User profile: fabey

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La

High speed rail train to Shangri-la will finally be completed and in operation this year. Five-hour trip from Kunming, passing through Dali and Lijiang train stations obviously.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Lao land border crossing

Passengers can book online. For example, you can try Qunar. Just type 去哪儿 in your WeChat miniprogram search bar. The white camel logo with aqua color backdrop should appear.

Qunar is basically the subsidiary of Ctrip (aka So for the longest time they nearly monopolized the domestic travel/hotel booking market in the Mainland. Ctrip has been expanding aggressively in the tour packages market, making a killing with their vertical integrations.

After registration (or login), click the train tab and type in 老挝 for destinations in Laos. The specific high speed rail stations in Laos will appear in Chinese.

It seems only Kunming South is available for departure everyday fixed at 8:08am. A 7 hour 37 min journey to Luang Prabang for 413 rmb. 8 hr 30min for Van Vieng (475rmb), etc. Even cheaper after claiming vouchers for first-time users of Qunar.

Tickets seem to be available for booking, even for next day travel.

Perhaps all the fuss making the rounds on Chinese social media regarding Myanmar human trafficking for forced spam labor is scaring netizens from traveling to neighboring SE countries. Domestic travel has been booming in its place. That's good news if you're planning a less jam-packed trip to Laos, albeit in the monsoon season.

I'm out of the loop on current border wait time (as @baiyuxiang mentioned) or the latest visa-on-arrival situation, but I do know the best exchange rates for cash are specific Chinese owned shops across towns, not the ATMs or local exchange vendors.


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The Wall Street Journal currently features the China-Laos Railway on its front page in a special video report:[...]

This WJS report reveals China's BRI plan to connect SE Asia via this railway. Journalists Nikki Walker and Todd Holmes obviously didn't travel to the border SEZ themselves. This area has been a ghost town with stalled development projects for several years, but may slowly pickup in the future if one is cautiously optimistic.

Nice to see the return of travel blog pieces on this site.

Moon and Chalice boutique hotel has turned into a must-visit "打卡" (punch-in time slot) destination for selfie taking tourists who come to Kunming in the past couple of years.

After years of closure due to covid, one of Dali's biggest san yue jie festival is officially back in full force, from May 4 and ending May 10. Highest local officials have attended the festivities.

For those travelling by train to Dali, the Dali station is under complete renovations. No. 8 bus (3 yuan) to old town is across the street.

Hai dong train station (aka North Station) will be built in five years and slated to be the biggest train station in Dali.



For a limited time until June 26, 2022, the 66th top floor observatory will be open to public for free. Visiting hours: 14:00 - 21:00, weekends and holidays. One of the best breathtaking views of the cityscape. Great for family. Below the skyscraper is intersection of MRT Line 3 (pink) with Line 2/1.


For those following the tragic saga of the baby calf elephant (born at Kunming Zoo), who was forcibly separated from its mother to perform as solo act elsewhere for profit, there's finally some good news. After months of social media uproar and complaints over the cruel treatments of the calf in tears during training in leaked vids, the calf is soon returning back to our local zoo. The visibly depressed mother and calf will soon be reunited after a brief quarantine period. One extra star for the zoo for adhering to the voices of the public. A step in the right direction. More compassion for our animal friends in captivity.