Wonders Of Yunnan Travel

User profile: michael2015

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  • RegisteredDecember 16, 2015
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredDecember 16, 2015

Forum posts

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Forums > Living in Kunming > searching for a Kungfu teacher

A poster by the name of taijijulia teaches various styles of TaiJi, which is a good foundation. She does both private and small group lessons. Go to the classifieds tab above, hunt for the search window, then type in <taijijulia> and you'll find her - PM (private message/mail) her. Her rates are quite reasonable. I believe Taijijulia teaches Chen Style Taiji, which is a little more dynamic than the traditional Yang style you see most people emulating.

If you're around the Yunda Green Lake Campus area, there's an elderly gent who holds private classes, mostly for the Yunda faculty. Chat them up - some of them speak English. His son has a formal studio in one of the larger shopping malls. They both teach a more martial and combative form of Taiji, to include couples (one-on-one) exercises, which you may find more to your liking.

Good luck finding your instructor!

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Forums > Living in Kunming > House Cleaner

I recently noticed a poster on Salvador's front door or thereabouts - Salvadors also provides cleaning services.

Just make sure you provide a checklist for them to follow, to include cleaning under sofas, beds, tables, chairs (moving movable furniture), laundry (instructions for separating whites from colors). etc ad infinitum.

Then they can just check off the list as they go through your home. Expecting a poorly educated peasant to resemble a trained professional hotel maid is an invitation for disappointment.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Kundu closed

I was wondering if this is part of the continued streamlining and alignment of the military with Beijing's guidance.

As we all know, some of the top military heads are now in life imprisonment for their complicated lifestyles. Beijing has repeatedly ordered the military to streamline their activities in alignment with military activities.

Kundu is obviously military property (they appropriated our home decades ago), a former nightclub and bar hotspot, and or course, a known (hearsay) spot for drug dealers and abusers, which is seriously uncool in China.

So, converting the area or reclaiming the area into office, commercial (to include hotels), and residential spaces is about the safest thing the military could do with the land.

Would be nicer if they turned it into a giant public park, a giant school (K-12), or some other public works project, but the person who'd do that would be exceedingly rare these days.

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Forums > Food & Drink > Recipe ideas

Italian spaghetti with tomato meat sauce (and LOTS of garlic cloves) and mushrooms.
SIMPLE ITALIAN SPAGHETTI/PASTA WITH RED MEAT SAUCE
Pre stir fry lean ground beef or pork, drain the oil (but then again - that's the tastiest part, so you can also NOT drain the fat, but your arteries will harden incrementally).

Cut a pot full of tomatoes, 1kg of ground beef (or pork), several peeled cloves of garlic, chopped mushrooms (into cubes, NOT diced), bring to boil, then simmer for a few hours, stirring every 10-20 minutes. Add salt to suit your taste. You can also add black or white finely ground (or coarsely ground) pepper for a bit of zing.

Boil water, then add spaghetti or pasta of your choice and size (#6, #whatever). You may substitute other forms of pasta for variety (to include macaroni, but that's yukky to me).

It's difficult to screw this up unless you burn the sauce (it's been done) or over or under cook the pasta/spaghetti.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Kunming FRAUD

In case you're interested, MOST international 5 star hotels have a pre-vetted list of architects and design firms that they put into tender (bid & proposal). You would normally compete with incredibly cut-throat firms, such as HBA (look them up).

International hotels and most other tendering opportunities with multinationals for multinationals require competitive bids and rarely sole source, to reduce the risks of collusion, coercion, bribery, and corruption.

MOST international bids require prospective vendors to post bid and eventually performance bonds AND to purchase the tendering documents (usually a nominal fee, depending on one's perspective of the word "nominal"). The bid and performance bonds typically eliminate SME (small to medium enterprise) firms from participation.

USUALLY smaller firms will partner with larger well-known firms, at the risk of circumvention. This requires an extraordinarily strong relationship with the larger firms, usually accompanied by ludicrous entertainment (borne by your firm) and the scent of downstream payoffs of some kind.

SME's also need to be aware that questionable or non-vetted projects MAY use you to attract the larger fish, by creating the illusion of a competitive tender.

There are a host of other complications that make dream opportunities inherently difficult and risky, but these are some of the major white collar fraud type risks.

Kudos to you for avoiding a potentially costly and painful lesson.

