Monthly Archives: October 2002

Applying a U.S. Visia

10:57

This is the third time I apply for a U.S. Visa. As always, I need to fillin the lengthy application forms and hand in the money.

The interesting thing is, today, Oct 31, 2002, is the last day before the U.S. non-immigrant visa rises from $65 to $100. Many media has reported this raise in fee. You can read about it here and there. I am just wondering why the search result in Google News implies that Asia media are more interested in this event. You can see South Korea, Malaysia and India are the majority in the list for the first page.

I don’t care too much on the price upgrade. I followed the routine to complete form DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application form and DS-157 Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application. I found there is some slight change in the form from the form I got in early 2001. I looked carefully and found the two forms are tagged as 08-2001 and 01-2002 respectively. It seems true the procedure changed a little bit. Maybe it is part of the reasons why Malaysia’s Foreign Minister commented on the price change:

We have to accept the decision of the US government. They have increased their spending on surveillance and training their personnel for security purposes. Definitely it will involve a lot of money

Source: TheStar.com

Later, I realized the difference is caused by the replacement. I was fill form OF-156 one year before and now DS-156 completely replaced the old one. The changes are still kept minor so I can hardly feel the change.

Because of the “minor change”, I made a stupid mistake and I hope you will not. The original OF-156 form has both English and Native Language version (Chinese version for me) and the Chinese version is only for reference propose. For DS-156, the translation is removed and we need to fill in both the English and Chinese form. This caused my application rejected once and I need to complete the Chinese one and sent it in again..

I am going to send the application to U.S Embassy tomorrow and check how long it will take before I can get a B1 visa. According to this site, visa process may be delayed for some time after Sept 11.

Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions on Websites

Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions on Websites (Alertbox Oct. 2002)

Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions on Websites

Summary:

Even small holiday decorations can increase joy of use and make websites feel more current and more connected to users’ lives and physical environment. The key is to commemorate without detracting from your users’ main reasons for visiting the site.

I has been a reader of Jakob Nielsen‘s Alertbox for one years. There is always very good suggestions and guidelines from Jakob on usability. This issue is no exception. I am going to implement it on my own site to see how it works. Let me know your comment on how it works.

I’d like to recommend Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox for everyone who owns a web site or who is responsible to deisng something – no matter it is software, architecture or others.

Update July 25, 2007

I reviewed the original alertbox article and my own comments on this (after 5 years), and the both Jakob (5 years ago) and I (who is 5 years younger than me) shows up before me vividly.

That is the good thing of blogging – it is just like a refrigerator – to keep your memory in a can and you are able to get back to it even after 5 or even longer period of time. I am so glad that I started blog 5 years ago…

What are the major holidays we want to celebrate in China (and internationally)? I would say:

  • Spring Festival
  • Christmas
  • My birthday (yes, a little bit personal cult)
  • Olympics
  • World cup
  • National holiday

I have ever put on snow on my homepage during Christmas, and that worked great.

Skiing in Shanghai

Skiing in Shanghai? Are you joking? But it is true. I am very excited to share my experience with one Indoor Skiing Site that just opened in Shanghai.

I am learning to ski. This is the first photo in my life in Skiing Shoes.

The overview of the skiing site.

This is how the snow was made. Three large pipe is blowing snow pieces to cover the surface of the ground.

The counter to get skiing shoes.

Tel: 8008207910 / +86-21-62727910 / +86-21-62727912

Address: #1835, Qi Xin Road., Minhang District

Update January 12, 2004

Current price (as of January 12, 2004): 125 RMB for unlimited skiing time. It is closed at 1:00 AM. Sounds good.

Add Unsubscribe Function to MovableType

Adding unsubscription function into MovableType has been a very hot topic in MovableType Support Forum (refer to this post and that one.

Tonight, I spent some time to think about it and changed the code a little bit to support unsubscription function.

mt-add-notify.cgi

my $note = MT::Notification->new;

$note->blog_id( $q->param('blog_id') );

$note->email( $q->param('email') );

$note->url( $q->param('url') );

$note->save;

As you can see, I added a line into the code – as shown in red. I am using the existing URL field to add a tag of unsubscription. By utilizing existing fields, we reduce the code changes.

