User profile: Soffenoffe

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Forums > Living in Kunming > L-visa extension

Kaixin, I never had a problem extending my L VISA the day before it expired, or even the day after (but that was a special situation, where I visited two different places in Sichuan and Qinghai to get a visa extension, but in one place the computers were broken and in the other they didn't have electricity, and I did what I could to get to another visa extension office as soon as possible). I've done it many times, but always in smaller towns though, like Pu'er, Deqin or Dali, a few times I got it extended twice, and I could always pick it up the same day I handed in the application. I managed to get my double-entry 60 days visitor's visa extended two months last autumn, in Kunming they told me "not possible", but in Pu'er it was no problem at all and I could pick it up the day after.

Forums > Living in Kunming > 35mm film in kunming

There's a place at Xiaoximen, on the corner of a building that you can access from the intersection below the car roads. I have developed plenty of films there, both color films and black and white films, and also had the negatives scanned with a good result. The result can be seen at my Flickr,, if you're interested. I just got back to Kunming after being away since November though, but I assume the place is still around.

Tip: If you shoot a lof of film, you can get pretty cheap archival negative preservers on Taobao ("胶卷袋" in Chinese), I always buy them when in China because they're more expensive back home and I find it's the best way to keep my negatives organized.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Visa extension requirements for Kunming.

I'm curious about 90 day tourist visa extensions, is it something available only to those with family where they apply for the extension? I used to think that only 30 day extensions were possible, but last summer after having come to China to visit my brother I was informed at the Beijing Lu visa office that since my brother was studying in Kunming, they could've given me a longer visa extension, but now it was too late as I had already extended my visa twice when out traveling. Didn't really matter as I later got a student visa, but still, would've been good to know that earlier. If one comes to China to visit a girlfriend or boyfriend, is the same generous extension offer available I wonder, or do you have to get hitched first?

Forums > Living in Kunming > Visa run(s)

I will need to do a visa run soon, as my Chinese student visa expires on March 23rd, but I wish to stay in China for another two months (maybe three), researching my thesis. My school which does some shady visa business offered me a two month student visa without having to attend class for 1900 yuan (including the 400 yuan visa fee), but to me that feels like a bit much for a two month visa which I won't be able to extend like a tourist visa (I'm guessing there might be other Kunming language schools that have the same type of offer for a cheaper price though?). I'm thinking going to Vietnam and applying for a new visa would be a better option, since I don't need a visa to Vietnam if I stay for less than 15 days (and also I've been dreaming of seeing northern Vietnam ever since reading L'amant). People say it's impossible to get a Chinese visa at the embassy in Hanoi unless you're a Vietnamese resident though, but at the embassy's website I found nothing stating this, they only write that non-Vietnamese applicants need to supply a copy of their Vietnamese visa, so it's all a bit confusing, I'm not sure which information to trust. Anyone with recent experience in the matter? Would I have to go to Ho Chi Minh City? That seems a bit far, then I might as well go to Hong Kong. I also hear that normally you can only get a one month tourist visa in Vietnam or Hong Kong, not a two or three month visa, is this so? Thanks in advance for any help on this matter!


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Such beautiful scenes he captured. The photos make me yearn for an old Kunming that I have never visited, they make me want to go back in time. The ones from Dianchi are especially wonderful. How terribly sad that the lake has been spoiled.

Such an informative and interesting read! At a party the other night a guy from Yunnan started asking me, a Scandinavian, about Ásatrú and explained how upsetting he thinks it is with these kind of situations where Christian missionaries cunningly pushed their religion onto others, in affect more or less extinguishing native belief systems. Wa people at the party said that the Wa did not accept such foreign influence and that they successfully scared outsiders away with their occasional head hunting, and sure, I've never encountered any Christian Wa person, they have been animists or none-religious (but sometimes with a strong interest in Buddhism). Anyway, although I've always had a similar sentiment as that guy at the party, in a sense mourning that which was lost and supporting attempts to reclaim it, there tends to be good or very understandable reasons why people were willing to convert in the first place that are always worth considering. I said to him that runestones and other sources show signs of Scandinavian women having been the first ones "won over" by the missionaries. In many ways they seem to have been better off before Christianity took over and concepts like original sin were introduced, but they seemingly secured a better potential deal for their afterlife as Heaven seems a lot nicer than Hel (from the little we know about it) where they would've gone otherwise, along with the men who didn't die in battle. Perhaps if there was a chance for anyone to go to Valhalla, as with Heaven, they would've struggled harder to keep their old gods (but then again, perhaps not, if it had meant that everyone would have to die in battle). Just something I like to ponder over.

I appreciate the insight the article above gives into why people in Yunnan converted, thanks for sharing!

Great article indeed! Fascinating! Now I know what to do on Sunday after attending the Dali Equinox Party! I've been longing for an "obviously Muslim area" since I left Xinjiang after traveling there last summer. Maybe I'll stay a day extra and visit the temple complex hasenman mentions as well, sounds like a lovely place.


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