That said - various regions of China a awash in genuine opportunities for qualified foreign vendors, but you need to look for opportunities that are within the monetary size and scope of your firm.

As a final note - best to try to work directly with the project's investors, as opposed to the project's management. NOT a panacea, but it helps lower your circumvention and other blatantly fraudulent risks and behaviors of project management.

Of course, investment management teams also come with their own set of risks and peculiar behaviors.

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Comments

@east
Concur with your assessment - but fossil fuels are a known depleting asset, hence the long-term (perhaps beyond our lifespan) national impetus behind these assets.

Also agree that hydropower construction can be infinitely more LEED-ish in their construction behavior.

On that note - many of the more heavily polluting industries such as mining, refineries, etc can be made significantly cleaner through energy based solutions - which we have yet to witness generally in China.

For example, pollution from Guangzhou's fossil plants can energy-assisted technologies currently in use in developed countries - so that's perhaps a hybrid solution that benefits both parties - assuming one can find the funding to implement such technologies AND the project owners are sufficiently motivated to implement such cleaner technology supplements/complements - aka central government mandates, grants, and subsidies.

As for the legendary Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) - those usually come with FIT (Feed in Tariff) agreements - hence the short-term nature of these agreements. We've seen globally that FIT programs are short-term solutions to encourage market entry, but are non-sustainable.

As for grid congestion - that's an issue of planning. As you've noted, China and even developed countries still have not developed the technologies to enable efficient long-distance transmission of power.

Hydropower isn't going away - so the best solution is to hybridize and try to work with what we have to minimize all the valid issues you've raised and do our best to render these systems more ecologically harmonious - example hybridized sluice - where we can still sustainably maintain the downstream environments at a safe but sustainable level.

Too often, commercial and environmental interests stand diametrically opposed and commercial interests typically dominate.

So if you have viable suggestions that can be presented to the NDRC, I'd be more than willing and interested to discuss and perhaps help frame the projects and finance (in English, regrettably), along with potential downstream domestic government and pseudo-government investors, to add to hopefully create a potentially overwhelming sustainable, scalable, and feasible solution that NDRC can in good conscious mandate.

It's not a perfect solution - but perhaps a good first step to more responsible resource utilization and management and infinitely better than standing still, diametrically opposed.

I suppose this would be called "managed wetlands" or something like that (as opposed to eliminated wetlands) - assuming the issue is downstream wetland ecosystems.

Feel free to PM (private mail) me to discuss how to move forwards - perhaps even generate multi-lateral support.

While it may not seem apparent, ALL governmental infrastructure projects require feasibility studies, which include social and environmental impact studies - so the first starting place is to examine those studies, to understand the current standard government logic and behavior in approving and or waiving of those social and environmental costs.

To access this information, you'll absolutely need a strong commercial or government partner - the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Again - the objective is to change the working model so we're all actively working together as opposed to butting heads (with a little central government mandate to help encourage the reticent).

First - excellent and informative article. Although I absolutely must concur with some of the views of the expert - the facts are always not so obvious, when one chooses to micro-focus on subsystems as opposed to expanding one's view to a larger system. This is a popular management trend called decision-based data as opposed to data-driven decisions. So agreement, disagreement, or no opinion - depends on one's perspective.

Most westerners, especially those with hidden or obvious political agendas, look at China as they look at the west - a free market based economy.

China is a planned economy and certain infrastructures are built looking forwards decades.

China's energy consumption trajectory is not considered by the author, so let's take a look at that subjectively or qualitatively, since I'm too lazy to do the research numbers.

ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN KUNMING
Our hot water heaters used to be gas powered - but we had to replace the "damned" thing every two years because of the buildup of ash (aka toxins - seriously...green flecks in the ash - what is that? Chromium?) from the dirty gas. We switched to a combination of solar and electric (which do NOT work in tandem).

The prolific construction of new high-rises do not permit the effective use of solar in high density residential communities (e.g. most real estate development mega projects in Kunming are around the 2k residence level. So on demand electric systems make more sense.

COOKING
We haven't switched to electric because the power grid where we live simply won't handle the load (much less our ancient wiring). New high rise developments come with the option of gas or electric - with most choosing electric. It's fast, clean, and doesn't expose the stove components to cooking spillage. We've replaced our gas stove twice in the last 8 years - but to be fair - the last replacement was required because we switched to a new "cleaner" gas.

E-BIKES
Prolific.

