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Cindie's Guizhou and Hunan, China Daily Journal
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Congjiang to Zhangjiajie National Park China
(May 22 - June 27, 2005)

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May 22 Congjiang. It rained most of the day, that is OK it was our day off.  Tim worked on the web page most of the day.  
May 23 Congjiang.  We planned to go to a small village, Baisha, today but it rained again all day.  We asked the hotel not to enter the room and when we returned from lunch we found a half cleaned room.  All our belongings were ok but it is annoying when we tell them to stay out and they come in anyway. We stayed in the room the rest of the day and someone opened the door and started coming in.  We chased them out.  A couple hours later someone knocked on the door, the man had a badge but it appeared that he was looking for someone else.  Every time we stay in a hotel longer than a day it seems that people are constantly coming in.  It is difficult to keep them out even when we stay in the room.  
May 24 Congjiang - Rongjiang.  The map showed that we would go through town and then up and over a pass and back down to the river. Well the road is different than what is on the map, the new 321 follows the river and adds an extra 5 kilometers to the ride.  I will take those extra kilometers.  The ride was excellent, no rain, no wind, pavement sweet pavement, and the terrain was rolling.  We were surrounded by terraced rice field and small minority villages.  It was an excellent riding day. At the top of one hill an old man asked me if I had an engine on my bike (electric bikes are common in China).  I told him no, just me.  It made me realize that a lot of people think we have an engine on our bike, how else could we travel that fast.  Only fellow bikers realize the real truth.

Getting into Rongjiang we passed a hotel on our left just after the bridge, we thought we would look for another one, after asking in three places and 5 kilometers later we returned to the Queng Feng hotel and secured a room for 60 Y ($7.50)  must cheaper than the 120 Y ($15) they wanted to charge me down the street.  We had dinner across the street and yes it was delicious.  The cook took great pride in serving us up a delicious dinner.  We had tofu, green beans, mushrooms, and onions with small bits of pork.  The food has gotten spicy since about Ping'an. Tasty but it will make you sweat.

