Don't Miss the Urinal
Apparently, people here need instructions on how to A. use a urinal and B. be decent to one another as far as bathroom etiquette. (Other bathrooms in China tell people how to not miss the urinals, et cetera.) But, I must say, they are quite skilled at going "hands free" at the urinal. This sign was at the Kunming Airport.
Don't believe if someone tells you you have to purchase a minimum of a bucket of beers or at least a bottle of whiskey in Barbi. Although it's a norm that the locals drink by the buckets, you can purchase single shots for reasonable price.
I almost fell for this but realized later it wasn't, after talking to some people inside...
So it's always good to find out before you decide to part with your money :-)
Men at Work
In 2002, huge parts of Kunming were sprouting skyscrapers or piling up rubble from demolition of the old quarters. I imagine that work is ongoing.
Be careful while walking in areas where work is underway. Often large pieces of metal or other heavy stuff is thrown from up high and land on the sidewalks.
On my first day in Kunming, I took this pic of a nice sculpture behind a construction fence. At a party that night, I mentioned it to a young painter and he was proud to tell me that the sculptor was his grandfather.
I saw a man running, not they kind of "out in the park for a jog" run, but the look of fear in his eyes run. Just as he got to where I was standing, I few Chinese lads tackled him and start to "kick the daylights" out of him. A police man walked by (and kept walking) these "lads" took a break from the beating to pull out a pink wallet the the guys wallet. I guess he stole a wallet (or it is a crime to have a pink wallet in china, either way he had it coming) So when the girls who's wallet was stolen arriver with her friends, they all got a chance to kick the guy. And after a while, some men who looked to be plain clothes police came (and they had their turn with him too) and then dragged (walked) him to the police station.
So, don't steal or don't care a pink hello kitty wallet!
Public rest rooms, tissue paper (and hot peppe)
When ever you go to an average place to eat, (most of them) will give you plastic pack of tissue. At first you might use one or 2 and leave the rest. The one day you'll have just eat an enjoy Chinese lunch (with lots of hot peppers), then with out notice you lunch wants out, and out fast. You want to go back to the place where you just ate, but then you remember the sign in the pit they call a rest room"Urine only, 50 RMB for violators" , then up ahead you see a public rest room, but the lady who sell toilet tissue is taking her tea break and the SOB who was there before you used the last of the TP (acutely, no toilets supply Toilet paper)
But, if you hang on to this little nifty packs that they so kindly give you at restaurant, and always keep one in you pocket. You will always be prepared and not be caught with your pants down (lol)
Working for the electic company
When waste time to let everyone one knoow that you'll be shuttingdoen the power to do some work. Just tell your worker don't touch any other wire, don't let go (or he'll fall) and for saftys sake, wear your hard hat!
it seem no one thinks twice abot doing this sort of dagerous work.
Bur becaful if your looking up at the high wire act, chances are that there is an open unmarker man hole near.
- Family Travel
Don't drink the water!
Don't drink the water! I have been places where it unsafe if your not from around there to dink tap water, but the people who grew up drink the water can drink it. But not in China. Even the locals stay away from tap water and drink bottled water or tea (or beer) It is strange for a county that is change faster than the speed of light and becoming more modern every day, and there is still a problem with the local water supply. You can always buy a small bottle of water (1 RMB) just about anywhere, if you go to a restaurant they will offer tea (the make the tea out of the good water right????)
And all houses have the 5 gallon bottle of water cooler.
I'm not sure what will happen if you do drink the water, but I'm not the brave to try and find out.
Don't let them fool you!
My understanding, until a few years ago it was illegal to beg anywhere except on overpasses. But now there seem to be more and more people begging for money. At first if felt a little sorry and would give these people some money, but everyday I would see the same few men begging for money, and I started to add up how much money they were getting. I figured they make about 2 times the average wage of a working person.
