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Pu'er tea starting to catch on in the West?
Roughly a year after the bottom dropped out of the out-of-control pu'er tea market, this specialty tea is starting to get more attention overseas, particularly in the West, where Silicon Valley's tea-obsessed techies are tweeting and blogging about its virtues while frighteningly skinny Victoria Beckham is touting its weight-loss properties.

Time has published an article in which it compares the city of Pu'er (previously known as Simao) in Yunnan to other places around the world whose names have become synonymous with foods or beverages such as France's Champagne, Mexico's Tequila and Italy's Parma. The big question is whether Western palates can learn to love pu'er's earthy bouquet – we're not betting on it.

Stone Forest tickets to increase to 260 yuan
It appears all but certain that tickets for Kunming's only UNESCO World Heritage site, the Stone Forest will rise in price from their current 200 yuan to 260 yuan (US$38). In recent hearings held by the Stone Forest Scenic District Management Bureau, 95 percent of representatives were in favor of the 30 percent price hike, according to local media reports.

At 260 yuan per person, Stone Forest tickets would be one of the most expensive tickets among China's World Heritage sites, more than Fujian's Wuyi Mountain (250 yuan), Yellow Mountain in Anhui, Sichuan's Jiuzhaigou (220 yuan) and Zhangjiajie in Hunan (245 yuan).

Kunming bus passengers ask for help with pickpockets
Kunming public bus system is a cheap, convenient way to get around the city, but city buses are also popular places for pickpockets to practice their trade. Kunming bus passengers have suggested to local bus operators that they broadcast short video clips about how to prevent becoming another theft statistic, according to a Kunming Information Hub report.

Passengers also shared their strategies for minimizing the risk of pickpockets, including:

• Keeping an eye on people who move after the bus starts moving

• Moving to less crowded parts of the bus, should they exist

• Staying aware of one's pockets and bag

According to the Kunming Public Security Bureau, pickpockets tend to operate between 9 and 11 am and 5 and 8 pm. Bus routes with the highest rates of pickpocket activity include 107, 26, 61, 90, 118, 2, 10, 161, 31, K1 and 84.

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Comments

260 yuan?! Ridiculous.

I've had a phone stolen in 61 myself. Kinda had me reconsider my previous stand on people beating up thieves. I don't know how to spot all the kinds of thieves but I am getting better at it. The more pro kind usually work in pairs. They are probably somewhere between 18 and 25 yo and never wear a bag. They usually try to blend in with darkish casual clothes. Be aware if you see two guys waiting for the bus who clearly know eachother but when they enter one goes to the back and the other stays at the front.

I'd love to see you punch one of those guys if you detect them but the Chinese say that most of them carry knives so it might be better to play it cool. Anyway you never know if the thief has a partner in the bus who is prepared to help him (the main reason he is there is to create confusion and loudly vouch for a detected partner in crime - just enough to have time for the bus to reach the next stop).

Another kind my gf has encountered a couple of times is the single elderly man or woman with one arm covered by a jacket. They'll move close to you and try to fish something out of your bag or pockets with the hidden hand, pretending to have bumped into you by mistake if discovered.

My pickpocket strategy: if the bus looks crowded, I cram my wallet, cellphone and any other valuable stuff into one pocket and keep my hand in it at all times. It's worked fine so far.

Best way to prevent pick pockets? Put nothing in your pockets. Use a purse with one main zipper and keep a hand on it at all times.

Or if you're too sexist to use a purse, then buy a "man bag" or suitcase.

It's called a satchel. Indiana Jones used one.

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