User profile: Asanee

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Driving to Chiang Mai, Thailand

It's quite difficult. You will need a permit issued through the Thai Department of Land Transport and a guide. You would need to contact a Thai travel agent with a tour licence to do the paperwork, which includes a temporary Thai licence in the province of entry if all you have is a Chinese driver's licence.

Overall it's going to be very expensive. Today coincidentally marks the second anniversary of when the rules first went into effect; about 6 months later there were some amendments, which allowed driving outside the province entered but a guide and lead vehicle became mandatory, making driving into Thailand from China feasible only for those driving in convoys.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Where can I get Brazilian money (Reais)?

As the Brazilian Real is not a major currency, not to mention that China is on the opposite side of the world to Brazil, you'll struggle to find it anywhere in China. Maybe in Hong Kong, maybe, but not the mainland for sure.

The following currencies can be exchanged in China: USD, EUR, CHF, GBP, JPY, AUD, NZD, THB, SGD, HKD, MYR. A few others such as Indian, Lao, Vietnamese, Russian, middle Eastern, South African and Scandinavian currencies should also be OK to exchange at some banks and in the case of Lao and Vietnamese currencies, in Guangxi and Yunnan provinces. All other currencies are virtually impossible to exchange or purchase so don't even try.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Western Backpackers

@HFCAMPO, that's interesting, because I've received student discounts in China based on possessing a student card from another country or someone in my traveling party has.

However, many tourist attractions may only accept local student cards, it depends on their policy. That is to say that both local and international students can use them, but they have to be studying at a local Chinese university/college.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Kunming to Paris Direct Flights

It's easy enough to book a connecting flight on Malaysia Airlines, THAI or Cathay Pacific to get to Paris from Kunming. Daily (or at least regular flights most days of the week) connect Kunming with these cities and then from there daily or sometimes multiple daily flights connect to Paris.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Who will win the World Cup?

Umm really hard to say at the moment, but perhaps Brazil? Then again there have been some upsets so far including Switzerland beating Ecuador and the USA beating Ghana, so it's anyone's guess at this point.


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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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