Result for subscription

By default, MovableType does not offer the subscription success confirmation page. It redirect users to the home page of the weblog by default. It is very confusing since subscribers don’t know what happened. We need to create one by yourself and change the _redirect input field of the subscription page. Refer to MovableType’s help for suggestions on adding “subscribe” function to your page.

<form method="post" action="http://home.wangjianshuo.com/mt/mt-add-notify.cgi">

<p>Enter your email address in the textbox below and click Subscribe</p>

<input type="hidden" name="blog_id" value="1">

<input type="hidden" name="_redirect" value="http://www.wangjianshuo.com/news/20020126JSZine/subscribe.htm">

<input name="email" size="56" value="Enter your email"><br>

<input type="submit" value="Subscribe"> </p>

</form>

Unsubscribe

<form method="post" action="http://home.wangjianshuo.com/mt/mt-add-notify.cgi">

<p>Please enter your email address in the box below</p>

<input type="hidden" name="blog_id" value="1">

<input type="hidden" name="_redirect" value="http://www.wangjianshuo.com/news/20020126JSZine/unsubscribe.htm">

<input name="email" size="56" value="Enter your email"><br>

<input type="hidden" name="url"

value="unsubscribe" / >

<input type="submit" value="Unsubscribe"> </p>

</form>

I added a hidden field called URL with value of unsubscribe. Thus you can see the who is willing to unsubscribe from the notification list and do it manually when you notice it.

Want to have a try?

Please check the homepage of my weblog. The notification subscription area is at the right-top corner. You can also directly visit the subscription page.

Next step

It is ideal if we can add code for removing the Email from $note database directly in MT-add-notify.cgi. I don’t have time to do it now, but it should be very easy. Please let me know if you have done so.

Willing to Pay the Price from Chicken Soup

It is an old story – Willing to pay the price from the famous book Chicken Soup.

The part how Le and his wife spent money inspired me a lot. Here is the original story.

Even with a weekly income of $300, they decided to continue to live in the back room. They kept clean by taking sponge baths for two years in the mall’s restrooms. For two years their diet consisted almost entirely of bakery goods. Each year, for two years, they lived on a total, that’s right, a total of $600, saving $30,000 for the down payment.

Le later explained his reasoning, “If we got ourselves an apartment, which we could afford on $300 per week, we’d have to pay the rent. Then, of course, we’d have to buy furniture. Then we’d have to have transportation to and from work, so that meant we’d have to buy a car. Then we’d have to buy gasoline for the car as well as insurance. Then we’d probably want to go places in the car, so that meant we’d need to buy clothes and toiletries. So I knew that if we got that apartment, we’d never get our $30,000 together.”

Learning Swimming

I went to swimming today and learnt some basic breaststroke skills.

Swimming is another exciting sport in life. I feel guilty that I cannot swim for 25 years. Recently, I went to Sports Hotel – the hotel near the conjuction of Nandan Road and Cao Xi Road North to learn swim every Saturday and it is especially interesting for me as a beginner.

Before today, I cannot breath when I swim. I can manage to swim to about 15 meters with one single breath, but cannot reach further. The breakthrough I got today is, I begin to be able to breath. According to Red Cross’ seven level of swimming, I am almost in level 3 now.

I found this article on breaststorke very useful for me. It may be useful for other who can or cannot swim.

I remember the old poem on progress again:

Computer files are always incompatible

If it worked yesterday, it won’t work today

— That’s progress.

Today I will say: “I cannot swim yersterday, I can today – that’s progress

A nice day, isn’t it?

Full Length Daocheng Video is Available

Thanks to CGZ’s hard work, the one hour and eleven minutes long Daocheng video is completed. It is very well designed and editored. It is so nice for us to review the seven days in Yading. The only concern is, it is very large – 725MB in size. It may takes about 5 hours to download via broad band.

Today, I also discussed five questions about Daocheng with Phin in Sydney.

