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@Ishmael we rented a car right away and it was relatively easy. Did it through Ctrip, but there are tons of apps for it (some need your passport info and take time to verify your identity and such, but ctrip did not). There was, however, about a 2,000 Yuan deposit that takes 30 days to return (after they make sure you weren't ticketed for anything).

Insurance is the main problem as far as I can tell. It's problematic whether you're insured if you rent a car here. Or if the insurance is adequate. Perhaps you could arrange your own insurance separately - I don't really understand these things. I don't think there are any rules to stop foreigners renting.

@tigertiger there's a link to the Yunnan Nationalities Village website about dragon boat races in last year's gokunming article, doesn't seem erroneous

From the article "...In Kunming, Dragon Boat Races used to be held during the holiday at the Yunnan Nationalities Village. " This seems unambiguous, but I think erroneous.

This ongoing tradition honors a patriotic poet who killed himself by jumping into a river when Qin seized Chu. Zongzi was placed into the river to feed the water dwellers.

Didn't mean to indicate that there have been dragon boat events in the Minorities Park, but merely that places like that are willing to host things that may lack reality outside them (if you've seen a bit of Yunnan and also the Minorities Park you'll know what I mean) - they're like phony museums. .

I am not sure that dragon boat events were ever held in the Minorities Village. This could be a hang over from erroneous remark in an article on dragon boat festivals a year or two ago.
The only dragon boat events I know of, in the last 10 years, were held on the northern half of Haigeng Dam (Daba). These now fall on the calendar of the international dragon boat racing events.

You just want that a show be created, right? If the tourist bureau doesn't come through (and there's a good chance they will - cf. the Minorities Park thing), try the Disney organization.

True, but as so many minority festivals are (rightly) celebrated in Yunnan, it's a pity that Dragon Boat Festival doesn't garner much enthusiasm. Although there were some half-hearted attempts in the Horticultural Exposition Park this morning.