Slice of Heaven. Best place to do some quiet study. It's non-smoking, they have a comfortable lounge, or a couple of tables if you prefer and they seem to have the fastest and most reliable wifi out of all the coffee shops/restaurants in Kunming. Also, their location means outside of peak times such as Friday evenings they don't have too many customers and the generous opening times mean you can come as early as mid-morning, or leave as late as midnight when they close.
The owner, Barbara is very friendly as are her other Chinese waitstaff. Compared to every other cafe/restaurant in Kunming, this is the only one where the owner actually greets everyone and makes them feel comfortable. Although the French Cafe and Salvador's offer reasonable food, their owners don't greet their guests (unless they know them personally) and with their large turnover of customers it's difficult to get any privacy either. As mentioned Salvador's doesn't even offer wifi so it's unsuitable as a comfy place to browse the web.
@chicha. Lol, mouse poo :P
Hey laotou, 'grumpy post' have you been upstairs? Airy? That is only if you manage to find a fan that is not broken and face it to the groups of students trying to match who can smoke the most in under 10 minutes. I think you need to be realistic, there are only a few cafe's in Kunming who strictly enforce sections or the whole cafe that is non-smoking. As a non-smoker and someone educated in medical science I wonder why California and other places in the Western world have banned smoking in establishments such as cafes' and restaurants...carcinogens? Impossible, China doesn't have any of these 'Western influences'. Just like they had no AIDS or homosexuals up until a few years ago, but then Western's brought these here as well. It is bad enough there are no regulations enforced governing motor vehicle pollution in this country, why do we have to be subjected to breathing in pollution whilst we eat? It may be your free lunch but not mine. Yours Sincerely, 'grumpy post'.
chinese students seem to love Dona Donuts, one reason is probably that it's one of the cheapest ways around to get wifi. Exchange students seem to love Mazagran, probably because their wifi always works and the place is relatively relaxed.
But my favorite place by far is a café immediately opposite the entrance to the scandinavian art gallery, The Loft. This cafe has functioning wifi and is almost always rather empty, and has a very cosy atmosphere.
Hi Chicha78, I agree with you, which is why I don't go to the French Cafe very often. Even when I do, the owner has never said hi to me so I'd much rather go to the Slice of Heaven where smoking is banned and the owner is very friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed and quiet.
Regret confusion - I'm the grumpy poster. Airy was in reference to the Sunshine Cafe inside the international students' dorm area. The government knows that cigarette related diseases is a ticking healthcare time bomb - hence the glacial movement towards a smoke-free society - but probably not in our respective lifetimes. As for carcinogens - there are so many things that will kill us - like e-bikes and kunming drivers (who seem to be more at home driving tractors and are unabashedly unaware of lane dividers - as are the e-bikers and pedestrians)...not to mention getting pepper sprayed by the occasional restaurateur.
The trade-off for living in densely populated China and most especially Kunming - potentially shortened lifespan, but a more relaxed lifestyle (thus potentially offsetting the potentially shortened lifespan).
Personally - I think the absolute bestest place to work is home, where the wifey can take care of me. Coffee just the way I like it, served with a smile, grace, and the occasional carress. Food that I know is as clean as it gets - no gutter oil (that we know of). And smoke or not - depends on your house rules...and the wifi directly under my own personal control that I don't have to share with anyone (aside from aforesaid wifey playing QQ, internet games, and sucking up all my bandwidth watching internet videos....and no - not sharing...selfish selfish selfish...grumpy and selfish...HUA.
As for public smoking - I seriously doubt this will change much in our respective lifespans (sunset time for me) - as China is essentially a rule of "social law" as opposed to the more developed western-based legalistic philosophy. It's extremely frustrating for westerners to adjust and adapt to this somewhat mob mentality.
I love Slice of Heaven, despite the smoking ban and it's DEFINITELY out of the mainstream - making it's somewhat remote location a brisk walk from Yunda...through the traffic smog, buses, taxis, e-bikes, hackers, hawkers, and spitters, government officials' public temper tantrums (and generally locking up traffic when big mucky mucks come to town) etc etc ad infinitum - but once one makes it out of the Green Lake area - the Slice of Heaven location actually looks rather deserted in the days.
I think you could go to Hada valley, but it's not a place with foreigners, if you like Chinese people, I think it's a good place. If you want to chat with foreigners, you could go to prague cafe.