Tenwest Mandarin School

User profile: lummerlaoshi

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  • RegisteredMarch 12, 2009
  • RegionChina
  • VerifiedYes
  • RegisteredMarch 12, 2009

Forum posts

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Dali

My friend opened a place near the lake called Dragonfly Garden. www.dragonflydali.com or [email protected] (0872)2691518 or (0)13529657680. near CaiCun MaTou, ErHai, in Dali Old Town. The good part is that it's located next to the Lake so the sunrise and sunset are gorgeous and it's a very peaceful setting. Unfortunately, you have to take bus/ride a bike to go to old town (or take a taxi), so staying out to the wee hours of the morning drinking may not be possible.

I recommend just wandering around old town down the streets and alleyways and sampling all the interesting food. Some people also rent bicycles and ride around and my friends and I rented horses and rode up one of the mountains to a hostel located on top of the mountain.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Airplane Ticketing

You can also try english.ctrip.com/. There are also many travel agencies around Kunming. A few have posted on gokunming. I can tell the numbers of a few more if you're interested (mostly random cards given to me on the street and one or two that I've actually used).

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Forums > Living in Kunming > shipping from US to China

Just to give everyone an example: I sent packages from San Diego to Kunming last January (via USPS). The packages were sent on January 26th and were received around February 6th if memory serves. All packages were sent via airmail as the US post office no longer offers surface mail for international shipping. Contents of the package were mostly personal items and none of the boxes had been opened on arrival (though I have had arrive somewhat mangled by customs before). All boxes were Xerox sized boxes.

List of prices:

14lbs - $75.75
16 lbs - $83.25
17 lbs - $87
22 lbs - $105.75

When the boxes arrived, I was given a notice to pick them up with ID (passport) at the International Post office on Beijing Lu.

Recommendations: Write your address in English and in Chinese. If the people sending cannot write Chinese, you can scan the address and send it to them.

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Comments

As for someone who was actually at the airport on November 30th, this was the situation:

No fog in the city at all in the morning, but only when the taxi drove into the airport did the fog descend. In fact, during the whole day, the city was clear blue skies and only the airport had a fog issue. Granted, it was a pretty think fog bank and people couldn't see more than 50 meters ahead of them.

As soon as I arrived, I saw that half the board was lit up with red delays, but no cancellations. Up until 11am, flights were just shown as 'delayed' but no times were given for when flights would take off. They gave out free food that was not very good, but filled you up for about an hour. At around 11, they started changing flight times to 12 hours later (flight suppose to be 10am? Well, now it's 10pm). Then, they did a blanket announcement that said all flights were cancelled. However, only one flight on the board was officially cancelled. All others were still 'delayed'. The weird thing was that when the annoucement went out, no one moved. The only group I saw leave was a group of foreigners! At around 11:30am, the fog lifted just enough to allow about 1 plane per half hour to start leaving. My flight was scheduled for 10:30am, but we ended up leaving around 4pm. I was told after 7pm that all flights were grounded.

The "mess" here is that this fog could have been avoided had the airport been built in a different location. In all seriousness, there was fog ONLY at the airport. At least this time, they gave out food, continued to update passengers and staff tried to be helpful.

As for as compensation, I didn't see any businesses giving away anything. In fact, they were making great profit from the situation prompting one of my traveling companions to theorize that the location was chosen to increase airport business profit (they made a killing on that day). The staff said that the airline companies could only reschedule you to another flight or arrange hotels, but I didn't see anyone who successfully did either. We were told no rescheduling was possible and a fellow traveler wasn't given any information about hotels when asked.

I enjoyed that. Thanks Kris. For others, check out the 'Bite of China' documentary series that also covers how tofu is made.

I just wanted to write how much we enjoyed the performance on Friday night. If you have a chance to check out the Sunday performances, I recommend doing so. They really put some time and effort into this production so please go out and support!

