance fee and group transportation to and from sites included in planned group excursions;

Planned group excursions included in the program:


Stone Forest in Yunnan, China
Stone Forest in Yunnan, China

Kunming Stone Forest, Shilin in Chinese, known since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) as the ‘First Wonder of the World’, is located in Lunan Yi Nationality Autonomous County. The park includes both large and small stone forests, as well as many other scenic spots. An old local saying says that ‘If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.’ Truly, the site is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan.

Walking through the site, visitors marvel at the natural stone masterpieces and are bewitched by the intricate formations. The magnificent, strange and steep landscape creates countless labyrinthine vistas, including:

Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest, and Naigu Stone Forest, all of which feature stones in various formations. Animals, plants, and even human figures can be found here. Some are elegant, some are rugged, and each is lifelike with its own distinguishing characteristics.


A picture of Yuan Tong Temple in Kunming
Yuantong Temple, Kunming

Yuantong Temple was initially started in the late 8th century as a Taoism temple, a shrine dedicated to the goddess Guanyin. A traditional goddess initially coming from Hindu Buddhism, Guanyin was well-accepted in Yunnan and neighboring ethnic cultural communities and the goddess was re-interpreted as the primary symbol of piety and compassion. Because of Yunnan’s unique geographic location connecting inland China to other south Asian countries, as a religious hub, Yuantong temple gradually absorbed elements of other religious tradition. Today, visitors can view three schools of Buddhism, namely, temples of Mahayana, Hinayana (or Theravada) and Tibetan Buddhism.




Picture of Green Lake in Kunming
Green Lake, Kunming

The emerald of Kunming City receives its name because of the year-round mild climate and lush green surroundings, very much like the city of Seattle. Green Lake Park, or Cuihu Lake Park, is situated at the center of the city and embodies the emerald city of Kunming. Located at the foot of Luofeng Hill and the Wuhua Mountain, opposite to the Yunnan University in Kunming. It was originally named Caihaizi and used to be a bay of Dianchi Lake. This makes the Green Lake a perfect site to take a walk, while ponder over the change of environment over history, as human and nature co-exist in harmony.


Program fee does not include:

This fee excludes international airfare, passport or visa fees, meals, personal expenses, any tuition or administrative fees, additional field trips or excursions or anything not specified. Students are encouraged to check the budget estimation sheet for other related expenses: Budget Request worksheet China Summer 2020


Li Liu has been a Communication Studies faculty at Bellevue College since 2013. She received her PhD from the University of Washington and her research is focused on language and culture, as well as how social members use narrative to make sense of their life experience. Li had a short career as a journalist back in Beijing, first as the lead reporter of Peking University campus news, then as a business reporter at China Daily. Besides teaching, Li is also the study abroad coordinator at Bellevue College. In this China program, Li will integrate the cultural immersion experience as much as possible into the learning experience. Kunming is Li’s hometown and she will provide students with a local’s view! We will discuss, document and interpret the cultural experience we had while in China by visiting cultural sites and talking to local professionals and residents. We anticipate very productive and life-changing learning experience!


Last Updated September 13, 2019