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Forums > Living in Kunming > shipping rx to kunming/china

still keep my health insurance back home in the states because i have a medical condition and need special rx that isn't available in china

was planning to have mother dhl/fedex/ups it to me, but she has discovered some discouraging news on her end:

"I inquired today of DHL - they say you'll need a Medical Inspection Permit from the Bureau of Health and Sanitation in China. "

"I inquired at FedEx and their fat guidebook (the SRG) said that: you'd need an inspection permit (not exactly the same name or dept. listed) and that it would go thru customs which can take up to a month for Rx's, and that there could be duties to pay."

anyone had any experience having rx express mailed from overseas to china?

did you declare it as such and go through the hassles described above?

i don't have enough time before my current rx run out if its going to sit at customs for a month.

any ideas?
thanks

ps. maybe i just haven't checked hard enough at the local pharmacies.
whats the best pharmacy in Kunming with the biggest selection of western drugs?

0
Forums > Living in Kunming > shipping rx to kunming/china

recently moved to kunming

still keep my health insurance back home in the states because i have a medical condition and need special rx that isn't available in china

was planning to have mother dhl/fedex/ups it to me, but she has discovered some discouraging news on her end:

"I inquired today of DHL - they say you'll need a Medical Inspection Permit from the Bureau of Health and Sanitation in China. "

"I inquired at FedEx and their fat guidebook (the SRG) said that: you'd need an inspection permit (not exactly the same name or dept. listed) and that it would go thru customs which can take up to a month for Rx's, and that there could be duties to pay."

anyone had any experience having rx express mailed from overseas to kunming/china?

did you declare it as such and go through the hassles described above?

i don't have enough time before my current rx run out if its going to sit at customs for a month.

any ideas what to do?

thanks

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A bit (actually a lot) more about currency, from my friend who was just there:

1. Bring brand new, pristine US dollars from after the year 2000. The bills may NOT have any folds, tears, or marks. Even the tiniest spot or bend will land you a lower exchange rate, and older or visibly used bills will be flat-out rejected. We cut out pieces of cardboard to put our money between, and I advise keeping those in waterproof envelopes in case of rain. We were told not to bring bills starting with the serial code "CB." We also heard rumors not to bring 2006 bills, which proved impossible because that was all we could find in both NYC and Beijing, but it ended up being a myth. You may also bring Euro to use/exchange, but I advise against it (some tourist fee rates were quoted as "5 USD OR Euro," so you would lose money paying in Euro!).

2. Myanmar currency is the kyat (pronounced "jat"), and the highest rate we got as of July 2012 was 878 kyat to 1 USD. The rate is closer to 850 for lower denominations (50, 20, 10 or 5 USD bills), and those too must be pristine. You can get a decent rate (~850) at the airport in Yangon, or you can pay for a taxi from the airport in USD ($5-$6 for the whole taxi, bargain your way down!) and have them take you to Summit Parkview Hotel in the center. There we found a high rate of 870 kyat per 1 USD, but more importantly it is a reliable exchange venue with absolutely no shenanigans. The best rate we found in country however was at the government bank at Inle Lake in Nyaung Shwe (878 kyat per 1 USD), so if you need to exchange more kyat you always can do so later on in your trip.

3. There are no ATMs available in country that will allow you to withdraw from a foreign bankcard and only a few big hotels in Yangon take credit card at an extremely high surcharge, so you must bring everything you need for your trip with you in cash. This is obviously not ideal as a traveler, but it is some reassurance that petty theft is uncommon in Burma because of the locals' strict adherence to Buddhism. Still, anything is possible and it is highly advised to split up and hide your bills, and/or use a money belt.

4. DO NOT use street/black market money changers. Always go to an official bank, or a big international hotel in Yangon such as the one recommended above. Street changers may offer you too-good-to-be-true rates of 900+ kyat on the dollar, only to use "hand magic" while counting out your bills. We met one traveler who discovered too late that he'd actually been given 500 kyat on his dollar at a shady street exchange. We met another traveler who was swindled with a 10-15% exchange fee from her hotel in Yangon. Beware, and re-count all your bills in front of them before you leave!

