Is there anywhere, anywhere at all in Kunming, to get Indian food, besides at Makyeame ( the Tibetan restaurant)? I mean not just "curry" in the Chinese Western Cafe sense. Will be very grateful for insights into this pressing matter.
Climbing is supposed to be pretty decent in Kunming, although some of the routes aren't so well maintained. I believe some of them are out West near Xishan. There is at least one, maybe two indoor walls, one of which is out near the Camellia hotel in the east of the city and is (I think) called Redpoint. Check out www.climbingkunming.com for more info, most of it in Chinese, but it should help and maybe get you in touch with a group of people who go out pretty regularly. As for rafting I know there's one guy around who has done a bunch of first descents in Sichuan and Yunnan, and he's trying to start a rafting company, train guides, etc. but maybe not up and running yet. www.shangri-la-river-expeditions.com is a good site that tells about some of the expeditions he's been on as well as really fascinating info on the geology of the NW Yunnan/Tibetan plateau area. Not sure if they run commercial trips, and if so they would be pretty pricey. Don't know much about mountain biking, sorry, though there's a group that goes out for long road rides on weekends. Paragliding here sounds like about as good an idea as drinking untreated tapwater or assuming you have pedestrian right-of-way on a walk sign. I wouldn't, but I'm sure some people do. If you're looking for other activities, there are always things like Chinese martial arts and capoeira, but the fact is that Kunming itself isn't known for its thrills. We relish our low blood pressures and sedate afternoon walks around Cuihu. But if you really need that rush biking through rush hour traffic might do it.
Fall (i.e. a bit after the rainy season starting in late September) is generally a good time if you're up for a some nip in the air. This way you can avoid things like landslides in Tiger Leaping Gorge, rain-wrecked roads, and summer tourists. If you can avoid major tourist towns (Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian) during National Holiday week(first week of October), then the rest of the time should be lovely. If you're going Sichuan to Yunnan, there's a back way bus route from Kangding in Sichuan province to Zhongdian in Yunnan. Take a few days and enjoy the towns along the way because they're developing and changing fast! Chengdu to Kangding is an easy 6-7 hour bus ride on a major road that was completed a bit over a year ago. A lot of Chinese people claim that Zhongdian is at its most beautiful in October, when the wolf's tongue (an invasive which attracts tourists but is toxic to yaks) turns red in all the fields. But I think it's lovely in winter and spring too, once you get outside the city. Scenery is remarkable.
Dianchi Lake slimed by blue-green algaePosted by
Delicious picture. Yum.