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Yeah, I'm surprised too Kunming didn't make the top 5 at least. Beijing and Shanghai obviously on the list for salary reasons alone. More and more, I dont really see much difference in the towns and cities these days...all becoming standardized. That's globalization for you I suppose. Home is where the heart is...but yeah...Kunming is right up there as one of the best in the world.

I have visited Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen and Kunming is much better planned than any of those cities. It is also much cheaper to live in. The roads here are wide and almost all main roads have segregated cycle lanes. As a keen cyclist, it is far better to cycle here than in any of the other cities. It is also flat here and mostly low humidity. The high altitude also helps strengthen a healthy body and make you more resilient to infection - and makes you feel younger. Of course, there are less foreigners here than the other cities, so it is great being more popular!!! The locals here are much friendlier to foreigners than in the other cities, owing to our "curiosity" value. And of course the climate here is way better than the other cities. I have no idea why Kunming isn't number one best city to live in every year. I have travelled around the world to around 50 countries and Kunming is way better than any other city to live in for a retired foreigner!

There is a danger of conflating the legal trade in wildlife, with the illegal trade in wildlife. Most of the animals traded are not endangered species.

A few days ago on June 30, Yang Liping officially unveiled her Yunnan Dali Grand Theater (杨丽萍大剧院) to the world. An architectural feat of beauty. She may not pass on her legacy in blood, but definitely in her artistic spirit.

Some pictures:







What exactly does a "ban on illegal activities" really mean? Surely illegal activities are already banned by definition. I hope this move helps, but I suspect it will soon be business as usual.

Great article. I did the same trip a couple of years ago - it was possible to get past the checkpoint by bike if you said you were visiting Qiunatong. I was able to cycle up to the Tibet border and back quite easily in a day. I also think the Gongshan to Liuku section is worth cycling if you take it slowly. The scenery seemed nice to me! Especially worth it for the side trip to Laomudeng (thought I took my bike up there in a taxi). And if you are really crazy you can now cycle into the Nujiang from Deqen via the new De-Gong mountain highway via Yongzhi and Dimaluo. I haven't done it but this guy did: www.crazyguyonabike.com/[...]

Fantastic news, Vera. July has arrived. We as a community need to do our part as eyes and ears to protect our wildlife kin. By reporting any illegal solicitation, trade, and consumption of banned wildlife around town. Within Kunming, there exists visible, high-end shops as well as restaurants (operating inconspicuously) without proper license that serve to niche clientele high mark-up wildlife menus touting "nutritious" value without evidence-based backing. These establishments need to given a warning. Change happens not by sitting quietly on sideline, but with active engagement by the masses. Now the proposed ban inching toward an enforceable regulation in Yunnan, whistleblowers seeking to expose these illegal business activities ought to receive backing by central, provincial, city, and district government officials.

No trolling, Georg, just good old fashioned decades old experience backed up with science. The wiki article is very nice, and all that vegetation will end up scouring out and depositing in Erhai when there is a decent rain event. Horses for courses.