AsiaChinaKunming

Arrival and mistakes

Kunming Travel Blog

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Statue at the temple

Well, here I am in Kunming, after months of planning and research.  My trip from Chicago to Kunming (via Toronto and Beijing) was really, really long.  All 3 flights were delayed.  I spent over 30 hours in transit!  I arrived at my hostel around 2:00 this morning.  I'm sharing a 6 person dorm here.  The location is prime--for 20 year old partiers :)  It is right in the middle of a bunch of bars and night clubs.  But I brought ear plugs, so all is well.

I didn't get off to the best start today.  First, I have apparently drunk some tainted water.  You cannot drink the tap water in China, because it isn't safe.  There was a water dispenser with a plastic cistern in the bathroom with a hot water dispenser, and a warm water dispenser.

The only things even remotely related to birds at the bird and flower market.
  I assumed they were treated and safe, so I filled up my water bottle and drank it down.  Then this morning I noticed a sign behind the tank saying "only use hot water for drinking".  Yikes!  Not sick yet, so I'm hoping nothing happens.  I brought some antibiotics with me in case of something like this, so at least I'm prepared.

This morning I ventured out to buy a SIM card for the Chinese cell phone that Gaoling lent me.  (Thanks Gaoling!  I'll send you the number.)  I've found that my very limited knowledge of Mandarin comes to me more easily on this trip than on my last one.  The phone guy spoke a small bit of English, and between the two of us we figured it out.  Now I can make calls within China with ease.

After that, I wandered around the "bird and flower" market, which doesn't seem to sell any birds or flowers.

Bird and flower market.
  But it was still pretty cool.  Most of the stalls sold jewelry or a variety of dried vegetation.  Then I walked up to the Yuantong Buddhist Temple, which was fantastic.  It is over 1000 years old, and is a major pilgrimage site for Chinese Buddhists.  I took lots of pictures, though I may not get to post too many until I return home due to the slow connection here.  It is an active temple, not just a historic site.  There were thousands of people there kneeling to the statues, lighting candles in a massive stand, and buying fireworks to give as a tribute to the statues.  (At least I believe that is what they were doing.  There were tons of people selling fireworks, and many of them were placed around the statues.
Restoration work at the temple.
)

After that I walked to the Green Lake Park, which was very interesting.  My guidebook recommended it for people-watching, and it did not disappoint!  There were thousands of people there playing instruments, doing Tai Chi, doing funky-dance-versions of Tai Chi to techno music, and just sitting and enjoying the day.   I stopped to have a cup of tea at an outdoor teahouse, and that is when I started to realize that I'd gotten too much sun.  I wore a tank top because it is really hot here, and I forgot the sun block.  I was out walking around for several hours before I recognized this, so I had to come back to the hostel and lay down to cool off.  (There is no AC in my room, though, so it isn't ideal.)

Now I'm going to post this and try to download some photos.  I'll have more soon.

westwind57 says:
Hi Jen, I am only coming across this blog now and enjoy reading it, also because I have been there as well. Here are some of my experiences:

http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/98518/

http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/98518/half-dayss-stay-Kunming-2

I am going to read your other blog pages now :)
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012
jethanad says:
He,

nice feature - congratulations !
Posted on: May 25, 2010
cotterb says:
Congrats on you feature. I almost drank the water too when I was there. Have a great trip.
Posted on: May 25, 2010
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Statue at the temple
Statue at the temple
The only things even remotely rela…
The only things even remotely rel…
Bird and flower market.
Bird and flower market.
Restoration work at the temple.
Restoration work at the temple.
Scene from the temple.  (The groun…
Scene from the temple. (The grou…
One of the Buddha statues.
One of the Buddha statues.
Turtles chillin at the temple.
Turtles chillin' at the temple.
Scene from the park.
Scene from the park.
Musicians at the park
Musicians at the park
Incense burner at temple.
Incense burner at temple.
Candles at temple.  They get so mu…
Candles at temple. They get so m…
Sign in toilet stall at hostel.  L…
Sign in toilet stall at hostel. …
Scene at the temple.
Scene at the temple.
My room at the hostel.
My room at the hostel.
Balcony at the hostel.
Balcony at the hostel.
Kunming Hostels review
Not bad, but really hot in summer
The location for this hostel is really convenient to downtown Kunming. It is quite noisy, though. I stayed here in May, and the temperature outside … read entire review
Kunming
photo by: eefab