38 Kunming

Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
Trip End Aug 28, 2013

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 38

28 May 2013

Kunming, China

Hostels- are they any good?

Many years ago when I worked for a meat processing company as Export manager. During that time I participated in an International food exhibition and trade show in Singapore. As this was a party sponsored by the Queensland State Government to promote Queensland food products I was required stay at a 5 star resort at Sentosa Island in Singapore. At that time, I think it was around 1998 the rooms cost $250 per night , so I guess today it may be around $450 per nigh

Everything was pristine, very good service, nice decorations and surrounding, manicured gardens etc. All in all the best of the best a five star resort can offer. However I had never had such a boring week in that place. One night I suggested that the Qld delegation should go with me to Little India and taste the life of the real Singapore.  I remember thinking  "  I would rather stay here at $10 per night than at that boring resort."

During this trip I stayed in a few hotels, although they may only be one star at  between $12 to $15 per night. However I still felt the same, although I was often in the middle of a busy town where it all happens.

Where possible I try to stay at hostels with shared accommodation. To me it is much more pleasant as you have fellow travelers to meet and mingle with. Even now , when I just wrote this an about 45 year old  Canadian man sat down across from me and we started a conversation. I learned from him about the Chinese people and how to approach them as they are less outgoing than the Vietnamese. He has been her e for 6 months and learned to speak Chinese. We had an interesting conversation.  II told him that I find the Chinese reserved and distant, however he pointed out that they are not much used to western people and find us perhaps a bit overbearing as after all we are much larger than them. The best thing is just to say Ni Hao (Hello) and that will often be enough to break the ice. Ok tnaks that is what I will do from now on.

Travelling at the hostel level I find much more rewarding than at hotel level even if it is only one star. Sharing rooms does not bother me. Most places have very secure storage. This particular hostel (www.thehumphostel.com)  has electronic  locking doors, including the personal lockers.  Bed lamps and charging facilities for all the electronic gadgets etc. are supplied next to the bed.

Many people I see only when they are asleep as I usually go to bed at 1am and get up at 6 am. 

And it is noisy? No it is not. Years ago it would loud with many people talking/shouting etc . Today, wherever you are, people are busy with their I-phones, tablets. lap tops etc. Often you see a dozen people sitting in a certain place and it is dead quiet as far as talking is concerned as everyone is busy with his or hers communication device.

This particular place is on the second level and has an outdoor area where you can relax enjoy  the soft music  which plays all day. The balustrade at the edge has a place to sit and use your laptop or whatever while meanwhile it provides a view over the parkland and Chinese gates just down the road. This particular place has a nice restaurant/bar and pool table. Free wifi is standard everywhere as well. The Vietnamese varieties always offer free breakfast as well. They price you pay for these places ranges from $4.50 to about $9.00 a night which is excellent value.

They majority of travelers are in the age group 25 to 35. but I have seen several as old as 77 doing what I am doing. I guess 60 % is female and many are travelling on their own. In this particular place the travelers are 80 % Chinese.

I have included some pictures to give you an idea.

What I have seen of China thus far has far exceeded my expectation. Last night I bought some food and eat it on a bench in the nearby mall. As soon as I finished a street cleaner collected my trash and than waited  at a distance to finish my drink which  she collected as soon as I finished and placed it in a bin for me. You could literally eat from the street. 

I have never seen so many fashion houses, clothing shops in my life say all with 1 km radius . The women especially dress exceptionally well. There is no noise in the traffic, all two wheel traffic is electric and the cars and busses are super quiet.  The sudden freedom in China has resulted in an overreaction of advertising signs often covering entire buildings. Is that bad?  Well I remember the old fashion stark communist countries of the seventies where the only color in the streets came from the traffic lights and everything else was grey. I prefer this.

Anyway I need to keep moving and have booked a train to the next destination, the city of Cheng Du. My overnight sleeper train leaves at around 6 and should arrive there at 12 noon tomorrow. So, off to a new adventure.
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