Our first glance at Kunming, China made it seem as if their tourism bureau didn’t want us to stray too far from big city life. That, or in addition to giving up your seat to the elderly and pregnant women, a stout suitcase also gets priority.
On the other hand, there’s a chance I got it all wrong. Kunming citizens have no intention of giving up their seats for anyone or anything else. Oh right, that’s not the focus here. Let’s get to the point. Now-
I have a confession to make: I like subways. No, not those dank pedestrian underpasses that are in as bad shape as advocates of this thing. Rather, subways, the US term for metro systems. Buses don’t have that same allure as those definitively underground trains which often peek out from below and cause you to mull over whether you’d rather be enveloped in greenhouse gases or the gasses of the masses.
Having admitted that, China is a feast for us subway/monorail/none of the above aficionados. Ever year, new systems and lines are being built faster than a flight from Beijing to Paris, (the joke is on all of us; if you board a flight that isn’t delayed in Beijing, you’ll likely get your comeuppance in a smoke-filled lavatory on-board).
That’s where Kunming gets back on the stage. Some confidence-deprived officials decided they’d prefer that after you landed, you never even stepped foot downtown:
According to the metro map, you should aim straight for the bus station, and get out as fast as possible. When I visited in late 2012, the only two metro stations in operation were those at the airport and the Eastern bus terminus, as in one with destinations in eastern Yunnan province Sure, there were public buses to the center of Kunming, but have you ever visited a less hospitable place?
Already bought your tickets?