Tenwest Mandarin School

User profile: Tom69

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  • RegisteredNovember 17, 2010
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredNovember 17, 2010

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Tourist Visa's killing me softly

That's true and it will only get tougher in future. Laos also makes it tough to get a visa for these nationals if not resident in the country they apply in. Or they might need to go on a tour. I am not confident this Nigerian guy you met would have been issued a Lao visa. They require the purchase of a tour package, local guarantor and return flight tickets so going in by bus is a no-no unless a multiple entry visa that has been previously used has been issued but Laos does not routinely issue anything other than single entry visas.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > travelling form Yunnan to Myanmar

A little off topic, but the USD advice is old news. Since late 2012, all banks that deal in foreign exchange (the best are CB Bank and KBZ Bank) can exchange three currencies: USD, EUR and SGD. There are however plenty of official money changers that take other currencies including AUD, CHF, JPY, MYR, THB, GBP and even CNY and possibly a few other major currencies such as HKD and NZD all at good rates and these money changers are plentiful in Yangon and Mandalay including their respective airports. Near the Chinese border nearly everyone deals only with CNY and not USD.

ATM's are nearly everywhere now even in some smaller towns although maybe not in the most out of the way places. Again, CB Bank and KBZ Bank ATM's are reliable and work without any problems (except in rare cases) however, if you're in Yangon you'll have like 100 other ATM's to choose from in case one is down but I didn't even have problems from the one ATM in Hpa-an for example. Even Mu-se now has 3 ATM's in case you happen to pass through town once the border crossing opens officially.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > travelling form Yunnan to Myanmar

I just came back from Mu-se to deliver some goods to the border with China. I was in mu-se for one night at the beginning of this month. This was my second trip to the area the first time being in 2013. The procedure to enter the Mu-se economic zone is much the same as 2 years ago.

You will have to show your passport at the 105 mile checkpoint with a sign in English, Burmese and Chinese indicating this. There is a certain sense of paranoia amongst the local immigration guys who will assume you are coming to cross into China and will ask for your permit. After telling them you don't have one as you just want to stay in town and then turn back and return to the interior of Myanmar, a few phone calls to the head immigration guy at the border some 10km away they'll let you go. But then you still have to fill in an accommodation registration slip and report in person to immigration. The procedure was thus identical to 2013.

However, last time the immigration guys at the 105 mile checkpoint were rather easygoing with immigration at the border a bit stern. This time it was the exact opposite: 105 mile checkpoint was paranoid but border immigration very quick and quite friendly. Note that leaving the zone for other parts of Myanmar also requires checking in with both border immigration and 105 mile however, that was a very quick process compared to arrival in town. If you have crossed over from China with a permit it might take longer though.

Apart from myself and a friend, I spotted only one more foreign looking individual in town on the back of a pickup.

However, this may change once the border crossing opens officially to all - Chinese, Burmese and third country foreigners with passport and relevant visas (if required). Although there has been talk of an imminent opening of the border since various news sources first announced it in late 2013, about half a year since I first went to mu-se, the opening dates have been delayed again and again.

But the good news is that the immigration complex at the border, which is under construction is projected to be completed soon in order to allow the passage of third country nationals. This construction should be finished around June and allow the upgrading of the border to international status to take place between June-August according to various news sources and Myanmar immigration. While this is quite good news, I wouldn't hold my breath as further delays wouldn't surprise me. Although I am confident the border should be opened fairly soon in time for the Aec 2015 ASEAN economic community, a priority for all ASEAN member states including Myanmar.

The recent outbreak of fighting near the Chinese border some 100km east of mu-se at Laukkai shouldn't have any effect on the Mu-se-Ruili crossing because 1) the Mu-se-Mandalay road is under full government control and an important trade corridor and 2) the Laukkai area, which is not under direct government control is not anywhere near Mu-se and therefore one will be able to pass through the border from Mu-se to places like Lashio, Pyin u lwin and Mandalay without passing through any dangerous areas/territory in much the same way that the Thai-Myanmar border crossings allow you to cross into the Myanmar interior along main roads even if there may be instability in the hills not too far away in some cases.