5. You will want mostly 100 dollar bills, as they will bring you the best rate. However, contrary to what I often read, you will ALSO want to bring pristine bills in lower denominations, particularly 10s, 5s and 1s. This comes in very handy for negotiating a taxi from the airport, and for all tourist entrance tickets, which generally cost $10 or $5 and can only be paid in USD, not kyat. If you can't find pristine lower bills or come with only 100s as we did, you can have the Yangon airport exchange your pristine 100 for pristine bills of lower denominations (at no charge).

6. Contrary to popular belief, over the course of your trip, you may pay for lodging in either USD or kyat, and the best rates are generally in kyat. You should bargain even for hostel rates! Flights MUST be paid for in USD. Everything else (transportation, food, tours or guides, souvenirs) are best negotiated and paid for in kyat, though everyone will also take USD. I will cover information on costs in the next section.

7. At the end of your trip, be aware of the rules in exchanging leftover kyat. If you exchanged currency at a hotel or anywhere other than an official bank on your trip, you will NOT be able to change your kyat back to dollars at the Yangon airport. They require an official receipt of the original exchange (USD to kyat) that you can only obtain either at the airport itself or a government bank. We saw travelers who were vexed at this situation and ended up stuck with leftover kyat. However if you either obtain an official bank receipt to show the airport exchange, or leave time to go back to the hotel to exchange before you head out to the airport, you will be fine.

While cycling to Puzhehei last weekend, I saw construction of the Kunming-Nanning line (which is really part of the Kunming-Guangzhou high speed line) under construction: a tunnel under the mountains east of Mile (弥勒), and a huge bridge over the Nanpan River (南盘).

Also, isn't there a rail line under construction from Dali to Myanmar via Baoshan (保山), Mangshi (芒市), and Ruili (瑞丽)? Originally the British were supposed to build it back in the 40s, but it was abandoned because of the war and revolution, but I thought it was back on the drawing board again.

Other new rail lines that I saw on a map of planned rail lines at the China Railways pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010 include: Xiangyun (祥云) to Pu'er (普洱) via Lincang (临沧), and Lijiang (丽江) to Panzhihua (攀枝花)

Note that a few weeks after GoKunming's trip, the price of entrance to Tiger Leaping Gorge rose to 65 yuan.

Another option in this region is to bicycle from Zhongdian to Lijiang (or vice-versa) via the road around the East side of Haba Mountain. This road is paved and in excellent condition, yet receives almost no traffic, making it an excellent bike ride, with views of Haba and dozens of snow-capped peaks in the mountain range that stretch northward from it.

In Haba Village, Mr. Bao (包大哥) has a guesthouse and a trekking service. He's very knowledgeable about the local geography, history, and culture, and can lead trekkers not just to the summit, but also to pristine alpine lakes, waterfalls, meadows, and forests. His phone number is 0887-8866536 and his QQ is 1159634650

Gotcha. In any case, all of the above are impressive gorges. Yarlung Tsangpo looks incredibly remote. Kudos in advance to the first person to travel there and write it up!

Beautiful pictures.

However, the geographer in me wondered about the statement "second in depth only to Arizona's Grand Canyon".

After searching for authoritative lists of the deepest canyons in the world ranked according to depth (all of which contain disclaimers that measuring and comparing canyon depths is an inaccurate art due to the different ways to define and measure them), I found a rough approximation of a list. According to this list, Nujiang (5th) is actually deeper than Arizona's Grand Canyon (12th), and neither is as deep as Yunnan's Tiger Leaping Gorge (4th) or Tibet's Yarlung Tsangpo (1st).

Link to the rankings I refer to:
www.china.org.cn/english/MATERIAL/185555.htm

Reviews

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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

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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

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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.

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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!