87 km
May 25 Rongjiang - 38 km towards Leishan.  We woke up to a misty morning, was it going to rain or be overcast all day?  We loaded up and headed across the street for a morning meal of noodle soup.  I have gotten the hang of eating spaghetti with chop sticks.  It was cool and misty and a very light sprinkle as we left town.  To our delight the road is paved and appears new, it also has little land slides here and there along the road.  The scenery is stunning green hill sides with rice terraces and small villages again.  By the looks on most peoples faces they have not met too many foreigners. About 10 kilometers from town it starts to sprinkle and 15 kilometers from town it starts to pour.  Poor planning on my part gets me wetter than I should have been, I had packed my raincoat at the bottom of my front bag.  Now we were riding in the pouring rain.  It was not hot or cold so we did not mind to much, our bags are waterproof so our gear was safe..  What I did not like is the little landslides that we came across constantly.  They occur when it is raining or just soon after it stops raining.  We rolled into a large town and looked for a room.  We found a hotel and I inspected the room and decided to take it, we were wet and itching to get out of our wet clothes.  I had difficulty nailing down the price so I decided to pay for the room up front rather than assume the wrong price again. There was confusion when I pulled out my wallet and the hotel owner said that we could not stay in his hotel and pointed us down the road. Funny, he was willing to take us in before I pulled out the wallet, I was just trying to get some clarification of the price.  There was nothing we could do but go down the street.  We found another hotel and paid the women 20 Y ($2.50) before we took the room.  We also had a nice lunch with them of tofu, eggplant, chili peppers and another dish of cabbage and pork. Then they gave us a bowl of cold soup, a clear broth with a taste of cabbage, ginger, tomato, and some other herb.  I did not sleep well, the street light was right outside our window and it seemed like it was daylight all night long. 38 km
May 26 I have no idea the names of the towns we are staying in, I can read the Chinese name but can not translate it here.  The roads were dry when we left town.  The climb started 2 km from town we started at 410 m and ascended up to 800 m, the scenery was beautiful we were in a cloud forest with pine trees.  I saw three birds that had very long tails like the elusive Quetzal in central America.  When we were near the top it started to rain again, a common occurrence these days.  We went over the pass, descended and began climbing again. Along the way we saw small villages with people carrying every thing possible on their backs, and up steep trails too.  The minorities here certainly work hard making a living in these hills.  We rode for three hours and it felt like five so when we came to a small village with a hotel we decided to spend the night.  The cost was 50 Y ( $6.25) and was worth it to have a private bath and hot water.  We walked around the town and met some of the locals, they were friendly and did not seem to mind our presence. 35 km
May 27 some town (650 m) to Leishan.  We immediately began to climb out of town, our first pass was 1185 m and then we descended down to a village that was having a market, it was a 800m.  We stopped and had a bowl of noodle soup, it has replaced steamed rice here.  The noodles are rice noodles then a broth with onions, chili peppers and pieces of pork.  I do not know what kind spice was in the soup but it made my tongue numb.  Tim said his tongue went numb too.  We sat in the restaurant next to an old lady and her daughter, they looked at us as much as we looked at them.  They had very long hair rolled up in a type of bun and held in place with a very large comb.  They also had very large ear ring that made huge holes in their ears.  While we were eating lunch at least 50 people walked by to take a look at the foreigners, I felt like I was at a zoo and I was on display.  They did not mean any harm they just stared at us.  We left town thinking that we had conquered the pass for the day and did not realize that we had a higher pass ahead of us.  We climbed and climbed through small villages, as we passed one old lady she shouted at us and then yelled for money. I pedaled as fast as I could past her but on the incline we were on it seemed like ages before we were out of ear shot.  We may not understand the language, and it was not Chinese, but it was not hard to understand her intentions, I think that if she had a stick she would have hit us with it.  The locals are not always friendly.  We climbed until we were back in the clouds, I never know if it is going to rain or just be misty.  Our camera has quit working, we can take video but not stills.  The other day we could take stills and not video.  It is time to buy a new camera.  Once we cleared the pass at 1350 m we descended rather rapidly, again through small villages of wood houses.  Some places were set up for tourists to picnic along the river.  We continued to descend into Leishan.  Our guide book said that there were three hotels in town. However, the directions were from the bus station and since we did not know where the bus station was the directions were worthless.  We looked around for a hotel for about an hour.  This is the most frustrating part about China, we can not always find a hotel and sometimes when we do we are not allowed to stay there. Or we are directed to the most expensive hotel in town. In this case it was 100 Y ($12.00).  It looked nice but it really was all looks, the bed was hard, the shower was flimsy and the TV old.  We were mentally and physically tired and went to bed early. 54 km
May 28 Leishan - Kaili. We planned to stay in town an extra day.  I wanted to go to a nearby village and Tim wanted to Internet.  We hung out in the morning, the sun came out and at the last minute we decided to ride to Kaili, we did not want to miss the sunshine, we did not like the hotel and internet was hard to find. The town is just not that appealing. So we set off for Kaili about 12:30.  Just when it started to sprinkle, argh! the weather is hard to predict here.  We had a pleasant ride into Kaili down hill for the first 30 km and rolling for the next 12 km.  The traffic in Kaili was heavy when we arrived. OK we have a map of town and a couple of hotel recommendations, this should be easy, not.  We went to two hotels and the prices were way off.  I had to bargain to get a dumpy room for 70 Y ($8.25) other wise the rooms started at 120 Y ($15).  We stayed at the Petroleum hotel.  I do not recommend it.  We just do not have the budget for that expensive of a room.  All and all a pretty nice day until we went to the internet.  Lets see we have not checked email for about 4 days. 42 km
May 29 Kaili.  The first day in town is always a searching mission.  We found the internet cafe, grocery store, and some very good restaurants.  The food here is excellent.  We found the all you can eat Chinese buffet for 5 Y ($0.63).  The buffet consisted of tofu, squash, string beans, onions, liver and chili, and many other dishes I did not recognize but tried anyway.  Most things are stir fried in a wok and served with rice.  The food is very spicy so we had to watch what we ate.  The nice thing is that you can go back for seconds.  We have been having trouble with our camera. It is on it's last legs, first we could not take video to the tape (Tim fixed that) and now we can not take a picture to the memory stick.  When we looked in the camera we could see that the contacts were rusted.  Tells you how humid is has been.  We did our laundry today, I went to the laundry shop and they wanted to charge me 3 Y ( $0.38), it sounds cheap but when our entire laundry is dirty we are talking a minimum of $10.  No thanks.  
May 30 Kaili.  When we checked into the hotel they said they would let us in the room.  We did not have a key and they would not give it to us. This has happen before.  The first day we kept the maid out of our room although it was difficult.  We spent most of our time at the internet taking care of business.  Seems we live in an internet cafe when we get to a town. We also had to shop for road food and toiletries. The way they do grocery stores here it is difficult to find one, it usually looks like an electronics store, then the grocery store is on the second floor.  
May 31 Kaili. Another work day on the computer.  We started our Google Adwords campaign for our book.  It is exciting to get to this stage.  
Jun 1 Kaili. We were ready to head out this morning and it rained hard for hours.  By noon it was still raining so we went back to the internet cafe.  We met a group of American college students who were volunteering at a University in town.  They were teaching English to Chinese students who were learning to be English teachers.  A very cool thing to do.  I wish that I had done something like that when I was in college.  They are here for 6 weeks.  We ended up having dinner and coffee with them.  We have been having trouble with the maids wanting to come into the room.  We keep telling them no.  When we came back from dinner tonight they had been in our room and turned off our fan.  I hate it when they just come in and we tell them no.  
Jun 2 Kaili - Taijiang. Finally the day was nice.  In the morning I went back to the internet cafe.  I had to call the IRS.  It is so hard to make business calls to the US because we are 13 hours ahead of New York.  I had to get some information sent to me, our AGI for last year. I thought I would have to order it by mail but they gave me the information over the phone.  Yes it was worth the 40 minute wait.  We left Kaili around noon.  We saw the American students before we left.  I hope that they try bike touring in the future.

