User profile: senorboogiewoogie

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > The THOUSANDS in Laos money, National pride?

Coming back from Laos, one of the most annoying thing I found is their money.

The smallest bill was 500 KIP. My favorite money in Laos was 500 and 1000 Kip. The rest of money was like RMB with the local dead leader on all the money 2000 Kip and up. 2000 kip is 1.5 RMB. Mostly, they do not use the 500 KIP and start prices per one thousand. A can of soda in 6,000 Kip. A room is 100,000 kip a night. Everything was something thousand. If nothing else it made the money seem more expensive. Dinner, 128,000 kip. Drop the zeros.

Same when I was there in 2004. Thousand this and thousand that.

Why doesn't Laos just drop the thousands and just have 1000 Kip be 1 New Kip. Just drop the zeroes. The money is somewhat stable and it will never increase in value. Just drop the thousands.

I tried to tell them "Ok 52, right." them "Yes, 52 thousand."

I am and will e-mail the Laotian embassy to drop the stupid zeros. The 1 kip is not coming back. Devaluate and move forward. Like Chinese money, the Kip has increased in price against the dollar the last eight years.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Chinese spraying chemicals at Lao border, what is that?

Just returned yesterday from Cambodia and Laos. The day before yesterday, I crossed the Lao/China border at Mohan, and have a question.

On the Chinese border there is a police complex, and upon entry was told to close the windows. This was because some type of disinfectant was sprayed on it. Upon leaving the bus, a guy came on the bus with a tank and a bug spray device and wetted the floors with it.

Made me wonder what they were spraying for? Bugs is the only thing I could think of. However, since it is the same terrain, wouldn't there be bugs on both sides of the border? Mosquitoes?

We had to get off the bus with our stuff and was gruffly told to open our bags, and a second guy with gloves opened our bags and went through everything. Make sure you don't have any roaches in your bag you forgot about or anything else the popo might not want to see.

What was that stuff?

Forums > Living in Kunming > Found out I am not really because because I don't drink

I forgot, quick story, much quicker than above. (I am drinking now)

I was travelling in Xinjiang from Urumqi to Kashgar. We would arrive in Kashgar around 7 AM. I want to not be hungover for Kashgar. I wanted to see the city that day and not be hungover. The train arrived something like 8 AM.

The night before, this young Chinese guy wanted to drink beer with me. Again it is the 90% ratio, 9 times out of 10 I would have enjoyed his company and maybe learned some Chinese. I just dont want a hungover, thirsty day in a desert.

I tried to kindly tell him, no, I don't want to drink, but the guy would not give up. He was Han. He had a beer bottle and wanted to drink. I tried to sit in my bunk with a book to my eyes, but he would not get it, so I finally yelled at him in English but he understood. I wanted to be kind and dissuade him, and I hated to yell him to F*** Off! Nine of out of ten times we could have drank and hung out. He caught me the tenth time.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Found out I am not really because because I don't drink


I am a drinker, I like to drink. My favorite alcohol in whiskey, red, dry wine and beer. I have "ganbei'ed" with Chinese people, mostly because of my wife. I have had some wonderful, drunken nights with Chinese people. I like Chinese people. I do. If I did not, I would say so.

Chinese are very insistent people. Extremely insistent people. They are irritating about it. I have been forced to drink on nights that I am either hungover or I had something to do early the next day. I have had to be a dick to my wife and the company that, NO, I do not want to drink tonight! It doesn't usually take that much.

One day I was horrifically hungover. Pain, headache, thirst, death. My wife made me go out to see these yahoos in her hometown because their daughter was going to Canada or something. The girl was very uninteresting. Conversation.......

Me: You are going to college.

Her: Yes.

Me: Where?

Her: Canada.

Me: Where in Canada?

Her: Toronto.

Me: What school?

Her: Toronto State (note, this is a fiction school, I lost interest by then.)

Me: What are you studying.

Her: Proctology (again, I have no clue, I am in pain and loss interest)

Her father tried to nudge me beers and 9 times out of 10, I would have happily accepted. This was the 10th time. I am hungover and I dont want beer. The problem is that I do not want to insult my guest. I avoided booz

In my Chinese hometown, I worked in a Junior Middle School and a Senior School which were seperate by distance. I loved the Junior school. Nice, sweet polite kids. It was the total opposite in the Senior school. I hated that f'ing place. 60 kids to a class and most of them were rude and awful.

One morning around 11 AM, I finished my classes and was commanded by the Headmaster to have lunch with him and other leaders from other schools. Me? "Yes Sir!"

Why? Because the Headmaster was a lush. He was also a very kind and nice man. I have seen him angry and pissed off once about something, but usually he was a very nice, laid back boss. His name was Mr. Zhou and he was a drinker. I don't think he was an alcoholic, he was like a teenager with booze when given the opportunity.

I taught at the junior school in the morning and the senior school in the afternoon. Finished my classes at the junior school around 11:30 and had to be at the senior school at 1:30 or so.

That day,11 AM that day was cocktail hour. Dry red wine. Gambied our asses off. I hated my afternoon job, and I was getting drunk with a boss. Ate some good local Chinese food, talked with the other English teachers in the area. I had to have the husband of another teacher come in an interpret for me.

