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2010: The Year in Review

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The end of the year is a special time in which editors and writers around the world recycle content from the previous twelve months and repackage it as new content. We at GoKunming are not above this practice, so here's our look at the people and events that shaped 2010 in Kunming and Yunnan.

Seven people were killed and 34 injured when a section of overpass collapsed at the site of Kunming's future airport. Yunnan's universities were lagging behind much of the rest of the country and even southwest China. A man in Xishuangbanna was sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing and eating what may have been the last Indochinese tiger in China. The Kunming municipal government declared war on evil forces.

Many Kunming residents were having trouble making sense of the destruction of most of the city's long distance bus stations, which were replaced by four new stations on the outskirts of town. The several-month-long drought across much of Yunnan was intensifying to the point that the city's water and power supplies were under threat.

Acclaimed Chinese documentary maker Zhao Dayong stopped by our office. Anti-burglar cages were being removed from streetside windows around town. China was proposing a Eurasian high-speed rail network centered around Kunming. Angry at chengguan officers, residents of Kunming's Wuhua District overturned nine law enforcement vehicles, three of which they lit on fire. A Baoshan man was accused of murdering two children and eating their brains. The rice terraces at Yuanyang were lovely.

A summit of Southeast Asian countries in Thailand decided to blame weather, not Chinese dams for the low water levels plaguing the Mekong River. Prices of flights within Yunnan were rising. Kunming residents were given their first detailed look at the city's proposed light rail network. Speakeasy Bar closed. Official corruption was still widespread throughout Yunnan. Coca-Cola was cozying up to Kunming police. Chengguan backed over a deaf man whose home they had just demolished and dragged him 50 meters.

Construction began on the first two lines of Kunming's light rail network. Yunnan was still too dry. We learned more about adventurer Jin Feibao, designer Bunny and artist Liu Lifen. Bamboo Temple had a close brush with fire.

Yunnan declared the end of its 10-month drought. Nude bathers in Yuxi were stimulating debate over China's public exposure laws. We spoke with Kunming's favorite fixer, Qin Benhui, aka Xiao Hui, about what he'd do if he were mayor for a day. We made a beeline for the closest patch of seaside beach to Kunming and, after years of putting it off, finally went to the Stone Forest.

We took a look at the major changes that Yunnan experienced under China's 'Go West' scheme, admired the arhats of Bamboo Temple and unveiled a new version of this website. Mushrooms were being blamed for hundreds of deaths in Dali. We went to Guanshang to enjoy mushroom hot pot.

A man claiming to be an official from Sichuan warned Kunming that it was hindering its development by discouraging prostitution. He then punched a reporter. Yunnan asked its top fugitives to turn themselves in. We hiked the new green belt that follows the Jinzhi River through downtown Kunming and spoke with the man who designed it, urban planner Jian Haiyun, about Kunming's future. Divorce rates among young couples in Kunming were rising. Yunnan announced plans to build itself into a world-class athletic training base. Lonely Planet published a Chinese-language Yunnan guidebook.

The American conservative group Focus on the Family was promoting abstinence education to students across Yunnan. The Bird Bar in Dali closed its doors for the last time. We went rock climbing in Fumin.

Kunming police broke up a scam in which 2,000 people and 40 companies were conned into investing 300 million yuan (US$45 million) in a nonexistent real estate development. One expert was warning that Kunming property prices might drop by as much as 30 percent. Residents of a Kunming 'nail house' were complaining about being harassed by developers who had dug a moat around their home. Government experts were worrying aloud about the possibility of another drought. We went backstage at the Lijiang Snow Mountain Music Festival. A man was found dead at home more than five years after dying.

The quality of water in Dali's Erhai Lake was improving. We drank wine with Kunming legend Rocco Capasso. A Kunming hospital broadcast a boob job live on the internet. We ate tea that had been buried in the backyard of a Bulang family for more than a year and fell in love with Shaxi. Starbucks announced that it would establish its first coffee farm in Yunnan's famous tea town of Pu'er.

Kunming's roads were getting increasingly congested with an average of around 1,000 newly registered automobiles hitting its streets every working day. We escaped the chilly weather in Kunming in Xishuangbanna. We revisited the classic novel Lost Horizon.

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Love it! Merry Christmas guys :)


July was a hell of a month, eh? Hundreds of deaths in Dali blamed on bad mushrooms and y'all headed out for mushroom hot pot to test and try them out. Gotta love you...

'Dem mushrooms was good.

"A man claiming to be an official from Sichuan warned Kunming that it was hindering its development by discouraging prostitution. He then punched a reporter." Sure sounds like an official to me.


Such a nice post, informative as well as entertaining. Keep up the good job, Chris!

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