We climbed from town at 770 m to over 1000 meters.  The terrain is hilly.  The scenery is beautiful everything is very green and the rice patties are full of rice.  We pass small village after small village.  About 14 km from Taijiang we came across a huge construction project.  The highway is being built high about the towns, sort of connecting the peaks and in the valleys they are building huge concrete pillars up to the road.  An unbelievably huge engineering project.  It has slowed our pace to a crawl.  The road beneath these concrete pillars are either mud bogs or extremely rocky pitted road.  The traffic is aggressive trying to bet through the mess.  I was glad to arrive in Taijiang.  The first hotel we went to wanted to charge us 120 Y ($15) and the price listed on the wall was 80 ($10).  I kept asking for a cheaper room and they refused to come down in price.  I told them it was too expensive and left.  We found a nice hotel for 60 Y ($7.50) it had an air conditioner and a nice restaurant on the second floor.

51 km
Jun 3 Taijiang - ?.  We left town a little late.  I was not feeling well and was debating whether to stay an extra day.  But the sun was shining and that is such a rare event.  We hoped that the construction project would end soon.  Well it was worse then the west side of Taijiang.  The road was dirt in many places so we were often riding in dust.  There were steep dirt ramps and then the biggest mud bog I have ever seen and a huge traffic jam.  I would have taken a picture if our camera was working but it is not. I am so sad.  The construction finally ended 24 kilometers from Taijiang.  We traveled at an average of 10 km per hour.  After 2.5 hours I had had enough. We saw some hotels but sadly kept moving. The next set of hotels I stopped and looked at the room.  This particular hotel was full of construction workers who were all to interested in what we were doing.  So we ended up riding back to the first set of hotels.  We finally found a hotel that would take us.  The family was very pleasant, we had an excellent dinner of potatoes with chili, tofu with chili, eggplant with garlic and onions, and pork cooked with peppers. It was an excellent spread and it cost 30 Y ($3.75).  We paid 40 Y ($5) for the room, it had a western toilet new beds, and a fan.  The evening was hot and noisy so we did not get a good nights sleep.  There are many hotels along this road and it would be easy to ride any distance. 26 km
Jun 4 ? - Sansui.  We had pavement the entire day.  Yeah! again the terrain was rolling only the climbs were not as steep.  The scenery was rice fields and wooden house.  The people seemed frightened of us, especially the young girls. We arrived in Sansui in mid afternoon.  We had to ride east into the city.  We wandered into the center of town, where there were horse drawn carts and a few motorcycles.  We stopped at a hotel and I went to look at the room as usual.  I was gone maybe 10 minutes and when I returned Tim was mobbed by at least 30 people. Wow! as I walked up a man had dropped his chop sticks on the ground and another boy was asking Tim for his map.  Well it was time to leave the street and get in the hotel lobby.  To my amazement the mob followed us into the lobby.  Now I was checking in with a mob of 30 people watching.  It made both Tim and I very uncomfortable.  Tim was so uncomfortable he just picked up my entire bike, bags and all and carried it upstairs.  Well that was easy. Then when he returned the owner finally chased everyone out of the lobby.  We settled in the room and needed the air conditioner turned on.  The women turned it on but no down. So I went looking for her to adjust the temperature.  She came in the room and two little kids came running in after her.  I had to chase them out of our room. Still she did not fix the air conditioner so I had to get someone else to turn it down.  Again, the kids wanted to come running in and I had to chase them out. Well the little one decided to pull a temper tantrum.  Sorry honey, I do not mean to upset you but you can not come in my room.  The little emperor was use to getting his way all the time. 40 km
June 5 Sansui - Yuping 45 km
June 6 Yuping.  We had a needed day off and worked on the computer most of the day.  I had finally finished my taxes but decided not to file them electronically because we had picked up a virus from the network we connected into at the internet cafe.  Besides they were charging us 5 Y (63 cents) and everyone else 1 Y (12 cents).  I finished with my work and hibernated the computer, it seemed to shut down rather quickly.  A half hour later when I went to power on the computer it would not turn on, no power, no lights, nothing.  Tim and I were in a state of shock. We no longer had a computer and my taxes were still on there.  OK don't panic, now is not the time to panic. So I went to the internet to see if I could find some information.  It turns out that this is a common problem with Sony Vaios.  I read my discussion boards and found a technician in upstate New York. I sent him an email about our problem and asked him if there was a field repair we could do.   
