User profile: ludwig

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Anyone have experience travelling by bus around Yunnan during Golden Week?

Things get busy and you should definitely try to get your bus tickets as early as possible.

There are a number of bus-ticket offices in Kunming city center (e.g. near the train station; on 121 Dajie at the intersecion with Jianshe Lu; at Xizhan), where you probably will have to queue, but which are still much better than the crowded bus stations themselves. Do not assume that you can just show up at the terminal and get a bus out any time soon. However, bus services to Xiaguan (Dali City) are better able to handle the increased traffic than smaller places.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > New Airport Hotels

The bus from Xiaoximen actually starts at 5am.

Taxi drivers also go, but will ask for 120-150 fixed fare as they rarely get a fare back into town.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Can Tourist Get a 3G/EDGE Sim Card Easily?

This is the pricing page for the data only plans by Unicom:

However, when I got my data plan with them over a year ago, I tried to get the half year or year card in Kunming (option four at the bottom). First I was told they would only sell it at their head office (next to Panlongjiang, just south of Renmin Lu IIRC), but they could/would not sell it to me either. So I went for option 3, a monthly plan at Y80 for 1GB nationwide (plus 2GB per month free inside Yunnan only, not mentioned on the page), which has the option of using much more at decreasing cost. But you have to plonk down 1200 as initial deposit. This is a data plan (but SMS works, as does Skype and tethering).

If they sell it, the half-year card for Y300 for 3GB would probably your best option.

They needed my passport and police registration, not sure if hotel registration would do.


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The old ferry stopped working sometime last year, now you will have to go quite far west to the new ferry, which is a long slog (and a little difficult to find) unless you catch a ride with a local driver (try to hail any vehicle along the road - we managed to hitch a ride with some forestry van for 10Y from the old crossing to the new).

There is no fixed time-table for the 'ferry', it is operated by a few local guys who go home when they think no-one is coming anymore.

Daju does make a very nice stop, but as of last year they try to collect the mountain fee as well as the Lijiang old town fee also at the northern park entrance (when returning from Daju to Lijiang), amounting to a whopping 220Y or so. However, the mountain fee is not payable if you do not get off the bus inside the park area and technically the Lijiang fee should not be required if you do not stop in Lijiang, but continue on to, let's say, Xiaguan. Some people have avoided paying the fees by claiming to be locals (works less well for westerners).

The totally rushed (and a bit pointless) version of TLG would be to hire a car to take you Naxi Family Guesthouse and walk from there to Halfway GH, have lunch there and walk down to the road and onto Walnut Grove. There seem to be vehicles for hire at the guesthouses, who then could take you either back to Qiaotou or to the ferry to Daju.

However, my recommendation would be to stay on night at Naxi Family GH (few people do, even though it has the nicest afternoon views of the mountains), next morning to Halfway GH for lunch and continue on a bit to one of the smaller GH along the higher trail for another night. Halfway GH has become big business in the last decade and has lost its attraction.

Beatrix Metford, the wife of a British officer, wrote in her 1935 book "Where China Meets Burma":

"About ten years ago the British Government purchased a six-acre plot and started to build a consulate. It was a lovely site, just outside the west gate, with extensive views of the hills and mountains. The house was to be a stone building, comfortable but plain. It was bigger and more costly proposition than was realized. There were no workmen, no masons or carpenters, who had even seen a European house, so they all had to be trained, and when they were trained they struck for higher wages, and so it went on. [...] All tools, all fittings had to be carried by mule or coolie from Bhamo. At last, after eight years' work and vast expenditure, far beyond the original estimate, the consulate was finished and occupied.

It is a very plain house, painfully plain, with it smooth stone walls, its tin roof, its brown woodwork. But inside it is a bit of England. It is most beautifully fitted up and well furnished — a veritable oasis in the desert of mud and wood houses of the borderland. And in its spacious gardens, surrounded by a high stone wall, one can hardly realize one is in China..."

When I first found the building a few years back, the road it was on was called Huanxilu, the western ring road, which illustrates that for a long time its location was on the western outskirts of Tengchong. Today, Tengchong has sprawled beyond it. At that time it was still possible to climb up onto the second floor, where like in any proper English house there were also fireplaces, but everything else had been stripped out.

Two years ago we spoke to a Chinese guy there who seemed to have a certain interest in the building and he told us that the building had been the headquarters of the Japanese, which would not be totally surprising if it was the best-built and best-furnished place in town.

If one travels down to Lianghe, the next county town towards the Burmese border, there is the restored tusi yamen, where some iron-cast window parts still say 'Glasgow' on it if I remember correctly.

For those who want to find Shicheng on a map: 24.803N 102.58E.

There is a bus #33 from Kunming to Haikou, but it is not very frequent. Better to take one of the minibusses that run from the corner of Chunhui Lu 春晖路 and Renmin Xilu (this is just a little east of the big flyover). The fare to Haikou is Y8. From Haikou a tuk-tuk to Shicheng is 10Y, as the article says it is about 3km along a not-too-interesting road.

The bus to Haikou also passes the Xihua Wetlands mentioned in a previous post and Guanyinshan 观音山, a Bai village with a large Guanyin temple on a rocky outcrop overlooking Dianchi.



It is rare to find good approximations of western food anywhere in China and their lamb-chops (listed as lamb T-bone steak or so) were the best I have found so far. They came with good fries and the beer was cold. I liked the way that they serve the gloopy 'black-pepper sauce' separately, so one can just skip it. Pleasant and quick service too.


A pleasant modern eatery. The menu claims the chef worked for a large Chinese chain of Thai restaurants, but the Thai aspect of the food is difficult to find.

I gave the 'boneless chicken feet' a miss and had some spicy beef which while not bad was closer to the usual Sichuan fare than anything Thai. A dog under the table quickly lapping up any dropped food complemented the Sichuan experience.

The spring rolls were not bad though and together with a beer the bill came to Y58.

Easiest improvement would be better rice.


Easily the best bread to be found in Yunnan with friendly and efficient service. I have made detours to Dali just to pick up some bread on the way back to Kunming.