Me, As a Trainer

MURPHY’S LAWS OF MEDIA

If anything can go wrong it will

Equipment knows when you’re nervous

No two plugs are compatible

Slides are always upside down

Computer files are always incompatible

If it worked yesterday, it won’t work today

— that’s progress.”

Ian Hart, University of Hong Kong, via Glitch Management for Internet Instruction

You will feel it very interesting and real if you have delivered some training.

Me, as a trainer

I am marching on my path to a professional trainer. Sometimes I am very puzzled about what are my key competencies. After sometime, I realized training and presentation skills may be the one that counts.

I started in Dalian

The first official training I delivered within Microsoft was held in June, 2000 in Dalian. It was on BizTalk Server, the very new product to everyone, even within Microsoft. The training was thought highly by participants and this kicked off my training experiences.

More presentations

Later, with the launch of BizTalk, as the only one who had delivered most BizTalk sessions, I presented BizTalk Server in lots of events, such as Web Interactive Conference – I presented 40% of the sessions for the series of talks, covering topics on UDDI, Next Generation Internet, .NET, BizTalk, and How to Improve Performance of web site.

Later, I got the opportunity to introduce BizTalk Server in China CIO/CTO Summit in Beijing and Shanghai. It was a tough session since the time was deduced from one hour to 15 minutes for me due to emergencies. I finished the job successfully. It was very cool, I believe. It was on that meeting I know a lot of CIO/CTO of most famous .COM company at that time (Sina, Netease, 3721, Sohu…) I love this experience very much.

Wow! Famous DevDays and TechEd!

Very soon, I spoke at two largest technical events from Microsoft – Developer Days 2000 and TechEd 2000. It is interesting that all the presentations concentrated in Nov, 2000. For TechEd 2000, it was held in three different cities. It was in that month I created my record of fly 8 times in two weeks. I counted that I altogether presented more than 15 sessions that month.

Keynote speech demo of Microsoft .NET Launch

The most exciting presentation I delivered was also in November 2000. I joined with Dr. Jun Tang, now the Present of Microsoft (China), to present the key note for Microsoft .NET Launch. It was a grand launch and the keynote speech was the first session. More than 1500 people and about 300 medias attended the keynote speech. My part was a BizTalk demo of about 20 minutes. I’d like to thank Jun for giving me the opportunity to work with him and the trust he gave me. You know, I was under very high pressure since the demo cannot fail. This also marked my record of most audience – 1800+ in a single room.

Meeting the giants of the industry

Based on the training experience, I got more and more opportunities to meet with our partners in the industry. I started with .NET training for enterprises from South East Asia. I still clearly remember how embarrassed I was when half of the audience kept shaking their heads during my presentation. “What is wrong with my presentation? Is there any thing wrong with my English?” I checked again and again, until finally I realized they came from India. They were expressing “Yes” by shaking heads – it was the difference in culture.

The same culture shock continued when I was invited to attend an Intel Company Meeting of Asia Pacific. The audience came from all countries in AP area. People are using English with different accent to ask questions. It was really interesting. I was also very honored to attend Siemens Global IT Managers Summit. “Siemens means quality and Microsoft means innovation” – Dr. Tang said during the summit. I still remember that and think it was just to the point.

Transition from presentation to training

After delivering more than 50 presentations with an average of 150 audiences each, I got a little bit tired for presenting to too many people. I double how much they can learn via this kind of lecture. I also doubt the technical depth I can reach via this kind of “What’s New” or “overview” At that time, I took the responsibility of Software Park project. It is all about bringing software development process and practices of Microsoft to software companies in China. It is much meaningful and I felt the power to influence a company and contribute to the country in much large scope. I researched and prepared a training course called Microsoft Development Management Training with my colleagues. We presented the session for 12-30 people at a time and started our road show in different cities – Shanghai, Guangzhou, Changsha, Wuhan, Nanjing, Suzhou and Chengdu…. I will continue to bring the session to more cities and to more companies.

At that time, I attended a very good training delivered by PAAP. It is called Developing Effective Trainer Skills. The trainer Richard Ong did wonderful job to deliver the training and I learnt a lot. After that, I decided to develop more trainer skills and go further in the path of professional trainer.

