Reply To: Traveling to Laos Overland From Kunming

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I’ve taken this trip before and highly recommend it, Yunnan Province is amazing and overland is a great way to get to both Vietnam and Laos assuming you have time and can handle buses or trains. For Vietnam you can get a visa in Kunming and for Laos you can get a visa at the border (although if I remember correctly, it’s cheaper in Kunming). Either way, great trip, lots of fun.

When you get to Laos you can travel overland south across the country through Luang Prabang and end up around Four Thousand Islands or to Nong Khai which is on the Thai border. Lots of options. Beautiful region, I have to say that among countries in Southeast Asia, Laos might be my favorite because it’s so tranquil compared to all of its neighboring countries.

Hi Slavsky. I can’t comment too much on Shenzhen – but for Kunming.. Positives:

This is a good summary of Kunming. You are absolutely right about the negatives – there are so few, but the major one is a lack of good job opportunities there. From what I’ve seen, there are very few foreigners making good money in Kunming or doing very interesting work like an increasing number of expats in Chengdu are doing.

I actually think the Western food might be better in Kunming though. In my opinion Salvatore’s (Google is) is the best Western restaurant in Western China. The food is amazing, the actual location is street side and has seating outside, and the prices are unbelievably cheap. Add avocado to any dish for 8 kuai. I was there a week ago and went crazy. Came back with a bag of avocados and a taste for more.

Just nearby Salvatore’s are some other great cafes as well, including the French Cafe which was the original inspiration for Cafe Paname in Chengdu.

Everytime I leave Kunming I ask myself why I don’t live there, and the answer is always the same: the job opportunities cannot compare to Chengdu. Another bonus is that Kunming has probably the best air of any major city in China (along with Sanya I’m guessing).

For Western food and places in Chengdu I feel there are really only very few worth mentioning:

The other ones, like Peter’s and Grandma’s Kitchen, I find to be sort of hybrid Western restaurants that actually cater more to the tastes of Chinese patrons who do things like put ketchup on steak and eat dry toast.