Siberian gulls spend harsh winters of their homeland in Kunming. We saw them every day at Cuihu park untill March or begining of April when they were about to fly back to Siberia.
Cuihu is admission free park in city centre near Yunnan University and it's one of the popular places to spot gulls, especially in the spring. It's amazing that birds draw so much admiration of locals who come there to take photos. Also this park is always full of people - visitor and local; local come to play traditional Yunnanese and Chinese music (communist songs included and popular), mahjong, chess, tai ji quan in front of the park by the water, dance and body excercise. Many of different kinds of entertainments here.
Here are a few shots from my second visit to KM when I spent a day there. There aren't yet leaves on the trees and it's before peaches and plums would blossom. Gulls flied over heads in large masses, there were more of then than 4 years ago! I am glad they are so plenty.
Fondest memory: Birds at Cuihu park are amazing.
Ever think of going on a holiday in China where the climate is always spring? Then, Kunming should be the answer. It’s a place where spring is all year round thus popularly dubbed as The City of Eternal Spring. It’s the pleasant climate and the colorful blooms that are in abundance in all parks and corners of the city that makes Kunming a lovely place to spend a holiday. But if you are still persistent about the details of the local weather, I would say January is relatively colder and July is a little hot. But the foliage is said to remain green all year round.
The areas in and around Kunming are rich with natural beauty spots - dotted with lakes, forest, hills and caves. An attraction within the city limit is the picturesque Cuihu Lake Park. One can sit for hours at end by the beautiful lake garden enjoying the sights of lake gulls flying free, graceful and busy soaring high and diving low targeting fish and fry in the water and tidbits from the your hands.
Then just walk around the shady lakeside where willows weep in the breeze. It’s simply fascinating – and this is Kunming.
Fondest memory: Kunming is a city to relax and enjoy your holiday. If you stay at any of the hotels in the city center, try to be up early, have a good breakfast and take a walk to one of the major parks in the locality. I’m sure it’s a good place to start up the day – mass dancing (or mass drill if I should say) in the bright morning sun. It’s here where you can see a few hundred couples – mostly elderly folks doing the cha-chas and the rhumbas. Simply mingle in with the `troupe’. No problem as everyone is welcomed. If you don’t have a partner, try an `excuse me dance’. You may have a chance.
For those who are not easily attracted by the latino foot tapping cha chas but still want to give their leg muscles a stretch, move on to the other corner of the park and join the Taichi group. You don’t need a sword to do the Taichi in the park..
Fondest memory: The thing impressed me more going around Kunming was the incredible amount of cellulars shops.One next to the other one, I tried to count them but I soon gave up.This impressed me, because the feeling I had in this city was just that people were absolutely not willing to comunicate, but, seing the number of telephones they sell, I must have been wrong, I probably was in the temple of comunication and did not realise it, may be my cellular was switched off or had some problems with the local net:-)
I don't think, that you are going to be married, when next time you'll visit Kunming. BUT.......
you never know. Kunming is not like Las Vegas, where you can get married day and night, or New Caledonia, where many Japanese couples go to marry, nor Tahiti, the traditional wedding destination.
Anyway, everything for your wedding in Kunming is ready. Around Beijing Road, there are many establishments, who will organise everything for your wedding.
Favorite thing: When just walking around in de city center, you can meet on several places, very original statues, made of bronze. Sometimes amazing, sometimes just amusing. You can find them in the surroundings of Dongfeng Yilu and Renming Zhonglu.
If anyone wants to know anything about Kunming I'm sure there are loads of other people around here who'd be only too glad to help.
Fondest memory: As fondest memories go, the following story may seem a little bleak.
Don't be misled, it's actually an alright place.
The best way is to make sure you know where you going before you set off, take the time to study your map. Once you leave the safety of your room/hotel/hostel, you kind of on your own. I have spent 1 whole day looking for a shop (there was a map the back of the business card..that was not correct) I was in the general vicinity, but every person I ask pointed me in the wrong direction ( even the police). It was not they were trying to steer me on the wrong direction, but they had no idea too. After walking about 10 miles I went home. found out the address, and then used a "correct map" To find out where it was. You can buy these maps just about any place for 3 RMB. There are Chinese/English and also have the bus routs.
You will amazed, like you have some sort of magnetic power. By just standing in one spot looking at an open map, there will be many people who will stop and try to help you. Most people will come up out of curiosity, or some people see a foreigner and want to practice English, but for the most part it seems (in the city area at least) want to help you find your way. But becarful or you'll end up lost
Fondest memory: walking around for 6 hours looking for the place to fix my camera
I think I have beat
hooiluangoh in the hair cut department, for just 5 RMB I got a hair cut. Sure I did not get a wash or blowe, but fot 5RMB....who cares. I was just happy to pay so little. I'm used to paying $20-30 back home. It was not the best cut I ever had, but it was ok.
Near the west gate of the Yunnan Normal University, there are 3-4 small barbers shops. The seem to get cheaper the farther from the school you get. I'm sure I could of got a cheaper cut if I went a little way more down the street.
Fondest memory: Having the lady just "Barrowed" the scissors form the next chair, cigarette in mouth...and just started cutting.
I never had this feeling, but it was like seeing home again when I saw the Malaysian flag outside "Ying Hua Hotel" (tel:3165888), which is on the corner of Bai Ta Lu and Dong Feng Dong Lu (opposite Kunming Hotel, where the Thai Consulate is).
Fondest memory: That's where the Malaysian Consulate is.
Tel: 311 3500 - The consulate: Ayauf Bachi
So if you want to feast of Satay, I guess he is the guy to contact : )
You are advised to dress in layers, so you can peel off or put on depending on the swinging temperature.
