User profile: voltaire

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Dahon folding bikes

Saw a Dahon folding bike for sale for ~2500CNY in a bike shop on the western side of Xichang Lu yesterday, just south of the major intersection between the JinMa Biji road and Xichang Lu (ie. BaiMa turnoff).

Forums > Living in Kunming > Commercial to liveable artspace rental

Hi there, we are trying to start a makerspace here known as "The Cave" and have a large site in mind but need some more financial commitment from people to get it going.

You can see the space on our website at

We estimate overall startup costs to be 70,000CNY and have raised 35,000CNY in pledged funds already.

We aim to make up the difference and commit to the space circa Chinese New Year 2016.

Relative to your description:

(a) It's not going to be liveable

(b) It's not going to be focused at all on commercial sales of art or anything else for that matter

(c) It's an industrial space with industrial power (3-phase power OK, chemical smells OK, noise OK, no neighbours to whinge)

Real estate agents are pretty useless for this sort of thing, we've found it's necessary to physically trapse about and search.

If you really only want a small commercial space then you may find some in the existing art districts as AlexKMG suggested... however they will not have the space, community, equipment and industrial zoning benefits that the Cave could offer.


PS. Make sure your adopted daughter has workable exit papers and a passport, otherwise you are in for a long trip back to Kunming!

PPS. I don't think there are rental agencies that do cross-border drive-back deals.


Personally I would recommend trying something different like the relaxing overnight trip down the Mekong from Guanlei in Xishuangbanna by cargo boat.

It's quite comfy, an unforgettable trip, and an animal definitely won't be an issue.

Driving is frought with hassle compared to such an approach: licenses, multiple border crossings and requisite visas/paperwork (in to Laos, in to Thailand instead of just China->Thailand).

Maybe you could consider hiring someone local to drive you down to Xishuangbanna (Guanlei) and help you negotiate a boat fare.

Alternatively, it's definitely possible to get there by public transport, if your luggage is not super-enormous. First of all get to Kunming's southern bus terminal (at Luosiwan, on the metro). Then buy a ticket to Jinghong. Spend a relaxing day in Jinghong, then bus to Guanlei early the next day and negotiate a cargo boat fare to leave the same afternoon.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Explosion on Xichang Lu

There was a huge traffic pile-up on Xichang Lu this morning. I saw some people walking around covered in blood with head wounds, torn and ripped clothing, etc. Fire engines and SWAT teams were deployed. It looked a lot like it was due to a gas explosion in a restaurant, about four or five doors south of the Kunshi Lu intersection. If you are going anyway, maybe best to avoid the area... traffic is very bad.


No results found.


"Cavemen were found near Jianshui" .. actually the location was more like "the lower Yunnense Red River" .. south of the river .. closer to Dienbienphu in Vietnam.

This is mostly interesting as because Baoshan is the southwesternmost major Han outpost referenced in early Chinese historical literature.

Unlike Sichuan, whose great plain was fairly definitively under Han dominance some 1000 years earlier, Yunnan's real Sinification really only began under the Yuan dynasty (1271 or so onwards... though a few decades later would see the beginnings of real change in Yunnan). Despite early references to Han parties reaching Kunming and other parts of Yunnan, evidence of serious Han cultural impact on Yunnan remains limited before that period. And this is *500-600 years* before that period.

For those interested in history, I'd highly recommend reading the Chinese accounts of the Yi people of the Sichuan/Yunnan borderland (still dominating most of far-southern Sichuan, ie. pretty much everything south of the plain), including how their queen wisely facilitated the passage of the Mongols in to Yunnan by brokering introductions to neighbouring ethnic groups to avoid a bloody war. While the Han have erected a "Museum to the Living Fossil of the Yi Slave Society" (or something equally condescending and dismissive) in that part of Sichuan, a quick trip around reveals just how important they must have been in the past.

