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Kunming international airport is in the south east of Kunming city. Takes about 30-45 minutes to get to the city centre, depending on the traffic condition (yes, there are enough cars to cause a traffic jam).
Taking a taxi into the city is very easy. The taxis wait right outside the airport, and they run on meter. Flag fare RMB 7. It costs about RMB 25 to RMB 30 to a CBD location, say the Green Lake. No taxi ticket/pass whatever. You pay cash to the driver upon arrival on your destination. No surcharge on luggage etc except for a 20% midnight surcharge after 10pm, which is already built into the meter reading. So you still pay what the meter says.
Written Apr 27, 2004
If you want to get out of the city, e.g. to Dali or Lijiang, then go to the Camellia Hotel, they will arrange for the bus transport. Some of the people there speak a little English and are friendly and helpful. If you don't stay at the Camellia, you have to go there at the fixed time, they will take you to the bus station and will show you the right bus. It is easy and not expensive.
Written Nov 14, 2004
Bus rides cost RMB 1 per trip to anywhere within the city. A real bargain.
Taxis start at RMB 7 upon boarding. A ride around the city cost between RMB 7 - RM 12.
Kunming boasts the cheapest airport taxi ride. Another bargain at RMB 20 - RMB 30 per trip. Remember to bargain.
Updated Feb 13, 2004
(price is quoted in RMB)
1) The cabin with 6 people cost $86 per person. The bed is hard. A better cabin
will be "Ruan Wo", which means soft-sleeper. This costs $150 per person. Ruan Wo accommodates 4 persons per cabin.
If you hold a $86 ticket and when you see the train itself you change your mind
and want a $150, then you will have to pay $86 X 20% ticket cancellation fee.
2) Cleanliness - I don't know (sorry no experience), but there is no toilet in
the cabin. There is only one toilet for the entire coach, which can accommodate
66 people. (just in case I didn't use the correct vocab, a few coaches linked
together become a train). I did read about this Ruan Wo. Its introduction was quite recent (year 2003).
3) The train journey will start at 10:30pm and end at 6:27am the next day.
Yunnan is the same as Malaysia : car travels faster than train. If you take a bus it takes about 4-5 hours. (now 7 hours because the highway is under construction)
4) The railway stops at Dali. From there to Lijiang, and from Lijiang to
Shangri-la you will have to take a bus.
5) I read the temperatures today.
Kunming : 11 -20C; Dali : 8 - 20C; Li Jiang: 9 - 19C; Shangri-la: 2 - 14C. It's going to be even colder in December especially in Dali, Li Jiang and Shangri-la.
Updated Dec 9, 2003
There are 2 long distance bus terminals in Kunming. This Zhong-Be Station run buses to Dali and other Yunnan places, departing hourly. Tickets available at the station, or can be bought at hotel or travel agencies at the same price. Some agencies provide free transfer / pick up at the hotel.
Written Sep 29, 2003
Get the Kunming City Map at any news agent. RMB3.50 each. The bus routes are detailed there in chinese.
The public buses are a convenient way to get around Kunming. Prepare lots of 1 yuan notes/coins. You are required to pay when you get onto the bus, no change is given.
Each bus trip costs 1 yuan. Take the big bus at the proper bus-stops. Avoid the small van-type bus as they may charge more especially if you are a tourist.
Occasionally there are the medium size bus. These are a luxury, because it costs 2 yuan, and provide better quality seats. Because it is more expensive, your chance of getting a seat is bigger.
Some buses are equiped with screen display which shows the next bus stop in both English and Chinese.
Written Oct 7, 2003
There are plenty of taxis in Kunming (about 6000 or 6700 to be exact, the extra 700 licences were issued after the 1999 expo). They are usually 10 year-old cars with real worn out seats. Sometimes the seat cover is a towel. Other times you think your butts are touching the road. But they are available anywhere. You can flag one down easily. Fare starts from RMB8, or RMB7 for smaller cars which will be phased out by the end of 2004 I think.
There is a 20% surcharge after 10pm. Fare starts from RMB9.60 , and the unit rate after that has already included the surcharge. Hence you pay according to the fare displayed on the meter.
Updated Jun 8, 2004
In my Lijiang transport tips, I mentioned there is a luxury bus service that operates out of Kunming.
YNTAC (I don't know what that stands for) operates Volvo buses equipped with airconditioning, and a television with DVD/VCD. Here are the cities served and prices as of July 2003:
Dali 103 yuan
Of course these prices are higher than regular buses, but it is up to you to decide if the extra price is worth it. I took the bus to Lijiang and was very satisfied with the experience and got a free lunch at a nice hotel along the ride in Dali. So if you don't mind spending the extra money, it is a good way to travel in comfort.
Written Feb 1, 2004
Phone: (0871) 7187225
This is the bus I took from Kunming to Dali. Price 65 Yuan. They told me 4-5 hours, but I was stuck in the bus for 7 hours before arrivng Dali! Some people vomit on the bus, and one local fainted half way adn was sent to hospital by police. I should have taken the train instead!!!
Written Sep 29, 2003
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.
Written Oct 15, 2007
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