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Published: October 10th 2012
Kunming has been an adventure from the second we left Dali...
When we left Dali, we got on the wrong city bus. We wanted to get to the train station and ended up at the bus station. Since we hadn't bought tickets in advance, we were on a bit of a tight schedule so we had to get a taxi to take us across town to the train station. We were able to get train tickets no problem and were super happy to be back on a train instead of those stupid buses (we've had a few rough rides).
We arrived in Kunming slightly ahead of schedule (another reason to love the train) and had figured out how to get to the hostel we were looking for. It was going to take two buses but seemed simple enough. Getting on the first bus was easy peasy. But we stayed on the bus for two extra stops. Here begins the walking with our big heavy backpacks. We walked back to the street we were supposed to be on and since we had walked that far, decided to just walk the couple of blocks to the hostel.
At this time,
we will inform you that the entire core of Kunming is under construction since they are building a subway system.
It was after we realized we were on the wrong side of the road that we figured out we couldn't cross it (due to construction) for another 750m or so. The walking continued. At the next set of lights, we crossed and back tracked only to find a demolished buildling where our guesthouse/hotel was supposed to be.
At this point we had been wandering around Kunming for two hours and it was dark. We found a step to sit on and come up with a new plan. We decided where we wanted to go next and also decided to flag down a cab in order to eliminate any more unnecesary walking.That didn't work.
The cabs apparently weren't familiar with the hostel we were looking for and could not read the address in our guidebook (that is clearly written in chinese scripture). So on to another plan... take a bus! What bus? We had no clue! So we hopped on the bus that seemed to be going by most freaquently and was heading in the right direction.
It was the right bus! Yay! Something went right! But, of course we got off a stop too late and had to retrace our steps... again. When we got to the next hostel we were informed that they were booked solid. Insert exasperated sigh here. Tyler told the girl at the front desk we were just going to sleep on their couch and she thought he was kidding lol.
She knew of another hostel nearby though and called to see if they had any rooms. They did! And they were only another 20 minute walk away. Please note the sarcasm.
We finally made it into a room with beds that we were allowed to sleep in about three hours after arriving in Kunming. Despite the horrible construction, it really is a pretty city. We are staying in the Green Lake area which is a big park. There is a lake right in the middle of the city, which is full of islands and bridges and of course there are always people dancing, singing, playing instruments, doing tai chi... it's great!
Our one day in Kunming was spent running around. We had supplies to buy, train and bus tickets to organize for the next week and we wanted to see at least a little bit of the city.
Oddly enough we ended up walking through a Wal-Mart at one point and as soon as we saw the massage chairs, we dumped our butts and didn't move. Who needs to pay for a massage when Wal-Mart has an entire section of massage chairs to try out?! It was fantastic.
Though our short time in Kunming has been hectic, we did find that we enjoyed what little we saw of the city. We will be back next week for one night before catching a 24 hour train to the next province we want to visit.
Anywho, that's all for now. Tomorrow we head to some picturesque centuries old rice terraces. Google "Yuanyang" for a sneak peak. We will get you an update as soon as we can.
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