The Ailao people would have been a known neighbour of the Yi to the west (via the Dali and Lijiang plains), as would have been the Naxi of Lijiang, the nearby Mosuo and the Tibetans to their northwest. Tai peoples migrated ever-south from southern Sichuan onward to the tropics.

This compounds archaeological interest in Yunnan, which this year saw the discovery of the Red Deer Cave People just south of the Red River that drains Yunnan's southeast (from about Dali, down to Hanoi and Haiphong in Vietnam), and the earliest Yunnanese stilted house ruins were recently discovered at Jianchuan (on the old Lijiang-Zhongdian road, just south of the big bend in the Yangtse river southwest of Tiger Leaping Gorge), and are also a major recent archaeological find.

Yunnan, along with neighbouring Myanmar (whose internal issues have caused problems with archaeological research in post-colonial times), probably form one of the most exciting archaeological zones in Asia for the coming decades. We live in interesting times!

I second Cangyuan and Mengding.

Cangyuan has loads of neolithic paintings nearby, some traditional Wa villages, and a huge cave.

Mengding has the only maintained ming-era administrator's home I'm aware of in all of Yunnan, and it has been turned in to a great little museum.

Interesting. In Bali right now, just checked that out, couldn't find a fare that cheap from KL to KM over the next couple of months. Maybe expired or sold out already or just a very short-range of dates. Anyway, good to know there's flights.

I know an absolutely exceptional and cheap hostel in KL... folks interested can email for details.



@nailer is being unfairly dismissed: they are certainly fallible. At one point they were well managed and the only game in town, and their outdoor bar had an interesting social vibe. Recently, none of these is the case (was given a bad bill to the tune of ~300% - no managers present and a subsequent complaint resulted in a less than ideal outcome, many more places are now open, and the outdoor bar is closed). Unless you are specifically seeking faux-Americana (often far better examples elsewhere) or two degrees removed faux-Mexicana, there's little reason to go there. How come French Cafe can serve a great sandwich for 24 but Sals requires 50 for a pretend-exoticized nibble? Certainly the business will continue, but the hey-dey is clearly gone. Romaniticizing the past aint gonna help. E-waste recycling by shipping (non carbon neutral) junk across the country? Puh-lease. Garbage processing people here recycle anyway! I applaud the ethical stance of one of the managers, but the place has frankly lost its mojo.


Hands down the best draft craft beer in Kunming. On top of that, very reasonable prices for food and other drinks (especially wine).


Called the number provided on a Friday at 2:15PM while a 10% discount was advertised "on Friday and Saturday" (listed in GoKunming specials).

A Chinese person answered the 'English' phone number in Mandarin then explained in broken English that you need to order 3 hours in advance. (Subtext: As their business is so slow)

Grumble. False advertising. Waste of time. Seems 100% Chinese run. Probably bad pizza.


The listing here is wrong! Teresa's are not defunct, they are just back to being one store instead of two stores on Wenlinjie now! They are still in business, still answer on this phone number, and are still delivering! Points for consistency, it's been years! As of right now, it's 68 for the more toppings vegetarian at the largest size. They will do thin or thick crust. Yes, it's not to everyone's taste, but I always used to find adding dried chilli powder and some extra salt brought it up to tasty. Might go for a dash of Sichuan pepper oil to spice it up this time around. (You know you've been in China too long when...)


I also had a bad experience here recently.

Honestly, I wish them the best of luck, but I do think the staff are poorly managed and the owners have the wrong attitude and a clear lack of experience in service-oriented business. While the pizza is OK, everything else I have tried (including overnight stay) can be had cheaper and better elsewhere, and the pizza at Roccos is better in my opinion. The service has always fluctuated between acceptable to don't care.

Since they don't have their situation resolved yet, and it has been a few years, I have made the decision not to go there anymore or send anyone else. It's just not worth the hassle, given the crappy location (masked as private or lost). Better pizza with more quiet and privacy on Roccos' terraces.