When I'm travelling and see locals dressed in beautiful ethnic minority clothes, I also feel the temptation to stare a little and take a sneaky photo. I do have a conscience about it, but I recognise that it's how some Chinese must feel when seeing a foreigner. (I used to ask for permission to take a photo of the locals in their finery, but shyness or foreigner-fear led to an almost 100% refusal).
Having said that, I don't find staring a big problem in Kunming and, like posters above, a smile or a wave usually turns an annoyance into a pleasant non-verbal exchange. Leave Kunming for some countryside towns and villages and the staring (and high-pitched "Hello!"s) is much more noticeable. As @tiger said, almost always curiosity rather than aggression.
Thanks @xiashengli. I'm sure the toastmasters is a great event but, as explained in previous posts, I think a public, outdoors English Corner is a different, and quintessentially Chinese, experience. Hopefully the Green Lake one is runnning again now... we'll see.
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Prague cafe used to be my favourite cafe in Wenlin area but I went for lunch there today after a few months away and it's really gone downhill (new owners?). The menu was a photocopy, the food was lacklustre and much more expensive than before, the decor was dull and the service so-so. I won't be back there anytime soon.
It's open! And it's free. And its terrific for kids.
The museum is surprisingly interactive (although only 2/3 of the attractions are working) and modern (VR, simulators, touchscreens, etc). Sadly, no English on any of the displays but the fun is in trying to work out how the exhibits work and what they are supposed to be showing. Well worth a visit.
Much improved from a few years ago. Lots of interesting displays, with Plenty of English language translations. Nice open area in the middle where kids can have a run around. And it's free.
The Bird and Flower Market hosts a Flea Market on Saturdays and Sundays, 9am to 6pm. There's 30-40 people selling stuff, but nearly all of it is "ancient" coins, comics, badges, ceramics, Mao memorabilia etc. The vendors have official-looking lanyards and numbered pitch sites. Nice for tourists, but not the free-for-all I had hoped for.
This place is worth a visit although it's some way out of town and ticket prices are 200+ RMB per adult (the annual family pass is only 900 RMB though).
In "Ocean Park" you have a large aquarium, and dolphin/seal/beluga whale shows. The "Snow Park" there is huge indoor refrigerated building with various ice slides, aerial walkways, skiing, skating, ice sculptures etc. In addition the theme park has funfair rides and a circus (note: inc some animal performances). These are all part of the entrance fee. You could easily spend a whole day here or two days including travel from Kunming.