June 7 Yuping. We received a reply  with some instructions, first we had to remove the keyboard.  We decided to wait a couple of days before we tried that because we also read that sometimes the computer will come back on if it is shut down for a week.  We had no idea.  We were not ready to take a computer apart, besides if it did not work we had no way of sending the computer back to the US.  So we decided to ride to a city that had a FedEx.  
June 8 Yuping - Tongun.  We turned off of Hwy. 321 north to Tongun on Hwy. 201.  The road is new and pleasant to ride.  We arrived in Tongun relatively quickly. It was nice to get some speed on the road.  We arrived in town and went searching for a hotel, we asked at one hotel and it was obvious that the price was doubled so we moved on.  We found a nice hotel with air conditioning for 60 Y ($7.5). 71 km
June 9 Tongun - Feng Huang.  We turned east on to Hwy. 308. it too was a new road.  We climbed for 28 kilometers and assumed that we had a nice ride back down to the town of Feng Huang.  We found out quickly that the road was under construction for the next 10 km.  When we popped back on to the pavement we were at a walled city 10 km from Feng Huang, also know as the southern great wall. It was a beautiful and unexpected site to see. We arrived in Feng Huang and found a room for 70 Y ($8.75).  We stayed in a family run hotel and they were great fun, taught us some Chinese and attempted to teach me how to play Majong, a popular game in China that is often gambled on. 64 km
June 10 Feng Huang.  I woke up this morning and could barely move. I had the flu, I had a slight fever and my body ached everywhere.  We had to stay another day.  I slept most of the day and went out for noodles in the evening.  
June 11 Feng Huang - Jishou. Today was the Dragon Boat Races, a traditional boat race in China. I tried to get close to the river but was met by a huge wall of people.  It was so crowded that people were pushing and shoving.  We watched the beginning of the race and scooted out of town before the crowds went home. Tim took a video of me riding through the chaotic traffic. We turned onto Hwy. 209.  Our Chinese road atlas is very handy in these situations.  We have begun to read the Chinese characters for the upcoming towns and can read the buses, we always use the buses as a check that we are going in the right direction.  We rode into the huge city of Jishou, it seemed that many high rises were going up to accommodate an influx of new residents.  Imagine being told where you were going to live, I can not.  We arrived in Jishou and I began to search for a hotel.  I found a great hotel but when I gave the women my passport she became nervous.  She made a phone call and we were told we could not stay there.  This was a hotel in a big city. It was painful finding another hotel, we paid 100 Y ($12) for a room with minimal air conditioning. 55 km
June 12 Jishou - Guisang.  We were happy to leave Jishou and head north.  We followed Hwy. S320. We climbed most of the day and decided to stop in Guisang for the night. Just before town we went through a tunnel that was at least a kilometer long.  Tunnels frighten me, I actually get tunnel vision.  The further I ride in the tunnel the less I can see.  So when we arrived in Guisang for a late lunch I was exhausted.  We had lunch with a great family who showed us a video of a local celebrity.  Her name I thing is Song Yi Fu, she is a Miao girl who is a soprano singer and has traveled around the world singing.  We decided to stay in the upscale hotel in town for 80Y ($10).  A couple hours after we arrived we had a knock on the door.  We opened the door and a police officer showed me his badge.  They personally came over to register us in their village.  This is usually done by the hotel. 45 km
June 13 Guisang - 45 km from Zhangjiajie.  We followed Hwy s320 for 20 kilometers and went through a tunnel at least a kilometer or more long.  Luckily we were riding down hill so we traveled quickly.  We then turned onto Hwy s306.  We did not seem to be following the map but we rode on anyway.  We came to a restaurant and hotel.  We had lunch and stayed the night for 40 Y ($5). 65 km
June 14 45 - Zhangjiajie. Lucky we stopped for the night because we did not find another hotel.  It was a hot but short ride to Zhangjiajie.  We found a hotel for 100Y ($12). 45 km
June 15 - 18 Zhangjiajie.  We decided to wait an entire week before we opened up our computer and try and fix it. I had read in some of the on line forums that the computer came back on after being off for a week.  I got up this morning and we connected the power to the computer.  Nothing, no lights.  OK now it was time to follow the instruction sent to us in email.  First we had to get the keyboard off the computer.  I did not have a clue how to do that.  We took apart everything we could on the computer, we had screws in piles.  After an hour of probing, carefully, the keyboard popped off.  It was actually very simple to remove the keyboard.  On the back of the computer there is a long screw marked with a dot, that is the screw that holds the keyboard down.  Now that the keyboard was off we went to work.  We followed our instructions and much to our delight the computer turned on.  Yeah! a huge relief and a huge burden all at the same time.  We had a ton of computer work but hey we did not have to ship our computer back to the states.  Thanks Joe.

