User profile: ludwig

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Puzhehei to Guangnan county

The satellite image is from Google, but the road data is from — Google has not been updating their maps for China for years now, as they have no mapping partner in China anymore.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > bus to Menglian

Both busses will arrive sometime the next morning, I would estimate the travel time to be 12-15 hours: about 6-8 hours to Puer (Simao, all expressway), then another 4-5 to Lancang (a smaller road with not much traffic), and another 2 to Menglian (another smaller road, plus the bus might stop in Lancang for breakfast). Sleeper busses sometimes take their time, but you should be there before noon the next day.

If you wanted to travel faster, take a plane to Simao (can be pretty cheap), then a bus from there. If you took a morning flight, you could be in Menglian in the evening.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > bus to Menglian

Menglian is one of the furthest destinations from Kunming and one of the few county towns that does not have a day bus to Kunming, however AFAIK there are two sleeper busses a day from the southern station, one leaving around 3pm, the other around 6pm.

Photos of the time tables from the southern station at

Best to buy tickets in advance from one of the ticket agents in the city center, but if you do not have time for this, just head down to the southern station which is a long way from central Kunming. Should the busses be sold out, you can also travel to Lancang 澜沧 which is only one hour from Menglian and connections are easy.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > New Jim Goodman Book

Jim Goodman, the veteran researcher and writer who was recently featured on GoKM, has just published another book, this time on the people of the Red River area, called "The Terrace Builders: the Hani and their Neighbors in Yunnan's Ailao Mountains".

Available for the Kindle:[...]


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I do not think Yereth managed to crawl out of bed 'looking for the perfect early morning shot': they do not keep the lanterns on until the morning, so it was probably accidental shutter release on the way home after a few beers.

Best time for a good picture at Black Dragon Pool is early morning, after 8:30 the light turns flat even in winter. Plus bring a long lens to shorten the perspective. With your Lijiang 80Y ticket you only get one entrance to the park, but it is easy to see if it will be worthwhile from the outside.

I am not sure if the building still exists, but near the market is/was a two story building where (with a little bribe to a local resident) you could climb on the roof for a shot over the old city towards the mountain: best in the afternoon.

Lijiang is the only place where I hesitate to take photos of the very few remaining locals. They must be feeling like Paris Hilton out in her underwear every time they leave their house. Give them a break.

The airport express busses are supposed to be starting at 5am, not sure if it is true though. #1 runs from the old Nanjiang Hotel at Xiaoximen.

Otherwise I have found that it is no problem getting a taxi early in the morning from the Kundu area, much easier than later in the day. Around 6am plenty of taxis still show up to take people back from a night out and they always seemed to be happy to take me rather than someone likely to throw up inside their car.

You can all check how much water you are using by looking at your water bill: a cubic meter (=1000l) of water costs 3.45Y, so if your bill comes to more than 10Y per month per person you are using more than 100l per day.

Even on our half-day rationed water in our flat, we still managed to use about 70l per person per day in April/May. We blame the cleaning lady.

August is certainly not the best month to go. Even if it does not rain, the mountains are most of the time shrouded in clouds. Landslides are the biggest risk, particularly if one attempts to cross a recent one.

Properly done, the walk is not difficult and there are some ways to cut out the more boring bits. I would suggest taking a car up to a little teahouse, called something like Sunrise Guesthouse where the trail branches off the dirt road that goes up to some village. (Starting from Qiaotou the walk is first along the road, then up the mentioned dirt road, before it becomes a trail.) The best guesthouse the Naxi Family GH, IMHO, then comes after a not too difficult walk. It has the nicest views in the afternoon (clouds permitting) and is not as crowded as Halfway House. The second day would take you through the 18 bends and the highest point to Halfway GH for lunch (not many people there for lunch, many Koreans seem to arrive after dark, hiking all the way from Qiaotou), and after lunch down to the road at Tina's, from where you could take a car back to Lijiang (the walk is then all along the road).

The coming weekend is particularly good for a visit to Xishan as 三月三 (the third of March in the lunar calendar, this year on March 24th) is the traditional folk festival day 耍西山. It is an occasion for theatrical performances like local opera plays, song and dance and is extremely popular. (If you are looking for solitude, this might be a day to avoid.)

To make the most of the weekend, this year the festival is extended to Sunday as well. More info on this year's activities here:



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.