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Indochina Trip 7/9: China Southern CZ3410 KMG-CAN  
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1311 posts, RR: 5
Posted (3 years 3 months 3 days ago) and read 11048 times:

Indochina Trip 7/9: China Southern CZ3410 KMG-CAN

This is the Chinese part of my 4 months long trip to asia, previous parts of it:
Indochina Trip 6/9: Vietnam Airlines VN240 HUI-HAN (by EL-AL Jun 18 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 5/9: Jetstar Pacific SGN-DAD (by EL-AL May 28 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 3/9: Lao Airlines VTE-PKZ+LPQ & LXG (by EL-AL May 9 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 2/9: Orient Thai DMK-CEI / MD-82 (by EL-AL May 2 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 1/9: El Al B744 TLV-BKK + LY Lounge (by EL-AL Apr 24 2011 in Trip Reports)

My camera broke dead on the departure airport, so not too many aviation pics on this part. Yet, it’s a.net's first photographed TR involving KMG airport.

My lonely planet was confiscated!
Right after my passport was stamped at the Chinese side of the Hekeo / Lao Cai border crossing, my bag was x-rayed, and I was asked to take out the book I had in my bag; It was the PR China lonely planet tour guide, the most popular tour guide in the world. I was told that because the map does not show ROC (Taiwan) as part of the PRC, I can’t bring it inside the country. I offered him to tare off the map and to give me the rest of the book, with no success. Also told him that I did not print this map and it doesn’t show the opinion of travelers - I was told only that the lonely is out – no exceptions. Welcome to China!

After this shock, I used the ATM to get some local money and then headed for the bus stop for the 8 hours bus ride to Kunming, the capitol of Yunnan provice and the largest city in the area (Hekou is nice small town, but no reason to stay there). On the road:
http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/9528/imgp0003resize.jpg

I got to Kunming at night, setteled at what I thought is an expensive hotel but it turned out to be the regular price around there (150 CNY per night), and stayed there throughout my 4 nights in “the city of spring”. The city itself, my gateway to China, was very different from what I expected to see. Instead of polluted, gray, congested, noisy large Chinese city, Kunming is more Zurich then Hanoi – clean, super-modern, organized, calm with a good transportation system. I really loved it, a refreshing change after Indochina. Some pics:
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/9479/imgp0001resize.jpg

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/9479/imgp0001resize.jpg



http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/9479/imgp0001resize.jpg

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/9479/imgp0001resize.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/9479/imgp0001resize.jpg

Beijing st’, Kunming’s main road:
http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/9479/imgp0001resize.jpg

In a book store I saw the reason why my book was out – in China, Taiwan Island will always be part of the PRC:
http://img862.imageshack.us/img862/2480/imgp0002resize.jpg

In that very same store, I bought a map and drew a map of my trip till that point:


Chinese money:
http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/9528/imgp0003resize.jpg

Flight Background: Well, in Kunming I understood that my original plan, to head west and north to other parts of Yunnan and to Sichuan is irrelevant – it was too cold, while I had clothing for tropical weather (there was still knee-height snow in those areas in early April). Therefore I decided to head east, to Guangzhou, China’s 3rd largest city and on out of the mainland. The fact that I had no tour guide had also contributed my decision to cut short the Chinese part of my trip (finding English tour guides in Kunming is impossible).

Booking: once again, like in Laos, price for flights to CAN was identical on travel agencies and online, relatively expensive price of 1380 CNY (213 USD) no matter which time or day is chosen. Flight booked eventually in ‘China youth travel’ agency, in front of Kunming south railway station. Since the guy working there doesn’t speak a word in English, booking was done in an interesting way: I wrote him “KMG-CAN, 2011.03.31, ~12:00”. He opened his computer, pointed on the screen, I saw list of flights on that route for the day, pointed on the flight I wanted. He wrote “1400” on the page, and took out his ID pointing at me. I gave him my passport and 1400 CNY, and he issued me the ticket. We both smiled and shook hands – flight booked without a word spoken! Now here is a story to tell at home. My ticket:
http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/9528/imgp0003resize.jpg