We immediately went to work on the computer and spent hours on the net.  We also realized that our Visa is running out and we need to meet my Aunt Joan in Beijing or Xian in early July.  We decided to go and see how long we could get our Visa extended for, our Visa runs out July 2.  We finally found the right office and asked for a 90 day extension and they would not give it to us.  We assumed it was because of our previous troubles.  We decided we had to leave the region to get our Visa extended. Now we had to decide where we were going to do that.  After much discussion and debate we decided to go to Beijing where we hoped we could get a 6 month extension.  Aunt Joan is arriving on July 7, our Visa expires on July 2. We still had time before we needed to get to Beijing.  Plenty of time to go to China's first National Park.

June 19 - 23 Zhangjiajie. It was a climb to Zhangjiajie Village at the entrance to the park.  We arrived at 2:00 pm and check on the price of ticket at the gate.  Holy Cow!!! our guide book said it was 110 Y ($ 13.75) we thought that was expensive. The real price is 245 Y ($30.65).  Wow, who can afford that, not the masses only the elite, and I thought that this was a government for the people. It is sad to think yet again, the common person can not afford to see this national treasure. Well we were here and decided to bite the bullet and got into the park. Oh yeah, the ticket is only good for 2 days.  We met two English girls, Rachel and Elaine.  They were great fun, we met frequently.  They had traveled through Russia and Mongolia by train.  They had great things to say about Mongolia but not so great things to say about Russia.

We stayed in a hotel called X, it is the all wooden building and this is why.  The rooms were dirty, they charged 150 Y ($18.75) and would not bargain for extended night and the clincher, they turned the air conditioner off in the middle of the night, and kept the remote control so we could not turn the air conditioner on.  Talk about cheap. They did this to us two nights in a row and I got the remote from one of the girls and never gave it back and indeed they turned it off the other two night too.

Now the park was spectacular, if you have the cash, I highly recommend this park it is stunning.  We went to the most popular area first, it had huge tour groups with leaders talking into speakers. It was not hard to get away from them and explore the different views.  I was amazed how many people were in the park, I wonder if they all pay the full price somehow I doubt it.  We took the tram but it was not necessary.  On the way down I had an ice cream and a short time after I ate it I was sick. So the day was cut short.  The next day we decided to walk another area of the park and it was my favorite hike. We did not see anyone the entire day, just a park ranger.  The park is well done, you do not need a guide, just a map.  The trails are all concrete, a must in this subtropical environment.  The Chinese seem to like obstacle courses and various little obstacles are installed along the trail.  We hiked a total of four days in the park and each day was wonderful. I was missing the wilderness.  Once we strayed off the main path it was quiet. 

