Lakeview Golf Hotel

No.10 Xingti Road, Dianchi Holiday Area, Xishan District, Kunming, Yunnan, 650000, China
Lakeview Golf Hotel
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Forum Posts

Independent travel vs organised tours

by Snelvis

Greetings All,

My wife and I are from Australia and will be in Kunming for about 3 days (22nd July - 24th July) and were wondering whether we are best seeing the sights independently or doing tours. From what we can tell, we are pretty keen on seeing Xi Shan and The Stone Forest. Normally we like to travel independently but with only a few days in Kunming we are a little concerned that we may end up wasting valuable time chasing up transport and getting lost.

The only tours I have been able to find online are fairly pricey and are in US dollars. Are there many tours you can just pick up on the day and pay in RMB?

Any help and tips would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

RE: RE: Independent travel vs organised tours

by alza

hi Mark,
First, congratulations on the arrival of Wu Zhong Xi into your family!
I lived in Kunming in 2002 and hope I can help you. But it would take too long to reply on forum with the details I learned about travel across Yunnan. Plus the way I did things was not necessarily the most efficient. Please keep this in mind and don't hesitate to email me on VT if you don't mind a longish reply :-)

Since you will be in Kunming for 3 days, I recommend that you avoid trying to do anything outside Kunming independently. The best thing I can think of is for you to head straight for the Camellia Hotel at 154 Dongfeng Donglu. They offer various services for English-speaking travellers and could direct you to the right place to get bus or train tickets, if they don't sell them there. At least you'll be able to speak English there, it's a start. From the main street Beijing Lu, walk EAST on Dongfeng Donglu, cross Baita Lu and the Camellia is minutes away on your left.

Train tickets for independent travel to the Stone Forest cost about 40 Yuan return. On the train, people dressed in minority costumes will offer you tickets to enter the Stone Forest. I preferred to buy mine on arrival at Shilin Stone Forest, at the ticket counter 25 Yuan.) Minibus needed from Shilin Train Station to Stone F entrance. The entrance to actual Stone F is overrun by Chinese tourists having their pics taken. You'll probably enjoy continuing quickly on microbus (10-15 Yuan, negotiable) to the wonderful Naigu Stone Forest, 8 km north-east of the main Stone F. I didn't pay again for THAT entrance.

In Kunming, you can see the sights by yourself, walking and taking the bus.
It helped me to know NORTH = bei, SOUTH = nan, EAST = dong, WEST = xi.
Lonely Planet Southwest China helps a lot with maps for English-speakers and all the stuff you'll need over 3 days, including a Language Section for useful expressions and a Glossary.

Try to visit the Flower and Bird Market (well marked in LP) off Zhengyi Lu. You'll probably see more turtles and frogs than birds but lots of artefacts, knives, rusted bolts haha, even some antiques. Fabulous traditional tea-house there, often you happen upon a performance of Beijing Opera or other traditional singing.

Enjoy Kunming and don't hesitate to email me for more details. All the best!

Travel Tips for Kunming

Manicure for RMB 20 - Great deal

by hooiluangoh

The whole process takes about an hour. You are seated in a lush red armchair. Doze off, while they are busy with softening your cuticles, filing your nails to the shape you requested, taking away all the dead skincells around the nails, pampering you with a finger spa, and.......then finishing it off with nail polish. I don't remember the details because I always doze off.

Manicure RMB 20
Pedicure RMB30.
Currently there is a promotion. Buy a package of RMB150 and you get 10 sessions of either manicure or pedicure or both. My nails never look so beautiful before.

Yunnan, the land of the Dinosaurs

by bpacker

Again, not many people know this but Yunnan is the homeland of Dinosaurs in China. The
first complete dinosaur skeleton in China was unearthed over here in 1938 and since then, more than 100 complete dinosaur skeletons have been found and more are being discovered all the time.

Sadly, the dinosaur displays over here are not publicised in tourist literature. And due to a lack of funding, these majestic bones are left to languish in dark and danky museums in the city. While I paid over $10 to see the very same Yunnanese dinosaurs in HK, I saw them for free in KunMing.

Where: Kunming City Museum

Fly to Kunming

by Chitan

The best way to go is by airplane from Zuhai, Canton Sheng. It takes one and a half hours to fly. Buy tickets from the local agents for a cheaper price at about 720 RMB (one way ticket.) In China, they always sell one way ticket unless you specify.
If go by train, it needs 30 hours to take. Most of people would rather choose airplane.

Korean kimchi

by hooiluangoh about Han Kang

This is a busy restaurant.

The menu displays food pictures, which make it easy for foreigners who do not read Chinese.

If you are a first-timer, I suggest this:
1) BBQ beef as a starter (you can BBQ it at your desk, or ask the kitchen to do it for you)
2) seafood pancake a second starter
3) bean paste tofu soup / kimchi soup to fill you up, as this is served with rice. The bean paste tofu soup is worth a try. The serving is a little petite though.

Kimchi cabbage is served free of charge, with two other side dishes.

Kunming Catholic Church

by vigi

Located at the center Beijing Road. A humble church with simple decoration. The hold Sunday Service twice a week:
every Saturday 8:30pm
every Sunday 9:00am
Unfortunately, all mass conducted in Chinese, no English session.


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