Just renewed my annual pass card for the World Horticulture Park (昆明世博园旅游区) on Bailong Lu. It allows unlimited visits for twelve months. March 6-10 the cost is 99rmb. AFter that 300rmb. Just need passport and provide the money and a phone number. They take your photo and give you the card immediately. Registration for Chinese residents might be a bit more involved.
The one-day rate used to be 100rmb but now has been dropped to 70rmb.
On the Women's Day Holiday (March 8 I think), women get half price (35rmb), men the full treatment.
I also just renewed my Kunming Parks pass, a different annual card that gives access to the Zoo, Western Hills, Golden Temple,
Tanhua Temple, Daguan Park, Black Dragon Pool and one or two others. Cost 150rmb. Take pHotocopy of passport photo page and visa-size photo to the special window near entrance to the zoo. You'll be asked (required) to write your Chinese name on the back of the visa photo (for filing purposes?). Fork over the cash and wait 15 days to pick up the card.
I walk frequently in Kunming parks and these two cards save me hundreds of kuai every year.
Been wanting to perform this experiment for a long time.
Just did last week.
Bought a miniature Swiss Army Knife and successfully brought it through security (twice) at the Kunming train station on Beijing Lu at center city. Not a peep from the guards glued to the X-ray screen.
It's one of those miniature knives with minimal blades. Small scissors, nail file, tooth pick, tweezers, and one blade 3.5 cm long (1 1/2 inches). The entire unit is 6 cm long (3 1/2 inches).
Afterward I showed the knife to several guards inside the terminal, with varying responses:
1. No problem
2. OK, but keep it out of sight on the train
3. Prohibited (but the guards did not require me to exit, I could have boarded a train)
I don't know what would happen at South Kunming, the high speed railway station.
You asked for experience so I give you mine. I used Western Union to pay for my tuition at private language school in Kunming. My bank back in US where the funds originated closed my account without notice, and mailed me a check for the balance. I was without access to funds for two weeks and had to make multiple calls to my bank’s fraud unit.
Also had to get my school to write an affidavit showing the money was used to fund tuition at a legitimate educational instituition, direct them to my school’s website, etc. The bank explained that WU has a history of fraud in China, and my transfer tripped their fraud controls. Everything OK in the end, but I’m gun shy, haven’t used WU since. Glad for those who have used it without difficulty.