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 > Paperwork documentation for car vehicle purchasing buy

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 O instead of the normal 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.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > getting a visa to come back to china

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).

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Forums > Living in Kunming > getting a visa to come back to china

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.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Thailand for Yunnan expats

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.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Thailand for Yunnan expats

@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.

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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.