Incomplete Visit to 30N 119E

15-Dec-2003 —

Before I start my narration, I would like to thank Sebastian for lending me his Germin GPS and Targ Parsons who helped me to find out the satellite map for that area. To my wife Wendy: I put a very small gift there for you to discover in the future.

It was an incomplete visit. I was about 2.73 km away from the points 30N 119E after traveling about 300 km to the area from Shanghai. The road ahead should not be tough since the mountains are not high and not to hard to climb. But I didn’t have time to go any further. The last bus from the place – a very small village called Yinjiang left 1:00 pm. I have to get back to work the next day. Even I left the village at 1:00 PM, I got home at around 11:30 PM.

Trip Summery

I am using some Chinese characters to represent the names of the area to make it easier to find out the places. You know, the first milestone during my trip was to find out what is the Chinese name for Qiuyuan, according to the information page for 30N 119E on DCP’s site. These places are so small that most maps don’t show them. You may see garbage letter or simply a small square if your system does not support Chinese. But don’t worry. When you see it, you know it is a place name in Chinese.

My itinerary looks like this:

  • Shanghai (Meilong 梅陇) to Hangzhou by train K823 09:50 – 12:10 at 25 RMB (3 USD)
  • Hangzhou to Qiandaohu 千岛湖 by quick bus 7555 13:20 – 16:30 at 43 RMB (5.1 USD)
  • Qiandaohu to Tantou 谭头 by mini bus 17:00 18:00 at 5 RMB
  • Stayed at Tantou for one night at 10 RMB (1.2 USD)
  • Tantou to Linqi 临岐 by mini bus 9:00 – 10:00 at 5 RMB (0.6 USD)
  • Linqi to Yinjiang 隐将 via Qiuyuan 秋源 by mini bus 10:00 – 11:00 at 5 RMB (0.6 USD)

This was not the best itinerary. If I go there again, I should be able to get the area before with in 6 hours.

Way Back

  • Yinjiang 隐将 to Linqi 临岐 by mini bus 13:30 – 14:30 at 6 RMB (0.7 USD)
  • Linqi to Tantou 谭头 by mini bus 15:30 – 16:15 at 5 RMB (0.6 USD)
  • Tantou to Hangzhou by bus at 16:16 – 19:10 23 RMB (2.7 USD)
  • Hangzhou to Shanghai by train K838 20:08 – 23:08 at 33 RMB (4 USD)

The trip back was obviously better than the trip to there in both terms of time-efficiency or cost-efficiency. The trip back was planned and experienced trip.

The Trip

I got up late at around 8:00 AM. It was already late for the trip. I hesitated whether I should stay home with warm air-conditions, read some nice books and have hot tea or go out of the door to visit a place that is almost 300 km away at around 0 °C. I’m glad I chose the option of adventure.


The train from Shanghai to Hangzhou is always comfortable with very nice view outside the window. The only problem is, when I get to Hangzhou, it is already 12:10 at noon.


On the way to Qiandaohu, there are some training centers for paddle sports. The road from Hangzhou to Qiandaohu via Jiande 建德 was very nice and comfortable. I would highly recommend a tour to Qiandaohu (The Lake with Thousands of Islands).


Stayed for one night

I was disappointed when I got to know the last bus to Linqi left 10 minutes before I arrived at the mini bus station. I took taxi there and it cost me 2 RMB (0.24 USD). The only bus going to that direction reaches Tantou, the interaction of the road to northwest direction and the mainstream road to Hangzhou.

I decided to go to Tantou first. I didn’t realize Tantou was such a small town that I could hardly find a place to have my dinner.

There was a so-called hotel. I ordered the most expensive guest room from them at 10 RMB (1.2 USD). They also had rooms at 5 RMB. :-D


The Second Day

The second day, I got up early and waited for the mini bus to Linqi. The trip took about 1 hour. After arriving Linqi, I went on to seek for buses to Qiuyuan. Fortunately, I caught a bus to Qiuyuan right after I got off the bus to Linqi. According to Confluence Project website, the 30N 119E point is 7.4 KM north of Qiuyuan.


At Qiuyuan, I monitored the GPS excitedly. It seems Qiuyuan is almost exactly located at the 119E longitude line, but still 7.4 km away from the point. I decided to continue to go with the bus to somewhere north of Qiuyuan.

Bus started, heading northwest. With the increase of latitude, the longitude decreased. It meant I must make a decision to get off the bus at the right place for the optimized distance. Just before I wanted to get off, the bus stopped and the driver claimed the end of the bus line – Yinjiang.

Yinjiang is a place that is never marked on any map. It is almost the end of the winding mountain road. I would suggest changing the page on confluence project and marking the point as 3.2 km north of Yinjiang (with bearing of 15 ? instead of 7.4 km north of Qiuyuan. It makes the next visitor’s trip easier.


Mountain climbing

From their, I began to look for my way to go into the mountains. The GPS Sebastian lent to me showed that the point was about 3.4 km away from the village, bearing about 15 degrees from north.

Quickly, I was surrounded by mountains.


I begin to feel tired quickly after I climb to the elevation of 500 meters. It was because I have to run along the winding road, hoping to be able to reach the point and get back.


It was not easy to climb mountains. Previously, I attempted to climb exactly as the compass showed. Later, I learnt following the path previous villages left was a better way to save energy and guarantee of no dead road ahead. With time passing by, I was still struggling on the road to climb higher but not northward. At around 12:10 at noon, I decided to stop and go back to catch the last bus leaving the mountain areas.

This is the rock I finally stopped at. I tried to stop earlier but couldn’t help to go further. Then I said to myself – “It is the deal. Reach the stone and get back”. Otherwise, I will miss the last bus back to the civilized world.


Look at the GPS. The location is only 2.73 km away. I believe it will be either at the slop of the mountain or the other side of the mountain. It reads: N 29.97833 E118.98660. Pretty close, right?

yinjiang-gps-2.7km.away_small.jpg yinjiang-gps-29.118_small.jpg


From the point, the 30N 119E is just 2.7 km. With the combination of a compass and a GPS, I can preciously point out the direction, as shown by the right arrow of my compass.

yinjiang-gps-on.hand.before.point_small.jpg yinjiang-compass-direction_small.jpg

Looking back is the village of Yinjiang.


Going Back

Then I finally caught the last bus. The roads were so narrow that the bus could hardly pass. I have a picture of two cars meeting each other.

The I took the bus from Yinjiang to Linqi, then transit to bus to Tantou. At last, I caught the bus to Hangzhou. After arriving Hangzhou, I took K838 and finally arrived in Shanghai.


Key Learning

I made a good decision not to insist to visit the point although it was very near. The next time, I will successfully reach the 30N 119E with the knowledge and experience of this trip. Leaving it there gives me a good chance to visit the fantastic place again. I began to love mountain climbing. It didn’t teach how to insist, but also how to give up.

8 thoughts on “Incomplete Visit to 30N 119E

  1. I think you should have spent the night in the “uncivilised world”. It can be a lot of fun!

  2. Awesome idea and impressive itinerar!

    Ever think of establishing a local Degree Confluence Club?

  3. Targ, thanks for sending me the wonderful image of the area and pionted me to the right resource. I did want to stay but I have asked for one day annual leave and I don’t want to ask for another. I still have plenty things to do at work. I will definitely find another time to re-visit the location. And I know it takes 2 days at least instead of the original planned one day.

  4. sophie, the idea behind Confluence project is very interesting. I think the global Degree Confluence Club is good enough since there are not many confluence points in the east China area. But I would be interested that any one join me for the next visit.

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