Richland International Hospital

User profile: Yuanyangren

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

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Can pickups enter Kunming?

@tigertiger, I too have noticed all the trucks outside gas stations, but mainly on expressways rather than in the cities or rural highways. Even though I have previously only driven cars running on unleaded fuel within China, all the gas stations I have been to in the cities appeared to have diesel available as well.

It seems the Ford Explorer is not available in China, only another SUV with FWD transmission or AWD for the most expensive variant. It's called the Ford Echo - it looks good but doesn't offer 4WD transmission, which is what I need.

Any other recommendations for good quality SUVs available in China?

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Forums > Living in Kunming > No laowai allowed here

@chris8080, I have heard of this before, it sounds a bit racist but are you sure you were rejected because you're a foreigner? Also, were you quite "dirty" as you say? What is that supposed to mean? Many locals don't have showers very often and then go clubbing too and besides all the cigarette smoke and people, being clean is hardly possible after a night out there.

If so, you should file a complaint or post your experience on an international news site. Imagine the outrage this would cause if say, a black person were refused entry to a club for being black. Remember when "Mongolians and blacks" were refused entry to Beijing clubs during the Olympics and the outrage it caused, particularly in America and other foreign countries?

I have been to Kundu numerous times and generally not had any problems there, although once a friend of mine from Norway (he has since returned home) tried to enter a club I previously visited the weekend before (I think it was Babi club) and was refused although it looked quite full inside. Can't say what the reasons were although he was also already drunk. At the time my Chinese wasn't good enough to understand what the bouncer was trying to say...so we went to the club next door which was better anyway where he had no problems entering.

In any case, if you want quality clubbing, either look elsewhere or go to Thailand. Kundu kinda sucks anyway and given the amount of smoke in there, spend a few nights in there and you'll probably get a heart attack, stroke or lung cancer from all the smoke that fills your body. Thailand is way better- smoking was banned back in 2007 in nightclubs.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Can pickups enter Kunming?

Thanks for the tip. I am actually most interested in diesel, since it's cheaper and more widely available than unleaded in neighboring countries but will consider some hybrid models as you have suggested. BTW are they also affected by the high tax rate you mentioned earlier? You mentioned the Escalafe 5.7ltr, which is quite a large engine, but it is a hybrid. Does this mean higher taxes or tax incentives by the Chinese government?

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Can pickups enter Kunming?

@tigertiger, I was just thinking the same thing. We might be better off purchasing a vehicle in China and then trying to register it in Laos aswell than the reverse, based on my initial enquiries on import taxes for vehicles imported into Laos. We will try to explore which option is better tax-wise.

I have noticed the huge difference in price for the 6.4L Jeep Cherokee compared to the smaller engine models. I guess this is evidence of the larger taxes applied to larger engine vehicles. Check www.jeep.com.cn (only in Chinese I believe) for details.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Get Me to Cambodia!

I would recommend flying to Cambodia via Bangkok on THAI or Hong Kong on Dragonair. Better service, more flights and better food on board.

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Yeah there are lots of hebrew speaking travellers in Vang Vieng these days. Same with regional tourists from Thailand - frankly given that Thai and Lao are nearly the same language I don't see how a Thai speaker can't read Lao, but apparently many can't hence the reason for the Thai signs you saw. Same in Thailand - at petrol (gas) stations near the Lao border, which are popular with Lao motorists you can see signs in Lao next to the Thai since there are some subtle differences between the two languages.

@Senorboogiewoogie, in Laos everything is flexible due to the power of money aka corruption. I was in Vang Vieng around midnight back in 2009 and it was still noisy in parts, but generally quiet outside the center of action.

Also, while perhaps not a good idea, every foreigner living in Laos knows you can sleep with a Lao citizen of the opposite sex in the same room if you are discreet about it and you'll only get in trouble if you piss someone off. I also think that the government only sees the images of westerners in Thailand and the Philippines "buying" girls at girlie bars and wants to maintain a more lowkey image, but naturally no Vietnamese or Chinese (or Thai) truck driver would be without his karaoke and Lao prostitute in the border provinces. The reality is that prostitution is as big in Laos as anywhere else, but maybe just a little less visible. However, in Vientiane there are large numbers of local girls with western or other foreign "boyfriends", or in genuine relationships.