Like last time the only Chinese in town appeared to be Ruili locals and no Chinese were crossing at night. Perhaps because they're not allowed to.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Yunnan motorbike to Vietnam

@tigertiger nowadays Vietnam generally only allows Lao and Vietnamese registered vehicles to cross their common border. Only pre-arranged tours can enter otherwise for vehicles registered in other countries.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Yunnan motorbike to Vietnam

I'm afraid you won't be able to enter Vietnam on a Chinese registered bike (or car for that matter) unless maybe you go on an organized tour with arrangements made at least a month in advance. There is no way you will be successful if you attempt to enter independently and forget about trying to enter from Laos to Vietnam as the Lao authorities won't allow your bike to leave their territory. The Vietnamese consulate is no use so go to www.ride-asia.net or gtrider.com for more detailed info.


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Globalism is relevant here, because it's the dominant ideology that is being force fed down our throats, at least in the west for the past few decades. Just because the media, popular culture and western governments like to force us to accept that crap doesn't mean it should be considered the 'norm' or 'good', which is why I object to people dissing nationalism, without being objective by also criticizing the left's tactics because to me it is a blatant double standard. You would have made a better point if you had correctly pointed out "ultra-nationalism" as being the problem here, which is quite prevalent amongst a significant proportion of the Chinese population and explains the negative reactions of many Chinese netizens to this student's speech.

From the responses here, I can see many GoKunming posters still have their wits about them, but I can guarantee you back in the west you have to assume everyone is a liberal when they only attack speech that is contrary to their worldview.

This student's speech was a sort of subtle way of dissing her country. While it may be a bit excessive for her countrymen to criticize her for correctly pointing out that China has air pollution problems (which would suggest that a Chinese person can't even slightly criticize their homeland), I think what really got Chinese netizens fuming is the claim that there is complete freedom of speech and freedom in general in America but none in China, which is a typical tactic employed by western propagandists trying to make China look bad. I call complete bull on that. You have freedom of speech in America that is protected by the 1st amendment of the constitution, but in practice, there are many places (such as most universities) or situations where anything other than left-wing, liberal, SJW speech is not welcome. Anything of a conservative or libertarian nature is criticized, ridiculed, taken out of context, dismissed etc. and to pretend there's complete freedom of speech in America in 2017 when you have both active and passive censorship taking place is ludicrous. It's also not true that there is absolutely no freedom of speech in China. Yes there are a few things you have to be very careful talking about - but I find it's possible to talk about the vast majority of topics with Chinese people, many of which I would only carefully raise with a westerner or even avoid altogether unless I knew said individual very well. The other thing is when I talk to Chinese people about these topics, sometimes they even bring them up themselves, nobody gets offended, but they relish in the lively discussion.

Another example are publications like The Shanghaiist, the Global Times etc. all allow unfiltered comments of any type to fill their comments sections - some newspapers in the States like the NY Times will delete unfavorable ones. Let's not forget Facebook, or should I say "censorbook", which is increasingly employing the same kind of tactics. Hmm. Double standard much?

Yes, something like that but I think you've misinterpreted my point. I was trying to say that extreme viewpoints on either side of the spectrum are problematic as evidenced by my examples contrasting two ideological opposites that have resulted in largely the same outcomes (violence, rioting, property damage, vandalism etc.) It's always best to reach a conclusion somewhere in the middle by considering both angles to a story. Being perpetually offended by playing the victim card is stupid, but so too is deliberately antagonizing someone or something else.

So does "internationalism" or "globalism", Alien. It produces the insanity that we have been seeing in many parts of the west, the USA in particular of screaming leftists who have become so insane as to threaten the life of the US president yet strangely haven't been arrested for attempted murder. Even the media takes part, in fact the media is a huge part of the problem and yes, it's completely biased and much of their reporting is fake, distorted inconsistent with the facts or omits the truth.

The Chinese form of nationalism that you are referring to may however also be somewhat exaggerated for effect and yes, ultra-nationalism, as many Chinese practice when there is a stir-up of nationalist sentiment in response to a "threat", particularly from the arch-nemisis nation of Japan or Vietnam, the Philippines etc. can get out of hand and sometimes results in innocent lives being lost when a riot starts, in addition to massive property destruction. The anti-Japanese riots of a few years ago, when Japanese cars, probably made in China and driven by Chinese citizens were destroyed is one example. Similarly, an anti-China protest last year I think in Vietnam resulted in a couple of lives lost and a large amount of property destruction at a Taiwanese owned factory. No mainland Chinese people owned any of the assets that were targeted nor were they amongst the victims of the rioting.

So perhaps the point I'd like to make is the best response is the middle ground.

True, the Chinese do drive relatively slowly and I find it's only in the cities, mainly bigger cities where drivers can be quite aggressive. Out of the highways it's a doodle though, especially compared to Thailand where you generally have higher traffic volumes and drivers who drive at much higher speeds.


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