Tenwest Mandarin School

User profile: Yuanyangren

User info
  • RegisteredMay 26, 2011
  • RegionChina
  • VerifiedNo
  • RegisteredMay 26, 2011

Forum posts

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Forums > Living in Kunming > China Is a Top Choice for Expats

I think an expat is any person who lives in another country as a foreigner for an extended period of time without gaining permanent residency or citizenship and is most appropriately applied to foreigners living in non-multicultural countries like China where it is difficult and uncommon to gain residency and especially citizenship. An expat also implies a sense of not being in the country forever, although there are many long-term expats these days, many of whom will never go home.

Even though the term expat can be used for say a Brit living in the USA, it sounds a bit strange because that Brit will probably eventually become an American anyway and since the USA is multicultural, everyone, irrespective of background is eligible to become a US citizen provided they have met the requirements in terms of residency etc.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Thailand life ?

@thebeargirl, interesting you mentioned tipping in Thailand. In China no one tips so I didn't think you would understand the concept being Chinese yourself. Basically it works like this:

In China: no tipping, ever.

In Thailand: leave some spare change if it's an expensive meal or tip about 20-30 Baht. Never tip street vendors or for cheap meals. Tipping hotel staff is at your discretion but generally only in more expensive hotels (4 or 5 star) and even then it's not absolutely required.

In America: Always tip about 10-15% in restaurants and hotel bellboys etc.

As you can see, tipping in Thailand is somewhere in between the extremes of China (no tipping) and America (tipping everywhere).

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Thailand life ?

@chris8080, many ATMs do, but not all. It's still better to come equipped with a VISA or Mastercard debit or credit card, which are accepted everywhere.

BTW many Chinese ATM cards such as the Great Wall Card issued by the Bank of China, which I possess state clearly in English that the card can only be used inside China. Therefore, I recommend asking your bank in China to see if they can issue a VISA or Mastercard card (a credit card would probably not be available to a 20 or 21 year old non-working student though, so it would have to be a debit card), although Unionpay should work in many tourist areas but probably not in more remote places, whereas VISA and Mastercard will be accepted everywhere.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Can pickups enter Kunming?

@Dazzer, good point but right now what it comes down to is cost. The Jeep Cherokee that I am interested in starts at a whooping RMB 575,000 in China and that's just for the cheapest model. It's quite possible that the price in Laos is lower and the reason for considering purchase in Laos is that the vehicle will travel there anyway as my company is considering setting up some operations there. It seems that Chinese vehicles can easily enter Laos and stay for up to 30 days at a time, so that isn't a problem, but when it comes to Thailand and Vietnam, 2 other countries I would have to enter with the car, Lao registration would be better. Indeed Vietnam is now cracking down on Lao vehicles entering its territory, so I would imagine that Chinese vehicles would face an even harder time as in all my years spent in Vietnam I've only ever seen 5 Chinese registered vehicles there and all of them were near the Chinese border.

On the other hand, as mentioned if the Lao and Chinese price aren't that different, my company will purchase locally as that way we can avoid all the paperwork that we would inevitably face trying to register a Lao car here.

Thanks for the link tigertiger; although the crossover vehicle you have shown me doesn't look like it has that much more space than a large SUV would have though.

I was wondering if a pickup with a canopy could avoid the restrictions driving into Kunming city cause it would then look like the crossover you have shown me? Although my company is now set on purchasing a largish SUV so I think we can now avoid the potential problems that could arise from purchasing a pickup.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Can pickups enter Kunming?

@mike4g_air, the car will be brand new. I would register it within a month of purchase, if necessary. When it comes to the steering wheel on the right side, this is not an issue as Hong Kong cars have right hand steering and are allowed to drive on the mainland. However, my car will have left hand steering anyway (since the car would be purchased in Laos). If however, the Lao price isn't much cheaper than the Chinese price my company will purchase locally.

@Yuantongsi, any reason why this rule applies? Thanks for confirming this info though, means that my company will have to consider purchasing an SUV instead.

I have to find out, but I believe I will be based in Kunming most of the time, so I need to be able to drive my car around freely. I will often need to go down to Xishuangbanna and into Laos, Thailand and possibly Vietnam. For trips to Myanmar and India I would fly as driving into those countries is currently restricted.

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Comments

Hopefully enough money can also be raised in the future for her eventual kidney transplant.

According to the article re: railroad in Laos, this Malaysian firm wants to build a 220km connection between Thailand and Vietnam NOT the one up to the Chinese border that's been talked about and cancelled, then revived again so many times.

The plan by the Lao government to still go ahead with the railway project is unbelievable. Neighboring Vietnam voted not to go ahead with a planned Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi high speed rail link due to concerns about profitability (i.e. not enough Vietnamese would be able to afford a ticket despite having a reasonably sized middle class at least in Hanoi and Saigon).

Now Laos, with only just over 6 million people and a tiny middle class wants to do the same? Good luck! However, I wouldn't be surprised if in 6 months from now I read in the Vientiane Times that the project has been put on hold again.

I'd suggest stick to a normal speed train that locals will actually be able to afford, going high-speed while neither Thailand nor Vietnam, two neighboring economic juggernaughts have plans to do the same is quite far fetched, I'll believe it when I see it but it seems like a crazy idea for now!

The only good news is that Laos can take control of the railway project and not have to worry about the previous 5km land concession on either side of the tracks that was previously demanded by the Chinese side.

Also, scally is correct about the reasons for Naw Kham being tried in China and logically Kunming, the closest major Chinese city to the area where the attacks occurred would be the best place to try him.

Incidentally, the 9 renegade Thai soldiers also implicated in the attacks will be tried in Thailand.

Well, he killed only Chinese sailors and based on this story, he has had run-ins with the Chinese authorities before. Overall, it's good that this criminal has been brought to justice. Also, by being tried in China he will receive the punishment he deserves.

The Mekong River in the 2000s should be about tourism and trade, not murder, drug trafficking and mayhem. Those latter three things should firmly be entrenched as relics of the past.

Reviews

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Horrible tasteless, thick-crusted "cardboard" like pizzas that are a far cry from what they should be like. Way overpriced too. Wine may be good, but why bother when the nearby Prague Cafe makes much better pizza at a more reasonable price?

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Good food and atmosphere. Sometimes takes a while to order, but all you need to do is shout Nihao! Fuyuan! And a waitress will come. Or you could just order at the bar or on the stairs, which is what I sometimes do.

Hate the stale cigarette smoke upstairs though, which is where i always sit because of the comfy sofas; that stuff makes my clothes smell almost as bad as a night out at Kundu, but anyway, this being China and especially Yunnan, means it might take a while before non-smoking restaurants become the norm.

Otherwise, the food is quite good though.

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Great Mexican food and ice cream, excellent Raspberry smoothies and an overall good atmosphere. Can't do much about the low ceilings on the second floor, but the early closing time could be adjusted, after all, the nearby French Cafe closes at 1am.