2 days later, I woke up, checked out wand walked to the bus stop. After a minute I took public bus number 67 (1 Yuan) to Wujiaba airport, a double decker bus and I had the first row in the top for myself. Approaching to the airport, taken from the bus:
http://img861.imageshack.us/img861/8484/imgp0002p.jpg

Kunming Wujiaba airport located near the city center, and surrounded by the city; therefore, Yunnan province government plan to construct a new airport out of the city, due to become China’s 4th largest airport. External view:
http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/1624/imgp0001p.jpg

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/8570/imgp0001tc.jpg

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/8664/imgp0001hl.jpg

There was a check in line, yet, it was organized and moved fast and within 15 minutes I had my boarding pass. I asked for a window seat not over the wing, and I got 31A, though it’s the last row on the left, thats good enough for me. Check in hall:
http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/2733/imgp0003hs.jpg

Check in line:
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/5669/imgp0002n.jpg

Boarding pass:
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/9479/imgp0001resize.jpg

The security check was less than a 5 minutes wait, with the airside in KMG being great that gave me an opportunity to see airlines I’ll never see at home like Shandong or Kunming Air. KMG airport is very busy for it size, and even tough I flew at midday the single runway had nonstop takeoffs and landings. KMG’s sole terminal has an extension to the south, with the lower floor is used for remote stand gates. Some views – since China Yunnan Airlines went bust, China Eastern is the popular airline in KMG:
http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7657/imgp0001qg.jpg

China Eastern B733, Hainan Airlines B738 in the back:
http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/4273/imgp0001s.jpg

Shandong Airlines B738:
http://img848.imageshack.us/img848/1119/imgp0002c.jpg

Behind it, China Eastern A320 in special colors:
http://img807.imageshack.us/img807/730/imgp0005u.jpg

And just then my camera broke dead. My small pentax served my photography needs for 4 years, and right there in KMG airport it was its end. Sorry guys, just words from now on.

Boarding was called at 12:35, one bus drove on and I was on the second bus that waited a few minutes for no-show passengers and then drove on. Our airplane was a brand new A320-200, less then a year old at the time. Some passengers took photos during boarding with no problem. My ride:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Xu Zheng
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © M Radzi Desa



Flight details:
Flight: CZ3410
Airline: China Southern Airlines
Airplane: A320-200 B-6623
Route: Kunming Wujiaba Yunnan -> Guangzhou Baiyon Guangdong (Both in PRC)
Date: Thursday, March 31st 2011.
Seat: 31A
Gates: 24 -> 209
Runways: 21 -> 2L
SDT/SAT: 12:15/14:00

Actual timing:
Taxi: 12:11
Wheels off: 12:25
Touchdown: 13:54
Full stop: 14:00

Airborne time: 1 hour 19 minutes
Gate to gate time: 1 hour 49 minutes.

Once onboard, I walked automatically to the back only to understand that I was given the first row – the bulkhead rows in the front – CZ counts YCL row from 31 and on. Nice surprise. Next to me there was a Chinese man in his 40s who didn’t say a word to me during the flight (not rare to find people who don’t speak English in Yunnan). I was the only non-Chinese on board.

Taxi 4 minutes ahead of time, we were number 4 to depart (on midday!) followed by a long takeoff run on RWY 21. YCL was pretty full, JCL load was 1/8. Entertainment was news and other TV programs in Chinese, with audio (no headphones). Food service included drinks and full hot meal with entrée choices of chicken or pork (on rice, of course – we are in China) so as salad, fruits, bread and butter. Everything was pretty good. Heard that, US airlines?

We landed on RWY 21L and arrived at our gate right on time. At baggage claim we waited for 20 minutes till the first suitcase was out – it was the JCL passenger one, separated from the rest. I think that on those flights it pretty stupid to separate it from the rest, since obviously the organization of bags took some time, while if all luggage was out at once most passengers, including the JCL one, could have left the airport sooner.

Again, the airport information employees did nothing but try to sell me overpriced taxis (300 CNY, didn’t expect that in such a large airport as CAN) but the metro and bus employees assisted me very professionally, and directed me to a bus (17 CNY) that took me right near my hotel (Xinyuexin, a dump, stay away; Wrote review about the place on Trip Advisor).