Helping others on training skills

Now, I am playing more important role in the company for improving the organization’s trainer skills. From yesterday, I presented the forth Train the Trainer Training (TTT) named Creating Effective Workshop in the company. I love to see how the ideas of Experiential Learning and Handling Tough Situations bring a difference to everyone’s training and improve the training quality in an organization.

Nothing is perfect

There was an emergency during the after session of my training. Due to system replication error, the record of the room I booked got lost and caused conflict. I have to pause the training and wait for the future. That is the reason I posted the poem at the beginning of this blog – it always remind me, there is always emergencies in the training and there is always some thing to improve.

More IKEA Furnitures in my Home

“Everyday objects tell interesting stories….” By describing the objects coming into my house, “I’m preserving memories of my time here” – as Scott did in Leaving Berlin.

Yesterday, I bought three IKEA Billy Bookcases and a Bialitt double bed.

Image source: IKEA web site

I have one IKEA Billy bookcase already. I bought that one in July, 1999 using my first month salary. It was twice the current price before Billy became on sale this year. I have to say Billy is very well designed and useful. The interesting thing is, I loved the light color three years ago and was quite sure the light wood color was the best among all the colors Billy series offered. But now, I love the dark one better, so I made the painful decision to switch to the new color series and bought three medium brown Billy bookcase – one 80x202cm, two 60x202cm and one height extension unit.

It took me two nights to assembly the bookcases and the bed – especially the Bialitt bed. It is the most complicated furniture in IKEA I have ever bought.

Inside wangjianshuo.com

Many people have asked me about my servers, my domains and the weblogs. It is brought to my attention again when cuanyu talked with about the same topic this afternoon. I’d like to reveal everything behind the two sites – http://www.wangjianshuo.com and http://home.wangjianshuo.com. Before continue, you can read my older article on www.wangjianshuo.com.

The domain name

I registered only one domain at HICHINA (Chinese site). Here is the domain information in WHOIS database (via Geektools)

Jian Shuo Wang

30 Tian Yao Qiao Road

Shanghai, Shanghai 200030

CN

Domain Name: WANGJIANSHUO.COM

Administrative Contact::

Jian Shuo: jianshuo@hotmail.com

Jian Shuo Wang

30 Tian Yao Qiao Road

Shanghai, Shanghai 200030

CN

Phone:: 021-64557230

Fax::

Technical Contact::

Jian Shuo: jianshuo@hotmail.com

Jian Shuo Wang

30 Tian Yao Qiao Road

Shanghai, Shanghai 200030

CN

Phone:: 021-64557230

Fax::

Record updated date on: 2001-09-17 06:18:16

Record created date on: 2000-09-06

Record will be expiring on date: 2006-09-06

Database last updated on: 2002-10-20 11:50:12 EST

Domain servers in listed order:

DNS1.HICHINA.COM 210.192.103.50

DNS2.HICHINA.COM 202.106.169.100

I believe I got the lowest price of domain names. When I paid for this domain, it only cost me 60 RMB (7 USD) for one year of registration. I purchased the domain for a period of five years.

Now this special offer is not available, but you can still get a price as low as 100 RMB (12 USD).

Sub domain: home.wangjianshuo.com

HICHINA is a good company. It provides free sub domain. Best of all is, you can use their system to create a sub domain by yourself and pointing the domain to any IP address. I have created some sub domains, such as mail.wangjianshuo.com, which always directing to my latest mail server.

Web server

I rented web server from Hotsales (Chinese site) at 190 RMB per year. They offer 50M static web page storage. There is no Email, no PHP, no ASP – only static HTML pages and images. It works for me at that time – it s about one year ago, and the best thing is, it is cheap. I used FrontPage to create the web site and upload the static pages. That is www.wangjianshuo.com

Later, I rent another web server from COMPANYCN (Chinese site). It is 380 RMB per year and support PHP, Perl and ASP. It is good to have everything at low price, but the only drawback is, this server looks like a test machine. It reboot several time a day, and periodically goes down. I decide to keep the two servers up and running together for some time until I find a strong reason to consolidate them together. One is stable and the other is flexible.

