Thus far 2 small groups have been to yunnan this year. Below is a simple write up by Victor Wee, his thoughts on the trip for those who need to know abit about Yunnan and wish to join future trips. There should be another one in October 2009. If you wish to go, please email me so that we can keep you informed which is better than referring to the posting.
There are some inquiries regarding doing volunteer work, teaching life skills, english or even doing simple, non competitive and non-stressful golden age business so as to have something to indulge in traveling. Again please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if i do not yet have your email address.
Another thought floating around is the idea of short term stay and retreat living in "eternal spring Yunnan" where everyday is spring. There should be a link below where you can sight some of the photos, till we hear from you……
About Our Trip………….
Yunnan is situated on a plateau and surrounded by mountains mainly. The temperature during summer is about 24 Deg C and 5 Deg C in winter. It does not snow in the region, nevertheless the mountains would be snow capped. The climate is comfortable enough in summer seldom above 27 Deg C. The region is at an altitude of 1200 to 3000+ m above sea level from Kunming to Zhongdian (Shangri-La).
Return airfare from Singapore to Kunming ranges from $600 to $900 depending on whether high or low seasons and Airline companies. The very low fare of $382 is more a bonus. Taxi fare within the city starts at 8Yuan. On average to places we frequent it ranges from 15 – 20Yuan. Public buses are very affordable at 1Yuan (we had not tried).
Inter-cities coaches cost about $25 and are very comfortable. The toilets at the pit stop needs getting use to. Interstate train travel on first class sleeper is about $35 and comfortable. The toilet on board is good enough but will need a bit of balancing act and squatting skills. The road and rail network are impressive considering this being a less developed area.
Meat and vegetables are readily available. Fish and prawns are the freshwater types with limited variety. This is not the place for seafood lovers. Vegetables are always fresh and plentiful. Wild mushrooms are wonderful, great for steam boat, but need to wait till raining seasons. Eating out and socializing is a must even for work and business.
The food prepared here are from what’s available in the markets. You can have your meal from the roadside stall at about 3 Yuan or 20 Yuan at restaurants. Food is generally stir fried and is swimming in oil. The oil used is rapeseed oil (not the best but I supposed it suites them well). Beer is at 3.50 Yuan per bottle. Rice noodle is a more common staple than grain rice. Beef is plentiful and appears to be the predominant meat next to pork. In the old part of Dali and Lijiang, dinning by the waterway is most interesting by day and night.
Serviced apartments in Kunming cost $50 per night .The comfort level is like 4 star.
Living in court yard inns in the old city of Dali and Lijiang cost $25 per night and was indeed a memorable experience.
There are plentiful shopping areas. In Kunming, the shopping facilities are like Home.
In Dali and Lijiang old town, the shopping is a world of its own where merchandise are sold in preserved ancient shop houses. Window shopping is also satisfying if you have no more money left. Leather (Ox or Yak leather) goods are indeed worth buying (ask the ladies on the trip). Bright spectrum of colors of the merchandise reflects the many ethnic groups of the region. Lijiang is very crowded on all days. The crowd is like that of our Chinatown, and during holiday period, like Disneyland theme park. Dali is like Lijiang but a smaller scale and less crowded
Not much to say here except that TCM facilities and pharmacies are readily available.
Farming is all around and your waste would be put to good use.
Trekking will leave you no time for anything else.
Photography will run you out of memory space.
Language will keep your tongue twisted with the countless dialects. There are 25 ethnic nationalities here in Yunnan. Even yunnanese is a dialect in China.
Foodies will be well lubricated at toilet breaks sometimes overly. Need getting used to it and according to the season of the year. Every other taste here needs to be acquired.
In Lijiang visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Region and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
Watch the ever popular cultural show at the foothills and explore the region on horseback.
In Dali try the chairlift up the Cangshan mountains ridge.
In Kunming visit the Minority Village and be prepared to spend half a day. The Stone Forest region and Jiu Xiang (Stone Cave) will take a full day.
Click here for photos