Guangzhou (Canton), 3rd largest city in PRC, is super-modern and clean, yet expensive and pretty boring. 24 hours is enough, in my opinion, to see all attractions in the city and indeed I spent just 2 nights in Guangzhou. Yet, I did find a bargain on a new camera. Few pictures:
http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/231/img0014800x600w.jpg





http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/5112/img0028800x600.jpg

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/5316/img0031800x600.jpg

Guangzhou’s metro is the most modern one I’ve ever seen:
http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/3715/img0004800x600.jpg

Cantonese food:
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/7404/img0011800x600.jpg

Canton tower. Completed in 2010, at 600 meters high it’s the second tallest tower in the world (after Burge Khalifa). Even thought it’s the number 1 tourist destination in Guangzou, it was pretty empty when I was there:

Views from the top:




http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/2570/img0065800x600.jpg





Conclusion: while I was expecting crowded noisy flight, I got a new airplane, good legroom, full and good meal with excellent service and arriving right on time. Weak points were the luggage issue and the price, of course. Yet, I will be happy to fly China Southern again anytime.

Thank you for reading, comments and feedback are welcome as always.

http://img803.imageshack.us/img803/9528/imgp0003resize.jpg

Please take a look at my other trip reports:
Indochina Trip 6/9: Vietnam Airlines VN240 HUI-HAN (by EL-AL Jun 18 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 5/9: Jetstar Pacific SGN-DAD (by EL-AL May 28 2011 in Trip Reports)
El Al Independence Day Flyover 2011 (by EL-AL May 12 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 3/9: Lao Airlines VTE-PKZ+LPQ & LXG (by EL-AL May 9 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 2/9: Orient Thai DMK-CEI / MD-82 (by EL-AL May 2 2011 in Trip Reports)
Indochina Trip 1/9: El Al B744 TLV-BKK + LY Lounge (by EL-AL Apr 24 2011 in Trip Reports)
Flying The Box: Ayit Shorts 360 SDV-RPN-SDV (by el-al Oct 10 2010 in Trip Reports)
Nightmares And Thefts: Air Malta TLV-MLA-TLV (by EL-AL Oct 22 2010 in Trip Reports)
EL-AL Inaugural Domestic Flight 1.8.2010 TLV-ETH (by EL-AL Aug 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
2 Countries, 1 Dollar: TLV-LCA-TLV Arkia E195+B753 (by EL-AL Jun 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
Inside Israel: SDV-ETH-TLV; Israir & Arkia (+pics) (by EL-AL May 19 2010 in Trip Reports)
Special TR: Preparations For El Al Ind.day Flyover (by EL-AL Apr 20 2010 in Trip Reports)
LCC In Spain: TLV-BCN-SVQ-REU With UX, VY & FR (by EL-AL Apr 18 2010 in Trip Reports)
Y Viva Espana! TLV-BCN-TLV; EL-AL 'basic' (+ Pics) (by EL-AL Jan 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
EL-AL At It's Best: TLV-MXP, FCO-TLV (+pics) (by EL-AL Oct 12 2009 in Trip Reports)
First Sun D'or Pax TR TLV-BOJ (new Link To Pics) (by EL-AL Sep 12 2009 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2011-06-18 05:00:40]


"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6807 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 10939 times:

Hi Jonathan,

another great report with fabulous pictures! Very good to get an impression of all these destinations which aren't covered well here.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Right after my passport was stamped at the Chinese side of the Hekeo / Lao Cai border crossing, my bag was x-rayed, and I was asked to take out the book I had in my bag; It was the PR China lonely planet tour guide, the most popular tour guide in the world. I was told that because the map does not show ROC (Taiwan) as part of the PRC, I can’t bring it inside the country. I offered him to tare off the map and to give me the rest of the book, with no success. Also told him that I did not print this map and it doesn’t show the opinion of travelers - I was told only that the lonely is out – no exceptions. Welcome to China!

Wow, that's bad. Entering China at PEK was quite easy in 2008. No searches, no questions.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
In that very same store, I bought a map and drew a map of my trip till that point:

Very impressive!

