Keats School

User profile: Yuanyangren

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  • 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

This is crazy! Sounds like the kind of thing you hear about happening in the US, not China. Anyway, they were arrested quickly and yes, Liumingke1234, they can and most likely will be given the maximum penalty for their crimes. I believe in China 14 year olds can be tried as adults. It doesn't say how old these teenagers are, but my guess is they are certainly in their mid to high teens.

Very sad indeed...I hope the new tenant is also a foreigner who opens up a similar bar or restaurant to you guys. Good luck with the future and hope to visit you in Lijiang or Shangri-la. In any case, stay in China! Restaurants/bars like yours really make places like Kunming feel cozier.

@Peter99, I agree that there could be many more independent Chinese tourists in Chiang Mai, or indeed in many other parts of the world in the future.

I have seen many independent Chinese tourists, many travelling by themselves in places like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. They usually have enough English to at least order from a menu though. It's kinda ridiculous for people like the young Chinese tourists above to not know what they "are ordering". If you ask me, except at Wenlie Jie and a few downtown areas, it's much more difficult to know what you are ordering in China!

Contrary to what is stated in this article, I don't think the Chinese can take away Thai jobs or properties because unlike in Laos, the Thais are fiercely protective of their rights and know what they are. Also, foreigners can't own land even if they become married to Thai citizens. With the exception of jobs requiring Chinese language skills, Chinese citizens wouldn't be able to find work in Thailand either and they can certainly forget about working in protected sectors like farming etc. so I think the fears raised above are unfounded unless Thailand opens up more but their restrictive property and work laws are probably in place to avoid such a scenario.

However, for now, the Chinese train project from Kunming through Laos connecting all the way to Singapore is not going to happen, but the Thais seem to be confident about a possible Japanese investment for some domestic HSR (high speed rail) lines in the near future. Personally, I would still put my money on the Chinese coming through eventually, but it might take 10+ years to happen so the original opening date of 2015 is now nothing more than a pipe dream given that the Chinese have now scaled back on HSR projects given safety issues, the resignation of the railway minister etc.

The road through Myanmar (Burma) from Mae Sai/Tachileik to China has too many restrictions on travel and since the Mae Sai crossing only allows travel to/from Mae Sai it can't be used by anyone planning on travelling overland between Thailand and China via Myanmar territory; thus Chinese and Thai/third party tourists/businesspeople etc. travelling overland between Thailand and China must go through Laos (or alternatively, Laos and Vietnam). I hope that with the recent positive developments in Myanmar that an overland route connecting Thailand and China and an upgrading of the Chinese/Burmese border post to an international one will happen, but until it does it won't become an option for anyone.

I wouldn't put my money on low-cost flight options to Kunming happening anytime soon, though eventually they should come through put this will depend entirely on demand for such services.

@invisible, the railway link from Kunming to the Vietnamese border has existed for like 100 years but only now does it look like it will reopen again after being closed for roughly 10 years now. As such, this will mean you can once again travel by rail from Kunming to Hanoi and beyond to Ho Chi Minh City. When it opens is unclear, but I'd say give it a year or so.

@pickley - hitchhiking is possible, but not really recommended due to the low cost of public transport and possible risk of things going wrong, though having said that hitchhiking is far safer in most parts of East Asia than in the USA for example. But you can still try anyway and it is surely a very interesting way of travelling.

I think Chinese truck drivers (starting in northern Laos, not far from the border) or Lao truck drivers (who wouldn't go much beyond Mengla) would help you cross the border, and then you could try flagging another vehicle to go further north. Alternatively, Chinese tourists driving themselves in southern Xishuangbanna or possibly in Laos itself might be willing to help you. It would be a good idea to offer some food, drinks or something for the ride and truck drivers often expect some payment anyway, but if you are nice and give them some food, cigarettes (if they smoke) or something else then that should make them happy enough without the need for monetary compensation. Every experience is different so you'll need to just try it out and see what happens.

@russell, it's Ji. There's a much faster way of translating English to Chinese these days and requires no travel outside of your own home: it's called google translate.

Anyway, from this itinerary it looks like the writer is about to enter Vietnam before he enters Laos, unless he backtracks first. Normally to travel from Kunming to Laos one would pass through Yuxi, Yuanjiang, Simao (Pu'er), Jinghong (Xieng Hung or Chiang Rung), Mengla (Muang La) and finally Mohan before reaching Laos. Of course while you can't cycle on the expressway, I have seen western cyclists on the highway between Jinghong and the border (there is currently no expressway there).

Therefore taking the backroads between Kunming and Jinghong would be the fastest way, but this cyclist's itinerary sounds more interesting and passes a more beautiful region of Yunnan - I too was very impressed by Yuanyang (hence my GoKM username right hehe), not to mention Lvchun and the Vietnamese borderlands before reaching Hekou.

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.