Tenwest Mandarin School

User profile: Geogramatt

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  • RegisteredJuly 29, 2009
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredJuly 29, 2009

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Are turnaround visa runs possible at the China-Vietnam border in Hekou?

I'll be trying just that later this week.
My goal is to leave China, then re-enter China without ever officially entering Vietnam (something I have done successfully several times at the Lao border in Mohan).
But I went ahead and got the Vietnamese visa, in the case that it doesn't work.
I once got grilled hard at the Vietnamese border, so I want to make sure I've got the documents to do a real official crossing if need be.
I'll report back on the details after I get back.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Border crossings with Vietnam (other than Hekou)

Does anyone know if foreigners are allowed to cross into Vietnam at either the border crossing in Honghe Prefecture's Jinping County (红河州金平县), or Wenshan Prefecture's Malipo County (文山州麻栗坡县)?

I know Hekou is the standard border crossing from Yunnan to Vietnam, but I've already done it several times and am looking to do something a little different this time.

I know border crossings in Jinping and Malipo exist. And the guy at the Vietnamese consulate even told me I'm allowed to cross there. The problem is I don't know if the Chinese border guards will let me cross or not.

I went to the Kunming PSB today, and they made a call to the foreign affairs bureau to ask on my behalf, but no one knew the answer.

If anyone has tried these border crossings before, I'd much appreciate any info you might have!


Forums > Living in Kunming > Do Kunming Drivers Know they are Inconsiderate and Dangerous


I don't think your post is "racist" (as its directed against "Kunmingers", not "Chinese", and "Kunmingers" do not constitute a "race"). But I do think its rather ignorant and overgeneralizing.

I understand that you and your children were put at risk and you in your frustration wrote this post. I'm sorry you had that close-call. I'm sure I would be angry too.

Of course there are lots of bad drivers in Kunming who break the rules and endanger people all the time.

But why do you have to generalize from some bad drivers amongst the pool of all Kunming drivers and imply that they are all bad? Surely this is not the truth.

In my two years in Kunming I have never been in an accident, close call, etc. I ride a bicycle. I ride defensively. Before I came to China I knew the traffic would be more dangerous than in my home country of America. This is to be expected. So I adjusted my riding style to the local conditions. Maybe I should knock on wood. But I do believe if one simply pays good attention to the road, one can avoid most accidents. That means even if there's a green light, make sure you check that the intersection is clear to cross and there are no idiots running the red light.

Also...if you think Chinese drivers are bad, then you obviously experienced traffic in Vietnam or India. Easily 10 times more dangerous than China.

By the way, the correct pinyin spelling of minivan is not mien boa che, it's mianbao che.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Impressions of Kunming from a foreigner waidiren

Kunming definitely has street food.

You just weren't in the right places.

Kunming also has tons of demolition going on. And Kunming has plenty of skyscrapers. Not quite sure how you missed that. They're also building a subway system so streets are all ripped up. There's not a whole lot of "Old Kunming" left these days.

Not sure which "foreign" bars you're talking about. All the true foreign bars (that is, owned by foreigners) have English-speaking staff.

Not only are paper 1 yuan notes ubiquitous, but so are 5 jiao and 1 jiao notes! You apparently didn't receive any of those, but they're common.
I don't see what's so great about coins. They're heavier and jangle in your pocket.
I go through 1 jiao notes pretty quickly. Public bathrooms, bike parking, paying exact change at the supermarket...all quite handy.

Some places in Kunming have beer cheaper than 10 yuan. Local Chinese places you can still get a 660 ml bottle for 5 yuan.


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Thanks so much for this article, Chris!
I've been meaning to ride this train ever since I first moved to Kunming almost 2 years ago (I used to live on 建设路 right next to the train tracks and waiting for it to cross was part of my daily routine). Being somewhat of a train geek myself, I'm embarrassed to say I never actually did it.
But seeing your article now, I'm inspired. In fact, this very afternoon, I think I'll go to the North Station and take the afternoon run to 石咀

Tangentially related anecdote:

I've recently been watching a Chinese TV series called 军人荣誉.
It's entirely filmed on location in Yunnan, and centers around the 缉毒警察 (anti-narcotics armed police division) and their efforts to control the drug trade between Myanmar and Yunnan.

At times it's pretty cheesy, but also quite entertaining. Every few episodes there's a new story arc focusing on a different drug trafficking party. Usually there a beautiful girl, led down a path of personal destruction by some nightclub boss or gangster. We see flashbacks of the girl's life when she was still innocent and pure, and then see how she was corrupted.

Can hardly vouch for its authenticity, but thought it merited a mention on this thread.

You can find all the episodes on youku and tudou.



This is a really nice new restaurant in Dali. High quality vegetarian and vegan food, varied menu, daily specials. They make their own kombucha, too. The environment is very chill...multiple layers, floor seating, an outdoor courtyard and terrace balcony overlooking the the roofs of the neighbors in old Dali


Serendipity is an honest-to-gosh American style diner, a concept I don't think I've ever really seen before in China.

They do salads, burgers, and pasta dishes, but the true stars of the menu are the breakfasts, which are served all day.

No measly hostel breakfast sets, these ones come with heaping servings of bacon and eggs and bottomless coffee.

No table seating. Everyone sits around the counter, where you can see what's going on in the kitchen and chat with the friendly staff.

The fresh donuts are the best I've had in China


The 68 kuai Saturday night all-you-can-eat buffet is a terrific deal.

Steak, pork loin, chicken schnitzel, pizza, two kinds of salad, creme de caramel, cheesecake, and lots of other stuff.


Recently experienced both very early morning departure and very late night arrival at Changshui. Was worried about making the connection to and from the airport, but both turned out well.

First, the departure. It was 7:30 am. I arranged a taxi to pick me up at 5:00. That he did. Cost: 100 yuan.

The departure was scheduled for 12:30 am, was delayed, and didn't get in until 2:30 am. I was sure I'd have to find a black cab, and wasn't even sure if I would find that. Instead, I was delighted to discover that the Airport Express Bus was still running! For 25 yuan it took me to the train station, where I then caught a cab for the short ride the rest of the way home. I was very impressed by this late night bus. I'd thought the buses only ran till around 11 pm-midnight. I don't know if this is a regular occurrence or not. Maybe, knowing my flight was delayed and there would be hundreds of passengers looking for a ride home, the airport dispatched an extra bus. If so, kudos to whoever was responsible!