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):

Booking: once again, like in Laos, price for flights to CAN was identical on travel agencies and online, relatively expensive price of 1380 CNY (213 USD) no matter which time or day is chosen.

When we were planning our trip back in 2008 I was also surprised about relatively expensive domestic fares. Probably it's just the foreigners which have to pay these high prices?

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
And just then my camera broke dead. My small pentax served my photography needs for 4 years, and right there in KMG airport it was its end.

Oh no, the trip reporter's nightmare!

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Heard that, US airlines?

Well, let's see what happens in a few years with increased LCC competition.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Canton tower. Completed in 2010, at 600 meters high it’s the second tallest tower in the world

Very impressive building - I hadn't taken notice of it before!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinetoby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 10876 times:

Fantastic TR, it has been a while since I was in Kunming. I remember landing there on a night flight in 2006 from Chongqing to go travelling. Stayed a few days in Kunming - I remember disliking the city for some reason and was glad to leave. Since you were in Kunming you should have taken a flight up to Lijiang. it is a tourist trap but really great place of the mountains and the local Naxi people. Stayed in this fantastic hotel.

Guangzhou is an ok city - did you stay at the White Swan Hotel - very nice hotel. Too bad about your travel book, when i was there i saw them everywhere, i think i remember seeing them being sold in china so i think you were just unlucky.

Anyway great TR  



Seriously dude! I swear!
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2047 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 10643 times:

Great report, as the other ones were.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Once onboard, I walked automatically to the back only to understand that I was given the first row – the bulkhead rows in the front – CZ counts YCL row from 31 and on. Nice surprise.

This is one reason I hate to fly CZ. Image you are boarding a 737 and are given a seat on row 32 or 33... Most people go all the way to the back, only to find that their seat is right in front on the bulkhead. It always creates a mess of the boarding procedure and more often than not creates a delay. This has always happened to me flying ex-CAN.

Also note that generally Y+ (CZ being the only Chinese carrier that has Y+, which is just slightly more legroom) starts at row 31 and I believe Y starts at row 35 or 36.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
YCL was pretty full, JCL load was 1/8.

Interesting, it seems CZ doesn't give that many upgrades. I've flown them once or twice in JCL (it's called First in China if it is a domestic flight). I remember once on the 772 on the CAN - SHA route the only people in JCL were me and my three colleagues as well as a former finance minister from Singapore with his colleague.

MU on the other hand always upgrades pax. I am not even a member of their FFP (I accrue DL miles when I fly them) but I always get upgraded to F when booking a Y ticket, even on very short flights (my company's policy is F / J only on flights over 3 hours).

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6568 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10151 times:

Hi Jonathan!

Another amazing report from you!

Too bad about your camera but good you got a new one so soon.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Wow, that's bad. Entering China at PEK was quite easy in 2008. No searches, no questions.

Very odd byt it may be because of you arriving over land rather than at an airport or possibly because of what passport yoi were holding.

CZ looks very good domestically amd I flew MU SHA-BJS about ten years ago and had a similiar service on them. Flew on a 733 back then, now almost all SHA-BJS flights are on widebodies......

Note the China Yunnan logo on the MU 733 you took a picture of.

Looking forward to the next installments in this series!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1311 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 2 days ago) and read 9778 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
another great report with fabulous pictures! Very good to get an impression of all these destinations which aren't covered well here.

Thx PH, I never thought myself I ever visit Kunming. Glad I did.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
When we were planning our trip back in 2008 I was also surprised about relatively expensive domestic fares. Probably it's just the foreigners which have to pay these high prices?

Nope, this is expensive to anyone. On the walls of the travel agencies you can see lists of destinations and fares, which are identical to the one I paid (recognized the chinese sign for Guangzhou from my ticket). Most locals use the train and do not fly.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Oh no, the trip reporter's nightmare!

Nightmare indeed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Well, let's see what happens in a few years with increased LCC competition.

LCC? In China?

Quoting toby25 (Reply 2):
Fantastic TR

Thank you

Quoting toby25 (Reply 2):
Since you were in Kunming you should have taken a flight up to Lijiang.

