Trip to Sichuan over National Day Holiday

Last week, over the October holiday, Robbie and I flew to Sichuan for a week, where we met up with his cousin, Roger and girlfriend Eva who were spending a month backpacking around China. We visited some amazing places and it really reminded me how much fun you can have travelling around this country – something that my Beijing-fueled cynicsm had made me forget. It was also great to finally get to go to Sichuan which I had wanted to visit ever since I first arrived here. There were a lot a pics so I have split them over two photo streams:

  • Part 1 – Sichuan Opera, Pandas, Leshan & Emei Shan (01-04 October 2005)
  • Part 2 – Taoping (Qiang), Shangmeng (Jiarong Tibetan), Chengdu Teahouse (05-07 October 2005)
  • Robbie & Roger and friendsOlly taking a restEva tries out Traditional Tibetan Dress
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    Hei Long Tan by Land Rover

    After recovering from Mark’s birthday, Robbie and myself managed to talk Charles into driving us into the countryside on Sunday so we could escape the city and try out his new Land Rover. After lunch in the bagel restaurant in Shunyi we headed to Miyun county to a place called Hei Long Tan, long rocky gully full of rusty walkways, crystal clear water pools, waterfalls, caves, and a woman with a crossbow encouraging us to shoot fish at point-blank range…. Enjoy the pics.

    The Land RoverThe Little Mermaid

    China to Block Skype Usage

    According to a Reuters report China is starting to block Skype service in Shenzhen in south China. Local Chinese media report that China Telecom has plans to eventually block the service throughout its coverage area nationwide. Could this have something to do with the fact that China Telecom charges close to $1 per minute for calls to United States and Europe? From the article:

    A China Telecom spokesman had no comment on the reports about the Shenzhen blockage, but gave a broader view. “Under the current relevant laws and regulations of China, PC-to-phone services are strictly regulated and only China Telecom and (the nation’s other fixed-line carrier) China Netcom are permitted to carry out some trials on a very limited basis,” he said.

    This doesn’t bode well for us expats who benefit from Skype to talk to our friends and familly back home.