User profile: voltaire

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Full Lunar Eclipse this Saturday, Dec. 10

Hi all, thought you might be interested in this.

The last full lunar eclipse to occur until 2014 is on THIS SATURDAY, the 10th of December.

The eclipse will not be fully visible to much of the world, but lucky Yunnan residents get to see the whole thing! (Check out for a world map).

Having seen a similar event earlier this year in India, I can recommend making the effort to get out and see it.

The local timings for viewing the event in Kunming, courtesy of NASA at, are as follows.

The initial penumbral (partial / 'shadow cast by the edge of the earth's atmosphere') eclipse begins at 19:34.

The partial umbral (actual hard shadow from the earth) eclipse begins at 20:46.

The total eclipse begins at 22:06. As this begins, be on the look out for special colours on the moon. Once it sets in, the moon will apparently be coloured with a reddish or orange hue of unknown nature, due to unpredictable atmospheric conditions at the time. Mid-eclipse will occur almost half an hour later at 22:32. The total eclipse will end at 22:57. The partial eclipse will end at 00:18 and the penumbral eclipse will end at 01:30AM on Sunday, December 11.

It might be worth getting a little out of town to see this. I'm thinking of going to see from the cemetery parking lot on Yu'an Shan, accessible by a small road leading off the main one up to Bamboo Temple. To get there, head directly west from Xuefu Lu / Huangtupo.

If someone has a car I'd appreciate a lift!


Forums > Food & Drink > Healthy options - identity crisis.

Hi Tigertiger.

I run ... there's some dishes there you might like to take a look at. Going vegan or at least vegetarian would definitely help you.

In terms of eating decent low-fat western food outside, I would recommend:

- Small veggie pesto salad at Salvadors (very filling)

- Salads at Prague Cafe (though a little pricey)

Unfortunately much western food is simply bad for you in terms of cholesterol. Quiche, pizzas, hamburgers, heavy chunks of meat, etc. Lots of Chinese food you buy outside is also very oily, though. You can reduce the amount of oil you are eating by choosing good restaurants, ordering carefully and eating less.

Try going to a good Chinese restaurant (I recommend Kadilan, opposite Mandarin books) and ordering some vegetables you've never eaten before. The white root plant 'zi er gen', cucumber, mushrooms, tofu and tomato, various leafy greens, broccoli, etc. are all tasty and much better for heart conditions than meat dishes.

Also, drinking a glass of red wine every night is supposed to help reduce the incidence of heart problems.

Stay away from any regular consumption of sugary foods. One of the worst is beer, but also fizzy drinks like sodas. Move from beer to wine: feel better, drink less.

If you are smoking, stop. When I've succeeded in stopping for weeks or months in the past a combination of exercise and locking myself at home with DVDs or a computer game or some good books has been a good method. Also, travel in a low-pressure environment (Thailand, etc.) can be a good way to keep the mind off the habit.

Consider getting in to cooking a lot more ... the veggie markets in Yunnan are some of the best in the world and you can really eat well here. Ultimately, eating at home gives you the most control over what you will consume and in what quantity.

Get more fruit around the house, and snack on that and eg: cashew nuts instead of having full meals. Don't overdo the cashews though: in theory they're pretty high fat but in practice you can munch away pretty happily as long as you don't do a bowl a day!

Eat less in the evening, and more in the morning or at lunch time.

Exercise wise, maybe get yourself a bicycle and take a day a week to visit one of Kunming's nearby mountains. Also consider playing some badminton (very full body game: less energetic / high body impact than squash, very approachable for people out of shape).

Good luck and thanks for the shock treatment. I'm overweight too after a too much of the good life and not enough exercise but am working on it with some serious cycling and careful food selection right now. Hoping to avoid a similar situation in 20 years' time!

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Dali-Lincang-Lancang-Jinghong anybody?

I would recommend going south from Dali via Midu, Jingdong and Jinggu, then heading west across to Lincang. This area has far more traditional Dai temples than you can find in Xishuangbanna owing to the Xishuangbanna Dai's propensity to knock the old ones down and build glammed-out concrete replacements the second some rubber-plantation money drips in. That said, there are still plenty of interesting places in Xishuangbanna, just most of them are nothing to do with the Dai but instead other 'minority' groups.

Three of us (Taiwanese 18, Australian 27, Australian 29) are planning to cycle that route at least as far as Jinggu, with an open schedule, at the beginning of October. The pace will be pretty slow, I'd say. If you're interested in coming then feel free to get in touch: 18669080480

Forums > Living in Kunming > Amusing T-Shirt phrases

Man made <something or other I later determined to be an English radio station>, God made Grass, who do you trust? [With a huge marijuana leaf] - about 2005, eastern Shandong.


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My translation of the portion of the Manshu regarding Baiya over here:

Bái​yá​ City (白崖城; lit. 'White Cliff (Walled) City') is in Bó​lòng​chuān​ (勃弄川; lit. 'Flourishing Lane River-Plain'), which was loyal (to China) during the Tianbao era (ie. 742-756), and possesses cities and east-facing lands, and has five prefectures and cities in total.