As I mentioned, it was still very cold in Yunnan and, coming from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, I had no outfit for this weather.

Quoting toby25 (Reply 2):
Too bad about your travel book, when i was there i saw them everywhere, i think i remember seeing them being sold in china so i think you were just unlucky.

In Hekou, lonely planet tour guides are confiscated as a rule. The lonely itself even mention it, it's not a matter of bad luck - it's Chinese policy down there. They could not more effective way to make a tourist regret the moment he decided to go to the PRC.


Quoting Coal (Reply 3):
Great report, as the other ones were.

Thank you Coal.

Quoting Coal (Reply 3):
This is one reason I hate to fly CZ. Image you are boarding a 737 and are given a seat on row 32 or 33... Most people go all the way to the back, only to find that their seat is right in front on the bulkhead. It always creates a mess of the boarding procedure and more often than not creates a delay. This has always happened to me flying ex-CAN.

In El Al, YCL also start with row number 20, and the last row in a 737 is row 58!

Quoting Coal (Reply 3):
Interesting, it seems CZ doesn't give that many upgrades. I've flown them once or twice in JCL (it's called First in China if it is a domestic flight). I remember once on the 772 on the CAN - SHA route the only people in JCL were me and my three colleagues as well as a former finance minister from Singapore with his colleague.

MU on the other hand always upgrades pax. I am not even a member of their FFP (I accrue DL miles when I fly them) but I always get upgraded to F when booking a Y ticket, even on very short flights (my company's policy is F / J only on flights over 3 hours).

Interesting, I didn't know that.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 4):
Another amazing report from you!

Thank you 777.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 4):
Very odd byt it may be because of you arriving over land rather than at an airport or possibly because of what passport yoi were holding.

As I mentioned, it's just the policy of the border crossing in Hekou. Regarding my passport - it's exactly the opposite, the Chinese admire the jews and the state of Israel, and whenever I mentioned I'm an Israeli or someone saw my passport they were very impressed, said that in the 1960s Israel was China's row model (even got some free cups of tea for that). I was the only one given a Chinese visa at the PRC embassy in Hanoi, other nationalities were sent away to Saigon and Vientiane, since the usual rule there is that visas are issued only to Vietnamese or those how live in Vietnam.



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6807 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9605 times:

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 5):
Most locals use the train and do not fly.

Lots of potential for airlines...

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 5):
LCC? In China?

Sure. Spring Airlines has successfully been established, and there will be more in the future.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineac033 From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2008, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9403 times:

Hi Jonathan

Very detail and nice written trip report!

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
China Eastern B733, Hainan Airlines B738 in the back:

Its a B737-700 its kinda confusing isn't it? 
Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
since China Yunnan Airlines went bust, China Eastern is the popular airline in KMG:

They didn't went burst, they got merged into China Eastern

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):

In that very same store, I bought a map and drew a map of my trip till that point:

Really smart idea =)

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Even thought it’s the number 1 tourist destination in Guangzou, it was pretty empty when I was there:

Its pretty expensive to get up there, so i would imagine it was pretty empty.


Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Views from the top:

I saw my house!


Andy


User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1311 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 months 14 hours ago) and read 9146 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
Lots of potential for airlines...


In a 1,300,000,000 people nation with many new airports and inceasing tourism? you bet.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
Sure. Spring Airlines has successfully been established, and there will be more in the future.


Never heard of them. Anyway it's clear that when the flight price is identical on different airlines, there isn't enough competition.

Quoting ac033 (Reply 7):
Very detail and nice written trip report!


Thank you AC. How long you live in Guangzhou now? Do you like it?

Quoting ac033 (Reply 7):
Its a B737-700 its kinda confusing isn't it?


Sure is, thx for the correction.

Quoting ac033 (Reply 7):
They didn't went burst, they got merged into China Eastern


Could not keep flying independently therefore bought by China Eastern, I call it went bust.

Quoting ac033 (Reply 7):
Really smart idea =)


Thx, wanted to do that but didn't find Indochina map that include Thailand till I found that one.

