Friday, December 14, 2007

Kunming

I returned to Kunming and applied for my Vietnam visa on Monday shortly after the Consulate opened. It took me a lot longer to find the consulate then to fill out and turn in the application. I paid the fee and was told to return in 3 days to pick up my passport and visa after 5PM. It was the easiest visa I have ever applied for but since this was only my 5th visa and 3 of the others where for China it is
not saying a lot.

I spent a little over 4 days in Kunming so had time to see a few of the city sites and a lot of time just wondering around the city. I visited the Kunming Museum which had a lot of bronze drums like the ones I had seen in Nanning. I also visited the Yunnan Provincial Museum which had a lot of really interesting things but the day I visited I seemed to just not be in a museum mood. I was most impressed with one of the display cases that they had viewing a royal stamp. The stamp was down in a cylinder with a mirror reflecting the image of the stamp onto a rounded piece of glass at the top of the cylinder. It made the stamp appear in a 3D form in the glass larger then the stamp really was.

One day I visited the Yunnan Nationalities Museum which is a bit out of town. I really enjoyed seeing the displays of the different minority outfits.



After visiting the Yunnan Nationalities Museum I walked down to Haigeng Park which is on Dian Chi lake. I spent a lot of the afternoon just enjoying the park and looking out on the large lake. Haigeng was like a few other places I have visited that have these groups of Brides and Grooms getting wedding pictures taken. I guess they do this in groups to same money but sort of strange to keep running into groups of 3 or 4 bridal pairs.



I took a bus out to the Golden Temple one day and I am still always impressed with myself when I make it to sites via public transport. It is always sort of just hoping that I get on the right bus and some how manage to get off at the right stop. When trying to go to the Yunnan Minorities Museum the first time I gave up on finding the bus and went somewhere else and then later in the day I just happened
across the bus that I was looking for earlier in the day so was able to go to the Yunnan Minorities Museum with public transport the following day. Now back to the Golden temple. I was not overly impressed with the this Temple but it was at the top of a large hill so got my days exercise walking up to the temple and back down to the bus.

After the Golden Temple I returned to the center of Kunming and tried to find the Yuantong Temple and from my map it appeared to be on the grounds of the Kunming zoo. After visiting the zoo I found the entrance to the temple entrance was just a bit west of the zoo entrance. Even though going in the zoo was a mistake I ended up enjoying it and was surprised to see white tigers. I was thinking I had not seen any
of these before but after some thinking I realized I have seen 2 before in Las Vegas.



After the zoo I did make it to the Yuantong Temple and found it an attractive temple with the way the temple sets on the other side of a pool of water.



When walking around I see all kinds of things for sale. I have seen chipmunks for sale a few times but Kunming was the first time I have seen Squirrels for sale. I also saw puppies for sale on the street at one point and I really wanted to buy one. I ask the guy selling them but he would not Wok it for me so I went somewhere else to eat. Sorry it’s a bad joke but once I saw the puppies for sale I could not think
of anything else.

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