Yunnan (simplified Chinese: 云南; traditional Chinese: 雲南; pinyin: Yúnnán; IPA: [y̌nnǎn] ( listen)) is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately 394,000 square kilometers (152,000 sq mi) and with a population of 45.7 million (2009). The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.
Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with high elevations in the northwest and low elevations in the southeast. Most of the population lives in the eastern part of the province. In the west, the relative height from mountain peaks to river valleys can be as much as 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). Yunnan is rich in natural resources and has the largest diversity of plant life in China. Of the approximately 30,000 species of higher plants in China, Yunnan has perhaps 17,000 or more. Yunnan's reserves of aluminium, lead, zinc and tin are the largest in China, and there are also major reserves of copper and nickel.
Yunnan cuisine (simplified Chinese: 云南菜; traditional Chinese: 雲南菜; pinyin: Yúnnán cài) or Dian cuisine (Chinese: 滇菜; pinyin: Diān cài), is an amalgam of the cuisines of the Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities in China. As the province with the largest number of ethnic minority groups, Yunnan cuisine is vastly varied, and it is difficult to make generalisations. Many Yunnan dishes are quite spicy, and mushrooms are featured prominently. Another important characteristic of Yunnan cuisine is the wide use of flowers as food. Two of the province's most famous products are the renowned pu-erh tea which is traditionally grown in Simao; as well as Xuanwei ham, which is often used to flavour stewed and braised foods in Chinese cuisine, as well as for making the stocks and broths of many Chinese soups.