Overland Kunming to Hong Kong
South West China is, in some ways, the most exotic area of China, largely populated by various ethnic minorities with interesting handicrafts, languages, folk music and so on. It is also a poor area, relatively cheap to travel in overall.
Some areas have been or are being developed for tourism; there you can expect to find some modern amenities, Western food, English speakers, and (by Chinese standards) high prices. Once you get out of those areas, expect none of the above.
The two end points, Kunming and Hong Kong, both have good air links to various places. See their articles and Discount airlines in Asia for details. Both also have rail connections to the rest of China.
By Train (2 days / 700+ RMB)
There are two main overland routes betwen Kunming and Guilin:
From Guilin, continue to the tourist town Yangshuo, then:
Either way, you can reach Hong Kong.
The fastest and still cheap way from Kunming to Hong Kong or from Hong Kong to Kunming is by a plane/ferry combination. As most foreigners in China need to get a new visa every 6 or 12 months they are traveling to Hong Kong. It is the only place in the world where you can get such a business / multiple entry visa for bringing a foto and some money.
Kunming - Hong Kong
That's it. For about 850 RMB you can go to Hong Kong.
A very convenient way to book the ferry and plane ticket together is at the China Travel Service (HK). It is easy to find as it is placed directly in the opposite of the Chunking Mansions in Hong Kong Kowloon where most backpackers like to stay. Turbojet Ferry Schedule
These areas are generally quite poor and petty theft is common. Take precautions against pickpockets and watch for things like razor attacks on luggage during bus or train rides.
Armed robbery is rare, but has been reported. Victims are generally lone travellers, often female. Try to stay in a group, especially on treks through isolated areas.
Altitude sickness is a risk in some areas. especially if you go west of Kunming up toward the Himalayas.
Both cities are also well connected to the Chinese rail network. From Kunming, the possibilities are: