The journey into China was almost as long and difficult as getting hold of the visas were. The trip started pretty nicely as we descended from the clouds of Sapa in Vietnam and made our way to the border crossing but got progressively worse as the day went on. It's far to long of a story to go into here but it included someone trying to rip me off 6 times at the border crossing, a long wait at a very smelly bus station, a LOT of extreme gesturing (nobody speaks a word of English here), some of the most repulsive toilets I have ever seen, the longest bus journey ever and some very heated arguments at a police checkpoint with all the passengers on the bus getting involved (except us who didn't understand a word). Still, 15 painful hours later we had arrived in Kunming and it definitely was worth all the trouble getting in.
Kunming is a really nice city and is extremely modern and clean in comparison to most of the other places we've visited in Asia. We spent the day exploring and gathering bemused glances from people who don't see many white folks around. Despite the modernness, there's still a few glimpses of the old China if you look in the right places. We found this behind a small entrance which was home to a dozen or so old men sitting on stools and playing some weird gambling domino game and shouting loudly at each other. After nervously creeping past them, we were greeted by this hidden little temple in the trees.