Kolkata: Spend a relaxing weekend in the lap of nature, nestled between aromatic cherry, peach blossoms, picturesque wetlands and gigantic but alluring rocky structures in southwest China's Kunming also known as 'City Of Eternal Spring'.
Two leading tourism agencies from Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, Wednesday inked a deal here with the Centre for Promotion of India-China Cooperation (CPICC) that will result in better tourism and cultural linkages between the regions and particularly, West Bengal, which is just a two-hour flight from Kunming.
"The memorandum of understanding will provide a boost to the efforts in increasing connectivity both ways. Last year, 97.3 million people travelled from China to rest of the world," said CPICC chairman and managing director Mahesh Saharia.
"Its share to India (Chinese travellers to India) was just 1.6 lakh. There is a huge potential that needs to be explored," he said.
According to Li Jin Die of the Kunming Municipal Tourism Development Commission, the USP of Kunming is that its weather is pleasant all year round.
Die, a marketing development officer, said the department was keen to advertise the Stone Forest, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Spread over a sprawling 400 square km area, it boasts of both large and small stone forests, a collection of intricate natural stone formations that fan out in a maze-like structure.
A typical example of limestone landscape (called karst topography), the site includes a lake with underwater stalagmites and stalactites.
"It is around 2-3 hours from Kunming. It is associated with a lot of legends and we are trying to promote it for Indians who like history and mythologies," Die said.
"One can spend a weekend in the region and tour through the major attractions within a span of two days since it is so close by air," he said.
The other highlights include Yuantong Cherry Park, Jiaoye Peach blossom park, Dianchi Lake Ecological Wetland park and Grandview Park.
The region is home to 26 ethnic minority groups such as Yi, Bai, Miao, Dai, Hani and visitors will be able to sample authentic cuisine and get a taste of the local culture as well.
"We are going to carry out research on what Indian travellers need and advertise our offers in a big way," Die said.