Foreigners can most certainly buy a car, why wouldn't they be able to? My company is in the process of purchasing a vehicle for me, which will be a company vehicle but likely registered in my name. I believe foreigners or foreign companies registered in China get a black license plate, rather than a blue one, which has 云O instead of the normal 云A A=Kunming that you see.
Once I have more information about the procedures for purchasing a car here, I will update this thread. However, this will likely only be in 3-4 weeks from now.
Visa for China can be obtained in Vietnam, but best done through a travel agency. Interestingly, these days you have to apply through Hanoi and not Ho Chi Minh City, whereas until recently it was the opposite (except for residents of Vietnam, who could apply in either city).
A 1-month extension plus an extra entry is available in Kunming, so no need to apply outside of the country. However, if you choose this option, limit your time outside of China as the extension starts on the day they approve it and then is valid for 30 days after that. This means that leaving China for a week and then coming back would make sense but not leaving for a longer period, in which case a new visa obtained outside of China would be necessary.
One thing I disagree about voltaire is that Thai cultural facilities are better than Yunannese ones. For one thing, Thai museums are annoying because they will nearly always charge foreigners more just to enter so that makes one reluctant to even enter in the first place. Even if you do go, they aren't that great, nor very numerous certainly not compared to what I've seen in Yunnan. Temples are much more worth visiting and in any case, most museums in Thailand are located inside temples.
@magnifico, Thailand is a great place for the most part, but I think the OP is being a bit naive by suggesting Yunnan expats should all move there. Also, I think Thailand has been done to death a bit, nearly everyone I know has been there, so there's definately nothing new or undiscovered about the place. Thailand is already full of expats and as voltaire has correctly suggested, there are both positive and negative aspects to that. Also, I was referring to living in the Thai countryside, which I like but as I know all too well, there isn't much to do there. Finally, the initial excitement one might get out of a 2-week vacation certainly melts away if you've been living there for a while. At the end of the day it just becomes like any other country you're living in.
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?
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.
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.