Quoting ac033 (Reply 7):
Its pretty expensive to get up there, so i would imagine it was pretty empty.


150 CNY, and no matter what you don't get a discount: even thought I had both my international student card and my university student card, I didn't get discount because the lady there decided that it has to be 'from a university in Guangzhou'. Yea, right.



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineRobMEL From Australia, joined Feb 2010, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8435 times:

I know of people who have had their Lonely Planet guides taken off them at that same border crossing. It's actually a relatively common crossing for backpackers, and the guards know that most are carrying said book. Surprised they didn't try to "fine" you for "contraband" or some such thing.

I took mine in on the train fron Hong Kong to Shanghai, no problems at all doing that; I don't recall really them giving me much of a look at all.

On a domestic flight from PEK to CAN we had toilet paper, boot polish, and an extendable baton removed from our checked bags. Ok, I might understand the baton being a weapon (though in checked bags it surely wouldn't matter), but toilet paper and boot polish? That was a little odd.

Nice reports, BTW. Really enjoying them, makes me want to get out and traipse all over SE Asia again! Capture my youth!


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8327 times:

Another nice addition to your trip report series. Like the pics, looking forward to the final 2 parts.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3268 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8288 times:

Nice TR. I've always like Kunming, nice green city.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
My lonely planet was confiscated!

i've heard that that particular boarder crossing has 'issues' withe LP book. I've travelled around China with the LP since 2003, and never had any issues anywhere, even in Tibet, and corrising borders in Xinjiang.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Yet, it’s a.net's first photographed TR involving KMG airport.

Actually, I wrote a TR, covering exactly the same CAN-KMG route back in 2008:
Chinese Domestics; MU, CA, ZH (9 Flights) (by Gabrielchew Jul 26 2008 in Trip Reports)

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Booking: once again, like in Laos, price for flights to CAN was identical on travel agencies and online, relatively expensive price of 1380 CNY (213 USD) no matter which time or day is chosen.

There are normally lots of discounted tickets. Looking now for next week, most flights have seats starting at RMB 880 + tax. Seems you were unlucky.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineus330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3871 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 8235 times:

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 5):
it's exactly the opposite, the Chinese admire the jews and the state of Israel

Yep--generally speaking as a whole, non-muslim East Asia has some of the lowest rates of anti-Semitism in the world, and the same Jewish cultural stereotypes that are used to villainize Jews in other parts of the world are seen very positively in East Asia, which shares some of those same cultural values.

When you see people wearing swastikas--the Nazi oriented ones, not the traditional hindu orientation--it is generally done out of benign ignorance--the person wearing the tshirt thought it looked cool. I've also seen confederate flags on various items of clothing and bags, and it's the same thing--they thought it looked cool--they didn't know the history behind the symbol/flag.


User currently offlineWhereToNext From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8199 times:

Hey Jonathan!

Thanks for the great trip report! I really enjoyed your pictures. I recently got back from my first trip to China and regrettably didn't get to visit either Kunming or Guangzhou but from your pictures, they are definitely on my "to-visit" list.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Booking: once again, like in Laos, price for flights to CAN was identical on travel agencies and online, relatively expensive price of 1380 CNY (213 USD) no matter which time or day is chosen. Flight booked eventually in ‘China youth travel’ agency, in front of Kunming south railway station. Since the guy working there doesn’t speak a word in English, booking was done in an interesting way: I wrote him “KMG-CAN, 2011.03.31, ~12:00”. He opened his computer, pointed on the screen, I saw list of flights on that route for the day, pointed on the flight I wanted. He wrote “1400” on the page, and took out his ID pointing at me. I gave him my passport and 1400 CNY, and he issued me the ticket. We both smiled and shook hands – flight booked without a word spoken! Now here is a story to tell at home.

This is a great anecdote! I had a few situations similar to this too haha. Once, the travel agent had transcribed my name incorrectly from my passport to my boarding pass (and I hadn't noticed) and it caused havoc at security. Needless to say, it's not easy explaining that in hand gestures to the officer!

Thanks again!

