If you are going to Kunming, book Tina

I have been traveling globally for over 30 years. I have been to many of the usual suspect countries and a not insignificant number of off the beaten path places too. I have had wonderful guides in many of these places, but I have to take time out to praise Tina. She is not just a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide She is a generous and kind person who cares about her clients, about China and about making sure that people like me come away with an positive impression that will last a lifetime.
I booked a tour with her to visit the Stone Forest outside of Kunming with my good friend. From the moment we met I could tell she was interested in us not just as  clients but as  people interested in the history and culture of the region. I had first visited Yunnan 30 years ago and obviously things have been transformed in almost every respect. She helped me to understand the changes, both good and bad, and helped me to see things in a larger global and internal context. She is smart has a strong background to inform us of the world she is in and her English is completely fluent.
Her tour of the Stone Forest was in depth but not overly so. She did not let us get distracted by the many people selling things tourists. She whisked us through lines and brought us to the highlights of what is a dramatic landscape. This was what we hired to do and she more than exceeded out expectations.
But what made her truly stand out was what happened after our official tour was over. We took us to a local restaurant and helped us order the best and representative food. Normally tour guides do not eat with the clients but she gladly joined us because she enjoyed the fact that that I was interested in her culture and in the role education plays in determining one’s fate in China (I am an educator who works with students in China to attend top universities in the US and UK).
After a great meal she volunteered to take us to Flower and Bird Market. We had hoped to book this as a part of the tour but it was not available on the sites I searched. Tina decided to take us to the market without asking for any payment. She simply felt it was what she wanted to do. I know that tour guides in China do not receive much of the money that agencies charge so she could have asked for money and kept it for herself. I do not know many people who would be so selfless.
Once we arrived at the market we took time to look over the many stalls and shops and she helped me pick out a few items for the lowest cost. In addition she took us to see both the old streets and the new places that have been rebuilt. She also went out to find us some of the best stall food to be had.
Tina spent hours with us and her enthusiasm for her culture and city rubbed off on us. I cannot imagine a better representative of Kunming and of the people of the region. I hoe that I have the chance to keep in touch with her as she has so much to share that will help educate me. For those going to Kunming I would seek her out. She will add immeasurably to your experience.