'alcohol plays almost no role in society here'. Every convenience shop sells a variety of alcohol. Most restaurants too. Business dinners, weddings etc involve extreme binge drinking. In every city on every night of the week there are groups of people playing drinking games until they can barely stand, you will see people legless and vomiting at as early as 8pm. All this in the south of China which has a far smaller drinking culture. Go to a northern city and tell me alcohol plays no role in society.
Yeh, ship your bike if you have one in Beijing. Motorbikes are fine outside the second ring road in Kunming, at least that was the rule years ago and I haven't heard that it's changed. Lots of motorbikes ride past my place every day. I have to say I'm a bit jealous, cos I don't have a motorbike license!
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a very pleasant park with a tall pagoda you can climb and take photos of the city if you wish. Roses in summer, blossom in spring, nice lawn to sit on, bbq areas.
Recently the food seems to be better. Decent steak at a decent price, decent pizza, some decent wine, and the music is more suitable these days (Rammenstein wasn't the right mood music for Cantina)!
Had lunch - grilled chicken on top of mashed cuttlefish and a salad. The chicken was tasty and well cooked, and there was plenty of meat/fish to fill up even a hungry person. The salad was overdressed and nothing special - I won't order one next time. The service is a decent imitation of what you might find in the west. A large menu of food and drink. A nice civilised place to go for food or drink, but some of the dishes (i.e. the steaks) are very pricey. You could easily spend 300rmb+ per person here. Equally, it is possible to have lunch for under 60rmb per person (as we did). Warning - the bottle of water on each table costs an eye watering 48rmb! Don't be a sucker by opening it!
Went for a spot of lunch. Best pizza I've had in Kunming by some distance. In fact, one of the best pizzas I've ever had - quality ingredients, thin base, cooked to perfection. Sashimi salmon tasted very fresh and was well presented. The drinks are expensive, and one of the waiters was letting the side down by being a bit scruffy and impolite (hence not 5 stars), but definitely go and try the pizza.
Pretty mediocre burgers accompanied by completely overcooked 'fries'/chips. Drafty, a bit smelly, and infested with mosquitos and noisy teenagers. Soup not bad but nothing special. Nothing French about the decor or atmosphere (there isn't any outdoor seating). Haven't tried the coffee. I hope it will close and be replaced by a decent bar or restaurant. A burger bar with the Moondog chef in the kitchen would be perfect, and with Brooklyn just a few metres away way would make a great little foreign food and drink scene!