Haha, well I don't think I was that pessimistic, and I do agree with you on some of your points - although being quite knowledgeable about languages myself, there is more overlapping of the dominant language from the more economically powerful country into the less dominant one than the other way round - i.e. despite what you said, there is very little Lao spoken in Vietnam, but the other way round there is quite a bit of Vietnamese understood in Laos. Lao officials on the Lao-Viet border can usually speak some Vietnamese, but Viet officials generally can't speak Lao. I have been there and know this for a fact. Same with Viet officials on the Chinese border - they can speak Chinese, but Chinese officials speak only Chinese and English, not Viet.

Vietnamese is also only understood amongst a very small minority of people on the Thai side of the Lao border, not many as you say...same with Thai in Myanmar but not Burmese in Thailand (except amongst the immigrant workers and some Burmese signboards near the Burmese border) in Thailand. As mentioned above, Chinese is quite strong in northern Laos, but Lao is non-existant anywhere in Chinese territory except when it comes to the Dai language, which is fairly close but not exactly the same language.

I've also found that the majority of South-East Asian Chinese language students here in Kunming don't speak much English at all for some strange reason. The ones back in their home countries that didn't major in Chinese are often quite good at English, so I guess there aren't that many polyglots around as you say - 2 languages seems to be what the average person knows and not more.

Although if we're on the subject of which SE Asian language to learn IN ADDITION TO English, which will continue to be important, then it must be Thai. Thai is understood throughout Thailand, Laos, western Cambodia and the Shan State of Myanmar. No other SE Asian language is as dominant as Thai.

This is reflected in the much greater interest amongst Chinese students in studying Thai than say, Vietnamese. I have met tons of Chinese students interested in, or with at least one semester of Thai behind them, but only two who had studied Vietnamese.

Sounds good in principle, but learning to speak all SE Asian languages would require you to be some kind of linguistic genius and probably half a lifetime of devotion. Speaking only one of the languages from the region, say Thai or Burmese or Vietnamese, wouldn't help much in neighboring countries since each language in the region is not mutually intelligible with only limited overlapping...so such an approach would mean limiting your engagement to one country.

In parts of northern Laos and northern Myanmar, no attempts are made by Chinese settlers to learn the local language - everything (signboards, menus etc.) is in Chinese and locals [Laotians and Burmese] who can't speak this foreign language [Chinese] are left out.

Also, I don't think English should be forgotten - despite various levels of English fluency in the region, English is still the only global lingua franca and the global language of business. English is the only language you can successfully use in all SE Asian countries. While it's great to know Thai, Lao, Burmese etc. it isn't realistic unless you are living in those countries. I have also noticed that just like with English, Chinese learners of these SE Asian languages really struggle, and when encountering a local that speaks good English, the conversation will usually inevitably switch to English since the local will assume the other party can't speak their language well enough. It's only once fluency is achieved that this is overcome.

My recommendation would be for both Chinese and other foreigners interested in investing/doing business with the region to know how to speak English fluently, followed by becoming proficient in at least the basics of their host countries' language to at least show some interest and respect. Apart from those interested in becoming translators however, I personally think time and money is better spent gaining technical skills and then applying some language skills on the side - not the other way round.

I've done that and I'm doing quite well. I am an engineer that has worked in Vietnam and Thailand and I speak Thai and some Lao with an almost native accent (and can read and write both languages) - something that is of enormous benefit to me, but I have achieved this as a side passion rather than as my main job. Still, I barely speak Vietnamese and don't have the energy or time to work on it - in any case, doing business isn't difficult as most educated people there speak English anyway and I have a very good friend who helps me so it's all good. Ditto for Cambodia and Myanmar.

There is an error in this article. Lao Airlines flies only twice (2) a week from Luang Prabang to Jinghong, not daily. They only just restarted this service recently and I highly doubt there would be enough demand for a daily service at this time. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this service were to once again be suspended in the near future. Luang Prabang-Kunming flights are said to be restarted again in the near future too, but no date has been given.

Check out online copies of Lao Airlines' Champa inflight magazine for more details.

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.