In my experience all you need to bring is your foreign passport (or copy thereof) and a photo to get a membership card the first time you're there. They can also just take your photo there and I think it's free or at least only a nominal fee(can't remember). Only takes a minute and then you just bring it every time after. My Chinese friends have had to have a business license to get a card, so it's a little more difficult for them. To get to Metro, take bus 96 north (available in the Yunda area at the Jianshelu and Shida stops) way out until you see the blue and yellow Metro sign out of the right side of the bus. I think it's Qiche keyuan beizhan, but the bus announcements are often a stop or two off, so it's best just to stare out the window. Anyone have better directions?
Also don't forget to bring your own bags. In an admirable attempt to reduce waste and get customers to pay for the real cost of things, they charge for their sturdy plastic bags.
Metro, if you're willing to trek out there, has fresh Taiwanese basil for pretty cheap ( 2-5 yuan a bag). Or, if you want to grow your own, I have half a packet of still-viable basil seeds which I am willing to share with the greater community.
Would be interested in running with people too! Kunming, considering its elevation and good weather, could certainly use a running club. Perhaps topped off with excursions to dirtier, lower-elevation places for a few fun races.
I don't have a sidecar, but if you haven't gotten around to buying a bike yet, I'd like to offer you my barely used, royal blue, men's Flying Pigeon bike for a pretty low price. Wouldn't want to have to emasculate yourself by riding around on a pink lady's bike. It weighs a lot ( no gears, kunming isn't that hilly) but is really very sturdy, and I might be willing to throw in my excellent (american) lock for a little more. Maybe this should be in classifieds. Ride aggressively and consider spray-painting your bike ugly if it is a pleasant color and build. You can get crappy bikes for about 100RMB in the bikemart, and slightly better (stolen) ones for about the same in the secondhand goods market. But be aware that the cheap bikes will fall apart frequently and constantly need parts replaced. Flying Pigeon is a traditional, slightly more expensive, and sturdier brand.
Given that the Lonely Planet doesn't cover a whole lot, nor with much enthusiasm, this should be easy. Unfortunately, I only know of a couple art spaces which may or may not qualify as alternative. The Nordica/Loft area is a nice space which has displays and music semi-regularly, but the most interesting part is really the fact that all above and around it there are artists holed up in their warehouse-style studios, including the famous creator of the babies-in-uniforms paintings. This area is at the Bai Yao Chang stop on the 62 and 120 bus routes. Another studio/artist hang-out is actually in back of the Minorities museum near Dianchi, straight across from the Minority Village. I'm not sure if it's open to the public, but if you walk around past the dormitory-style buildings to the back of the Museum there it is, in a door and downstairs. Finally, I've heard of the occasional nude art demonstration at the Art School (Yishuxueyuan) northwest of Cuihu but I wouldn't count on it.
Dianchi Lake slimed by blue-green algaePosted by
Delicious picture. Yum.