ULIBCN70: yes - you must be new in China.
You can buy a ticket in advance at any one of a number of state-run ticket offices in Kunming (there's one just off 121 Street across the bridge from the north end of Wenhua Xiang (the street where Salvador's is), and the other day I was in my local post office and there was a sign in Chinese saying you could book tickets there as well. However,
I'm almost certain you would have no trouble just showing up at the bus station and buying a ticket for the next bus, or possibly the one after that. There are a lot of scheduled buses to Jianshui, from fairly early morning on.
However you buy your ticket, you will probably have to show your passport, or Chinese id.
Renting: I found my flat (55 sq. meters, living room, bedroom, kitchen, another small room & a not-very-modern bathroom, solar water heating, big windows both north & south, sunlight) in a fairly old xiaoqu about a year ago. Fine fo a single occupant. Rent is Y1000/mo., agent took 1 month's rent, and I pay the landlord 6 months in advance.
Note that Y1000 is cheap. This is nothing fancy - I got what I consider a good deal. 7th (top) floor walkup, I'm used to it, rather appreciate it. Buildings with 20 or something floor are more 'modern' and more expensive, but I don't like living in the sky. Lower-mid class neighbors, 1 other foreigner, no hassles; 50 minutes walk from Yunnan U.; nearby new metro station.
Thanks. I did something or other, new version of ExpressVPN, seems to be working again. But I'm continually reminded of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business", half a mind to chuck it all & go look for a job in a car wash.
Damned twinky electrons.
Not quite what you'd call a jumping place, but not bad at all for rather standard US-type meals, not overly expensive, and with a really good salad bar that's cheap, or free with most dinner dishes after 5:30PM. You can get a bottle of beer or even wine if you really want to, but I've never seen anybody do it - maybe that's just to take out. Chinese Christian run, and they hire people with physical disadvantages, who are pleasant and helpful. Frequented by foreign (mostly North American) Christians and Chinese Christians - was started by a Canadian couple associated with Bless China (previously, Project Grace), who are no longer here, but no religious pressure or any of that. Steaks are nothing special, and I avoid the Korean dishes, which I've had a few times but which did not impress me.
As a shop and bakery, it's very good bread at reasonable prices, of various kinds (Y18 for a good multigrain loaf that certainly weighs well over a pound. Other stuff too, like granola and oatmeal that is local, as well as imported things, including American cornflakes and so forth, which some people seem to require.
Large portions, seriously so with the pizza, which is Brooklyn/American style, I guess. Convivial, conversational, good place to drink with good folks on both sides of the bar, especially after about 9PM.