I'm wondering about trekking and homestays in the parts of China that border northern Laos and Vietnam, does anyone have any experience with doing this? Or advice for traveling around Kunming?
#1 enday has been a member since 12/9/2012. Posts: 30
Kunming is a pretty long bus ride from the border with Laos. Not sure how much farther afield you are going from Laos - but most people who want to trek in Yunnan will do so around Dali or Lijiang - most famously, Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Around Xishuanbanna, which is the prefecture directly on the border, people often base off of Jinghong - and a lot of information can be had from Meimei cafe there. There are plenty of trails and hills in the area, but homestays you'd be better off setting up locally - renting a bike and riding along the border with Burma or following the Mekong are highly recommended activities.
Another option are the Yuanyang Rice Terraces - where most "guesthouses" are just family homes turned into little hostels - I think I stayed in Duoyishu, a few villages away from the main hub of the county and perched overlooking the terraces. You can take some photos with the crowds at sunrise and sunset, but during the day just wander around the villages of the area or up and down the terreces accompanied by some local kids. You can get to Yuanyang via two 12-hour bus rides broken up in Jiangcheng from Jinghong, but I would recommend that it is actually quicker to go up to Kunming and then head back down south to Yuanyang from there.
I don't know of much hiking around Kunming - simply some nice walks around Xishan which you can get to using a city bus - or a day trip out to the Stone Forest.
Kunming is also called external spring city as flowers blooming all time.There are lots of places like zinvi lu, reinmin lu, jinbi square etc.You will really enjoy in trvelling near Kunmig
#3 robinwhite has been a member since 9/1/2013. Posts: 18
There are some grand sights within a 15km radius of Kunming, but get to most them is time-consuming and you will find most of them crowded. If you don't have much time, the Bamboo Temple and Xi Shan are the most interesting. Both have decent transport connections. Dian Chi has terrific circular-tour possibilities of its own.
#4 fanhongjuan has been a member since 24/2/2013. Posts: 6
These areas sound right up my alley. Yuanyang rice terraces would be beautiful. Sounds like if places get crowded for sunset photography there is probably enough traveling friendly infrastructure to work out details once there. Yay.
#5 enday has been a member since 12/9/2012. Posts: 30
Good advice from Caseyprich above.
did this in 2009 I think. Coming from Laos, had a 1 night stopover in Mengla, then took the bus to Jun JingHong and from there on a bus ride to Kunming.
Once in Kunming you can get around to all surrounding areas really well, even with the train. Dali (the old town) is definitely worth a visit and they do some cheap 1 day excursions to remote areas as well.
After Dali, if you still have some time I'd suggest you head up to Shangri La. It's a really nice place and not that many tourists (at the time). most of the tourists are just chinese people.
To be honest it was at least five years ago that I was in Yuanyang, so I can't say for sure. I was unlucky enough to arrive from Kunming in the county seat late in the evening (in the valley by Red River?) and then caught a late minivan up to the central area of the hills (Lonely Planet had a good map at the time) - had to sleep at the busstation guesthouse the first night. The next day I just hired a little tuk-tuk to take me to an address I had (about 30 minutes away) . . . I'm sure it has only gotten easier. With my very limited knowledge of the area I ended up quite happy with the experience.
Kunming is famous for its geomancy in history, from which you can drivesouthward to listen to music (played with traditional stringed and woodwindinstruments) in Xishuangbannan, northward to visit the snow-capped mountain inShangri-la, westward to watch the volcanoes in Tengchong County and eastward toappreciate rape flowers in Luoping. You can just walk along the ancient street of Kunming for trekking.
#8 nobody has been a member since 26/2/2013. Posts: 9