September - 17C - 25C. Can be hot at noon time when there is direct sunlight. Blue sky dotted with clouds. Can use some sunscreen.
October - 14C - 23C. Starting to cool down. Today (27 Oct) 12C - 19C. Expect some rain. Mist is common in the morning. Less direct sunlight.
November - 9C - 19C. You want to keep warm most of the days. Misty. Noontime sometimes the sun pops up.
December - 3 - 13C. You want to be warm enough at night especially. The cold will just wake you up otherwise in the middle of the night. Rains a bit.
January - 3 - 13C. Some ice may fall from the sky. Can be sunny and warm in the day.
February 0 - 12C. This has to be the coldest month. If there is enough moisture, you get snow for a day.
March 6-18C. Can be nice and warm, but at times it's just no-sun-warm, stuffy kind of, makes breathing difficult; and the rainy season starts to set in. So prepare a brollie.
April 7-25C. Warm and sunny. Cold and rainy. You can get both on the same day.
May 10 - 30C. Very much the same as April, except now wild mushrooms begin to appear.
June 15 -30C. Still in the rainy season. It's rain in the morning, rain in the afternoon, rain at night. Rain all day. Rain all week. More rainy days than sunny days in this month.
July 18-30C. Hot Hot Hot. If it rains, it is usually in the late evening. This "Spring City" nickname does not really fit Kunming in July.
Aug 16-25C. Rains almost everyday for a few hours, can be in the day, in the morning, or at night. Then you get sunshine, and it can be a bit hot.
Fondest memory: Fondest memory - the cold weather.
Below is for comparison when Kunming's temperature is 11 - 20C:
Shangri-la : 2 - 14C
Li Jiang : 9 - 19C
Dali : 8 - 20C
Bao Shan: 12 - 23C
This is a cool refreshment very common in Kunming.
The papaya water or Mu Gua Shui does not taste like papaya at all. It is more like jelly in some water, with brown sugar syrup added, which sinks to the bottom.
A cup/glass/bowl of that costs RMB1.
Remember to try that when you bump into one. It's called "Mu Gua Shui" in mandarin.
Fondest memory: Kunming people seem to like to use papaya for everything.
Papaya salad (shuan mu gua)
Sliced papaya stir-fried with beef (shuan mu gua)
Papaya soup (shuan mu gua)
Note: - this is a grossly incorrect translation. I just discovered that although they called it "mu4 gua1". It should be "shuan mu gua", which means sour "mu gua". I hastily thought that was papaya (ie pawpaw), but when I saw the actual fruit, it resembled nothing of the papaya that I am familiar with. It looks more like an unripe round mango.
I have yet to find out exactly which papaya (maybe there is a third one) that goes to make this papaya water. The real papaya (pawpaw) is rarely seen in Kunming.
Kunmingnites eat a lot of interesting stuff. While I am quite adventurous with their veges (they eat almost all plants), I can only be optically curious with their meat source.
I didn't eat that, but when I first saw it I thought that was a lotus bud.
Fondest memory: I definitely do not miss the larvae. It is an interesting sight though.
China is such a huge country when I mentioned I was coming to Kunming to my friends back home, they ask "Is Kunming a region, a province, or a city ? "
It is easier if you get to know china region by region, then province by province, then city by city...then learn about the self-administration zones.
The South (Provinces and capitals)
1. Guangdong - guangchou
2. Guangxi - nanning
3. Hainan - haikou
4. (Self-administered) Hongkong, Taiwan, Macao
1. Hebei - chengde
2. Shanxi - taiyuan
3. Inner Mongolia - huerhaote
4. (Self-administered)Beijing, Tianjin
1. Hunan - changsha
2. Hubei - wuhan
3. Henan - chenchou
1. Jiangshu - nanjing
2. Zhejiang - hangchou
3. Anhui - he fei
4. Shangdong - qingdao
5. Jiangxi - nanchang
6. Fujian - fuchou
1. Heilongjiang - harbin
2. Jilin - changchun
3. Liaoning - shenyang
1. Shaanxi - xian
2. Qinghai - xining
3. Ningxia - yinchuan
4. Xinjiang - urumqhi
1. Yunnan - kunming
2. Sichuan - chengdu
3. Guichou - guiyang
4. Xizhang - lahsa
5. (self-administered) - Chongqing.
Fondest memory: Nan - south
Bei - north
A lot of the provinces eg Henan, Hebei literally means North of the (Yellow) River, South of the River.
Dong - east
Xi - west
So Shanxi and Shandong simply means west of the mountain, east of the mountain.
I was so used to cans of coke until I stumbled upon glass bottles of them in Kunming.
They are available at newstands. After a whole day's walk, it's nice to have one opened for you and drink it all at the same place so that the bottle can be returned to the vendor (yes, they sell only the drink, not the bottle)
Fondest memory: The thing is Kunming has such a cool weather I normally missed a cup of hot tea when I am tired, and not a bottle of iced-cold coke.
...But this is not true, Kunming is HOT in June.
If you are at a local restaurant, don't forget to order a dish of li(2) hao(1). Just simply stir-fry with garlic is enough to bring out its unique flavour. Alternatively you can stir-fry it with some dried chillis (as yunnannese love to eat everything with chillie)
Li(2) Hao(1) has a distinct smell, a little minty (but it is not mint), and a little of the water cress.
Fondest memory: I haven't figured out exactly what plant this is. But it seems Kunmingnites eat every thing of a plant, from the flowers of pumpkin to the bulbs of lilies.