Reviews

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I usually don't write reviews, but this place is a BUYER BEWARE! We bought a number of pieces of furniture as the look of them were similar to IKEA. However, after being assembled at our apartment, we started getting sick and our son broke out in a severe rash. We tried to let it air out figuring it just needed time, but even after time, the smell and chemical toxins still remained. We tried to get a refund but the company refused. We went to get the furniture tested and ran into the person who is in charge of quality assurance for the company at the testing place. He, as well as the chemical tester said, that we can get the furniture tested, but the results would be inconclusive as the toxins could be from the apartment, not from the furniture. We eventually got a third party to test the furniture and they came back positive for a number of toxins. However, by Chinese standards, although poisonous to humans, it wasn't enough proof to sue to the company (and the company knows this). A friend of mine says they use plastic varnish which is toxic for people. Even a friend of mine had to return a bed from there but they only took it back after he said that his doctor wrote a note saying that his sickness was because of the furniture. Even now, some of the furniture still smells.

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My rant posted on the forum:

This is also a general warning to stay way from B&Q (a DIY construction store) and Toto (a brand name for toilets, bathtubs, and the like). Here are the many strikes against them:

1. I went to buy paint for remodeling. The first day I went, there was a lady who gave me advice on the differences in paint. When I went back the following day to actually buy the paint, none of the employees had any clue about the paint and couldn't be bothered. They said only one employee had any knowledge and she wasn't working that day. They also convinced me to buy adhesive tape to cover door frames for painting, but the painter told me they sold me rubbish. Strike one.

2. Before I knew the nightmare of B&Q, I decided to buy a bathtub. Finally decided on one and tried to buy it. Wait, you need to pay extra for the drain and any attachments. That's nice. Oh wait, we don't have that model available. Well, which models do you have available? None. All need to be ordered from Timbuktu. So you are selling bathtubs that aren't really available? Yes. Strike two.

3. I should've left then, but I just wanted to finish with this one part of my remodeling before moving on so I bought the bathtub from B&Q that they could deliver it within 20 days. 20 days later, no bathtub, no communication. Eventually I call B&Q and ask where the bathtub is. The B&Q staff says she will look into it and call me later. 1 day later, still no communication, no call back. What's wrong with these people? Strike three.

4. I call again and ask about the bathtub. The staff says he will look into it and call back. I tell him that's exactly what happened before and then the staff never called back. He does eventually call back to tell me that the bathtub isn't ready yet. This is 25 days after purchase. He says he will call me when it's ready. Heads up, he doesn't call back. Strike four.

5. Later on, I call and call and call until finally the bathtub is ready to be delivered. We set a time and a date. Right before it's suppose to be delivered, the expensive drain and decorations that cost extra cannot be delivered because, oops, they haven't been made yet. Strike five.

6. The guys are set to deliver the tub at 9am. They arrive at 11am. They know my address so they know that the apartment is the top floor. Yet, they refuse to send it to the apartment because it's too high. Then, they argue that they need four people to lift the bathtub. So I argue, why do you only send three people if you need four people to lift the bathtub? They say they will leave the bathtub and not deliver it if I don't help them. WTF? Eventually, I just want everything to be over, so I help them up the stairs with the bathtub. Admittedly, it's pretty heavy, but WTF couldn't they arrange another person? Strike six.

7. The bathtub is delivered (with a scratch), but without the drain. Wait a minute, the person who I hired to install the bathtub says he cannot install without the drain. So I contact the Toto manufacture guy to ask about the drain. Oh, we haven't started making it yet. Wait, I ordered this 30+ days ago and you don't have it? Strike seven.

8. Eventually, the Toto guy says that he doesn't know when the drain will be made and he suggest I go back to B&Q to refund the drain and buy a new one. This is 40 days after purchase!!! Why the heck would I buy an expensive, stupid drain that will never be made and then go buy another one!!! Strike eight.

In general, stay way from B&Q and stay away from buying Toto. The after purchase service is horrible. There is no coordination between the store, the factories, and the delivery service. Now some of you may say "this is China" or "this is Kunming", but I've been working with a number of people for this apartment renovation and though everyone is late, things do eventually get done and they try to do things right. B&Q and Toto have shown complete incompetence throughout the process and an attitude of just not caring as long as they get your money. I will complain to the management of B&Q, but I know it will fall on deaf ears.