Weblog? Powered by MovableType

The weblog is powered by MovableType. I have to say, MovableType is wonderful! You can refer to my blog on setting up MovableType on my Windows XP. Now my MovableType is still on IIS, but the operating system changed to Windows 2000 Chinese edition after my server down. Then I moved home.wangjianshuo.com to the new machine. You can track this history at netcraft.net

Other news

A complete Pudong airport guide – PVG in Picture is available on my site. I received very good comment the first day when it is online:

Hi,

I am about to visist Shangai and found your web site very useful. I may try taking the bus from Pudong airport and will try your recommended eating place.

Thanks for your hard work

Thanks Dave!!

The reason I spent some time to create the page is, my old page is listed as #1 site in the result in Google for search word of “Pu Dong Airport”. My old page didn’t provide much information, and I am feeling guilty for all the visitors. Now it looks better.

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday – my 25th birthday. Thanks for Wendy, Julia, Linda, Eric, Steven, Eddy, Grace, Hong-wei, Francs and all other’s warm greetings, gifts, birthday cakes and the fantatic birthday party.

The birthday cake I received today. Candle representing 25 is marked on the cake

Update

Thanks for Paulin, Cuanyu for sending me the happy birthday greetings.

Altitude Sickness Prevention Guide

OA Guide to High Altitude: Acclimatization and Illnesses

This is a very good guide – even a must read – before you decide to go to Tibet or other high altitude area. Please read carefully about all the symptoms of altitude sickness and prevention methods.

Updated Nov 18, 2002

I have friends in the same group with me passed away during the night. This greatly shocked me and helped me to realize how important it is to know some Altitude Sickness Prevention knowledge before going to high-altitude areas. People won’t realize the danger unless they are well educated. I am reading some sad story of people died in the plateau. Their car broke and they just slept in the car – none of them ever wake up – to sleep in high altitude area is very dangerous – as stated in the article I recommend: “Climb high and sleep low”.

Please send the link of the article to your friends who want to go to high-altitude areas. This may save lives.

In Memorial of the Judge (Party III)

Continued

In Yading

The night

“Wake up!!! What happened with my husband!!!??!!”

It is a cold but clear morning. After the long nightmare, I finally opened my eyes. It was still dark inside the tent but I could see things around me with the weak light came from leaks of the tent. About seven or eight people was already awake and ready to get up. At the beginning, people whispered with partners about the trip arrangement of the day. Shortly, someone began to speak loudly. This further waked me up and I decided to get up to take on the clothes. It was about 7:30 AM.

Suddenly, the judge’s wife Yanlin shouted – “Wake up!!! What happened with my husband!!!?!!!” Before I realized what had happened, Yanlin continued to cry: “He is foaming at the mouth! What! I cannot feel his heart beat!!”

This suddenly brought me from the sleeping mode into reality. I jumped up and turned to look at the judge, who was sleeping directly next to me. The bad news is, what she said was true. His hands were cold – oh, no – as cold as iron. His arms were ankylotic. “Oh, my god!!” I said to myself. It was obvious that the judge was badly ill.

I searched quickly in the knowledge base in my brain, trying to find any emergency means to help the guy. But the the search returned nothing.

It was totally in a mass. I yelled at rest of the group, “Turn on the light!! turn on the light!!” Most of them obviously haven’t realized what happend. Or they might be shocked. Later I remember maybe they cannot understand what I said since I didn’t say it clearly. Fortunately, a smart girl – I cannot remember who she was, managed to find out the switch very soon and turned on the light – Thank God. The diesel oil generator had begun to work at that time.

With the light, we could further attemp our rescue. Yanlin was more experience than me. She began to push the judge’s chest hardly with her heels. I helped her to do the same thing. I reached his feet under the quilt and inside the sleeping bag. They were still warm. This gave me much encouragement. “He is alright. He is OK” I thought. Yanlin was crying and shouting but was still trying everything she knew. “Who knows what I can do beside this?” She seek for help from the rest.