One particular gentleman is a little more persistent and annoying than the others. He will stand right in front of you as you wait for the crosswalk light to change, and makes sound like Chubaka from star wars Ngaaaaaaaaaaa! And stomps his foot while shoving his pan in your face. And if you still don't acknowledge the he is there, he will poke you. I put a few pieces of candy in is bowl once, but I don’t think he like candy (He has a crutch and a limp and acts like he can barley walk)
One night while wait for the bus around 10 pm, I see the man hobbling towrd the bus stop. Before he made it to the bus stop his bus came. So he picks up has crutch, tucks it under his arm, and runs like nothing was wrong. It just happens the he was on the same bus as I was. He seems to walk perfectly.
Double check your bill
It is a common mistake made by the restaurants when they tell you how much your meal has cost you. It can be more and can be less. I am not sure if this is intentional, because in my experience, the amount just swings 50-50 at either side of the correct total.
DOUBLE CHECK you bill. If you suspect it is not right, just ask politely that you want to see the bill itemised, or just ask how much each dish costs. The restaurant never feel offended this way, perhaps because they know they get it wrong more often than not.
- Family Travel
The inaccurate weighing scale..
Always watch the scale when your purchase is being weighed.
There are a few types of scales, the easiest to cheat is those which have weights on one side, and your purchase on the other side, and the vendor tries to balance the scale by adjusting the weights.
I find no matter how cheap or expensive your purchase is, as long as you buy just less than 1 KG, you may be cheated up to 200g if you don't watch.
Always make sure the weight is right before you pay. Otherwise if you discover the cheat, the most the vendor will do is to give you more, and not return the money.
At many markets you can also find the "standard" scales which allow you to see if what you have bought weighs right.
- Family Travel
How the vendor chops off your head
I had this experience at Shi-lin, at a restaurant cum motel just outside the main gain.
If you are visiting an eatery at or near a famous tourist spot, beware ! For those vendors were there to make sure you pay international price for a bowl of noodles.
You may think you can test water by asking the price of a dish to see if it's reasonable. That's when you fall into the trap: the owner will give you a reasonable price for it. You then order other dishes thinking this is an honest vendor, then your bill will look like: 1) sweet-and-sour pork RMB 8; bowl of rice : RMB 30; stir-fry vege RMB 40; glass of tea: RMB 50.
If you must eat there, ask for the price of each and every dish/drink you order.
Perhaps pay for it first before you eat.
If you end up with that horrible bill, threaten to complain at the tourist bureau which is located usually not far from the tourist spot.
Always ask for the price, get the item and pay for it before you do anything with it.
- Family Travel
Droppings from the mouth
It's amazing how many kunming people love spitting. They must be thinking it an unhealthy habit to keep the phlegm in their system, so getting it out is essential.
And they do manufacture a lot of phelgm perhaps due to excessive drinking of tea which has a "cooling" and hence phlegm-inducing property.
Anywhere and everywhere, when you hear the classical "khhhhrrrr....", you know what's coming next. The mouth gets into a delibrate and almost graceful action, with the help of the tongue and cheeks sucked in; the result is an object flying in the path of the most perfect projectile, and ending on the floor/flowerbed/grassland - anywhere.
Sometimes it catches you by surprise, you are waiting for the bus/taxi/whoever, and something like that drops right beside your shoe, missing it by not more than a few centimeters.
And when it rains, and you think it's fun to step hard on the water-covered floor to get some musical splashing sounds, think again, for it's more than water you are stepping on and you probably will not appreciate it on your pants/shirts.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
Overcrowding at Longmen & Western Hill
Because Longmen (Dragon's Gate) & Western Hill are popular attractions, you may encounter overcrowding. Do be careful because the path to the Dragon's Gate is very narrow on the cliff edge, but of course there are safety handles in place.
Wrong Information from Locals
Beware the information given by the locals.
a. They don't know what they're talking about.
b. They don't give you the full picture.
c. They lie.
b. & c. just to make money out of you :)
We spent hours walking along Lake Dian trying to find a way back coz the locals gave all the wrong info.
The toilets without doors!
Ladies, get used to the toilets without doors! This is one of the more decent ones. It's in a hotel!!! (2*) We had dinner at the hotel & I was able to captured this! Those that you visit out of the city are not suitable for VT purposes, ;-)
Oh yeah, this is the first city in China where I've used such facility. When you gotta go, you gotta go!