User profile: hedgepig

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Forums > Food & Drink > Where can I buy Brewdog beer?

i'm doing my best to drink all of the Punk IPA much closer to the source... now i know Kunming's farther downstream, i'll lay off a bit so you guys don't run dry :)

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Swimming in lakes?

there's a reservoir in the west of the city that's explicitly set up for swimming. it's not super easy to find, so have a poke about on Google Maps - it's off of Zhaozong Lu. expect lots of self absorbed preening Chinese males who spend a lot of time sunning themselves and far less time swimming.

i've swum in a reservoir in the northwest of the city, and i've heard of people swimming in the Songhuaba reservoir in the north east, but it's pretty clear that it's not allowed, so don't be surprised if you get thrown out. the water level thing probably means it's not a good idea anyway.

don't forget about Fuxian Lake. some of the cleanest water in the country. and, erm, the sea's not so far away: www.gokunming.com/[...]

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Visa renewal.

you're having a laff, right? FECs went out with the ark. there's no China visa-on-arrival. you've got a bit of work to do to get your plan together. unfortunately, i'm sure you can find visa-ed teaching work in Kunming. maybe not around chunjie, mind.

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i've just had the opportunity to observe firsthand the rail infrastructure in Vietnam and Cambodia (and in Laos, i guess, but there wasn't any observing to be done.) Vietnam still relies on its single-track Reunification Express line - all very politically charged when it opened, i'm sure, but completely not future proof. Cambodia is laying track, with a lot of freshly-laid bed visible, and stacks of ties ready for deployment, but not a great deal of on-the-ground activity. again, it's single track, and not exactly built for growth.

transport infrastructure construction in Laos is centred on the roads. the best section of road in the country is from the Chinese border to Oudomxai - and it was laid by the Chinese. the question is: at what cost? a friend told me China demands logging concessions as part of the construction deal. also, lacking tunnels and bridges, and one lane each way, it's again not future proof.

so, when are Pan-regional bodies such as the ADB and Asean going to really get their act together and come up with some proper cash for a thorough solution to the problem? the whole region is a powder keg of untapped economic potential that really only needs better transport infrastructure to light the fuse.

my cynical guess is that there's no political willpower and too much corruption to make it work optimally without a nation with deep pockets and questionable morals (in this case, China) showing up and telling SE Asia how it's going to be. cue more power for China, and continued vassal status for the likes of Laos and Cambodia.

@bobbles
i have to respectfully disagree with "Maybe this is where all the cycle tourists go when we retire (from cycle touring?)."

Kunming is just the beginning.

blobbles, your optimism is admirable, and i don't think entirely unjustified.

however, i think we still have years to wait before the situation really improves. i'll try to keep it short:

car ownership is not motivated by practical concerns alone, conspicuous consumption is also a factor. previous efforts at competently managing transport infrastructure have been unimpressive. pedestrian and two-wheel transport infrastructure is being neglected. the taxi fleet is too small and not growing with the city. car parking is impractically implemented and not sufficient. traffic law enforcement is minimal to absent.

i think i see where you're coming from, and i largely agree.

Yunnan's lost its ties with southeast asia, and for so long was (and to some extent still is) considered a backwater of China. it's 'somewhere in the middle', and while it's gradually being reconnected to the rest of China, the same integration is not happening with southeast asia. it'll come soon enough, but it won't happen overnight. e.g. there are plenty of southeast asian students in Kunming gaining Chinese language skills.

regarding tourism... i think Jinghong has long been on the tourist trail (i first went there in the late 90s after reading about it in the Lonely Planet, so it's not exactly hidden) but it hasn't seen the volumes that the likes of Luang Prabang and Ko Phi Phi have seen... China's still far from being considered an 'easy' destination.

here's an idea: what if China issued visas on arrival at Yunnan ports of entry, restricted to travel within Yunnan?

Reviews

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no-one's reviewed this place for nearly 3 years! i think i know why: it's solid. a bit boring maybe, but they get the job done: food on the table in good time, attentive staff, wide selection of items. the 'Prague Breakfast' is a fine feed, still good value after the recent price increase.

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i joined friends here on the weekend. they were getting food and playing a game. the pizzas looked great, but my friends advised me to avoid them, saying they tasted bland.

having made a selection, it took 20 minutes for the staff to tell me that my choice was no longer available. as my friends had nearly finished their game, we then all took our business elsewhere.

helpful advice:

- if someone arrives, give them a menu

- sort out the beer selection

- if i speak to you in Chinese, speak back to me in Chinese

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worthless in every way. i've given this place more chances than i can count, and they remain incompetent.

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i've recently rediscovered this place. it's a little hit and miss, but i have to say that with a little experimentation, you can find some quality food here. while not perfect, the vindaloo is the best i've had.

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i first sampled the Silver Spoon burgers a few weeks back - not bad at all, though i was unconvinced that they were 1/2 pound. another visit yesterday, and this time i was persuaded... definitely a fat burger. i was very happy with my cheese and bacon burger. diners with large appetites, be warned - you'll need a side of something to make a meal - the burger is just a burger - no fries.