User profile: walter

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Hospital recommendations for giving birth

Specifics-wise, I heard a very bad first hand (mother's) story recently about what was reportedly "the best", Yunnan University Hospital. (Disclaimer: I am not sure exactly which hospital this is, for I haven't been there) For instance, they had no idea at all about pain management options, basic nutrition, etc.

We flew to Thailand instead (last year) where there are many options. Not counting hotel and travel/visa expenses, we paid 100,000THB (18,000CNY) for a modern/clean/international hospital to do a Cesarean birth (including pre-birth tests and consultations, 3-4 days in a private hospital room, good food, etc.) While this may sound expensive it's really not compared to private hospitals in China and is light years ahead of them. Unfortunately, you can only fly a few months before the birth and thus need to take 3+ months off work (not possible for everyone).

By multiple reports (and my personal hospital experiences here for non-birth cases over 15 years) the amount of bullshit you have to go through in Chinese hospitals is ridiculous. Let's face it: giving birth is stressful enough. Unless your Chinese part of the family insists on doing it locally and you have the patience to go through with that I would strongly recommend considering Thailand.

We have used and are very happy with 昆明市妇幼保健院 for post-birth immunizations. They specialize in kids and are located just up the hill from Green Lake. (Note that every country has its own idea of which immunizations are required, and they differ by phase of moon throughout Yunnan. Note also that international serum costs a lot more here than local stuff, if you choose to use it you will be paying US$100 or so per shot instead of ~zero)

We also went to Maria pre-birth but don't rate it on professionalism or quality of experience.

You got it right, Richland is shit. A friend of mine went there for a bout of salmonella, which is pretty standard here. Instead of the normal hospital thing in China of a few stabbed needles, drips and a night in hospital (40-100RMB: I know, I've done it twice here and once in Qingdao, plus once here for another friend) they made him stay for days in an exorbitant room and used scare tactics to claim he had to pay some stupid amount of money in case of some completely unrelated situation, extra tests, etc. I felt really bad that I let him go there. He wound up paying through the nose, I believe something close to 10,000CNY.

Facts are, a lot of Chinese private hospitals are run as virtual scams and they really are dishonest.

We also went to hospitals in Australia and France (Necker, which was the first pediatric hospital in the world!), but still heartily recommend Thailand.

If you would like help with the processes in Thailand let me know, my wife and I would be happy to talk to you.

Forums > Living in Kunming > 1 month Visa on Arrival for India

Just a public service announcement.

If you have a passport from Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Indonesia, or Myanmar you can get a Visa on Arrival when landing at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad or Bengaluru.

AFAIK there are at least direct flights to Kolkata from Kunming but I can't find prices.

Indirect flights are available to all those airports, eg. via Bangkok, and the typical prices are around 3500 return (all inclusive).

Forums > Living in Kunming > house (not apartment) in Kunming

Some other options...

First, there are some apartments with big terraces or roof gardens, often huge roof-top spaces that were simply forgotten about in design. These can be surprisingly private and comfortable, particularly if you have a bit of a green thumb.

Second, many of the newer housing complexes in the city have extensive gardens featuring moving water features, large transplanted and well established trees and other foliage. An apartment looking out on to an area such as this (shared with neighbours) may check enough of the private garden boxes for you. These areas usually have 24 hour security guard patrols and video security systems and are typically of a higher socio-economic bent and very safe.

Third, if you are planning to get a car you could consider living outside the city proper in nearby villages, for example to the north west. While a typical in-to-city commute may now top 1 hour, there are locations that would be perhaps less and such a position gives you a lot more access to nature, better air, the chance to see a different side of Chinese society and often significantly cheaper living.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Know of a good pediatrician?

We haven't actually used one here as we had our baby in Thailand a year ago and have since been in about 5 or 6 different countries. The only place we really went was Paris, for a post-immunization rash. However, we did meet an American pediatrician in Kunming airport one day who worked for one of the big private hospitals here. Personally I wouldn't necessarily consider foreign pediatricians any better than local ones, but if you want one there's at least one here.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Grounding/Earthing DJ Gear

I'm just a computer nerd but I can tell you a lot of the earth points are not connected. The first and most frequent culprit is any extension cord (power board) that you have plugged in. Often they give you an earth plug socket (ie. 3 pins) but don't plug earth in to the wall (ie. 2 pins to the wall only)! This would be illegal in the west but is super common in Asia. Failing that, it's quite likely that some wall sockets are similarly not properly wired for earth. The way to check is to try many different sockets and see if some eliminate the humming. If so, you have found your problem and can probably investigate connecting to your local wall socket via an earthing plug (which must exist on Taobao) to manually ground the system through something else ... an outside metal drainpipe or similar. Good luck. Worst case, you can probably run an audio filter... even my video editing package, lightworks, incorporates an audio filter aimed at mains hum suppression so the means to filter digitally must be pretty widespread. This will place no load on your CPU as the DSP (digital signal processor) in your sound card can achieve this 'for free'. If that fails, the interference is analog against your speaker cable between your system and your ears - try to buy headphones or speakers with a stronger shielding on the cable, or run your cables along a different route.


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Accommodation-wise, there are loads of hotels in the area. You can get local taxis around the area for reasonable prices. Rooms in Chengjiang town (north of the lake) are available from around 60. Rooms in Luchong itself or other tourist-oriented locations are probably double to triple that, and will have less food options than town. We're also considering an afterparty with sailing boats (weather permitting) on sunday (23rd) at the north of the lake.

Yeah, I'm not a great fan of the ethics. Then again, at least they tend to survive rather than be mauled to death, like some of the cockfighting participants, and if you eat meat having any negative opinion on the matter is largely hypocritical.

Thanks Peter. Yes, that's my website. Lots of people have used it over the years, in fact I even saw a book published in France which had the same tattered cover reproduced from my scan! Another good read is the Khazak Exodus book which is also at

Great article Jim. I saw some impressive Miao minority inter-village bullfights south of Kaili in Guizhou circa 2004. They held them in the broad rocky river beds mid-way between villages, turning our solitary road hanging off the mountain above in to natural makeshift amphitheatre stand. All traffic stopped for the duration of the bout, in which villagers surrounded the two beasts in a human circle in an attempt to cajole them toward one another.


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