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Kunming Prefecture

From Wikitravel
Asia : East Asia : China : Southwest China : Yunnan : Kunming Prefecture
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Kunming Prefecture is in Yunnan Province. It borders Sichuan Province to the north, Qujing Prefecture to the east, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture to the southeast, Yuxi Prefecture to the southwest and Chuxiong Yu Autonomous Prefecture to the west.

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Understand[edit]

Kunming Prefecture is comprised of 14 counties (including 4 making up Kunming City). Most travellers who visit this prefecture only stop in Kunming or Shilin, but there are other places to be visited.

Talk[edit]

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

There are several modes of transit within the city.

Bus: The cheapest is the local bus system, which costs about 2RMB per trip as of 2012. You'll need to have the exact change in cash and be prepared to push your way onto a crowded bus. To save gas, most buses will turn off their engines while waiting at lights, but don't be alarmed. There have been rumors of bombings on public buses, so be alert. Sometimes people will bring on live animals onto the bus. If someone tries to touch you inappropriately, yell something. "Ni gan shema?!" which means "what are you doing?!" If you attend Yunnan University, you may be allowed to ride on the bus from old campus in center city to new campus in the outskirts of town. Go to the basketball courts and look for the buses that say they are going to new campus.

Taxi: Taxis are also quite reasonable if you are a traveler on an average Western salary, at about 6 RMB (equivalent to about a dollar) per unit (probably KM). Always take the blue taxis as they are the official ones. Never sit in the front seat of a taxi, especially as a lone foreign woman as that can be interpreted as an invitation for intimate relations. Many taxi drivers are illiterate, so you will need to know how to speak the name of your destination. If your Mandarin is not fluent, ask a native person to write the destination name and some directions in "Pin Ying." This will give you It is also useful to know the general directions of where you are going, as most times it is up to the customer to direct the taxi driver where to go. Most taxi drivers should know Han dialect Mandarin.

Car: Driving your own/a rented car in China as a foreigner is difficult, and not a transportation option chosen by even most expats that have lived in the area for years.

Moped: A few foreigners who live in the city will drive mopeds, motorbikes or "e-bikes" or electronic bicycles. Driving a moped in Yunnan is also very difficult and dangerous if you are not used to the traffic patterns, and many wipe out quite easily if a road is wet and curvy.

Pedestrian: As a pedestrian, you also need to be quite aware of your surroundings. Most first time visitors from the west are shocked at the loud traffic noises and don't know what to make of the traffic patterns. The rules of the road are that largest vehicles have right of way, then smaller vehicles, then bikes/mopeds, and finally a pedestrian. This is very important to understand when you are crossing the road. Horns seem to be used more as a friendly means of letting someone know you are beside them than of a warning of imminent danger.

If possible, it is best to use a pedestrian bridge above the road when you need to cross. If you need to cross elsewhere on the road, make sure you follow the lead of a native person. You can often cross the road gradually, pausing to let the vehicles go on past you. Also, at night some people may drive cars without the lights as it is thought that saves the battery. E-bike drivers may drive on the sidewalk, and since they are almost silent, you will not hear them if they are behind you, so just try to be aware of your surroundings.

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