the Turtle

User profile: kc430

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  • RegisteredDecember 26, 2014
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredDecember 26, 2014

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Lost utility knife at security checkpoint, again

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.

Time for another experiment.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Western Union

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.

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Forums > Food & Drink > Buffets w lots of vegies

There is a Buddhist restaurant on the shore at Lotus Park near Xue Fu Lu. Royal quantities of vegetables, and often people too. It’s popular since very inexpensive, less than 15 kuai as I recall, all you can eat. Lunch, dinner, no breakfast.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Bank of America and China Construction Bank

I use a debit card from Schwab Bank. No foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and if the local bank charges a fee for the withdrawal, Schwab refunds it to me at the end of the month. I also requested and was granted a higher daily limit that allows me to withdraw 12,000rmb per day.

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Entrance fee has been reduced by 30%, down to 45rmb. Half that for seniors. Guards at entrance station emphasized to me that ticket is good for one day only. Don't know how strict they will be on that. Earlier this year I entered the gorge twice on the same ticket a week and a half apart. We shall see.

Rugged country, beautiful pics. Nice to see these fabulous mountains from above.

I'm trying to identify the mountains shown. The top photo with the article title overlaid, is Haba Snow Mountain I'm pretty sure, based on comparison with photos I've taken from the ground.

The photo above "How do you feel about flying in such challenging locations? " shows Haba Snow Mountain on the left, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain on the right. In the foreground is Haba's south ridge.

The last pic, Nick's selfie, I think shows Haba Snow Mountain in the background.

You can hire a guide through any of the many guest houses in Haba Village. The author of the article stayed at Haba Snow Mountain International Youth Hostel, which is also known as Haba Snow Mountain Inn. You can find contact info at the Haba article at www.WikiVoyage.org. The "lady who owns the hostel" is Yang Xiu Lan (杨修兰). She is very helpful and gracious, even speaks a little English, with emphasis on little. Additional info on climbing the mountain can be found at www.ItinerantClimbersCollective.com, especially useful for those who who want to make the ascent on their own without guides (this assumes they already have experience with ice axe and glacier travel). The author climbed the mountain in December which is definitely off-season, and the prices mentioned are on the low side. During the standard climbing season costs are higher.

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