I had initially intended to enter Kunming from Laos’ Luang Namtha but in the end changed my mind. I flew to Kunming after picking up my luggage from Lock and Store. I remember getting rid of so much of my stuff from the locker on that night. Quite regretful that all the acrylic inks are gone along with all my art supplies. Ah well, it was a phase I had to go through.
Also I thought I would be gone long and ended up overweight. Had to get rid of some more stuff at the airport because I didn’t see the point in going back to the locker.
Kunming was the very first Chinese city for me. I went sightseeing a lot. To some famous garden. I also observed first hand how the Chinese behaved in their country. Life is cheap in China. They have little respect for the human life and there was nothing indispensable about it. They are loud and boorish whenever they want their way. And they are generally rude, too.
Food was ok but again a bit difficult to get especially when you want to eat budget. I finally found soupy noodles or rice with vegetables and meat at a small food centre. An additional challenge was not being able to read the menu or signs.
From Kunming, I got myself a tour to Lijiang, Dali, and Shangri La. The tour was a fiasco. The tour leader a true rogue hellbent on getting us to shop, shop, shop so that he can earn his commission. All throughout, I stood out as a foreigner and people would try to cheat and fleece me. Amazing and it left a rather bad taste in my mouth.
I made a stopover in Guangzhou and then flew in to Kuala Lumpur which was the soonest flight there was out of China. Even the taxi ride into Guangzhou city was a lesson in terms of trying to haggle down the inflated price. At 2 a.m. in the morning, it was either I pay the money or I won’t get to my hotel.