Yunnan 2003 Expedition Info for members
Info for members:
(Last updated 10th July 2003)
Tian Xing expedition
Travel to & from expedition
Previous Yunnan expeditions
The expedition will run for 5 weeks, from Friday July 18st to Thursday August 21th. You needn’t join the whole of the expedition, although you can - general advice is that 3 weeks is the minimum to make an expedition trip to China worthwhile. This is up to you, but count on spending around 3 days at each end of your trip travelling between your house and the expedition field location, and also bear in mind that you may need time to acclimatise for high altitude work.
An advance party (Hilary Greaves and Rich Gerrish) will fly out on Monday 14th, to run SRT training for local expedition members with limited SRT experience, and to explore the Xiaozhongdian caves.
The HMG Tian Xing 2003 expediton will run in September 2003, after the end of Yunnan 2003. If you want to join that one, contact its leader, Erin Lynch. HMG Tian Xing page
In Yunnan, we'll split food/local transport/etc costs between us, in proportion to the amount of time each expedition member spends on expedition. Expect to be contributing around UKP 7 per day to the kitty. You'll need to be able to contribute this in Chinese Yuan during the expedition - bring Traveller's Cheques (US Dollars or Sterling) and credit card (with PIN if poss).
The expedition base camp will be in Zhongdian; expedition members will make their own way to China, and we’ll meet up in Zhongdian. There are several sensible routes to Zhongdian - compare flight prices when you're buying your ticket.
From Shenzen you have several sub-options: (i)Domestic flight to Kunming (approx UKP70, 2 hours), then overnight bus to Zhongdian (approx UKP10, 10 hours). (ii) Domestic flight direct to Zhongdian (prices unknown). (iii) Get to Guangzhou (bus?), which is close to Shenzhen. From here trains to Kunming depart at 9am, arriving 3pm the following day (approx UKP25, i.e. best option if money is more of a concern than time).
Tickets for domestic flights within China can apparently be obtained from overseas, sometimes in combination with international flights - Erin reports that tickets bought this way are generally significantly more expensive than tickets bought in China. I’ve always just turned up at the airport on the day I want to fly, or (when returning) bought a ticket in advance from the airport or from a travel agent in China.
The following immunisations are required or recommended for Yunnan: Hepititis A, typhoid, rabies, Japanese encaphilitis (optional), tetanus, polio.
Malaria is not a major issue as we will usually be at high altitude – for the 2002 expedition, doctors regarded antimalarial drugs as “optional”, in the light of the expedition’s plans, even though not all our time was spent above malarial altitudes.
In addition to the usual expedition stuff, bear the following in mind when deciding what kit to bring/buy.
Travel in China requires a tourist visa. This is easily obtainable from the Embassy in London or the Consulate in Manchester, either in person (UKP 30, allow 3 days) or by post (UKP 30 + 20, allow 3 weeks). It’s also possible to obtain tourist visas for China on arrival in Hong Kong (if that’s your route), same or next day (except weekends) depending on your arrival time.
If you haven't already got your visa via the Beardy Machine, you'll need to arrange it yourself.
Expedition members will need suitable insurance (including cover for caving, search and rescue, emergency evacuation, etc.). As far as I know the best option is BCRA or Endsleigh insurance. (All the group insurance options we looked into worked out more expensive than this.) Please let me (Hilary) know your insurance details as soon as you have them.