Sunday 8 May Singapore to Kunming, China

Our day started at 5.00am with the arrival of our two boxed breakfasts, each consisting of a Danish pastry, a small croissant, a muffin. a small apple teacake, a bottle of juice, a banana and some yoghurt, as well as a special coffee fro Richard (which doesn’t usually come with the boxed breakfast).

We were picked up from our hotel at 6.15am and taken to Singapore Changi International Airport for our Singapore Airlines flight at 8.10am to Kunming, China. Kunming is known as “the Spring City” because every season is like Spring. It is also known as “the Flower City” because it is covered with blossoms and lush vegetation all year round.

Our flight, on a Silk Air Boeing 737-800 was quite comfortable and we arrived in Kunming at 12.20pm. It was an interesting flight because there was a large group of Singaporeans travelling together to Kunming to play golf, so they spent most of the flight standing in the aisle chatting to each other. After getting through Immigration etc, we were met by an APT representative, for our 40 minute drive to the Green Lake Hotel in Kunming, where we will have an extra two nights before our APT tour of China commences. Our driver took us along a modern 8 lane highway and through Kunming Commercial Centre where we not only saw lots of shops but also hundreds of electric scooters – we were told to be careful crossing the streets because they are so quiet that you cannot hear them coming.

We settled into our room and were interested to find a large glass window between the bathroom and the bedroom – we assume this is so you can lie in the bath and watch television. We went downstairs for afternoon tea and Sandy loved that they brought out a large china teapot with a little stand that had a candle to keep the tea warm. We then went for a walk down to the Green Lake Park – WOW, it is just so amazing. There was a huge emerald lake with four sub lakes and four little islets and lovely pavilions scattered across the whole park. It is such a tranquil place for people to escape from the bustling city. There were willow trees and tropical forests and elaborately decorated bridges connecting the four islets – Mid-Lake Islet, Goldfish Islet, Bamboo Forest Islet and Palm Islet.

There were hundreds of people in the park, some people were feeding the koi carp and local people were singing, dancing, practicing tai chi and playing traditional instruments, as well as several families having picnics, with children playing nearby and many people just sitting beside the lake relaxing. We stopped and enjoyed a large group of people doing a never-ending dance, holding hands in a circle to loud music – more people arrived to join in and others left the group, but the dancing continued – some of the people were in traditional costumes and they were all having such fun. We also saw a sculpture, Friendship Peace Development, a commemoration of the establishment of Sister Cities’ relationship between Kunming China and Wagga Wagga Australia.

We eventually tore ourselves away from the beautiful Green Lake Park and made our way back to the hotel for a cool drink. Richard ordered a Chinese beer and Sandy ordered lemonade. Richard’s room temperature beer arrived and Sandy’ hot lemon drink arrived. We need to brush up on how to ask for cool drinks. We nevertheless enjoyed our drinks overlooking the Green Lake.

We went downstairs for what was the start of a wonderful evening! We were welcomed by two young ladies in the hotel restaurant and one of them showed us to a lovely table with big lounge chairs beside a huge window overlooking the lake. When our waitress returned with our COLD drinks, she presented Sandy with a beautiful pale green carnation and said “Happy Mother’s Day” – how lovely!! We had some tasty breads while we waited for our dinner to arrive and watched the sky turn from twilight to night. We ordered a Green Lake Club sandwich, which would have to be one of the best we have tasted.

After an enjoyable and relaxing dinner, we went for a walk across the road to take a photo of the hotel with its beautiful lights on. The music coming from the Green Lake Park was like magic and drew us back into the park. It is difficult, if not impossible to describe what we saw, the atmosphere and how we felt. As we wandered along the path, lit by small lamps, we saw many people just wandering along taking in this beautiful night. We came across small groups of people playing musical instruments and singing for what appeared to be the sheer enjoyment of making music. As we continued our walk, we were drawn to some people dancing in amongst some trees in a kind of grotto, while in another area people gathered to listen to some impromptu singers and others like ourselves just wandered casually through the area. It was a beautiful night with a gentle breeze blowing and although the whole area was only dimly lit, we felt relaxed, safe and not at all out of place. As we stopped at each group to listen to them or watch them dance, they smiled and were quite happy to have their photo taken.

What a wonderful start to our adventure in China!!

3 Responses to “Sunday 8 May Singapore to Kunming, China”

  1. Ian & Ali says:

    We’re glad you arrived safely and are managing to cope with the living standards at your hotel.

  2. Katharine says:

    Glad you’ve got the lemonade sorted. Sprite is probably a better word to use!

  3. Maria Hughes says:

    Wow Sis how exciting – I didn’t realise Kunming was sister city to Wagga Wagga – just catching up on your Blog as we have been at Michael and Maggie’s since Monday morning. Kunming sounds like a beautiful city. Keep having a wonderful time love us xoxo

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