Asia | China | Yunnan Province | Kunming – Kunming
The bus moved like a snail to say the best and we arrived in Kunming after 21 hours, twice the expected duration. It hadn’t changed so much from my impression six years ago. Wide boulevards, new buildings and storefront, and lines of flower stalls that set KM apart from the other provincial capital cities.
Wang Rui’s friend took us to the center of town where tea houses and discos congregate. This is where the hip and rich hang out and one night’s spending could blow my weekly travel budget. In a club called Hump, three Causasian DJs spun a range of music from Eminem to trance, but no one was going too crazy despite some young girls’ serious head shaking that looked more or less mechanical.
I observed from the bar sipping bottled rum and coke that had a medicinal taste, and was fascinated by the chef who was busy preparing plates after plates of fruit salad with a phoenix-shaped dish carved out of watermelon shell. The crowd started to become more lively after a couple hours, but everyone else was ready to head somewhere else after a few drinking games.
We drove by more neon light saturated areas, and was told that this was only the first wave of the night. The second peak of night life comes at about 4am when the crowd, tired and hungry from all the dancing and socializing heads to the barbecue stalls. I wasn’t going to last that long, bowed to the native’s endurance, and headed back with the satisfaction that I’ve finally had some taste of a metropolis after three weeks of low-key night life.