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User profile: blobbles

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Kunming sucks the life out of me...

The rage! The sarcasm! The scathing attitude to all that is Kunming! Even the foreigners that come here are subjected to the rage!

Its just so entertaining! More, more, more! Though you may need some more material.

Subjects I believe not yet covered by BillDan:
People saying "Hello!" to you after you have passed them. If you acknowledge them, they giggle hysterically. People (especially old people) saying "Wai guo ren!" or "Lao wai!" or something similar when they see you. I consider the above two cute but I would love to hear your opinion on them BillDan.
Please, oh please, tell us about your cat and the "veterinarian" you went to. That will be awesome.
You have talked about the food in all of Kunming being terrible, but nothing about the service. I mean come on, any self respecting rage filled cynic MUST be able to create at least 1 tirade on the service!

Anyone think of anything else BillDan can rage at?

Forums > Food & Drink > Wu Mei

You mean Wal Marts? There are quite a few around in KM, 3 or 4 that I know of.

Forums > Food & Drink > Kunming cuisine

That was awesome!

Bill, I have switched to eating tuna sandwiches... 24 kuai for 2 cans of tuna in sunflower oil from Metro (4 meals for me)... very good Irish cheese - 28 kuai from metro (about 6 meals for me), tomatoes/lettuce/cucumber from any market, bread from Metro is passable and doesn't cost the earth. All up about 15 kuai a sandwich, very hao chi and very healthy! Man, are you stuck in your ways you HAVE to have ham! Bacon must be at least a worthy replacement? The fact you lasted so many years in Kunming is a testament to your fortitude!

Kunming isn't an international city by any standards, lets all admit that. Its got bits and pieces of internationality here and there, but most of us love it because its a bit "rural" in so many regards. Where else do parents hold their kids in a squat position for them to shit all over the footpath? You wouldn't find that behaviour in any city considered international, therefore you also should not expect to find ham!

As for the local cuisine, its quite good if you like spicy stuff, which is what I personally looove. Gutter oil is a little overblown and probably used by a minority of restaurants. The local food is loved by the locals. Kunming doesn't have a big enough international community or local interest in international foods to make it profitable for supermarkets to stock western perishables like ham or provide the expertise on how to store and serve it so you probably can't blame them. In the future, this will probably change, so lets enjoy rurality (?) while we can!

Bill, I think we should start a fund for you to buy you a return ticket for 2 weeks to mei guo! How about that everyone a "Bills Great American Fix" charity?

Forums > Food & Drink > Kunming cuisine

Wow, Bill is jaaaaaaded!

Bill, if you want some ham, I recommend going to Metro, buying some bacon frying it and using that instead. Or some of the local salami type stuff which is really tasty. Sometimes we have to deal with not having exactly what we want here, but substitutes aren't usually hard to find. That is what happens when you are in a foreign country. If I try to find Yunnan food in my country, its pretty difficult (and I have looked).

The stinky barbecued tofu here is excellent too mmmm.... actually I like the barbecue places where you can cook lots of different things yourself, tofu, vegetables etc. There are some pretty good hotpot places around too, I particularly enjoy some of the frog ones (weird, but really tasty!).

Check out the bugs that they eat here too, haven't tried them yet but apparently very hao chi!

Forums > Travel Yunnan > get from Hekou to Kunming

Just did the Hekou visa run, thought I would update this thread as it (and others) are a bit old and out of date. Vietnam visa picked up at the consulate 2 blocks north of the train station. 385 kuai for 3 day service if you have a passport photo, 395 if no passport photo. You have to pick up 3 days later at 5-5:30pm. Not sure what will happen if you show up early/don't show but you get the idea. Easy to get and the staff speak English/Chinese/Vietnamese.

Bus leaves from East bus station. You can take some buses to get there, I couldn't figure out which one so caught a taxi from the north for 30 kuai. Bus ticket easy to get - took 8 hours to get there with a stop for lunch at a dirtbag town somewhere. I recommend taking some fruit with you for lunch as the dirtbag town has a monopoly on crappy food. You can also buy a drink there and you won't get ripped off much. About 50km from Hekou there is a police checkpoint where everyone has to show their passport/ID card. They will take your passport off the bus in order to write down your particulars so don't worry. They do the same on the way back to Kunming.

