Kunming Wu Jia Ba International Airport
It's easy to fly to Kunming since its airport has links with many countries, including Singapore ( SIA and Silk Air flies there! ) , Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea and even Myanmar.
Transport to the City: The airport is located 4km from the city and there are metered taxis available just outside of the arrival hall. A ride into town will probably cost you about 22rmb.
Tip: The only thing that sucked over here was its business class passenger lounge. It wasn't proportionate to the size of the sprawling airport and they did not serve alcohol to ease the pain of travelling.
I arrived in Kunming from Bangkok which is a hour and 45 minuts flight.
Once you leave from Kunming airport, before going to the check in you are supposed to fill a qustionaire for customs which is on a desck just in front the custom office.The quastionaire is written only in Chinese, so not understanding a word, I just wrote my name, surname and number of passport and that seemed to be ok as they let me go.Kunming airport is pretty small and check in, domstic and internationals open just 2 hours before the flight so, don't go so early, once inside there are no smoking rooms also so, you really do not know how to spend your time.
Bus from Kunming to Dali [new town]
Buses from Kunming to Dali [new town] departure from the south bus station [Beijing Lu], close to the train station.
I left Kunming at 08:50 and arrived in Dali at about 14:00. Fare is 76 CNY.
When in Dali (new town), you have to take a minibus to Dali Old Town.
Railway connections from Kunming
Whenever you intend to take a train from Kunming, but you don't know the timetables, nor the prices, you can have excellent information inside the railway station. Southern excit of the town. Inside the Entrance hall, you'll find an information desk, with a very kind hostess, speaking perfectly english, and who will give you all information, with a smile.
Public bus to SHILIN
A traditional trip outside Kunming is a bustrip to SHILIN for a visit to the famous Stone Forest.
You can take a train from South station in Kunming, but it's much longer for staying one day there. To go there, take the bus to Shilin at the South busstation near Bejing road, but prepare a paper where some helpfull chinees has written the name of Shiling and Stone Forest. Because there are many buses going of, all signs are in chinese, so just show your paper to some friendly person. Once in the public bus, you pay the ticket, not expensive.
My problem on this trip was, the the bus had a breakdown in the middle of the mountains to Shilin. So after one hour of just waiting outside, and trying to restart the motor driving downstairs the hill, (!), the engine was working again.
Prepare yourself to arrive in the small town of Shiling, and NOT at the Stone Forest.
So, at the bus station downtown, you have to take a very small bus to get up to the famous Stone Forest, distance ; about 8 km. Here you need really your small Chinese paper.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Study Abroad
- National/State Park
Train from Kunming to Guilin
Trains going to Guilin leave from the main train station.
Picture 1 - Main Train Station;
Picture 2 - An example of a train ticket with translation into Portuguese. By the way, was the ticket I used when traveling from Shanghai to Suzhou.
Origem - Origin
Trem - Train
Destino - Destination
Date - ano/mês/dia, year/month/day
Hora de partida - Departing time
Carruagem - Carriage
Lugar - Seat
Preço - Price
The class of the ticket is written at the right upper corner.
Sleeper Bus to Jinghong
Normally a sleeper bus connects Kunming to Jinghong. The trip takes about 10h and costs around 160 CNY. I left Kunming at 21:00 and I arrived in Jinghong at 07:10.
Travelling by airplane takes only 50 min. and, if you are lucky, costs about 340 CNY [60% off].
Transport to Yunnan Ethnic Village
I found out the hard way on the way to the Village.
I actually wanted to take the taxi to the bus station to take a bus to this village, but the driver told me it won't cost much (about RM25-30) - so I agreed.
On the way back from the village, i decided to take the bus - and BOY! It only cost me RMB 1 all the way back to the city.
Tibet - no problem!
In my opinion, this may be useful information, as we surfed the internet before our trip to find out if and when it is possible to go from Kunming to Tibet by air and how long it will take to get the permit, and we read so many different versions that we were quite confused. The only thing that was clear was that it will take at least 3 days to get the permit - which is totally wrong!
Again the Camellia hotel should be one's choice, they now have a more obvious small travel agency in front of the hotel where you can book anything: flights, bus tours, hotels, etc.
