Frequently asked questions

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Q: How do I get to Pu’er City? 

A: Pu’er City is located in Yunnan Province in southwestern China, bordering Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. All flights to Pu’er originate in Kunming, Yunnan Province.

We suggest the following routes:

Beijing (PEK) to Kunming (KMG) to Pu’er (SYM)

Shanghai (PVG or SHA) to Kunming (KMG) to Pu’er (SYM)

Hong Kong (HKG) to Kunming (KMG) to Pu’er (SYM)

Guangzhou (CAN) to Kunming (KMG) to Pu’er (SYM)

Arrival on Monday, March 11, or Tuesday, March 12 by 18:00 

We recommend staying overnight in Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong, and then proceeding to Kunming and Pu’er the following day. We are happy to provide hotel suggestions for airport stays.


Q: How do I get to my hotel when I arrive in Pu’er?

A: An English-speaking member of the event team will greet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel.


Q: What is the currency in China, and where should I exchange it?

A: The currency is the yuan. The yuan’s international symbol is CNY, but is abbreviated as RMB. The yuan is currently trading at approximately ¥6.9 to USD $1.00. Pu’er does not have ATM machines, nor do the hotels exchange money. Banks are accessed by appointment only. We recommend attendees exchange money before arriving or at the Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong airports. 


Q: Is a Visa required?

A: Yes, for U.S. citizens. Please check your specific requirements at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/hrsq/. 

You will file using category “M,” for foreigners who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.

U.S. citizens with more than 12 months remaining on their passports may be eligible for a 10-year Visa at no additional charge.

Once you have completed the forum registration form, we will send a letter of invitation from the event host, Yunnan International Coffee Exchange (YCE). The invitation will be attached to your Visa application. The in-person cost is $140. People who are not located near a Visa office can facilitate a Visa through a third-party service. Allow a minimum of three to four weeks. Expedited service is available at an additional charge.


Q: What’s the food like?

A: Yunnan Province is known for its delicious, spicy food using local ingredients. Meals are served family style or buffet, and consist of multiple dishes of meats, vegetables, eggs, soup, and rice. Locals typically use chopsticks and large spoons for soups and noodles. Western utensils will be available.


Q: Will there be vegetarian options?

A: All meals will have meatless options, and vegetarians will have their choice of several delicious dishes. Pu’er’s beautiful farms produce a wide variety of flavorful fruits and vegetables. 


Q: What’s the hotel like?

A: Opened in November 2016, the Dream House Hotel is located in the heart of Pu’er City, about 10 minutes from the Pu’er Grand Theatre. The Western-style rooms are beautifully appointed with either one king bed or two double beds. The hotel also includes WiFi, a gym, and a rooftop bar with a view of the city. Transportation between the hotel and the forum will be provided. The rate is $75 per night.


Q: I don’t speak Mandarin. How will I understand the language? 

A: We will have interpreters available to support you throughout the event, from your arrival at the airport in Pu’er City to your departure. The forum will feature simultaneous translation, so you won’t miss a thing. Translation apps may also be useful. We recommend Microsoft Translate, which works even without an Internet connection (Google Translate will not work in China).


Q: Is China safe?

A: Yes! China is a very safe country, and you will be welcomed by this warm and generous culture.


Q: What’s the weather like?

A: When you arrive in Pu’er City, you can expect daytime high temperatures in the low 70s Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures in the mid 40s. People often eat meals outdoors in covered areas, so be sure to bring a jacket. If you join us for the farm tour, you can expect slightly warmer daytime temperatures in the mid 70s.


Q: I am a roaster and would like to meet producers. Will this be possible? 

A: Yes. In addition to interactions throughout the forum, we have set aside two hours each afternoon for one-on-one sessions with producers. 


Q: Will there be an opportunity to cup the coffees of Yunnan?

A: Yes, cupping sessions will take place in YCE’s state-of-the-art, SCA-certified lab on the afternoon of Friday, March 15. Yunnan coffees will also be served throughout the event.


Q: Will WiFi be available?

A: Yes, both the Dream House Hotel and the Pu’er Grand Theatre offer WiFi. Some U.S. websites (Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) are not accessible within China.


Q: What else can I do while visiting Pu’er City?

A: An expo open to the public will be held in conjunction with the forum. The expo will feature exhibits, tastings, and information on coffee production, and will include the Chinese National Siphon Championship with more than 30 competitors.

We will keep you very busy during the conference! If you stay for the farm tour, you will visit farms, wet and dry mills, and a roastery, and even have a little time for shopping. We will leave early in the day and return to the Dream House Hotel following the tour. We can connect you with a tour agency if you want to explore further.


Q: How many attendees are you expecting?

A: More than 300 coffee professionals from China and around the world are expected to attend.


Q: What is the suggested dress?

A: Business casual for the forum. We suggest wearing casual dress with comfortable walking shoes for the farm tour.


Q: What are my options if I have a medical emergency?

A: The medical facilities in Pu’er City are well regarded should you need assistance. International travelers may want to explore travel or evacuation insurance.


Q: How much does it cost to attend?

A:  The cost of the forum is $400, early bird $300. This includes all meals, airport transfers, ground transportation during the event, cuppings, and entry to the expo. The spousal fee is $100 when registered at the same time. The early bird discount ends December 31, 2018.


Q: Who can I contact for additional information?

A: Event organizers Tom and Patty Mitchell of Strategic Coffee Concepts in Seattle, Washington, will be happy to assist you. Email tmitchellscc@att.net or call 206.510.2077.

Q: How do I register?

A: You can register for the forum, farm tour, and hotel at:

Register