BFRO / What's New - America and Canada / Archives / 07-25-2011 / FAQ for the Shennongjia Bigfoot Expedition

Topie: FAQ for the Shennongjia Bigfoot Expedition
October 16th, 2010 09:19 PM
cmknight I'd like to take the time to address the FAQ that MM makes on the BFRO homepage. Some of my answers are tongue-in-cheek, but most of them do apply to this country known affectionately as "The Middle Kingdom".

Getting Started with the FAQ for the Shennongjia Bigfoot Expedition

If the HWMRA isn't sure where to begin with their Expedition FAQ page, here's some uncensored questions they can expect from interested explorers:

1.) Do the organizers speak English?
Highly unlikely. One or two of the scientists might speak some form of broken English, but if you write stuff down, and have them do likewise, you will find that their written English is pretty darned good. It has been suggested by China Daily forum posters that tourists to China learn Chinese before coming for their one or two week visit.

2.) Do the organizers have cell phones? Can we have those cell numbers after we sign up and pay the fees?
Most certainly! WE are always happy to give our phone numbers to our foreign friends. Also, for a small extra fee, we can arrange for you to purchase a SIM card from either China Unicom or China Mobile for your stay here in China.

3.) At the base camp will there be a 24-hour-all-u-can-eat Chinese buffet, and an open bar, and a big warm campfire, and those sling chairs with the foot rests? I could probably persuade more of my buddies to come if I can tell them that ... I think those sling chairs are made in China anyway.
No. Campfires are not allowed. What’s a “sling chair”? We have all you can eat rice and TOFU with generous helpings of chicken feet and pig intestines, along with famous local cuisine.

4.) Will there be hot showers anywhere nearby, like at an RV campground or truck stop? Or do we need to bring a SunShower bag?
RV campground? Hot shower? LOL You foreigners are very humourous.

5.) I have a small camp stove, but I'm not allowed to bring propane canisters on the plane ... so how far away is the nearest 24-hour Wal-Mart superstore?
544 km. Seriously. Wal-marts in China are not 24-hour. You have to travel by bus from Muyu village to Yichang, then go by train from Yichang to Xiangfan. There are also two Walmarts in Wuhan, about 400 km from Yichang. Oh … propane canisters are also not allowed on Chinese trains or buses, so forget what I just said.

6.) The organizer said he only wants participants between the ages of 25 and 40, because "there will be a lot of hard work." Does that mean we might be put to work building trails? What if I don't want to build trails? What if I want to hike off in my own direction with my own gear? Can I do that if I've got a Spot Tracker and a walkie-talkie?
Age now raised to 45. You have a Spot Tracker and a radio? We no like spies in China!! No hiking on your own. This area very rugged. If you by oneself, you could died.

7). Is there any possibility that some shadowy local officials will suddenly and inexplicably limit the expedition to a one day event, long after the expeditioners have obtained permits and paid all the fees? Because, y'know, that is what happened during the last three (3) visits by foreign documentary TV crews to the Shennongjia reserve to cover the Yeren story ... including Monsterquest's Hubei episode with Dr. Jeff Meldrum. Were the local officials just fishing for bribes after seeing all the fancy equipment? Should the expeditioners bring along extra cash for that sort of thing? Arranging funding your expedition will be much easier if this particular issue is completely hammered out.
Maybe. Chinese officials very corrupt.

8.) No doubt there are thousands of undiscovered caves and deep overhangs in Shennongjia. So if I'm the first person to photograph and provide GPS coordinates for some really cool cave that has never been seen by modern man ... then can it be named after me, like officially, on future maps of the area? There are plenty of caves to go around there, and I'm sure I can get a lot of people to sign up (and pay the fees) if that's the deal.
No. Newly discovered caves must be named after obscure PLA Generals who have never done anything other than make a really good omelet. But they are still Heroes to the Chinese people (Basically because they survived long enough to become Generals).

9.) Sometimes my first expedition to an area merely gets me aquainted enough with the terrain to figure out where I want to focus on when I come back the following year. So is there any chance of making your Shennongjia expedition a yearly thing? That would be nice.
If you can afford it, we can do anything for you.

10.) Do you mind if I ask one of these English-speaking Chinese college students, who are familiar with the bigfoot subject, to contact the organizers for me? A few of these students have email addresses, and they can probably make sure there are no misunderstandings later on.
Feel free to contact these students, but be warned … they will ask you to be their friend and to help them with their English.
October 17th, 2010 06:45 AM
Simplicity I think it's 14 times i have been to China now..

It's like no place i have ever been before although admittedly my time was spent around major Cities & Fcatories sadly, never the Countryside except for one visit where we travelled quite a way out, to a Factory..

Anyway, not for me, i'm not a Fan, i'll stick with the PNW..;)
October 17th, 2010 11:32 AM
cmknight China is definitely an "interesting" country. That's for sure.
October 18th, 2010 12:57 PM
BethinFL Funny!
October 19th, 2010 09:10 AM
Andy I highly recommend the amusing Lost on Planet China: One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, which is by the young travel writer J. Maarten Troost (who wrote Sex Lives of Cannibals). He basically backpacked from one end of the country to the other, incuding Tibet.

It will prepare you for the food, if nothing else. . . .
October 19th, 2010 01:19 PM
Simplicity Being an Englishman & a sort of youngish, hip one ( ;) ) there is a series currently on in teh UK that sums my feelinsg about the Country perfectly..

It's called " An Idiot Abroad " & is MASTERMINDED by Ricky Gervais..

I'll leave it there for you but for those that are inquisitive, use youtube..;)
October 21st, 2010 06:41 PM
Simplicity wrote:
Anyway, not for me, i'm not a Fan, i'll stick with the PNW..;)

I feel the same about China as Jeremy Clarkson feels about France as he once said, "I love France. I adore France. It's just the French who ruin it."