Richland International Hospital

User profile: Asanee

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

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Boten/Mohan border crossing closing times

I haven't done it by bus but know from people who have, that according to the schedule, it's 40 hours from Vientiane to Kunming, but often takes 48 hours. Thai, Lao and Vietnamese buses do just fine driving overnight - they usually have 2 drivers available per long-distance bus route though, so this rule probably only applies to Chinese drivers. Although good from a safety point of view, it's inconvenient if you're a traveler because it greatly extends your journey. A better option is to do the trip in stages (and isn't that kind of the point anyway, if you're going to Laos you want to see something along the way?)

Although if you can't stomach the terribly winding roads, there's always a Jinghong-Luang Prabang flight operated by Lao Airlines. Or of course Kunming-Luang Prabang and Kunming-Vientiane.

Personally I'd recommend flying Kunming-Jinghong, then going to Luang Nam Tha by international bus, then Luang Nam Tha - Luang Prabang by van, finally Luang Prabang to Vientiane by plane (or if you want to make a stopover in Vang Vieng, need to go by van).

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Carrefour Giving Up On China

Carrefour exited the Thai market years ago, having had their business purchased by local supermarket giant Big C.

Surprised Carrefour lasted this long in China. Before long, Walmart will be sold to a local firm too.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Boten/Mohan border crossing closing times

Yes there are, already since many years but they take forever. Unlike in Thailand and Vietnam, where only short breaks are taken, Chinese bus drivers like to take 6 hour breaks at the border or something, meaning a journey from Vientiane to Kunming often takes a bone jarring 40-48 hours. A bit too long to be hauled up on a bus I think. Given you can fly from Kunming to Jinghong for under 400 Kuai, if you can at least do that part of the journey by air, it becomes more manageable.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Transferring cash out of China

A few years ago I was regularly wiring money out of China from the BOC without needing any documentation, but I could only convert the equivalent of USD 500 of Yuan into foreign currency everyday, meaning in order to transfer USD 2000 out of the country, would require 4 trips to the bank, once a day over 4 days.

Is this method still available, or have they now made it more difficult?

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Thai visa for foreigners in Kunming

Chinese trucks can't cross the Thai-Lao friendship bridge. They've never been able to, either (unlike private cars, which now need a tour since 2016). However, goods that are being transferred between Thailand and China usually on Thai-registered trucks as far as Boten on the Lao-China border cross regularly. For the average person, it doesn't make a difference but there is a change of trucks that takes place at the Lao-China border and there are companies that can offer such a service without you having to worry about the finer details like the country of registration of the truck.

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Geogramatt, eventually it may cross into Myanmar. However, given how it will only be finished as far as Ruili in 2022, there's still many years before it ever makes it into Myanmar. Hopefully that will be enough time for Myanmar to end it's wars in the northern part of the country but that's wishful thinking at this point. After all, the Kachin Independence Army or KIA broke a 17-year ceasefire back around 2011 and fighting has actually increased in the meantime.

Myanmar didn't only open up for tourism in 2011. It has been open for years just that not many westerners went prior to 2011, even though there was little stopping them. The only thing you couldn't do prior to 2013 was travel overland unless you had a permit. I first went to Myanmar on a day trip to Tachilek in 2001 and flew into Yangon in 2004 and 2005. It was just as easy to get a visa back then as it is today, except that there were more restricted areas than there are now. Also, getting to Mu-se on the Chinese border seems to be OK. I went there in February. The adjacent areas where the Kokang conflict erupted are of course out of bounds. Chinese citizens generally aren't allowed to travel across to the Burmese side overland either, except to Mu-se for up to 7 days but that isn't always allowed either. Burmese who travel to China illegally risk arrest and those that travel overland from Mu-se can only travel to Ruili. To enter China properly and travel wherever they want, they either need a permit or must fly in, just like other foreigners.

To further add to Tom69's comments, I have recently heard that the go-ahead has been given for a railway from Kunming to near the Lao border, but as for continuing into Laos and beyond to Thailand, this is uncertain at the moment. In any case, overly optimistic Chinese journalism should be dismissed as reliable news sources as they have many times mentioned things that have yet to materialize.

Anyway, to get back on track a little bit can anyone tell me if there are now more services out of Mengzi (and in the reverse direction) than the one lone train? If coming from Vietnam it would be impossible to make the 9.03am train, since a bus journey would take 2 hours and then you would need to consider that the border only opens at 8am Chinese time I think, so only by staying in Hekou itself could you make it to Mengzi (possibly) if you departed Hekou around 6am by the time the train departs.

@Peter99, as you say, it's up to the individual countries concerned, not China, to allow entry to Myanmar/Vietnam overland from China. If a bomb attack occurs in Myanmar near the Chinese border (where I've been to just like you have been), that's something that should concern China but isn't enough to prevent the Chinese authorities from allowing foreigners to cross as foreign citizens are not of concern to China when they exit Chinese territory. Having said that I keep reading that the official opening of the Ruili-Muse crossing to passport and visa holders of all nationalities is scheduled to proceed as planned this year, but an exact date is not yet known. 4 border crossings with Thailand opened last August and I have travelled overland into the interior of Myanmar to/from Thailand 3 times since that time.

As others have said, a number of these crossings have always been open so I don't know what the authorities mean about being recently "re-opened". The Lao Cai-Hekou crossing is open to all who have valid documents to cross between China and Vietnam there (some nationalities don't need a visa to enter Vietnam and as such can just cross through without a visa). Only cars generally can't cross the border here, one must be a pedestrian to cross and there are no cross border bus services either.

@LaoQingwa and laoshi19, I just arrived back in Kunming today. Today the weather was partly cloudy with plenty of sunshine and comfortably warm temperatures. I was told the past 2 days have been similar. It seems that the weather forecast is not very accurate - my hunch is on partly cloudy skies, with some possibility of overcast skies and light rain being more likely over the next few days but probably nothing like Kunming experienced last week (well, at least, hopefully not).

There is no evidence left of the flooding which affected Kunming mainly last Friday. I too was worried as evidenced by my earlier post, but it seems that even the most low lying areas around Beijing Lu, which were most flooded and the rest of downtown are back to normal - I drove through there from the airport today and everything is business as usual.

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