Mr. Zhou was like the President/head partier in fraternity. I sat in a low table with Zhou and a bunch of other Chinese who had limited English, drank wine and had a great time.

I taught at the junior school in the morning and the senior school in the afternoon. Finished my classes at the junior school around 11:30 and had to be at the senior school at 1:30 or so..

I did a summer camp which happened at his campus. Our closing ceremony was a big table with myself, the bored, tired Chinese teachers and the small table was Mr. Zhou. I wated to go over there because they were partying and drinking. This was the summer before I worked in the schools.

Mr. Zhou goes to all the tables with a shot of wine to Ganbei everyone. In our group were some foreign teachers. Mr. Zhou goes to the foreigner leader, a woman about 60. When the picture was to be taken, the old woman kissed Mr. Zhou on the cheek. Mr. Zhou was as shocked as Archie Bunker being kissed by Sammy Davis Junior. I saw the look on Mr. Zhou's face, but did not get a picture.

I worked my first year in my wife's hometown teaching English. I taught

Forums > Living in Kunming > What is bad about Kunming and Yunnan?

I am an American who lives in China, in Zhejiang Province in Hangzhou. I have been here for 11 years and just today have gotten another year Residence Permit until June 30, 2013.

I have travelled or been in Yunnan about six times since I have been in China. Granted, I have only really been in Kunming, Dali and Lijiang. Lijiang I went in 2003 and we were barely there a day. Long story.

I want to retire there. I have a Chinese wife which makes living there on an L visa maybe not that difficult. I would like to live in Dali or Lijiang with a small hotel, computer room and maybe bar. This is a fantasy perhaps, but I would love to live there and do something.

What I like about Kunming.........

THE WEATHER! At least the summer weather! Hangzhou is stiffling in July and August. Horrible 40* C weather with full on humidity. I remember walking off the plane to the outside in Kunming and have that soft, coll, conforting, slightly breezy 25* C afternoon weather that intoxicated me.

But I know firsthand that the sun's UV rays are very stong there because of the altitude. I know, I got burned hanging my elbow out of a truck window. So, even i the weather is 25* and heavenly, the UV rays can cook me and I wont know it until an apple hits my mouth and I am Thanksgiving dinner.

What is the winter there around Chinese New years?

Kunming for a city of this size has a lot of venues and a lot more options on "foreigner food" or bars/clubs.

What is bad about Yunnan or Kunming? Kunming is probably the cleanest Chinese city I have ever been in. There are some funky parts (seen them) but has every city. But a nice city?



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I have never been to Chongqing, except passing through it in the middle of the night by train on the way to Chengdu.

Chinese cities are fun to visit. They all have their "local color" and things that make them different from the rest. Two years ago, I went to Guangzhou. GZ was a funky, dirty place. But there were things about it that were great, especially the long hukou like alleys that went on forever. It was fun exploring those. There were other things that made the city interesting and I enjoyed myself. I would not want to live there though.

I am going back to Laos this summer after being away for seven years. Will be going back to Vang Vieng. I am shocked about how large Vang Vieng has gotten by the look of the second picture with the balloon in it.
Even back in 2004, I could see how this could happen. My guesthouse had signs in many languages including Thai and Hebrew. The place was famous way back when.

I have been on that river several times and it is a relaxing, fun ride, but one has to respect the river. I was sober (and I was) and accidentally tipped the intertube over trying to stay near the bank so I can stop at the beer stop where the river takes a curve. I hit some branches and out I go.

It was scary, because although I could swim and keep my head up, the current disallowed me from swimming to the bank, with the proprieter of the beer shack to throw me a line and PULL me in (I am a big guy). Got to the bank and discovered my hotel key and the money I brought went down the river to Cambodia. No beer for me.

I would not swing or slide into the river either. I watched those kids do that (I was in my late 30's then and they averaged about 20) and then it did not look safe. In my opinion, Beer Lao is delicious, and it is easy to get drunk out of and do foolish things.

As the article states, there are other things to do there, caving is one of them. I went on a local tour and went into a cave and got all muddy. There was another cave deep in a cavern where I elected not to go. Above me however, I saw the BIGGEST bee hive I have ever seen. There must have been thousands of bees living in there and if they were disturbed, we could be killed from the stings. And then there were the butterflies by the hundreds if not thousands.

Unlike a lot of backpacker places, the food is good basically because of the ingredients the locals put into it. I remember a simple "fried rice" dish served to travellers that was really a work of art. The French taught them how to cook while the Czecks (under a Communist friendship program) taught them how to make beer.

Laos is strict about two things, one that a Lao citizen cannot sleep with a foreigner unless they are married and the law is strict about this, to control the sex trade. A second thing that foreigners may not like is that the bars have to close by 11 PM, by law. The local people in Laos (as in Cambodia and the region) wake up early in the morning, and also that the kiddie foreigner needs to go back to the guest house and sleep off the 12 hours of Lao Beer fury.

It is easy to escape the 20 somethings and their partying. I hope to teach at the school near the Organic Farm. I may want to rent a motorbike and see the countryside (again). It is a beautiful place in a beautiful country. I am looking forward to it and wish I were there already.


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