1) What're the places of interest in & around Kunming? 2) How to fly to Beijing from Kunming? 3) Wht're the cheap stays at both the places?
I'll visiting China this Summer starting from Kunming. What are the places of interest in and around Kunming which I can cover by road within a radius of 100 Km? How I shall move to Beijing? How can I visit the birth place of Mao-tse-Dong & the Great Wall?
There are many hotels in Kunming that you can stay in, from no star up to 5 stars hotels. If you want a relatively cheap and good one, try the Camelia hotel or Yunnan University hotel.
You can fly from Kunming to Beijing very easily, since the current Kunming airport is within the city limit (Kunming is currently building a new bigger airport which estimated will be ready in 2012). If you are looking for plane tickets, try they are quite reliable and should you need support all the staff speak English. You can get to Kunming airport by local city buses or taxi (about 25 rmb from city center).
You were asking about the birthplace of Mao Ze Dong and how to visit Great Wall and cheap places to stay in Beijing. However since I am living in Kunming I can only provide you with some answers only.
Mao Ze Dong birthplace is in Shaoshan in Hunnan Province, so you have to visit Hunnan to see the place (Kunming is in Yunnan province which is a different province). To visit great wall you have to go to Beijing and either take the local tour or hire a car to drive you to the great wall since it is quite far from Beijing. Sometimes you can negotiate with a taxi driver in Beijing 500-600 RMB to rent the taxi for the day.
About cheap place to stay in Beijing, truely sorry but I can not answer this since I am not living in Beijing.
Most local budget chains are also here - Home Inns, Orange (my preferred budget chain), Motel 268, Hanting etc... and have rooms from RMB200+.
For an international chain, you can consider Ibis which have several Beijing branches. Both Sanyuanqiao and Sanlitun branches are convenient, or you can consider the Novotel Sanyuanqiao for something more decent but still fairly cheap.
Great Wall is easy - I would only consider renting a car to get to the less accessible sections, such as Jinshanling or Jiankou. 500RMB (+ tolls) is reasonable to bargain with driver for a day's rental - unfortunately the 250 you see quoted in old guide books are hard to get these days.
The easiest section to reach is Badaling - expect it to be full of tourists, but it's easily accessible by taking the 919 bus N.E. of Jishuitan subway station. Make sure you take the one to the wall, as there are several 919 variations. Much less crowded is the Mutianyu section - though still on the tourist trail. An hourly bus 936 leaves Dongzhimen Outer Street hourly.
As for air fares - in addition to the CTrip already recommended you can also try elong. Both may require a form to be faxed the first time you purchase with foreign credit card, and expect a 3% charge for this, but nonetheless these two are the best options to those without local bank cards or Chinese online banking.
There are flights directly flight between Beijing and Kunming.
For accommodation, there are different kinds of them, the cheapest is just around 40rmb/per room without private bathroom; if you prefore to with private bathroom, different places with different prices, also depend on the season. normally the lowest price is around 100rmb.