MASS TRANSIT
The subway - electric powered. Buses moving towards electric power. And automobiles - e-powered vehicles are an emerging phenomenon with incredibly central government support and subsidies. Occasionally, you'll spot that rare BYD electric powered taxi (the SUV). China is migrating as much as its domestic infrastructure off fossil fuel dependence as possible.

So just from our own personal experiences and observations - consumer-based consumption of electric services is increasing at a steady pace.

ENVIRONMENTAL
There is no argument about the destruction of surrounding habitats and the migration of valley dwellers. This is a management issue for the government as they strive for poverty elimination. A large part of China's poverty elimination program is focused on attracting rural workers to cities, with jobs, education, and the ever upwardly mobile opportunities that education can provide - hence that insane construction pace. Kunming is planned to grow to a size of 10 million (but don't know the date on that plan).

Last time I checked - the city is at about 6.6 million, so we have another 3.4 million to go - so those 2000 unit mega developments (assume a family size of 4) housing up to 4 people, not including grandparents, in-laws, and others - 8k per development. That means ROUGHLY we'll need another 425 real estate development projects to house those 3.4 million additional residents.

That's another 850k families (3.4 mil/4,assuming a family unit of 4) consuming energy, services, infrastructure, e-bikes, cooking, water, toilet flushing, etc etc etc.

And that's JUST Kunming - there are 15 other prefectural level cities with supposed urban sprawl magnet program requirements as part of the nation's poverty elimination strategies.

So the author points out the displacement of a few thousand to a few hundred thousand people. Cast that against 3.4 million and things perhaps aren't quite as obvious - and again, that is ONLY based on Kunming plans. As we all noticed with the formerly famous and internationally maligned Chenggong ghost city (not so ghostly anymore), planned economies can be sustainably successful. And we didn't even discuss all the government (schools, 2 fly toilets, etc) and commercial infrastructures (restaurants, businesses, etc ad infinitum) that spawn from those residential communities. And we haven't even begun to address the energy sucking behavior of the internet and all its derivative industries - data centers, cloud computing centers, distributed corporate IT migration strategies.

Easy to criticize a microscopic spot than to manage the mega complicated system that is China.

However - that said - the author's points ARE valid and we do need alternate perspectives, so we understand the cost/benefit trade-off more responsibly.

And...I'll just get off that soapbox now...

China is ramping up the use of e-vehhicles - which should take some of the capacity. I'm also wondering about whether we're exporting power to SE asia, which would seem to be an excellent market, and to the middle east where they DEFINITELY need power along the OBOR (one belt, one road).

Reviews

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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.

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By

Just stopped by Wicker Basket Beichen again to stock up on frozen pizzas, frozen pies (chicken, beef), cheese, and sliced ham (ask them to slice it for you). Love this place - simple decor, polite helpful nice staff - nothing fancy - but gets the job done.

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Finally got around to using Salvador's delivery service - tried it out on the chicken burrito and their bag of nacho chips. Delivery was flawless despite being a bit out of area (≥4km) and the food was still warm.

First experience - excellent (5 stars).

Excellent as always - even with long distance delivery. Now if only the online menu was expanded a little (like the chicken strips...hint hint hint...nudge nudge...wink wink).

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Just stopped into Prague Beichen for dinner a few nights ago - and I'm shocked at how good their food is - five star international hotel quality. Even the fruit-based drink was made from genuine fruit - as opposed to the usual domestic fare of fruit syrup with chunks of fruit added. The food was well-presented and "plated".

The restaurant itself has had a major overhaul and now occupies both the ground floor and the second floor - well illuminated without being blinding, wide open and airy space (2nd floor), nice attentive but non-intrusive service, and reasonable prices for excellent cuisine.

Will absolutely return several times more, to savor and experience other menu items.

A pleasant surprise and culinary delight - great place for a date or even a quiet business meeting. Excellent atmosphere.

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Excellent coffee, tea, and simple meals - to include waffles and various incarnations of sandwiches. Ground floor is NO SMOKING, second floor (where they hide the bathrooms), SMOKING.

Extraordinarily popular place - beautiful location, typical service for Kunming - which means when it's good, it's stellar, when it's bad - it's terrifying - so they have a quality consistency problem that's reflected in the various staff and shifts.

However - it's still a great place to meet, hang out, chill, relax, etc. Just remember to DIY (do it yourself) most of the time.