User profile: szbruce

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Laos visa for US citizen

Will be going to Laos from Kunming. Questions: 1) Where best to cross? 2) Can US citizen get visa at border, and if so, how much $? 3) Or is it necessary to get visa at Laos consulate in Kunming?

Many thanks.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Giant bicycle shop?

Can anyone tell me where in Kunming can I find a shop that specializes in selling Giant brand (捷安特) bicycles?

Many thanks!

Bruce Humes

Forums > Living in Kunming > Kunming: Where to buy hanging files?


I believe the firm that sold me the "wider" filing cabinet also offers more narrow ones, but I am NOT sure. Here is its contacts:

Min Sen Ban'gong Jiaju (民森办公家具)
200 Lianmeng Lu (联盟路)
Phone: 5708670

Forums > Living in Kunming > Kunming: Where to buy hanging files?

Indeed, I found the hanging files on Wu Jin Road. Not sure of the street number, but the large department-like structure that once sold office supplies has indeed been closed. But a handful of decently stocked pifashang (批发商) have moved just across the street and inside the courtyard of what is marked as a Xinhua Bookstore (新化书店). I do appreciate the quick replies and hope I can help you all out soon.

Bruce Humes

Forums > Living in Kunming > Kunming: Where to buy hanging files?

I just bought a filing cabinet but now need to find a stationary store where I can buy files that "hang" in it.

Can anyone suggest:

1. Specific name of store supplying hanging files

2. Area of Kunming where I can find one or more such stores?


Many thanks!

Bruce Humes


No results found.


Jim's article mentions the Bisezhai train station outside Mengzi. A Chinese Catholic author, Fan Wen (范稳), recently published a novel 碧色寨 (Bisezhai) that portrays the clash of cultures between the French, then colonial masters of Indochina just south of Yunnan and the driving force behind the new railway, and the indigenous Yi people (彝族).The completion of the railway through the mountainous terrain was an incredible engineering feat at the time, and its famous gravity-defying Wishbone Bridge (人字桥) is still firmly intact with nary a repair to date. Estimates are that the project cost more than ten thousand Chinese laborers their lives.

If you're interested in the novel, see a review here:

I sense strong support for Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign across China. Even among young people, which is extraordinary these days, since they tend to be very cynical.

But this article is typical of the sort of thing we see in the media: bad apple spotted and culled. Story finished. That's how Xi Jinping and his lot would like us to see it.

But the story is incomplete without a closer look at what these corrupt leaders have done to Kunming over the last decade or so, particularly on the environmental level.

Working-class people like taxi drivers have told me that the weather has changed radically over the last 10-15 years, and some people put that down to the reduced coverage and health of Dianchi Lake, which is of course related to huge tracts of land surrounding the lake that have been given over to developers. This lake is now highly polluted.

I don't have the facts at hand and I'm not a specialist in this matter. But my point is that these news items tend to focus on the "tigers" who have been caged, and the illustrious role of The Party and its "tough" new policy; I am more concerned about the damage local party leadership and officials — and others in power who have not been charged — are doing to what used to be one of the nicest cities in Southwest China.

Doesn't sound terribly scientific to me, although this description may not be accurate. These languages are often unrelated to Mandarin, so "transcribing them into Mandarin and pinyin" would be pointless if "pinyin" here is a reference to "hanyu pinyin."

The logical way to do it would be to record the original speech and render it in international phonetic alphabet (IPA) then and there, and then have the spelling finalized based on further analysis of the recording. The only role for Mandarin would be to confirm the approximate meaning of the recorded words.

I translated 《额尔古纳河右岸》(Last Quarter of the Moon) by Chi Zijian, which contains about 150 Evenki names, place names and words. In my experience, neither Chinese characters nor Hanyu Pinyin are well equipped to capture the sounds of a polysyllabic Tungusic tongue like Evenki.

Interview: Kaysar

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Remember that "Friday night" is not really very precise! Noting the date as well would be a good idea.

Ironically, I was in Menghai just the other day with my girlfriend, visiting a pu'er tea processing plant. I had no idea that we were so near the Bulang and their suān chá!

I was struck by several things. During the tour of the processing, we started in the middle, i.e., processing of tea leaves that had already been fermented. It didn't seem to occur to either of our hosts that it might be better to visit the work sites in the order in which the tea is actually processed; in fact, they didn't even mention the major steps or their order.

I translated parts of "The China Tea Book" for CYPI last year (, and took part in a tea ceremony in Kyoto many years ago. When I casually mentioned that ceremony to the marketing manager — whose card describes her as a "senior tea technology expert" (gāojí cháyì shī) — all she had to say was: "The tea ceremony came from China. The Japanese simply adapted it."

The piece on "sour tea" above, as brief as it is, points out how rich the culture of Yunnan really is. To date, I've found it difficult to locate Yunnan travel info on the web (in English or Chinese) that does anything more than point out the super-commercial attractions, e.g., the Valley of Wild Elephants with its circus-like show, etc. Am looking forward to more writing like that of Mr. Fuchs!

Bruce Humes



Stayed in this apartment for two months and was quite happy with the premises and the landlord.

He did indeed offer us a lower rent when we stayed on for the 2nd month.

I especially appreciated being able to get online quite soon after moving in, and the kitchen which was filled with all sorts of cooking implements and even some spices that -- tho' popular in the West -- aren't easy to find in China.

If you have any questions about our time there, you are welcome to e-mail me at