- There's a curios market under the Yuantong Bridge that sells mostly antiques and picture frames, but some places sell oil paintings such as landscapes and even some modern stuff. Go to the main gate of Yuantong Zoo, cross Qingnian Lu. The building is directly beneath the square selling all of the ceramic pots and vases.
- A lot of art students have studios in the alleys by the gate of the Yunnan Art Academy (Yunnan Yishu Xueyuan - Ma Yuan Cun). I've heard there's some good stuff out there. With the market the way it is, though, they're likely to ask several thousand a piece.
- Well Gallery in the Loft usually has some stuff for sale, mostly landscapes though.
- If that doesn't suit you, check out what's left of the bird and flower market, as well as the antique market by Huguo Qiao. There are plenty of cheap Chinese paintings there, and some people dealing in cheap reproductions of old 1930's cigarette ads and Cultural Revolution propaganda posters. Assume they're fake repros and pay accordingly.
Though some of the information is bound to be inaccurate or invalid, I think the whole idea of wikipedia and the internet as a whole is that each individual must make his or her own decisions about what to believe. The problem with arbitrarily blocking access to information is that it ignores this ability that is inherent in all intelligent people. Also, the CCP might take issue with what's written about the Long March or the May 4 movement, but so do many young Chinese. When these objectionable sites are blocked, these people are stripped of not just the information, but their ability to counter it with their own opinions and views. I think that much of the anger shown by young Chinese intellectuals during this year's torch fiasco stemmed from the feeling that they have no voice in the international debate about China, and that no one in the West listens to them, assuming that they are all blind victims of propaganda. I think that the filtering of information is highly detrimental to the cultural and political development of the country. But of course, that is the point, isn't it?
Blackberry works in China, but only as a bundle package. It's pretty easy to get a SIM card that has internet service, but GPS is tougher. If you want to use the specific blackberry service, you might want to wait until you get here.
Palms and other smartphones are for sale, unlocked in Kunming.
It is possible. Go to the airport and ask at the information desk. They can direct you to the quarantine/control center that can issue you the shots and certificate you'll need to show customs in the US. My cousin did it and it works.
I'm a pretty heavy smoker, but I'd keep coming to Sal's if it went smoke free anyway. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to walk out to the raised part in the front, and a lot of the smokers seem to hang out there anyway.
The food is good enough and enough of the clientele are non-smokers that I think Sal's could pull it off no problem.
The only thing that would "alienate" the smokers would be going smoke free with a vengeance, i.e. banning it on the outside bar as well as inside.
When I first visited the Park soon after it opened, I realized that I hadn't set foot inside Green Lake Park in a few years. It's a beautiful place, but I simply did not enjoy All the noise and crowds that had come to define it after admission became free (down from a whopping 2 kuai, IIRC).
But James built a nice, quiet place in a beautiful old courtyard there, and I came to spend a lot of time there.
James and co built a really good menu, a very comfortable place and an unrivalled whisky list, the perfect recipe for a community hang-out, or even a quiet place to sip coffee and read in the sun during the day.
Thanks, James and everyone else at the Park, for making such a great place. We will all miss it, and look forward to seeing whatever it is you do next.