Kunming Travel Blog› entry 39 of 48 › view all entries
After Eva left, I flew to Kunming to meet up with Jenny Yap, Jawwei, Meishya, and Jawwei's college friend Cathlin. The J's were travelling China for a few months this summer, and Meishya and Cathlin were meeting up with them the same time I was. Though we only hung out a couple of days, we had a lovely time visiting Kunming's Stone Forest, eating delicious msg-laced food from street stalls, and generally being in China. I was constantly impressed by the excellent bargaining skills exhibited by the J's, and Meishya and Cathlin bought some really nice tea from a shop by the bus station. Since I was visiting Jimmy and his roommate later in Hanoi, I also bought a disc of tea as a thank you gift.
To make sure we could all stay together, Meishya pre-booked us a dorm at the Hump Hostel in Kunming and even emailed ahead to give them our names since we all arrived at different times. It's a pretty popular choice, and most travellers I've met who have gone to Kunming have stayed there. However, while the location was decent, the place was incredibly dim (often had to squint to see things properly in your room at night), and some features they mention on Hostelworld are simply not available. For example, you can book rooms with ensuite bathrooms online, but none actually exist in the hostel. It was also weird because the staff made it seem like a huge inconvenience to put us all in the same room, when in fact there were plenty of beds available in the dorm, and that was the reservation from the very beginning.
Our first night, a girl in our room insisted there were no mosquitos in Kunming. She flung the screenless windows wide open and objected to the plug-in mosquito coil because she said it contained chemicals. Personally I don't mind some chemical help if it prevents hours of itchiness, not to mention dengue fever. I don't know how she managed to avoid the bites, but the rest of us spent the night getting devoured. Luckily she moved out after one night, and a super nice Tibetan lady moved in instead. She had no problems with mosquito coils, and said she travels on her own for at least a month every year to all different parts of China. Her newest plan was to move to Shenzhen and open a tea shop. How fun.
After 2 nights in Kunming, I took off for Hong Kong while everyone else left for Guangxi province. We had plans to meet up again in Hong Kong, but unfortunately those plans fell through. More about HK in my next entry.