Pu'er City is a prefecture-level city in Yunnan Province, 400 km south of the capital Kunming. In 2007, the city of Simao changed its name to Pu'er City. By doing so, it has had an effect the size of the official Puer tea production area. The urban administrative center of Pu'er is Simao District, which is also the former name of the city itself. Pu'er tea is a major product from this region. A major downturn in the price of tea in 2007 caused severe economic distress in the area.
The name Pu'er dates back to 1729, but was changed to Simao in 1950 after the Communist Revolution. The original name was restored in 2007.
Pu'er has a climate tempered strongly by its low latitude and high elevation, falling within the humid subtropical zone. Winters are sunny and dry, featuring warm days and cool, often significantly cooler nights. Summers are warm and very humid, with the great majority of days receiving some rainfall; sunshine less than 30% of the time from June to August. Monthly mean temperatures range from 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) in January to 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) in June, with an annual mean of 18.3 °C (64.9 °F). Rainfall is heavily concentrated in the warmer months.