Agreed, these guys make such little money as it is, you might be the same if you were in the same position.
Sometimes it's easier to point the finger, but in my experience most of the taxi drivers I've had were totally fine. I've never been taken on some long route rather than using shortcuts, and it's rather simple to avoid that when you tell them which streets to take to get to your destination. If they refuse, you tell them to stop and get out. Easy.
Changing shifts at rush hour is a big no-no, and fighting it is completely reasonable. Funnily enough, I find it more difficult to get a cab in Kunming during rush hour recently than I have in years. They still routinely refuse to stop for you, so I guess it's one of those things that will likely never change nor improve whatsoever.
That, and chatting up the driver is always a good way to avoid problems in the first place. It always works for me.
Like other cities in China, Kunming's housing market has been overinflated and manipulated due to rampant speculation, among other things.
Wait for the bubble to pop and buy then. There's no sense in buying now as prices per square meter, even in less desirable parts of the city, are reaching ridiculous proportions. And we all thought it was ludicrous to spend 10,000 RMB per square meter at Shun Cheng Jie years ago when those nice apartments went up.
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.