Basking in the sunshine and feeding seagulls in Kunming is one of the most comforting experiences during the chilly winter. The number of seagulls seen here is quite unique, with much less in other parts of the country.
Since 1985, in Tianchi Lake and Cuihu Lake, citizens and tourists have lived in harmony with black-headed gulls for 33 years, which is the most vivid interpretation of “ecological civilization.”
Over the years, black-headed gulls have become a city card and winter sightseeing landscape of Kunming.
Crowds of black-headed gulls are the most impressive scenery in Kunming’s winter. So where are the best sites to see these lovely birds?
Haigeng Dam is in Dianchi Lake and next to Yunnan Nationalities Village and Haigeng Park. It provides a perfect spot for the beautiful scenery of Xishan Mountain and the broadness of Dianchi Lake. It is also a main site to watch, photograph and feed seagulls in Kunming.
In winter, the ten-mile causeway of willows, the snowy spray from yachts darting about on the lake, the azure sky, blue lake water, green grassland, fresh air, the thousands of black-headed gulls flying around and enjoying the water all contribute to the beautiful scenes to be discovered here.
Cuihu Park is in downtown Kunming, boasting lush trees and beautiful natural scenery. It is an emerald of Kunming and enjoys the reputation of a jade of the city. In winter and spring, it is a joy for local people and tourists to stroll about the Cuihu Lake and watch and feed seagulls. Tens of thousands of black-headed seagulls gather here.
Walking into the park, you will pass by the harmonious scenes of people and seagulls on the lake, on the shore and on the road. People love nature and seagulls. Everyday seagulls are fed intermittently. Besides black-headed seagulls, Daguan Pavilion is also a key cultural relic conservation unit in Yunnan, a national AAAA attraction and one of the ten famous buildings of China.
Throughout the winter, scattered on the Daguan River are wetlands, which become the paradise of black-headed seagulls; while the Huanxi Bridge on the river hosts “dances of people and seagulls” every year.
Guide for viewing seagulls
If you want to have close contact with the gulls, feeding them is the best choice. You can use steam buns or bread or buy special food for the seagulls in the scenic area.
You won’t have to wait long before they spot your offering. After 30 years of interaction, black-headed seagulls know what to expect. They will come up to your raised offering and peck it almost instantly.