32 km
June 24 Zhangjiajie.  Back to Zhangjiajie and on to Beijing.  We were ready with our phrase book and started asking for a ticket when a young man who spoke fluent English came up and helped me buy our tickets and a good thing too.  The tickets for Zhangjiajie were all sold out so we had to buy a ticket for Jishou, the stop before us, it cost 355 Y ($44.37) per person for a hard sleeper, not bad for a 23 hour train trip.  He also said we could take our bikes on the train with us.  This did not seem right but we would work that out later.  He also showed us a hotel, it was fancy and had an elevator, we took the room for 150 Y ($18.75) hey it was better than the last room we had.  I did not sleep very well, first because we were getting phone calls in the middle of the night and then early in the morning a women came to our room trying to sell us tickets on a tour.  Chezz lady it is not even 6:30 am yet.  irritating.  
June 25 - 26 Zhangjiajie - Beijing.  OK now we had to get our bikes on the train.  We went to the train station and meet our friend who spoke English.  He showed me where the baggage dock was, as we were leaving he said he had to catch a train.  I wanted to give him some money for his assistance (something I never volunteer to do) but when I went to hand him some money he was gone, he never asked for any money for all his help.  I felt a bit guilty for being suspicious about him, he helped us without asking for any payment. Traveling for long periods of time have made me some what jaded.  Lots of people approach us trying to sell things and I usually tell them no as politely as I can, and yes there are scams out there, we have to always be on our toes.  But I am here to tell you there are people out there that just want to help who are honest people and (I can say this especially about the Chinese), are just plain curious.  Our bikes cost 60 Y ($7.50) each for the train and they went on the same train with us. So do not believe everything you read in Lonely Planet, they say it is impossible to get a bike on the train.  At least for us on this particular train we had no problem.  We hired porters to help us with our gear, they were pleasant and one guy helped me bring the bikes to the loading dock.  They also carried our bags onto the train and found our seat for us.  Some things are just worth paying for and this was one of those times.

The hard sleeper car we were in was very clean.  I had images of spit on the floor but that was not true for this hard sleeper car.  We met a few people who spoke English and told them about our trip.  We also met a Chinese family who were living in the states and spoke fluent English.  All the people around us wanted this little 8 year old girl to translate for them.  She really did try, what a skill at the age of 8.  I told her that this was the beginning of her future job, of course she did not understand me.  Being bilingual is always a skill and gift in my eyes.  After a while we noticed that things got quiet and some new fellas had come to our car.  Hmm they studied us, listened to our conversation in English and when we noticed them we switched to Spanish.  It was so quiet, not normal for Chinese, Eventually they left and things went back to normal again. 

We arrived in Beijing at 10 am.  I went looking for the baggage claim area to get our bikes.  It was at least a half a kilometer away. I left Tim against the wall guarding our 8 panniers and two bags.  Tim does not like bus and train stations because of the potential for robbery.  I realized that I was gone to long and returned to see how Tim was doing.  When I returned the area was swarming with Police.  Tim pointed at a small office nearby which was closed when I left and said, look in that room over there, the men in handcuffs tried to rob us and this is the story Tim told me:

Shortly after you left, I noticed 5 men standing in different areas watching me.  They had nothing in their hands which does not make sense in a train station where everyone has luggage.  I also noticed they were wearing tennis shoes and not dress shoes which is more common for Chinese men to wear on the train. I thought they must have planned to do some running.  They were all looking at me and then I realized that they were really counting my ten bags. I stared back at each of them individually, and let them know I was aware of them.  Then an additional well dressed man walked on to the scene, talking into a cell phone, looking at me, I thought he was one of them.  Then I noticed he was looking at and counting the same 5 men I was. I was bracing myself for the attack.  My plan was to clip all the bags together and hold tightly to them, I was also planning to yell for help.  As I reached for my bags, dozens of police were running from every direction.  The 5 men I was watching were now being apprehended by the police.  The police ushered them all into the little office.  I realized that the extra man on the scene was an undercover police officer who coordinated their operation.  I nodded to him and he nodded back, this was the only communication I had with them.  As they were hand cuffing and interrogating them Cindie arrived on the scene.

June 27 Beijing.  

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INDEX #3: SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to 9-15-06

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present

(see all 3 book)

November 22 - December 15, 2004
Bangkok, to Aranyaprathet, Thailand

Cindie's Daily Journals
Thailand #1

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
INTRO Crossing Over to the Other Side: Relocating to Asia

LETTER Thailand: Landing in a Whole New World.

Best Place to see Pictures
Thailand Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Bangkok, Thailand
- Royal Barge Museum
- Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
- Wat Phra Kaew and Temple of the Emerald Buddha
- Pictures of Wat Pho
- Bangkok to Chanthaburi, Thailand.
- Island Ko Samet National Park
- Thailand's famous Thai Food
- Chanthaburi to Aranya Prathet and the Cambodian border.


 December 16- January 16, 2005
Cambodia and Angkor Wat
Poipet to Tien Bien, Cambodia

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Cambodia Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Cambodia: Poverty Does Not Equal Crime.

