China South of the Clouds

Traveling and Cooking in China's Yunnan Province

The Car Decal Capital of the World

March 19th, 2012

Where in the world would you go if you wanted to paste decals showing cartoon characters, American brand names, racing courses, and silly slogans onto your car? Why to Kunming, of course. Car decals are popular all over China, but nowhere are drivers more obsessed than in Kunming where nearly half the cars are decorated with strange and wonderful stickers. Josh has become obsessed with the decals and stops to take photos of them everywhere we go. Here are some of my favorites.

Because this is China, cutesy images are quite popular:

(and, yes, people who own smart cars seem particularly susceptible to this trend)

There’s also something of a transformers obsession:


Brand names are also quite popular. Josh is particularly fond of drivers who sport the logos and names of car brands that don’t actually match the car they’re driving, while I like people who pile on as many names as possible:

Often you’re pretty sure that the driver doesn’t actually know anything about the cultural reference he’s pasting onto his vehicle:

And because the stickers are almost always in English, there’s often some unintended irony involved:


And then there’s this one, which is just possibly the best thing anyone has ever pasted onto the side of a car:

Photos: Josh Wand (11)