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Moving to Kunming - where?

Mario007 (16 posts) • 0

Hi everyone, I will be moving to Kunming from Shanghai with my wife at the end of January. She has family in Kunming.

Right now we're looking for a good area to rent a flat. My wife kinda knows places around Guangfu Road since that's where her family lives, but I we also want to know where more of an international community exists?

We looked at a couple of apartment around Aegean Shopping Park, would that be a good area?

Thank you in advance for all your help!

JanJal (1077 posts) • 0

There are actually two Aegean shopping malls in Kunming now.

I'm guessing you write of the older one, that being in close vicinity of Kunming International Academy, which could be a factor related to international community, or possibly giving children (if any) foreign education.

Mario007 (16 posts) • 0

I think I might be writing about that one yeah, down south around Guangfu Road. Are there many expats living around there and is there much to do besides the mall?

tigertigerathome (106 posts) • 0

Where to live? I live not far from Guangfu Lu, and can give an opinion of expat living in that area. Others will be able to comment more about other areas of Kunming.
Factors to consider, your wife’s family, your work, how much you need expat company, if you have kids, and what you like to do in your spare time.

Your wife’s family is important. You will probably be expected see them at least 3 times a week, if you live close by. That could be seen as an advantage or disadvantage.

If you will work downtown, commuting can take a heavy toll, especially in Kunming at the moment. If you will work in the city centre, expect an hour commute each way on the bus (until the Metro is completed next year). From the Aegean it is probably going to be two buses. Traffic is heavy. Once the Metro goes through, there will be a station near the intersection of Guangfu Lu and Dianchi Lu, which is about 1.5 km west of the Aegean (about 15-20 mins walk). There are Taxis and Didi Che, but at peak travel times they can be a bit scarce, especially if it is raining. At peak times the area around the Aegean can get gridlocked. Generally, the best option for travel is ebike or bicycle, there are dedicated bike lanes.

If you have kids, of school age, then locations need to a suitable school are vital.
If you want expat company, there are a few expats in the Dianchi Lu area, but you will not meet that many socially in that part of town. On the south side of Guangfu Lu, opposite the Agean, is Hupan Avenue, about 500 meters down there is Wicker Basket (south). Wicker Basket is a western bakery/café that also has a short order menu. This is close to Kunming International Academy (KIA), and teachers and staff often use Wicker Basket, as well as living nearby. KIA has Christian origins, but has secularized a lot in the last 10 years. You will probably find that most of your friends will be from work. If you are someone who craves expat company, then Guangfu Lu may not be for you.
If you are someone who needs a full social life, then living downtown is important. Most of the expat scene revolves around Wenlin Jie, and Hongtadong Lu, although there are other venues scattered around the city.

For shopping and eating, there is the Aegean mall, and Nanya mall is about 3 km north of there, on Dianchi Lu.

There is also a Metro store and a Decathlon about 4 km south east along Guangfu Lu.

I about 7 km further south west of Aegean, which is more isolated, and find that a bicycle is a bit of a must, as at peak travel times driving and parking are a problem. The weather is very dry most of the year, and even in rainy season it is mainly warm, and so cycling is mostly pleasant.

hongxiongmao (49 posts) • 0

To add to what tiger said, I also live near the Aegean mall (Guang Fu lu) and there are plenty foreigners living in the proximity, lots of them live in Hupan (KIA neighborhood).

We currently have 5 malls in a 3km radius (give or take) and a Hippo supermarket is opening next week in 1903 which will make life a lot easier for residents within their delivery range and will also bring house value up for houseowners nearby.
Lots of schools near as well, a couple public even that at least one of them also has an international department.

This area overall is considered one of the best in the city and if you have your own vehicle commuting won't be too taxing; nearest subway station is at least 5kms away. DianChi lake and the dam are also pretty close.

liuer2 (38 posts) • 0

I live in that area and the area around Aegean at Guangfu Lu does not have an expat community but a middle school teacher community concentrated around the KIA and Wicker Basket thus heavily American and teacher like. So if you are looking for a different expat community then this is not the best place if you are not connected to KIA. No night life or even a single bar in this area. No western style food other than Burger King and Starbucks.

PS: not much on offer rent wise as well in this area.

hongxiongmao (49 posts) • 0

There are several bars in Nanya which is 3kms away from Aegean, I've never been inside one but they seem busy when I pass by sometimes.

Mario007 (16 posts) • 0

Thanks for all your advice guys. Having a Hema supermarket close is a super nice thing, I've been using them here in Shanghai and they're just way too convenient.

We have our own car so getting around should not be a problem though personally I am a kind of a person who loves the metro but right now from what I've seen Kunming's metro is still in the developing stages.

We are coming back to set up our own kindergarten so maybe that area having lots of teachers might not be too bad. I would be a little bit concerned about no western food though as that is something I did get used to in Shanghai (though I do love Chinese food too, but it's nice to have a western meal close by once in a while).

Apart from the Aegan mall,

are there any other areas that you would recommened?

Personinkunming (5 posts) • 0

We live at Beichen, in the North. Good transport links - we’re a 5 min walk from the subway and there’s loads of buses. There’s Western restaurants and cafes, a mall and Walmart and Metro nearby. Metro I think is the only one in the city. There are a good few expats living around here. Don’t know about bars - they seem to all be further south.

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