At Jinghong now. Big town this one, complete with malls and fast food. On the road at 0845. First 23km continued on backroad. Undulating and winding around the mountains, nice and shady too the last couple of days. Back on the hwy after that, passing through about half a dozen tunnels. The road climbed streadily up to just over 1100 above sea level, then at 56km mark was all steady/undulating downhill into town. Arrived around 1500 and found some accomodation. These bigger towns require you to have a hotel booking which I don't have, but eventually found a place. Went for burn through town in late afternoon/evening. I'm in the quieter part of town - east of the river. Nice promenades on both sides of the river which I rode along. There are bike lanes in town, although not many people riding bikes - most are on electric scooters and motorbikes. Thailand had a culture of single speed/fixie bikes that would appear at dusk with their colourful bikes - not so here. Still haven't come across a foreigner here in China - went to mall where I was sure to find one but no. I did find a supermarket though. There sheer scale of the thing was amazing. About 4 times the size of a woolys back home, spread across 2 levels. There was a dedicated aisle just for oil and another just for soy sauce (another 4 for all other sauces) The seafood section looked like an aquarium, the meat section like a petting zoo, the sweet section like willy wonkers chocolate factory. Such a massive range of products - would take months to try everything only once.  Towns lit up nicely at night with lots of colourful lights. Alot of construction going on too with blocks of apartments going up. No one speaks english here, so just finding an internet cafe is proving challenging. I'm beginning to recognise the chinese characters for hotels and internet cafes though. Phrasebook is proving invaluable.

18/03/12 - Rest Day, wander/ride around town.

I have decided to bypass Kunming - as it is a very large city and the small towns here are big enough for me. I'll be heading north on backroad G214 towards Dali for the next week or so.

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