-Matt



Next Adventure: TBD
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1311 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8025 times:

Quoting RobMEL (Reply 9):
I know of people who have had their Lonely Planet guides taken off them at that same border crossing. It's actually a relatively common crossing for backpackers, and the guards know that most are carrying said book. Surprised they didn't try to "fine" you for "contraband" or some such thing.

It is known that Hekeo border crossing is problematic, but there wasn't any other place I could use. No one asked me to pay anything, this place is pretty modern, but there was no way I could let me book to the PRC, they wouldn't ready to accept anything but myself leaving the book behind. Absolutely ridicules that me book was suddenly a threat to the national security of a 1.3 billion people nation with the world's largest army. What a shame.

Quoting RobMEL (Reply 9):
Nice reports, BTW. Really enjoying them, makes me want to get out and traipse all over SE Asia again! Capture my youth!

I'm glad you like them. People travel in SE asia an all ages, never say never.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 10):
Another nice addition to your trip report series. Like the pics, looking forward to the final 2 parts.

Thx MS, your comments make me very pleased.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 11):
Nice TR. I've always like Kunming, nice green city.

How can't someone like it? Beautiful place.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 11):
i've heard that that particular boarder crossing has 'issues' withe LP book. I've travelled around China with the LP since 2003, and never had any issues anywhere, even in Tibet, and corrising borders in Xinjiang.

Yea, people told me the officers in Hekeo crossing are a**holes, but there was no other crossing available for me. I didn't really thing someone will actually take it, just unbelievable.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 11):
Actually, I wrote a TR, covering exactly the same CAN-KMG route back in 2008:

Didn't notice that one! Just read it, great report! You've done you share of traveling in China. It will take me a while to go back there, me next 'big' trip will be to India.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 11):

There are normally lots of discounted tickets. Looking now for next week, most flights have seats starting at RMB 880 + tax. Seems you were unlucky.

It was just a bad week. When I looked for flights in Hanoi to get impression of the price I saw flights for 1080 CNY, but when I was there there was nothing under 1380. Maybe there was a convention or I just didn't know where to look (even thought I also check the 'chinese expedia').

Quoting us330 (Reply 12):
When you see people wearing swastikas--the Nazi oriented ones, not the traditional hindu orientation--it is generally done out of benign ignorance--the person wearing the tshirt thought it looked cool. I've also seen confederate flags on various items of clothing and bags, and it's the same thing--they thought it looked cool--they didn't know the history behind the symbol/flag.

I agree, It's ignorance, Hitler wasn't a big fan of the asians too.

Quoting WhereToNext (Reply 13):
Thanks for the great trip report! I really enjoyed your pictures. I recently got back from my first trip to China and regrettably didn't get to visit either Kunming or Guangzhou but from your pictures, they are definitely on my "to-visit" list.

My plasure, I don't think both cities worth a visit just for themselves, good to visit if are you somewhere in the area, like where I was (northern Vietnam). Guangzhou can be a nice day trip if you're in Hong Kong or Shanzen.

Quoting WhereToNext (Reply 13):

This is a great anecdote! I had a few situations similar to this too haha. Once, the travel agent had transcribed my name incorrectly from my passport to my boarding pass (and I hadn't noticed) and it caused havoc at security. Needless to say, it's not easy explaining that in hand gestures to the officer!

Wow, nice story. Even in Israel no one will make a big deal if your name isn't identical to the one in the passport. Once, Israir, on a flight to Crete, wrote my name "Uonatan" while in my passport it's "Jonathan" and I had no problem.



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineWhereToNext From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7906 times:

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 14):
My plasure, I don't think both cities worth a visit just for themselves, good to visit if are you somewhere in the area, like where I was (northern Vietnam). Guangzhou can be a nice day trip if you're in Hong Kong or Shanzen.

Thanks for the advice!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 14):
Wow, nice story. Even in Israel no one will make a big deal if your name isn't identical to the one in the passport. Once, Israir, on a flight to Crete, wrote my name "Uonatan" while in my passport it's "Jonathan" and I had no problem.

It's funny how these things work out. I guess I just got one officer that was really trying to impress his supervisor haha!

Kind regards,
-Matt



Next Adventure: TBD
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