1. Siberian gulls at Cuihu park
Favorite thing: Siberian gulls spend harsh winters of their homeland in Kunming (top destination for affordable China travel packages). We saw them every day at Cuihu park untill March or begining of April when they were about to fly back to Siberia.
Cuihu is admission free park in city centre near Yunnan University and it's one of the popular places to spot gulls, especially in the spring. It's amazing that birds draw so much admiration of locals who come there to take photos. Also this park is always full of people - visitor and local; local come to play traditional Yunnanese and Chinese music (communist songs included and popular), mahjong, chess, tai ji quan in front of the park by the water, dance and body excercise. Many of different kinds of entertainments here.
Here are a few shots from my second visit to KM when I spent a day there. There aren't yet leaves on the trees and it's before peaches and plums would blossom. Gulls flied over heads in large masses, there were more of then than 4 years ago! I am glad they are so plenty.
Fondest memory: Birds at Cuihu park are amazing.
2. Springtime All Year Round
Favorite thing: Ever think of going on a holiday in China where the climate is always spring? Then, Kunming should be the answer. It’s a place where spring is all year round thus popularly dubbed as The City of Eternal Spring. It’s the pleasant climate and the colorful blooms that are in abundance in all parks and corners of the city that makes Kunming a lovely place to spend a holiday. But if you are still persistent about the details of the local weather, I would say January is relatively colder and July is a little hot. But the foliage is said to remain green all year round.
The areas in and around Kunming are rich with natural beauty spots - dotted with lakes, forest, hills and caves. An attraction within the city limit is the picturesque Cuihu Lake Park (an optional destination for China best tours). One can sit for hours at end by the beautiful lake garden enjoying the sights of lake gulls flying free, graceful and busy soaring high and diving low targeting fish and fry in the water and tidbits from the your hands.
Then just walk around the shady lakeside where willows weep in the breeze. It’s simply fascinating – and this is Kunming.
Fondest memory: Kunming is a city to relax and enjoy your holiday. If you stay at any of the hotels in the city center, try to be up early, have a good breakfast and take a walk to one of the major parks in the locality. I’m sure it’s a good place to start up the day – mass dancing (or mass drill if I should say) in the bright morning sun. It’s here where you can see a few hundred couples – mostly elderly folks doing the cha-chas and the rhumbas. Simply mingle in with the `troupe’. No problem as everyone is welcomed. If you don’t have a partner, try an `excuse me dance’. You may have a chance.
For those who are not easily attracted by the latino foot tapping cha chas but still want to give their leg muscles a stretch, move on to the other corner of the park and join the Taichi group. You don’t need a sword to do the Taichi in the park..
3. Wedding in Kunming
Favorite thing: I don't think, that you are going to be married, when next time you'll visit Kunming. BUT.......
you never know. Kunming is not like Las Vegas, where you can get married day and night, or New Caledonia, where many Japanese couples go to marry, nor Tahiti, the traditional wedding destination.
Anyway, everything for your wedding in Kunming is ready. Around Beijing Road, there are many establishments, who will organise everything for your wedding.
4. Getting good directions
Favorite thing: The best way is to make sure you know where you going before you set off, take the time to study your map. Once you leave the safety of your room/hotel/hostel, you kind of on your own. I have spent 1 whole day looking for a shop (there was a map the back of the business card..that was not correct) I was in the general vicinity, but every person I ask pointed me in the wrong direction ( even the police). It was not they were trying to steer me on the wrong direction, but they had no idea too. After walking about 10 miles I went home. found out the address, and then used a "correct map" To find out where it was. You can buy these maps just about any place for 3 RMB (China money's unit). There are Chinese/English and also have the bus routs.
You will amazed, like you have some sort of magnetic power. By just standing in one spot looking at an open map, there will be many people who will stop and try to help you. Most people will come up out of curiosity, or some people see a foreigner and want to practice English, but for the most part it seems (in the city area at least) want to help you find your way. But becarful or you'll end up lost
Fondest memory: walking around for 6 hours looking for the place to fix my camera
5. 5 RMB Hair Cut
Favorite thing: I think I have beat
hooiluangoh in the hair cut department, for just 5 RMB I got a hair cut. Sure I did not get a wash or blowe, but fot 5RMB....who cares. I was just happy to pay so little. I'm used to paying $20-30 back home. It was not the best cut I ever had, but it was ok.
Near the west gate of the Yunnan Normal University, there are 3-4 small barbers shops. The seem to get cheaper the farther from the school you get. I'm sure I could of got a cheaper cut if I went a little way more down the street.
Fondest memory: Having the lady just "Barrowed" the scissors form the next chair, cigarette in mouth...and just started cutting.
6. Fruit seasons in Kunming
Favorite thing: As a malaysian, I have always thought fruit season means Durian / Mangoesteen / Rambutan season.
In Kunming, you find
Winter (Oct to Jan) : strawberries, navel oranges, grapefruit.
Spring (March, April) : cherries, mulberries, chinese cherries.
Spring - summer (May onwards) : pipa, chinese peaches (yum yum), mangoes, yangmei (this is another yum yum found only in China), li (go for the green ones they are very sweet, absolutely fabulous).
Fondest memory: Try the yangmei (about RMB 1.50 per 100g). I have only eaten the preserved ones at home, but over here, the fresh ones are quite something to eat.
Note: you can't eat too much because it contains an acid that will make your teeth feel soft, and yangmei does not keep well even in the fridge.
You should pay more attention to these for your China vacation packages.
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