Best Place to see Pictures
Cambodia Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Pictures of  Poverty in Cambodia: Poipet to Siem Reap
- Picture from Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- Temples Bayon, Angkor Thom
Ta Prom (Temple where Tomb Raider was filmed)
- Preah Khan, Neak Poan, Eastern Mebon, Banteay Kei, Ta Som, Pre Rup

- Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Tuol Sleng S.21 Museum of Genocidal Crime
- Killing Fields of Pol Pot Cambodia
- Phnom Penh to Tinh Bien


(January 16 - February 17 , 2005)
Vietnam #1.
Tinh Bien to Cau Ganh, Vietnam

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Online South Vietnam Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures
South Vietnam Thumbnails

Full size Picture Pages

- Chau Doc to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Floating Market and Boat Trip Tour
- Vietnam War Remnants Museum
- Cuchi Tunnels, Saigon, Vietnam
- Cuchi Tunnels Cu Chi near Saigon, Vietnam
- Pictures from Dalat, Vietnam
- Bicycling from Dalat to Buon Ma Thuot
- Jun Village
- Buon Ma Thuot to Cau Ganh

(February 18. - April 2, 2005)
Vietnam #2.
Cau Ganh, to Lang Son, Vietnam

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Daily Journal for North Vietnam.

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures
North Vietnam Thumbnail Pictures.

Full size Picture Pages

- Cau Ganh to Hoi An
- Hoi An, Vietnam
- China Beach to Hue.
- Marble Mountain
- The Citadel in Hue
- Impoverished Highland Market Can Cau.
- Poverty Village of Bac Ha.

Hanoi water puppet

(April 3 - May 21, 2005)
Guangxi, China
Pingxiang to CongJiang, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Finally in China!

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Three Years and Still Going

Best Place to see Pictures
Best Thumbnail Pictures of Guangxi, China

Full size Picture Pages

- Pingxiang to Nanning, China
- Nanning, Guangxi to Liuzhou
- China's Karst Topography Landscape.
- Liuzhou to Yangshou, Guangxi, China
- Zhuo Yue English College in Yangshuo, China
- Li River bamboo boat trip in Yangshou..
- Ancient Chinese Stone Village of Fuli.
- Impressions light, dance, and music.
- Mountain biking through Yu Long Valley.
- Guilin to Congjiang Guangxi, China
- Reed Flute Cave Guilin China.
- Ping'an Guangxi, China.
- Dragon's Backbone and Rice Terraces.


May 22 - June 27, 2005

  Guizhou and Hunan, China
Congjiang to Zhangjiajie National Park China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Guizhou, China

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Made in China: Free Birds in a Caged World!

Best Place to see Pictures
Pictures of Guizhou, China.

Full size Picture Pages

- Congjiang to Kaili, Guizhou, China
- Kaili Guizhou - Wulingyuan National Park, Hunan.
- Wulingyuan (Zhangjiajie) National Park, Hunan.


(June 28 - July 15, 2005)

Beijing, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Beijing, China daily Blog and Journal

Best Place to see Pictures
Best and favorite pictures from Beijing, China

Full size Picture Pages

- Pictures from Beijing, China
- Pictures of Forbidden City, China
- Summer Palace
- Great Wall from Jinshanling Simatai, China.
- Badaling Section of the Great Wall of China


(July 16 - Sept. 3, 2005)
Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, China.
Beijing to Xian, Shaanxi, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, China daily journal (blog)

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
The Many Faces of China: Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, Provinces.!

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail pictures from Inner Mongolia, China.

Full size Picture Pages

- Beijing to Jining, Inner Mongolia.
- Grasslands of Jining, to Wuchuan (near) Hohhot
- Hohhot to Bautou, Inner Mongolia, China
- Wudang Lamasary
- Bautou to Yulin, Shanxi, China with Photos from Genghis Khan's Mausoleum.
- Yulin to Yanan, Shaanxi, China
- Chairman Mao's Headquarters and Residence in Yanan, China.
- Yanan to Xian, Shaanxi, China.
- Terracotta Warriors #1
- Terracotta Warriors #2.


 (Sept. 4 - Oct. 29, 2005)

Sichuan, China
Chengdu, to Zongdian, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Sichuan Blog

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Into Occupied Territory: Tibet!

