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Into the Motherland

After a few nice days in Hong Kong, we boarded our Hong Kong Express flight to Kunming. Because we were flying a Low Cost Carrier we had to ride like three trains in the airport terminal and then hop on a bus that drives you out to the plane about 15 minutes away. The flight was empty though with maybe 25 people on board.

Even though it is an LCC, they still managed to serve us a meal (rice or noodles?), a glass of complimentary wine and some tea. And not to be outdone by any Asian bus, they turned on some standard Asian variety programming. Luckily, on the plane, you aren’t forced to listen to it at ear shattering volume through public speakers.

We took what must have been the most convulted route, heading way south before turning west and then passing the airport by a good 100 miles before turning around and coming back. Kunming probably does 50 flights a day so I don’t think it was due to air traffic. Upon arriving, the health officials entered the plane and took everyone’s temperature to make sure we didn’t have swine flu.

We hopped into a govt cab and headed into town. Cabs here have meters and seem pretty legit though everytime our taxi turns, Kelly looks at me, shakes her head and makes a motion with her hands to express her thought that the driver is taking us in circles in an effort to raise the fare.

Kunming isn’t really known as a tourist destination and we wouldn’t see hardly any other foreigners. It is basically just a big city in Yunnan province, but sometimes that can be a great place to just see ordinary Chinese life. We met up with Kelly’s dad that night, who would spent the next few weeks with us traveling around this province and we spent the next days wandering between the old Kunming, with pagodas (rebuilt, of course – The Chinese don’t see the need to keep some crumbling structure around when it can be rebuilt to be better!) and the modern shopping district filled with european luxury brands like LV and Cartier. The best part was probably walking around Greenlake, where many people had come out to relax in the shade of the trees and dance and sing.

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