User profile: timkunming

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Snow today

In the winter of 2003/2004 it snowed quite a bit. Stuck all around Green Lake Park, and I remember heading down to Yunnan University, where students were having snowball fights and playing in the snow. I've never seen it snow like that here since, so that's probably what the taxi driver was referring to. There have been flurries over the years, but nothing too intense.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Huntsman - Fraud??

Is it possible that all these limits on visas are to discourage so many Chinese students from applying to American universities? Clearly, there's some sort of conflict of interest...the universities would love to have all of these Chinese students paying full tuition (often made by corrupt parents here), and the US government is worried about educating an entire generation's worth of wealthy young Chinese, who probably have every intention to bring back the skills they'll learn to China in order to benefit their mother country.

I've been helping Chinese students to apply for US F1 visas for years, and in my experience there are several aspects about this situation that I've always found rather alarming (please keep in mind this does not apply to ALL of them):

1. Their parents are, 98% of the time, government officials in high positions either in Kunming or elsewhere in Yunnan (many from places like Gejiu, Yuxi, Baoshan, Wenshan, Lincang, etc.)

2. The vast majority of these students have horrible English skills, and many of them pay for a year of language training at the university they wish to attend - this costs as much as tuition for a regular student, and if they pass their English exams at the end, they're in.

3. More than 3/4 of the documents I'd examine and help organize were horrible fakes, or entirely unbelievable. Surprisingly, most of the students were open about this and told me directly they were all fake (TIC?).

4. Of those documents, most of the nonsense ones were when their parents in government were making a combined RMB 70,000 per year, but could afford nearly RMB 300,000 per year to send their children to top schools in America.

5. In addition, every middle school, high school, and university in this province is apparently ready and willing to produce fake credentials for students either with money or connections. I've looked at High School transcripts and those from Yunnan University where the applying student had an average score of 98% in all of their courses. ALL of them.

The worst part was that these students were getting into GREAT universities without having to take IELTS or TOEFL. Rather, they got around it by taking a year of English courses, which would typically cost anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 per year.

I was speaking to a friend of mine who's an attorney in New York the other week, and his firm deals with a lot of Chinese clients buying property in the United States. Now, more than ever, more and more Chinese are trying to get to the United States despite our apparent economic failures.

The vast majority of Chinese students applying to study in the United States simply don't deserve to be there. It's a shame, as American students struggling with loans and crippling debt have to compete with the sons and daughters of Chinese officials literally swimming in money. Maybe it says more about the US than it does about China?

Forums > Living in Kunming > Beware long running fraud and theft of services racket!

Wow, I remember this woman confronting me several years she still making the rounds these days? I remember smelling something fishy and avoided her like the plague...some guys at the table next to us bit and took the bait. I wonder if that's some of you? It was also for a TV show if I remember correctly.


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Although I don't live in Kunming full-time anymore, I spent quite a few nights there and will really miss the place. I remember hanging out there back in 2003-2004 at the same location before the renovation. It was a great place because after so many years you'd find the same people returning. It was a great place to have that sense of camaraderie.

I'll miss political discussions mixed with a hefty helping of alcohol, and I'll miss the great food. I'll miss the Smegma Riot boys and all the debauchery that goes along with that.

I had a wonderful 28th birthday party upstairs on the second floor and everyone was wonderful, and very understanding about the loud noise and crowding.

I remember watching my Australian friend Justin leap off the second floor through the windows to grab a pack of smokes across the street. I remember hitting my head walking down the stairs on more than one occasion.

I remember lots of late night discussions and being disappointed when they would close down every evening and we'd have to go home.

I'll miss Francesca and I'll miss the Box. Best of luck to all of you in the future.


Great article. I remember the old location in the Flower and Bird Market...beautiful building and really quite difficult to find unless you knew exactly where it was. The old location on Wenhua Xiang I was never able to visit, but I remember those old buildings down on the corner and where the new police station is. They had massive marijuana plants growing in there when it was being torn down. Things really have changed!

Kind of makes me nostalgic...I remember getting to Rocco's in the market in no time by bus and now it would take twenty minutes on a good day! Now we're really quite spoiled when it comes to food choices.

Way to go local government. I know I'd love to send my kids to an unlicensed kindergarten to be stabbed by that teacher.

How long was this school running before someone "found out" it wasn't licensed? She should not only lose her job, but face some prison time for assaulting children. Imagine if the children were Uyghurs! No, wait...



Went there for the second time with a few friends the other day. Despite being in really tight quarters, the beers were cold and priced well at 8 yuan for a Qingdao, I believe. We went late afternoon and played with the chess board. Very cool.

The only thing I was surprised about was a 36 kuai game fee we had to pay the next evening? We weren't told that when we were offered the chess board... and weren't charged the first time we went. Needless to say, if that's the case we won't be going back.


I visited this fine establishment with my wife on Valentine's Day and we had a wonderful experience.
The first thing we noticed was the ambiance - it was fantastic. A nice, quiet place playing relaxing music.
The second thing we noticed was that it was CLEAN. Spotless. I felt like I was back home in the states, and it felt good to be in such a well-maintained restaurant.
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and we were a bit taken aback, to be honest. We hadn't received such wonderful service since being back home - - - we've been accustomed to rude waitresses and horrible service for a long time!
A bit on the pricy side, but not outrageously so. I'd certainly recommend some of their desserts, and their sandwich selection looked amazing.

The only downside I can see to this place is the location. Too. Damned. Far. Unless you live in the area it's quite a pain to get out there in a reasonable amount of time due to Kunming's less-than-adequate transportation systems. On that note, however, I think it's relative remoteness from the center of town allows it to have the great atmosphere it does.

The first time I've been in a restaurant where I forgot I was in China. I really felt at home.

Give it a shot if you haven't been there already.