Best Place to see Pictures
Sichuan Thumbnail Photos

Full size Picture Pages

- Giant Panda Breeding Center #1
- Red Panda  in Chengdu, Sichuan, China #2
- Chengdu to Kangding.
- Kangding, Sichuan, located in Southwestern China.
- Mugecuo Lake near Kangding, Sichuan, China.
- Kangding to Xinduqiao
- Xinduqiao to Tibetan Home Stay.
- Tibetan Home Stay to 4718 meter (15,475 feet)
- to Litang, Sichuan, China.
- Litang Lamasary Tibetan Buddhist Monk Monastery
- Litang to Sumdo, Tibet
- Sumdo to Xiangcheng
- Xiangcheng to Derong, Tibet.
- Derong, Sichuan Province to Tibetan Shangri-La, (Zongdian)


(Oct. 30 - Dec. 24, 2005)

Yunnan, China
Zongdian to Mohan, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Yunnan daily blog - journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Out of China: slipping past the watchful eye of censorship.

Best Place to see Pictures
Yunnan thumbnail photos

Full size Picture Pages

- Shangri-La, - Lijiang - Dali, China.
- Dali to Jingdong, Yunnan
- Jingdong to Puer
- Puer to Jinghong, Yunnan, China
- Xishuangbanna Tropical Flowers and Plants Garden.
- Mengla to Mohan, Yunnan, China (border with Laos))


December.25, 2005 - January 23, 2006
Boten to Vientiane

Cindie's Daily Journals
Laos daily blog journal

Click here for our first downloadable video called

Best Place to see Pictures
Laos Thumbnail pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Boten to Oudomxia, Laos.
- Laos Wood Carving Factory
- Oudomaxi - Luang Pabong
- Luang Phrabang, Laos: Monks, Wats, and a boat tour on the Mekong River.
- Luang Phrabang to Vang Vieng, #1
- Luang Phrabang to Vang Vieng, #2
- Vientiane, Laos


January 23 - March 12, 2006

Northeast Thailand
Nong Khai, Thailand to Bangkok

Cindie's Daily Journals
Northeast Thailand Blog and Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Four Years DownTheRoad!

Best Place to see Pictures
Northeast Thailand Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nong Khai to Dan Si
- Dan Si to Lop Buri
- The Ancient Ruins and Historic Temples of Ayuthaya
- Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.


(March 13 - April 18, 2006)

Southern Thailand
Hua Hin to Satun, Thailand

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's latest daily journal for South Thailand.  Now with over 4 years of entries!

5 minute Thailand Video

Best Place to see Pictures
Pictures from South Thailand.

Full size Picture Pages

- Hua Hin to Ranong
- Ranong to Krabi
- Boat Tour of Ao Phang Nga Bay
- Ko Lanta Beach to Satun Tropical Thailand


(April 18 - Sept. 15, 2006)

  Malaysia #1
Langkawi, Malaysia to Parit Buntar

Cindie's Daily Journals Malaysia

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Two 1-Way Tickets to Australia Please

Best Place to see Thumbnail Pictures of Malaysia

Full size Picture Pages

- Langkawi to Nebong Tebal
- Underwater World Aquarium Langkawi
- Bird Paradise, Langkawi, Malaysia.
- Malaysian Home Stay and Cyclist Guest House.
- Traditional Tamil Indian Wedding
- Malaysian Home Cooking and Traditional Food
- Hand Made Pottery Factory
- Chinese Fishing Village and Party.
- Toddy Plantation Farm and Palm Oil Production.
- Malaysian Chinese Temple of Heaven and Hell.
- Malaysian Indian Hindu Temple and Religious Ceremony


(May to August, 2006)
Malaysia #2

Tanah Rata to Taiping, Malaysia

Cindie's Daily Journals

Video: Malaysian David's Cyclist Home Stay (5:35 min)

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail pictures of Malaysia #2

Full size Picture Pages

- Cameron Highlands Trails and National Park
- Butterfly Garden
- Boh Tea and Sungai Palas Tea Plantation and farm
- Mardi Research Center, Tanah Rata
- Tanah Rata, Cameroon Highlands, Malaysia
- Indian Fire Walking Ceremony at the Hindu Temple
- Our 8th Wedding Anniversary the Cultural Indian Way
- Chinese Cultural Opera and Traditional Arts Celebration
- Malaysian Indian Religion
- Malaysian Guesthouse and Homestay #2


(July - Sept. 15, 2006)
Malaysia #3 and Singapore.
Taiping, Malaysia to Singapore

Cindie's Daily Journals for Malaysia

Best Place to see Pictures
Malaysia #3 and Singapore

Full size Picture Pages

- Penang hill Chinese Temple
- Taiping to Melaka, Malaysia.
- Taman Alam Kuala Selangor Natural Park
- Melaka, Malaysia, Southeast Asia.
- Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Chinese Hill (Bukit China) Cemetery
- Melaka, Malaysia to Singapore

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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