I am moving to Kunming in two weeks. I have been in Kunming two times before, but only for a couple of days. Reading on different parts of Kunming, it seems like north is the place to be, however I see that Guandu has been developing quite fast, and might be a nice place to stay. I am considering it also because I already found two good job opportunities there.
Does anyone live there? What is the area like? I am looking at the area around Guandu ancient city, and near the metro station 珥季路 and aroud New Asia Sports Center. Are there many shops, restaurants, markets in that area? This isn't the expat area, but have expats been moving down there recently? With the subway line nearby, I can imagine that it is well connected to other parts of the city? How long would it take to reach the center?
Just general impressions about the area living conditions, traffic etc. would be great as well. Thanks for the help,
Suggest you make no firm plans as to where to live until after you arrive & have the time to look around.
Try to live within "walking distance" of the subway. Walking distance can mean many different things, depending on the transportation culture. For example - in California - walking distance is considered the distance from the front of the store to your vehicle - and people drive around incessantly looking for the closest to the door parking space.
In Japan - apartments typically come with walking distance to the nearest subway ratings, measured in time, aka 5, 10, 15 min etc.
Also - beware of developing areas - they have constant heavy truck traffic (terrifying) along with the noise and pollution of constant construction. After the construction is done - then you have the noise and toxic pollution from interior design & decoration of each individual unit - Chinese mega apartments typically have around 2k brand new apartments and 10-30% mixed commercial use (storefronts), which are constantly churning.
The North is an older area, with older apartments, older stuff - and more stable commercial districts...and it's crowded.
You write that you have been twice to Kunming. You don’t write when this was. You have to understand that Kunming is changing very rapidly so if you have been here some years ago then you have to understand that we are not talking about the same city any longer. The Kundu night entertainment area for example is simply not there any longer.
You write that you might have a possible job lined up there. Indeed nowadays it is very important to live in easy commuting distance to your work because Kunming rush-hour traffic is horrific and basically travelling times become really long by car and nearly impossible by bus. Taxies are simply not available during rush-hour. The metro, also crowded does function during rush-hour.
Guandu is a large and mixed area. Some parts are new developments and some parts are old urban slumps. Guandu ancient city is simply a joke and not worth the effort. The area still has a bit of the old Kunming feel with small local catering places etc, don’t expect there any McD, KFC or BK.
Yeah around 珥季路 isn't a bad area, Century town, some beautiful apartments, a nice park. Huge mall with carrefour starbucks burger king etc, close to the new Luosiwan as well, so great for shopping. it's about half hour by subway to Cuihu.
I'd say if you're working around there it's a very good place to live
I live about five minutes walk from 珥季路 station behind 奥宸. I was a bit reluctant to move into the south, but I also work down this way and am enjoying the being out of the city centre.
I might go back that way again if I can get control of my work and study, but for the moment I am content with a more homely lifestyle that gives me time to focus. I don't think I would be able to handle it if I was after a very active social life or didn't enjoy cooking at home.
It seems to take me about 30 mins on the train to get downtown, plus the time to walk to the station and wait about for the next train to come.
The apartments Kingofthekerb mentioned are nice, I would also suggest checking out the areas around 奥宸 as you can get a lot for your money with the abundance of newer apartments.