Mr. Chen is very efficient and speaks English well. We told him that we would like to go to Lhasa and that we don't want to spend too much time in Kunming as we have already been there before, and he asked if we would like to go the next day! He checked if there were any seats left on the plane next morning and then just said he would have to hurry up now to get the permit! Apparently it's possible to get the permit within half a day, and the next morning he picked us up at our hotel, drove us to the airport and accompanied us as far as he could. I was a little worried because we didn't get any piece of paper, only a stamp on our boarding passes (which we kept with us in Tibet all the time), but obviously this was ok, as we never had any problems. It seems that there are flights to Lhasa every day, they are going via Zhongdian and on our flight there were still many seats available.
One way flight is approximately € 120 - 140.
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Kunming Buses-Green, White and Orange!
Buses are cheap and are a good way of getting around in Kunming at 1 yuan per trip, but you need the correct change of a one RMB note or coin. You can only enter by the front door, and deposit your note or coin in the slot near the driver, then the trick is to "push" your way to the rear door in time to get off! If you are lucky enough to score a seat, be aware that they are designed for people 5'6" and under! The buses run throughout Kunming on many different routes, but some like the #98 stop running after 9pm. They are not ideal after a big shopping session, as they are often very crowded, so then you should get a taxi.............
- Budget Travel
- Work Abroad
City buses in Kunming are cheapest way to get around, cost 1 yuan per ride. However, you will have to know where each number goes. Going to Shilin by mini bus/van- be careful with these greedy touts and pay only one way as they might leave you behind after your sightseeing in Shilin... you will come back to parking lot in front of the park and you will see your driver was gone. Negotiate the price in advance, because they will of course try to set the price much higher.
Kunming New Bus
Only 1 yuan for this public bus. It's a good and efficient way to get around. All stops are listed inside the bus and each stop is announced to ensure that the passenger does not get lost.
Prepare for a squeeze when boarding the bus though.
- Budget Travel
Like everywhere else, taxi-drivers in China are both lovable and detestable. In Kunming, we saw a convoy of `loving heart’ taxis ferrying passengers supposedly on welfare for an outing. Such a sight gives us a good impression of the taxi-drivers who are doing a charitable act for society. But elsewhere in Xian, we met a taxi-driver who was out to squeeze money from an ignorant tourist. He was supposed to turn on the meter when we got up his taxi intending to go to the Airport. `It’s a long way,” we don’t go by the meter. “RMB 120” which we bargained to RMB 100. “Okay,” he said, “Believe me, I’ll not accept anymore than that” But on the way, he mentioned that I had to pay for the road toll to the Airport – RMB10, which we agreed and RMB10 for `waiting’, which we rejected. The Airport, however, wasn’t that far away. The road toll was in fact RMB 5 for entering the road leading to the airport, but the driver quickly explained that another RMB 5 was for leaving the road from the airport. Metered taxis are, at their worst are better than pirate cars posing as taxis although they could be cheaper. I was told that they are not insured and tend to take you places, which you have not asked for. At the time of our visit, March/April 2005, the turn-on charges for the taxis at various cities are:
Suzhou –RMB5 (Avoid taking private cars or taxis or accepting offers from `brokers’ waiting outside the train station. Walk further out to a queue where `regulated’ taxis are picking up passengers from.)
Shanghai –RMB10/18 (Airport mini-bus taxis are available for tourists with large number of luggage. The turn-on charge is RMB18. I believe the choice is ours to take the normal taxis)
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Generally in Chinese cities the bus system is great. It is cheap, efficient, and logical. Kunming only has cheap.
The buses run sparatically. You'll watch 2 or 3 of the same bus come by and wait for yours for ten minutes sometimes. Also the bus lines often just go in straight lines. If you want to go north AND east, well that's a trick. For further confusion, the paper bus maps, maps at stations, and the reality of where buses go are all different. Some times I'll be on a bus thinking that if I pray hard enough the bus won't make the left turn I don't want it to make. This never works.
The solution is to be flexible. Plan a back up bus to use if you first choice doesn't show for 15 minutes or if it does exist any more.
Unfortunately taxi's are kind of pricey in this town, starting at 8Y.
- Budget Travel
I guess this is poor, poor mans mode of trasportation. Horses are band from the city center, but you can find these horse taxis at just about any bus station on the city limets.
I have no idea how much the cost....But it looks fun! I dd see these same carts on the trail going up west mountain, if you wimped out you could ride one of these up the trail.
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