Birthday Boy in Kunming & Hanoi

Trip Start Feb 09, 2012
Trip End Mar 03, 2012

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Where I stayed
Thien Thai Hanoi
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
Flowers and Birds Market Kunming
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Green Lake (Cu H) Kunming
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Wujiaba Airport, Kunming City.

Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

57 Today. Had a nice breakfast, and Grant and I went down Beijing Road to the Railway Station to have a look at what was down there. We passed the plastic policeman, many tea shops and Greengrocers. At the station were thousands of people from all around Yunnan by the look of them. They looked like they have come to the big city to work. Most of them were young. 
I had a crack at a Chinese Public toilet... Paid my 30th of a yuan to one of three ladies at the counter and got change from one, a receipt from another and 3 bits of paper from the third lady, all had lovely smiles and looked like they were enjoying themselves. Upstairs I went to the urinal area and It was a lot better than most toilets I have been in in Australia. The urinals are the bowl type and on the back of them they have a little fly picture for you to aim at. Getting near the basins was a task as the young men were hogging the mirrors to coif their hair for the ladies. I think that is an Asian thing, we saw it in Singapore too. A lot of men stopped in their tracks and stared when I passed them, probably as they don't see  too many Caucasian types out here. In fact I don't remember seeing any other Caucasians in Kunming. We did see a couple in the Stone Forest. 
We wandered back to the Hotel along the back streets and through a market. It was a nice quiet time in the market and the stallholders having no grasp of English left us alone. We bought the things we saw in other markets but were too harassed to buy.  Kunming is a lovely city, and despite being above 2000m is warm and comfortable. It is a large modern city with high rises, and an Underground Metro being built at the moment.
After lunch we were picked up by Daisy and our driver and we went to Green lake park ( Cui Hu ) The cherries were just starting to blossom and Azaleas native to the province, such as " Ward's Ruby " were beautiful. There are beautiful old pavillions and ponds around the Green Lake.  There were food stalls and lovely garden plantings. We stood and watched elderly people do a cross between tai chi and line dancing to a karaoke singer with a boom box providing the music. They were having a good time.
We saw some black headed gulls from Siberia that we don't see in the southern hemisphere. We next went past the old military headquarters of the Chinese army during the Sino-Japanese war, a bright yellow old building. Then the war memorial from the same conflict, and on to the Flower & Birds Market near the old Muslim Quarter. We had a great time here looking at all sorts of old Chinese things you don't often see, and plenty of cage birds and aquarium fish. At one side of the market there is a street of old buildings that are about to be demolished, giving you an idea of what the area looked like during the forties, it was all well worth the visit. I bought one of my best looking opium snuff bottles at the market. There was a lot of great brass and bronze ornaments of all sizes and descriptions. 

From the market we made our way to Wujiaba airport before the peak hour traffic. This is Kunming's old airport that is only 4k from the city centre. It is being replaced by a new airport out to the Northeast. Wujiaba has been regularly, renovated but now is dated. You still have to board your plane from the tarmac. You are taken out to the plane on a low floor airport bus. The terminal has a KFC outlet which was going flat out. Marjorie and I had our tea here. It was an American type of restaurant and menu, but was still ok.
Finally it was time to bid farewell to China. We all three had enjoyed our time thoroughly. We were well looked after by our guides an drivers who were all different but all did a great job. Our Grateful Thanks to Them. 

We boarded our Vietnamese Airlines Fokker 70 and headed off to our new adventures in Vietnam. 
After an hour in the air we touched down at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport. We met our first male city guide,  Minh. He took a bit of understanding initially. We quickly learned he was a man for the ladies as he had a wife and a girlfriend. He was a likeable lad and did look after us very well. On the 45k drive into the city centre he gave us a chat on the perils of Vietnam. Food, Traffic, Pickpockets, and Water. We arrived at our hotel an hour later and found it was very comfortable. It is in the Government area of the city, just above the old French Quarter.

My Reviews Of The Places I Stayed

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