Kunming, China

So I’ve hinted at various times about my travels. But I’ve never actually told you about them.

So I’ll tell you about my most recent trip to China.

Kunming is the Capital City in Yunnan province, in the south west of China. Yunnan is considered by the Chinese as the hicksville of the country, the rural backwater, where people are sent “to be re-educated”.

Going to Kunming this year almost felt like going home. Our hotel is near the river, and there is a small plaza nearby. In the early morning, the Chinese come out to play badminton or practice dancing; at dusk there are hordes.

It is at 1900m (5700 feet) altitude, so it stays nice and cool during summer.

A new airport has just opened in the last year, and it is a giant glittery ribbon inspired structure:

Kunming Changshui Airport

This is the eighth airport in china to be built to this design. It is a huge improvement on the old airport, which was a in 1920s small white tiled rabbit warren of a thing. During the National Day (week) celebrations, there were bus loads of locals visiting and admiring the new airport. All were wandering around like it was a tourist attraction: look at those modern toilets!

This is an interior shot of the entry hall:

Kunming Changshui Airport

From here, you can get international flights to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

The biggest attraction in town is Green Lake Park. A series of four lakes which were originally drinking water resevoirs. There are now pleasant paths amongst the trees and water lillies. In one part, you can hire a pedal boat in various amusing shapes and paddle around.

There is a statue commemorating the sister city status with the Australian city of Wagga Wagga:

Kunming-Wagga Wagga Sister city memorial

Kunming, population 6.4 Million.
Wagga Wagga, population 50 thousand.

Go figure.

Hmm. 0.48% of the Chinese population versus 0.24% of the Australian population. Both are pipsqueaks. I guess that works.

Yunnan has a famous dish called “guo chao mi xian” (过桥米线); crossing the bridge noodles, which is eaten mainly for breakfast, but also as a snack. In its simplest form it is a bowl of skinny rice vermicilli noodles. Then the consumer would add the various flavourings to the bowl. This can include herbs such as spring onion and coriander, chilli minced pork, bean sprouts, pickled vegetables, sugar and msg.

I took a photo here of my half eaten breakfast:

Guo Chao Mi Xian

I ate this dish almost every morning, and it was a warming way to start the morning.

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