It is built against the mountain to provide walled defence, with a height of 10 zhang (ie. 33m). All four sides channel water around the city, which only has gates opening to the north and south.

In the southern corner lies the old city, which is two li (ie. 700m) in circumference.

In the northeast corner lies the new city, which was newly built by Gé​luó​fèng​ (閣羅鳳) in the 7th year of the Dali reign (ie. ~778-779).

It is four li (ie. ~1.2km) in circumference.

Outside of the northern gate lies Cí​zhú​cóng​ (慈竹叢; lit. 'Merciful Bamboo Thicket'), each as thick as a man's lower leg, and 100 chǐ​ (ie. ~33m) in height.

Inside is the official reception building of Gé​luó​fèng​ (閣羅鳳), with decorated corridors and crooked halls. Behind the main hall lies a courtyard verdant with orange trees and a view over the northern wall.

Inside of the old city is a pond of over 300 paces' circumference, inside of which is a multi-storied building inside of which is said to be a stockpile of armour and weapons.

The river plain stretches more than 20 li (ie. ~6.5km) east to west, and more than 100 li (ie. ~33km) north to south.

Beneath the Qīng​píng​guān​ (清平官; lit. 'Site of just and peaceful governance'), the government divides the land in to fields, all of which are cultivated.

The numerous kin of Nán​zhào​ (南詔) also reside near the city.

20 li to the south lies Mán​zi​chéng​ (蠻子城; lit. 'the city of the Barbarian (or possibly Barbarian prince)'), which is the former residence of the many younger brothers and extensive family of Gé​luó​fèng​ (閣羅鳳).

Directly southward is Kāinán City (開南城), which is 11 days' journey.

I am surprised that the article does not include the back-story for this market. I will give my own account from memory.

Until about 2007 or so, there was a very large covered market next to the railway tracks at the bottom of Hongshan Dong Lu in the corner of what is now the Banzhucuiyuan development, stretching back to approximately the modern location of McDonalds. It was also in what appeared to be a (roughly) converted factory.

When that market was closed down to make way for the Banzhucuiyuan development (stretching all the way across to Jianshe Lu), the vendors emerged along both sides of the Hongshan Dong Lu hill, and over the last few years the market grew up to its significant size.

At about the same time that the old market by the railway was shuttered (~2007ish, give or take a couple of years) a similarly locally significant market in Sujiatang (beneath the north-eastern end of Hongshan) was also shuttered. That market was (almost) on the corner of Jianshe Lu and Xuefu Lu.

With no real markets available, locals are being force to travel longer distances for their fruits and vegetables. This is compounded by the fact that Hongshan is ringed by one way streets - Dianmian Dadao and Xuefu Lu - and is probably a significant burden on older people who cannot easily carry large amounts of food.

The market at the top of Xuefu Lu has probably been one beneficiary, and was itself renovated and greatly improved last year (2016).

As a result of this market's removal, I would not be surprised to see the Hongshan Nan Lu market renovated this year as it's not really up to standards as far as cleanliness and drainage go.

There is some speculation that the removal of the Hongshan Dong Lu market is to prepare the road to be a larger thoroughfare from Xuefu Lu which is alleged to be under the process of being converted to a two way street (as well as having a metro line installed beneath it). Who knows how many years until this is all complete?

From an ancient perspective, this was the road connecting India to Yunnan, interesting for a few reasons. For example, one modern theory from a respected academic is that the very name China derives not from the Qin Dynasty as often suggested, but from the description of the Yelang Kingdom in their own language as reached by Indian traders and travelers in antiquity. See for more information on that theory. Secondly, the Nanzhao Kingdom (Yunnan's very own regional empire) is known to have maintained contact with South and Southeast Asian powers along this route, including trade and the probable transmission of Buddhist religious philosophy. Finally, multiple East Asian Buddhist pilgrims to India are known to have traversed this route, important in the history of Mahayana Buddhism and the development and maintenance of Sanskrit literacy in ancient China.

@Alien: The important thing about Heshun, which the article failed to mention, is that it was the site of the first private museum in Yunnan... amusing food for thought given your comment of the town-to-museum transformation.

I visited many years ago, before the last decade of modern development, and it was indeed a very pleasant town preserving significant courtyard architecture.

Even from my incomplete survey then, there are certainly quite a few such towns around Tengchong, not only Heshun. At least one to the southeast.

@Peter99: Heshun is a village southwest of the city of Tengchong (formerly known as Tengyuan), and is quite distinct from it. I don't think there was a huge amount of casual travel southwest to Burma during most of history as the jungles were malarial, so I would be interested to hear what your source on Tibetan vistitations may be. AFAIK from visiting, even the Heshun natives would traditionally go make their money in Burma (through jade, gems, opium, etc.) then return to Heshun in old age - not come and go during their lives, presumably largely for this reason.



@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...)