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Forums > Travel Yunnan > to Yuanyang and Xishuangbanna

Good news! The high speed rail (HSR) train from Kunming to Xishuangbanna will finally be complete at the end of this month, and in service for the public on December 2, 2021.

Approximately a 3-hour trip from Kunming to Xishuangbanna. 2.5 hours for Puer. Also stops at Yuxi. The HSR will continue beyond the Chinese border and connect to Laos as part of the BRI.

Perhaps I'll pay those elephants a visit later next year to apologize.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Demolition of 15 Apartment Buildings


The "complicated topic" lies in the interdependence of China’s economy with real estate developers, as JanJal alluded to:

29% of China’s national GDP is riding on the property market.

40% of local government revenue come from land sales. Land sales make up more than half of combined national tax revenue.

30 - 40% of total loans from China’s largest banks/ financial institutions consisted of property-related loans. (Limits are being applied)

40% of household wealth are derived from real estate.

Evergrande, whose CEO was once hailed as a socialist hero and champion of urbanization, is now being thrown under the "common prosperity" train. Yet, the villagers castigating the proverbial evil witch into the fire pit may be complicit in the derailment; the governments, banks, investors seeking high interest rate returns, and homebuyers are all culpable in paving this track for over two decades.

Curbing the status quo property growth model while sustaining economic growth to alleviate poverty would require skillful tempering of the double-edged sword. We will see.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Demolition of 15 Apartment Buildings

@DAWP Without including the ubiquitous, empty apartments that have closed escrow yet collecting dust, there are approximately 3,000,000,000 square meters of unsold housing inventory existing across China.

That equates to apartment vacancies that could house ~90 million "ghost" residents. Assuming there are three friendly ghosts haunting each household.

The result of speculative building/buying decades in the making.

Forums > Living in Kunming > IKEA in Kunming

The first, maiden store in Yunnan will open next week, August 4th near the west.

According to an old Xinhua article, the Swedish company reported spending over 1 billion yuan on this three-story building. It's huge. Over 120,000 square meters of floor space. They were supposed to open last year, but was delayed due to pandemic.

Expect heavy traffic on its grand opening day.

Forums > Food & Drink > Best Pizza in Kunming

No pastries, yet. I believe only waffles now. Regular waffles priced at 28rmb, 35-38rmb with ice cream. Whip cream and fruit toppings included.


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In a related story in this Southwest area of Yunnan, a recent fire in Lincang City's Mengjiao Nationality Township destroyed 101 straw hut cottages within this protected Wending village. Only four huts remain unscathed by the raging fire. Fortunately no fatalities were reported. Reason for fire unclear.

According to the Chinese National Geography magazine, this village of the Wa ethnic minority are the "last tribal village in China."

Video of the fire:[...]

Funny you should mention though.

Wujiaba Greenland Headquarters at the old Wujiaba Airport is slated to become the tallest skyscraper (428m), at the core of what is touted as the "future smart city" area of Wujiaba.

Patrick Scally previously reported on redevelopment bids for Wujiaba's ten square kilometers of urban renewal project. One of them being the same American architectural, urban planning, and engineering firm in charge of Eye of Spring, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM).

Along with other firms, SOM submitted an urban planning sustainable development bid to city officials for Kunming Wujiaba New City Center to "use its extensive network of waterways and greenspace to reduce runoff and clean water naturally, improving the water quality of Kunming's scenic Dianchi Lake while simultaneously creating a vibrant urban habitat."

So who won the bid? Would be appreciated if Patrick followed up on this massive development project at Wujiaba.

Sustainable landscape architect design team from Finland has been tapped to resurrect the future Dongfeng Square at Kunming's city-center.

Behemoth steel frames of Eye of Spring are rapidly rising across from Kunming's current tallest Hang Lung's Spring 66. Eye of Spring will eventually surpass Spring 66 with a 77-storey skyscraper, along with a smaller 71-storey skyscraper. The Ritz-Carlton will be entering one of the two.

Yesterday morning, developer Junfa held a press conference across the street at Gingko Department Store showcasing the green design features of Eye of Spring. Expect more Chinese publications discussing the project in days to come.

Exciting news for Shangri-la's high speed rail.

At the end of this year, the Shangri-la's HSR station will commence its maiden voyage through the northwestern mountains in the direction of Tibet, setting up for future linkage to the autonomous region down the line.

Destination details can be revealed by Vera & contributors.

This segment of HSR completion will provide a quieter, safer, and faster alternative to the current honking of horns through ever-winding mountain roads via buses.

Rail connection en route to Lijiang (still under construction) won't be operational until next year as previously planned. Hopefully in late 2020, HSR linking Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-la will be finally realized.


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