Published: May 19th 2011May 17th 2011
I have a huge few days its hard to know where to begin; but hopfully I'll just write and I hope that it will make sense.
My farewell weekend was rather sad but also happy at the same time. I went with the other awesome AuPairs to Window of the World- a theme park with minature verions of world scenes- including the Sydney opera house! HELL YES! it was awesome. I think I'll really miss those guys in Shenzhen, they're really good people and I'll miss their company.
My family also took me out for dinner on the saturday night- which was sooo yummy! It was sad saying goodbye to them on Sunday though, the little girl kept saying all weekeend, "I'll miss you..." aw :'(
It felt awfully lonely on the plane from Shenzhen to Kunming and I couln't help but wonder what my new adventures would bring me. I realise that that there's no point in wondering because when you get there, you are so swept away by the experineces that you come across that you end up doing things you never would've wondered about in the first place.
Anyway, stepping off the plane on
Kunming it felt like someone had just turned on a perment air conditioner! AH! what beautiful fresh weather they have here! it is simply geourgous, and if you combine that with the smell of fresh spring flowers and clean moutain air; you have a paradise away from Shenzhen.
I was trying to decide what this palce reminded me of, because at first it was Toowoomba, then Brisbane, then Shanghai, then Tokyo, but then I realised that- Kunming really is a unique place and I think it reminds of all of these places because it invigourates all of your senses and you're reminded of good times that have past. :)
I spent the afternoon wandering aimlessly around the streets soaking up the atmosphere and not doing too much in particular.
Today is my big day in Kunming. I wake up at 7am, and get ready to set off to XiShan- West Mountain. The youth hostel is slow and sleepy at 7.30am and most of the staff are cleaning up after another big night. It was nice to sit down and enjoy a western breakfast and in the background some dude starts playing some chilled guitar music. Nice! I
already had good feelings about my day ahead.
It was pouring rain and the sleepy town of Kunming seemed to just be waking up too when I left the hostel. I triumphantly thought that I could catch public transport straight to the mountain and you know what? I (almost) did. Buses are a sinch to work out here in Kunming, you only need to know a little chinese and then you can pretty much go anywhere for 1 yuan after that. After much wandering around, hoping from bus to bus all the while; smiling at the locals who looked intriguingly at the foreigner catching local transport, I finally reached a spot not far from the mountain. Unfortunately the mountain is huge! and I eneded up walking quite a long way to get to the top so I was rather exhausted, but the view was worth the effort. It was simply stunning. I spent most of my time taking in the view and breathing the fresh moutain air.
However, I didn't feel like walking the whole way back down again, but I was lucky enough to run into some old Australian travelers from Sydney- and they were just lovely!
I loved chatting to them, and some of them were really well traveled- it was interesting to hear about their backpakcing experiences when they were my age- apparently a lot has changed! They were so nice that they arranged for me to go back into town with them. I was so greatful and I'll never forget their cheery smiles saying, "Us Aussies have to stick together!" :)
Once I reached the centre of town again about 3pm I was starving- so I decided to indulge in some KFC. While sitting by myself in the KFC, I was apprached by a man who was from Canada and his friend who was a local Kunminger. They wanted to know if I was Candian, but they weren't dissapointed when I said I wasn't- because I still enjoyed talking with them nonetheless. We really clicked and it turned out that the local Kunminger is a policeman, and he wants to move to Canada- he was really keen to improve his english- and he offered to take me to a nearby park that was famous in Kunming so we went there and chatted for a long time. I felt really safe hanging around with
He was really lovely and I believe we will stay friends for a long time. I have really had a great impression from the locals here in Kunming- there's something different about the people here; something that seems like they are more relaxed and welcoming and although they still stare- its more welcoming then stern. From the cheeky grins from the locals on the bus to the Lao Ren on Xi Shan saying to me, "Hello!! Welcome to Kunming!" I really feel like this is a second home for me. I wouldn't mind living here at all if I had the opportunity.
Kunming is awesome- but just you wait until I tell you about my experiences in Yuanyang!!~~ to be continued! haha :P
There are more photos below