“Press Renzhong!”, my GF reminded me. Yes! Exactly – I pressed his philtrum hardly — “Wake up! You must wake up!” I ordered him but there is no response. I tried even harder, and harder. But the situation wasn’t better.

About 2 minutes later, we realized he must be sent to hosipital, if there is any hope.

Yading Administration

….

The bad news in Riwa

Daocheng hostipital

Way back to Daocheng

to be continued

In Memorial of the Judge (Party II)

…continued

“How about your partner?”

The judge was so sensitive. I still remember in the afternoon of Oct 1, when we just arrived in Yading, my GF didn’t feel well after we walked a long way toward the entrance of Yading Nature Preservation. When she was sleeping in the wood house, I walked out to find water. The judge smiled and looked at me sincerely. “How about your parnter?” The judge asked. I thanked him and said “She is alright. I am taking care of her.” I still remember his face when asked me. It is on the day before the incident. Just one day before. I have kept blaming me that if I had been as sensitive and thoughtful as he did, we wouldn’t have ignore the symputom and maybe he wouldn’t have gone away. His smile is lost forever.

In Memory of The Judge

This morning, Caca chatted with me on MSN Messenger and sent the link to an article (in Chinese) written by Yanlin in memorial of her husband, who passed away during the trip to Daocheng. It is a very touching piece and all the sentences and words forced me to recall what happened on the day of Oct 2 and Oct 3 in Daocheng.

I finally decided to write something

I have already decided not to write about the judge’s suddenness, since I am not sure whether it will remind other who are alive and made them feel sad and depressed. I am also not sure if the judge and the family is willing to know the details about the terrible day. We call him “”the judge” since he acted as a judge in the game called MURDER on the night before the accident.

Yanlin’s

article reassured me that it is the right thing to do to write something in memorial of the good man.

“Hi Dude, what is the altitude?”

The judge is a very good man with a lot of travel experience. He wore a professional sports watch with a built in altitude meter. It is very useful. Everyone in the group often consulted him about the altitude we were in. You know, when we were climbing from less then 1000 meters to about 4600 meters high for the first time, every meter increase in altitude means excitement for us. He was so kind that he always reported the altitude whenever anyone asked. The Q and A repeated maybe 20 times during the trip.

…to be continued…

More articles and discussions around this incident

Note: The sites are in Chinese.

http://newbbs4.sina.com.cn/newfbin/hotview.cgi?forumid=109&postid=342719

http://www.tianyaclub.com/new/TechForum/Content.asp?idWriter=0&Key=0&idItem=176&idArticle=273928

http://bj2.netsh.com/bbs/70976/messages/22244.html

http://www.lvye.org/bbs/showthreaded.php?Number=198643&page=&view=&sb=

http://www.lvye.org/bbs/showthreaded.php?Number=198414

Small Daocheng, Small World

Today, I found a very interesting entry on my comment board –

Go to index2.htm and look at your picture with a little girl in uniform in front of Tibtan Hotel in Riwa. See the two men on the second floor? The men in light black is me. Very nice to meet you again.

Posted by: cuanyu on October 13, 2002 07:24 PM

Quoted in courtesy for cuanyu

I immediately checked the photo (click to see larger one)

Yes! He is there.

I remember I should have seen cuanyu there. It is so nice that we met again in cyberworld.

It is such a small world. I met a lot of people during the trip, some became very familiar, some are just meet-and-go. When get out of everyone’s own world, people get closer. We may not know the name of each other, but we have been good friends.

This reminded me to put some of very good travel mates we met during the Daocheng trip. We were in the same group and spent the unforgetable 7 days together. They are (without perticular orders)

  • Jingbo
  • Caca
  • Xiaobai
  • The judge
  • Yanlin
  • Yehong
  • Xiao Zhongshan – Haipeng
  • Yanjin
  • The old soldier
  • The doctor of Chengdu – Sister Xu
  • Xuejia – the tour guide
  • Liu and Li – the drivers

We shared the tough trip and enjoyed the uncomparable beautiful scene together. We experienced emergencies together and we shared happiness together. It is a great treasure for me to have been with you. Thanks.