Arrive in Hekou the situations a little different. The bus dropped us off seemingly in the middle of a road with a bunch of taxis waiting to take us to the border. With 2 other passengers in 1 taxi it cost 10 kuai each for about a 3km ride (a rather big rip off, so beware those on a budget). The border crossing on both sides is straightforward. Watch for people trying to rip you off on the Lao Gai side, they are insistent and highly annoying. They will try to steal your things (the hat I was wearing in my case) and will ask for spare change and be generally annoying. At this point you can turn around and come back in or go on to Sapa/Hanoi for a few days, whatever.

Back into China and interestingly all the Entry/Departure cards on the Chinese sides had the Departure section removed. Not sure why or if this will cause me issues when I try to leave next.

Coming back into China from Vietnam a whole stack of motorbike dudes are waiting to take you for 20 kuai to the long distance bus station. Bargain one down to at least 15 kuai because its definitely not worth it for the distance and the danger (no helmets, a bit mad the riders on quite powerful bikes). The long distance bus station in Hekou is pretty new and quiet. Easy to get the ticket to Kunming and again is 8 hours back to the East bus station with the stop in the fleabag town. The buses are fairly comfortable and will stop on the side of the road if you need to pee (or more likely if 2 or 3 of you need to pee). Advise getting some yummy tropical fruit for the trip back to Kunming on the China side (much less likely to be ridiculously ripped off) from the Hekou township before heading to the long distance bus station as they only have those bad Chinese snacks for sale at the station.

The buses during the day are fairly comfortable and you go through some pretty nice areas (Shilin, a pretty gorge half an hour north of Hekou). Also they will play 2 or 3 movies of varying quality during the trip on screens above the aisles. They seem to be fairly concious of when a laowai is onboard and played movies with english/chinese subtitles only and even the recent Prince of Persia, when I went. Actually its quite a comfortable trip and I recommend it especially if you spend a couple of days in Sapa and need your double entry visa renewed. You could easily do the trip in 2 comfortable days staying overnight in Vietnam/China depending on your preference.


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What do you do HFCAMPO that justifies your existence as a clearly well off foreigner in a relatively poor area of the world?

Your answer better include working with orphaned drug addicted lepers or you may just fall off your high horse.

And how do/did you make the money you have? It better not have been through the capitalist system you so despise...

When I saw the preview for this I thought "This has a 90% chance of being unwatchable". Now that it's been sent back for re-editing by (likely) the Chinese government, I revise my estimate to 99%.



Yep, pretty good. Fairly authentic, they have the special Vietnamese basil and mint to add to your bowl, making the taste close to authentic. Currently large bowl of beef pho on special for 15 kuai, which is damn good value. Even at 25 kuai its not bad, though locals will definitely prefer an 8 kuai la jiao oily mess, this makes for a very good change. Decor is awesome, the boss is nice, the waiters a bit slow but sure to improve. I recommend if near the city centre, worth the small side trip.


Wow, just wow. Possibly the best Chinese food I have had in Kunming. And in one of the nicest, traditional courtyard style restaurant I have been in. A woman dressed in traditional qi pao playing a gu zheng just adds to it.

We had okra, mushroom soup, dried beef and chou dofu. All top notch with the bill coming in at just over 250 kuai. But we could have fed 3 people for that so not too bad at about 80-90 kuai each. Not the cheapest but for the quality, it's damn good.

If you have people visiting and want to take them to a traditional Chinese style restaurant with Yunnan style food, or want a romantic night out with a gal, you can't go wrong here. Close to Green Lake (down a little alley) for a romantic walk... Just perfect.


Pretty good place for getting all your documents translated and/or notarised. Note that there are a number of notaries in the building which you can find by going up the stairs (the elevators are impossible). But you have to find the stairs to do so... go in the door, head over to the right, go up the big wide stairs which head up a floor, turn right then right again into the elevator area and right again into the stairwells. Whew!

One point off for the elevators never being available and having to hike 7-9 flights of stairs (not good if you have to go 3-4 times a day like I often did!)


This does not stop at the Jinanya hotel at Da Shang Hui as the flyers state (and is on the images tab here). They need to have another stop in the same area or else they are missing out on covering a big chunk of the city.

You can take another bus, the 919C, I believe, if you are nearby Da Shang Hui, which leaves from the bus station on HeHong Lu, nearby the Qianxing road intersection. This bus goes every hour and is white, found at the western end of the station. It is operated by a different company and takes about 1 hour 10 minutes to get to the airport due to a large number of stops especially near the airport.

Great bus though if you can catch it!