User profile: michael2015

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Forums > Living in Kunming > DiDi Pick Up at Kunming Central Train Station

I usually go to the departures zone (upper deck). After arranging a didi pickup, I just call the driver and tell him/her to pick me up at gate xx (usually at the far end of the terminal.

If you're traveling light and it's not too late, take the subway, then grab a local taxi or call didi from the subway station exit.

Or take on of the many airport buses - just tell the cashier the closest hotel to your destination and they'll direct you to the correct bus number.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Volunteering in Kunming

You may also want to consider the Kunming Rotary Club. They regularly host social responsibility events - such as regular support of the Kunming Orphanage.

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Forums > Study > Wechat Pay problems

Assuming this is an ID issue - I'm guessing you renewed your passport? You need to repost your new passport or visa, depending on the request - you'll also need to update your bank account (at the bank). My daughter just renewed her passport and visa (painful) and had the same issue - she simply uploaded her new passport images to WeChat from somewhere deeply buried in the menus (see link below).

Take a look here - you can do this online:

chengdu-expat.com/how-to-verify-your-wechat-pay-and-alipay/

(um...is it ok to post INFORMATIVE links to other websites?).

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Bank cards/accounts for abroad China

@Bluebird

DOMESTIC VS INTERNATIONAL DEBIT (NOT CREDIT) CARD
Go to your bank and tell them (if possible) you'll be traveling internationally and would like to know if you need to "upgrade" to the foreign currency debit card. As you're married to a local, bring the wifey - should be less stressful if your wife chats with them.

When you initially opened your bank account - they asked you (maybe) if you'll be traveling internationally - as there's a domestic only debit card and an international FX (foreign exchange) friendly debit card - they're VERY different - so you need to verify which card you have.

We always opt for the most restrictive card (domestic use only) as credit fraud and identify theft is rampant globally - if you don't need it, don't get it and the bank told us we could upgrade to the international debit card anytime (although they neglected to mention the pain quotient).

You MAY need to change your local bank accounts to upgrade to this service depending on the bank's dynastic era. Bring your passport and your travel itinerary if you have it. You MAY also want to check/set your international daily withdrawal maximums also. Allegedly this can be done with your online bank account access - but I can never remember my internet password.

The upgrade process may take anywhere from a half a day slumming around the bank windows, to a month, depending on your bank and the current processes or changes currently in place or being upgraded.

HSBC ALTERNATIVE
If you have something like CNY 100k or CNY 1 million minimum deposit - you can also opt to open an account at HSBC China (different rules than HSBC ex-China) - but you must maintain the minimum monthly balance or they'll whack on some seriously usurious and abusive fees.

PAYPAL/Apple Pay/PRE-PAID DEBIT CARDS
You can also link your chinese bank account to PAYPAL - many merchants accept PAYPAL - not sure about restaurants though. While you're abroad - you may want to opt for a pre-paid debit card - just top it off a la WeChat Pay - whenever the balance drops. Great way to insulate your primary bank account from credit card fraud - just don't lose that pre-paid debit card...or forget your PIN.

I HIGHLY recommend you buy a pre-paid DEBIT card at the airport of the country you'll most probably be quarantining in...

You MIGHT also want to check out Apple Pay - not accepted everywhere - but. We're incredibly ticked off with Apple Pay China - it's linked to AliPay - which gives you credit-like purchases - which our pre-school daughter apparently abused to rack up a few hundred CNY in credit charges. We tried to get Apple China to reverse the charges - but they threatened to wreck our credit instead - so our daughter is now the proud owner of who knows what garbage game upgrades - if you have kids - be very very very wary of linking anything to Apple Pay.

Personally - HIGHLY recommend you avoid Apple Pay in China if you have little kids who have access to your electronic devices. I asked my older child to report this abusive practice to the Chinese Consumer Protection Hotline (yes, China has a national consumer protection department which actually works) and maybe try to report it to CCTV and other online consumer protection groups - apparently this is a widespread and well known abusive practice (yes...I'm ticked - using little kids to unknowingly fraudulently steal money from their parents - heinous corporate behavior).

MISCELLANEOUS FX UPGRADES
My currency exchanges used to consume a full half a day at XXX bank - but they've since upgraded and streamlined the FX (foreign exchange) and buying the CNY - so I get everything done at the same special service window - and only takes me about an hour or less - when it used to suck up an entire afternoon - most of it was spent waiting for the various windows. First time through the system - akin to non-anaesthetized dental work.

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Comments

Yereth
I was thinking that gokm could maybe get the Kunming Tourism Dept and the KM Metro et al to pay for a professionally illustrated bilingual PDF map and maybe start a series of web articles and videos on things to do and see (and eat) at each station - aside from the major tourism venues.

NHK (Japan) did this about 20 years ago - very popular and interesting series - inspires people to get out, socialize (when it's safe) and support local businesses...or not.

Grace
The referenced map was an ANCIENT planning map...hence the hint hint hint hint to the gokm staff - when they have budget and absolutely nothing better to do with their time...

Yereth's map is great as a geographic index - but most high density subway maps (Beijing, Tokyo) go for the symbolic stations shown in the ancient picture I referenced. These things are great as either screensavers, desktop wallpapers, or mobile phone pictures (screensavers, wallpapers) for those who commute within the bellies of these steel dragons.

I used to carry around subway maps on small plastic cards (doubled as my prepaid card) when exploring these cities. Each station had uniquely popular venues for both tourists and long-term locals alike (popular eateries, shopping boutiques, etc).

Reviews

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I occasionally visit the Kai Wah Plaza International Hotel to attend Kunming Rotary Club events. Although I've never stayed in the hotel or viewed its rooms (now on my bucket list) - the food has always been excellent both in presentation, aroma, taste, flavor, etc from appetizers to desserts - with a well-stocked and diverse wine selection - typical of international 5-star hotels. Kudos.

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Met a friend after dinner for drinks and chat up on the rooftop patio/bar. Music was a little loud for us - but was surprised at this jewel of a bar. What a nice comfortable place.

I was told the hostel only charges cny40 a night for a shared room bunk bed - can't beat that.

Truly a gem for travelers on a budget and the rooftop bar has a beautiful and memorable sunset view (see the pictures).

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Stopped by last night for dinner on the small patio and to pick up a couple of their apple pies. Always attentive and courteous staff and good solid food. Don't forget to check out their freezers for frozen foods like chicken and beef pot pies, pizzas, quiches, cakes etc.

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This cafe is actually in the Yunda Green Lake campus and connected to the French Language school operated by Alliance Francais or the French Alliance.

It's mentioned elsewhere that pastries are provided by A Table down the street on Beimen Jie.

Aside from the no-smoking ban (since it's on-campus in Yunda) - it's a nice, quiet, smoke free and pleasant environment to rest, read, and relax for bit - if you happen to be on-campus and can't find a place to sit.

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I found Beijing Yingke through their ad on the gokunming website.

I recently used Beijing Yingke to take care of a rather complicated real estate transaction. After finally gathering all the required documents as specified - we actually managed to successfully complete the entire process in a single visit with no requirements for "additional documents" or "extra procedures".

Astonishing.

The attorneys were polite, tolerant of infinitely many questions, professional, courteous, and most of all - professional and competent.
The law firms fees were an acceptable increment above local fees, to account for the multi-lingual requirements.

Most importantly - the requested transaction was completed on the first pass with no additional documentation or procedures - which is a stunning accomplishment and nod towards Beijing Yingke's professional knowledge in this sector.

Five Star rating - highly recommend.