There are still may great people, like Cuanyu, whom I met but didn’t say a word. It is a pity but the trip itself has enriched my life so much. I gained way far more than I will do in big cities.

When we enjoy all the benifit a big city brings to us – the 24×7 stores, the public transportations, the house, and electricity and water supply…., we are so far from the other real persons. People become entities of roles. They are either service providers, or the customers – anything except real person. It is the most attractive thing in travel – people and people are completely equal. Based on such equal relationship, friendship is much easier to setup.

It is another unexpected gain I received from the trip. Wow. Yes!

Where is Daocheng?

“Where is Daocheng?” Asked Bill when I told him about the trip. This is the first question my friends asked me when they heard about the trip.

It is a reasonable question since Daocheng is not a famous place now. Unlike other similar scenery spots like Jiuzhaigou or Lijiang, Daocheng is not known by many people, even in China. Let me show you where it is.

The county of Daocheng lies near the conjunction areas of Sichuan, Yuannan and Tibet. It belongs to Sichuan Province. Traditionally, there are two routes to go there – one is from Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, or from Chengdu. We choosed to start from Chengdu.

Currently, the only transportation from Chengdu to Daocheng is by bus. It is said the airport of Daocheng will be ready by 2001, but it is not ready now – maybe it is only a joke. Starting from Chengdu, we choosed the North Route. It starts from Chengdu, via Mt. Siguniang, Wolong, Xiaojin, Danba and reaches Xinduqiao. The road for this route is very good, but it is still dangerous. The first mountain we crossed was called Mt. Balang. On the picture you can see the roads winding among the mountains.

Wolong is famous for its nature preservation for Pandons. Xiaojin is a historical town when two routes of the Red Army met after the famous Long March. Danba is called the Valley of Beauties, since lot of famous beauties in the history of China was born in Danba. Xinduqiao is the gateway town where the North and the South routes to Daocheng meets. We arrived in Xinduqiao at 12:30 AM.

The next morning, we spent some time taking pictures in Xinduqiao. The mountains and cattle fields near Xinduqiao is called the Heaven of Photographers.

Fron Xinduqian, there are still three big mountains waiting for you on your way to Daocheng. They are Mt. Jianzigou, Mt. Gaoersi and Mt. Haizi. The highest point of the highway are about 4600 meters above the sea level – please note: This is NOT the height of the mountains – it is only the highest points of the highway. The mountains themselves are higher. The bus climbed through the narrow mountain roads up, up and up, then down, down and down. After we climbed all the three mountains, we arrived in Daocheng. It is already 1:30 AM the next day. The bus may break down, and the road may be cut by flood or stones rolling from the top of the mountains – we did got off the bus to remove all the big stones on the way before we can continue. We also waited on the narrow road for about half an hour just for the road ahead to be repaired.

Daocheng is a beautiful place, especially the woodland south of the county. But the desination of the trip is actually Yading, where we can see the three holy mountains. It is 110 km away from Daocheng. In the high land area, donot use the 70-100km/hour normal bus speed to calculate. 30 km/hour is the highest speed possible. 110km requires at least 3.5 hours. I was told that before the new road is completed, it costs about 12-16 hours for the 110km. Thanks God because the new road was completed 10 days before we got there.

Leaving the county of Daocheng, heading southwards, we arrived in Riwa that is 73 km away. I took a lot of pictures in Riwa.

The base of Yading is 37 KM futher from Riwa. The scenery is beaufiful on the way to Yading, but it is still the normal scene we saw for the first three days. Until we are almost there – 30KM or so – we finally saw the snow mountiains – Yangmaiyong and Xiannairi – it was really breathtaking when we first saw them.

When we finally reached the tents we are going to stay in, it was already three days since we left Chengdu. Tired but exciting, we are staring at the mountains and cannot speak a word – just so beautiful!!

To see the mountains, we started early the next day and begin to ride horses. I am with the big horse the whole day – with him, I couldn’t cover so long a distance and reached that high.

OK. Now, I have successfully answered how we get there – three days’ of bus and one day of horse. It is a hard trip but it is worthy.