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Travel Tips on Yunnan Military Academy
1.Profile of the Yunnan Military Academy
The Yunnan Military Academy was built in 1907 and closed in 1935. In its 28 years of history, nearly 10,000 students were trained, and among them, a large number later became eminent military commanders and generals — more than 300 Chinese and foreign generals represented by Zhu De and Ye Jianying, two marshals of the People’s Republic of China, Choe Yong-gon, the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, Lee Beom-seok, the first Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Republic of Korea, and Vũ Hải Thu, Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Teachers and students of the Yunnan Military Academy successively made significant and indelible contributions to the independence of the country and the liberation of its people during the Revolution of 1911, the National Protection War, the Northern Expedition, the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, the War of Liberation and the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. Therefore, Zhu De called the Yunnan Military Academy as the “melting pot of revolutions.”
Its main buildings include: a courtyard house as the main part, the eastern gate, an internal playground, an arsenal, a large auditorium, washrooms, screen walls, etc. Covering an area of 36, 000 sm2, it is the most completely preserved and most historical military academy site of Modern China.
The Yunnan Military Academy has been successively honored as the “National Demonstration Base for Patriotic Education”, the “National Demonstration Base for Defense Education”, the “National Classic Scenic Spot for Red Tourism”, and the “National Base for Cross-Strait Exchange.”
2. Best Time to Visit Cuihu Lake Park
The weather of Kunming is mild and feels like spring all the year round. Located in downtown Kunming, the Yunnan Military Academy Museum is open to public in all seasons.
The old site of the Yunnan Military Academy is connected to Cuihu Lake in the east, Qianju Street in the west, Cangyuan Lane in the north, and Honghua Bridge in the south. In the early Ming Dynasty, Duke of Qian Mu Ying, who guarded Yunnan Province, set up military camps called the “Willow Camps”, which marked the first time that this place had been used for military training. After that, due to the beautiful scenery of Cuihu Lake, the “Willow Camps” was converted into the estate of the Family of Mu. At the turn of the Ming and Qing dynasties, it successively became the Mansion of Prince Shu—the mansion of the commander of the Daxi army, Liu Wenxiu, the new mansion of King of Pingxi, Wu Sangui, and the Mansion of Honghua —the mansion of Wu Sangui’s grandson, Wu Shipan. During the reign of Emperor Kangxi, except the main hall, its pavilions and accessory dwelling units were completely demolished. In the early years of the reign of Emperor Yongzheng, it was established as the martial arts training ground. The main hall was converted into a hall for martial arts training named “Honghua Hall”, which marked that this place had officially become a site for military training.
The purpose of selecting this place as the site of the Yunnan Military Academy is to uphold the ambitions of ancestors: “keeping in mind the past shame and teaching how to combat”, and training soldiers and strengthening the army.
During the 25th year of the Reign of Emperor Guangxu (1899), Yunnan Province set up the Yunnan Armament Academy, and established Chenghua Garden as the site. In 1907, it was renamed as the Yunnan Military Academy.
4. Special Travel Tips
The Yunnan Millitary Academy is a famous centennial military academy and major historical and cultural site protected at the national level honored as the “National Demonstration Base for Patriotic Education” and the “National Demonstration Base for Defense Education.” It boasts a profound and splendid history and culture, and in the late Qing Dynasty, it was in the same rank with the Beiyang Military Academy in Tianjin and the Fengtian Military Academy in Northeast China and they together were acclaimed as the top three military academies of China.
You can arrange the tour according to your own time. If you have sufficient time, you can carry out an in-depth tour to learn more about the history and culture of this place.
The Yunnan Military Academy Museum features two permanent exhibitions: “The Centennial Military Academy and Cradle of Generals” and “The Chinese Expeditionary Army”, which are open to the public all the year around (closed on Monday).
Here are the special travel tips we recommend to tourists: watch the exhibition themed around “The Centennial Military Academy and Cradle of Generals” for about 45 minutes and then the unique guard shift ceremony. After a general understanding of the academy, walk around the internal playground and experience how students lived and studied here in the past.
After that, tourists can continue to visit the exhibition themed around “The Chinese Expeditionary Army” to understand the solemn and stirring history of the Chinese Expeditionary Army.
5. Recommended Route
Tourists can take bus no.100, no. 101, no.124, no.133, no.235, no.Z5 or other buses from downtown areas to the Yunnan Science and Technology Museum Station, and walk along the West Cuihu Lake Road for 3 minutes.
The facilities in the Yunnan Millitary Academy include: green belts, garbage bins, toilets, tourist service centers, volunteer service stations, guardrails, closed-circuit monitoring, fire monitoring, firefighting equipment, safety warnings, the general layout plan, road signs and interactive digital touch screens.
7. Official Tips
The Yunnan Military Academy is located in West Cuihu Lake Road, Kunming, close to the Agricultural Exhibition Hall of Yunnan Province and the Yunnan Provincial Library. The visit to the old site and exhibition is free and the transportation is well developed. Tourists can take bus no.100 or no.133 from downtown areas and get off at the Science and Technology Museum Station. The introduction to the scenic area is given eight times per day, at 9:30, 10:10, 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:30 respectively.