bearsbearsbears wrote:As Brandon mentions, Kunming is the best location in terms of transportation and finding a job.
Jinghong is the best "base camp" for Xishuangbanna, IMO, but there is not much job opportunity there that I am aware of. I have not been to Pu'er City/Simao or Lincang, so I can't comment on those places.
Also, Kunming is an awesome city! We only got to visit for a little while when we were living in China, but I cannot recommend at least visiting enough.
So much good food, beautiful weather and lovely parks basically everywhere, actual cultural diversity (which is very hard to find in China, at least where we were living in the North). Plus, there's the fun oddity that is the Yunnan Cultural Minorities Village. It's sort of like Epcot, crossed with a garden/zoo for minority cultures, crossed with a living museum, crossed with actually getting to sit and chat for hours with the last practicing artisans of crazy traditions and arts (like making cloths out of tree bark by steaming the bark off of the tree in the humid summer..).
I thought it would be kitchy and weird, which it definitely was sometimes, but you also wander around and actually get to meet these master craftsmen! And they're awesome people.
Plus, there's the entire Tea city of a tea market, which felt bigger than most small towns in America. Unfortunately, we were there during Chinese New Years, so it was like a ghost town, but we still met several really great people, and picked up great pu'er.
Kunming! Live there! If we ever move back (which we won't anytime soon), Kunming will be at the top of our list.