Liam Bates

Martial Arts & Travel

Monday, December 04, 2006

Learning Martial Arts and Chinese in China

Well I thought it was about time to post something about Brdiges to China:

Bridges to China offers people across the globe the chance to study in China at a great price. We offer programs in Chinese language and martial arts (wushu), studying under highly qualified Chinese teachers or the world's best martial arts masters: national and international champions, coaches and judges.

Friday, May 26, 2006

More Travel Maps!

Only 10 days until the trip begins so I thought I should write about a few of our travel options. After around 5 days on the beaches of Sanya we'll move on towards GuangZhou by train and from there think of somewhere to go. Here are some great places to visit on the journey North.

GuangZhou- Great food (apparently!) and a museum dedicated to perhaps the most famous martial arts legend, Wong Fei Hong.

GuangXi - The terraced rice fields and beautiful scenery of YangShuo - said to be the most beautiful place in China and described by Lonely Planet as for many "their top China experience".

ZheJiang - The biggest forge and weapons production center in China I believe. The Dragon Well Forge (LongQuan) produces loads of wushu weaponry, from cheaply mass produced ones to hand-made works of art. A great chance to pick up some nice weapons at nice prices!

Anhui - Huang Shan and the hot springs, one of China's most beautiful places and a holy taoist mountain. Somewhat touristy but at this time of year it shouldn't be too bad. The idea is to hike up one side of the mountain, sleep on the peak and hike down the other to the hot springs.

Northern HuBei - Wudang Shan, a chain of mountains where Tai Ji is said to have been developed, as well as being one of the holy taoist mountains. This place doesn't see many foreigners but is covered in Tai Ji and Wushu schools!

Now for the maps and 3 options for us to travel along (approximately). The 3rd option is the best as we'll see everything listed above, but perhaps too hard to manage in our small 2 and a bit weeks. As usual click on a map to enlarge it.
Red lines = Flights. Blue lines = transport (buses & trains). Black lines = hiking & biking.

Option 1:

Option 2:

Option 3:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Jack the Ninja

My friend Jack from China dressed up as a ninja before his play. He played a major role in a big English language production in Beijing (which we got free tickets for!)

He sure can kick! Click on the pic to enlarge.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


To go along with the travel map this post and the last are a couple pictures of where I'm headed!


Sanya, nice resort...

Saturday, March 25, 2006


While I'm on statistics, did you know over 99% of people have more than the average number of legs?
...think about it...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Travel map

Well, here's the current plan for travel in China summer '06.
Fly into Sanya (Hainan) early June and see a friend. Maybe give scuba diving a quick go but generally just relax after having just finished my final exams.

Move onto Guangzhou by ferry (assuming there's no typhoon, apparently quite common there...) and find my way up to Anhui province somehow on trains and buses. Along the way I'll stop off at loads of little places and check out what life is like.

Once in Anhui I'm going to wander off into the rural countryside and get myself lost in areas where foreigners haven't been seen for ages, check out what life is like in "one of the least developed provinces".

When I'm forced to move on thanks to time constraints I'll wander around a remote area of Hebei, where a good friend of mine, Hunter, is from. Here I'll check out loads of little wushu schools which apparently populate the area. I'll also do a bit of wushu for them and have the masters give me some tips!

Then I'll enter Beijing and spend my remaining 2 months there, arriving right before my birthday. The 28th of June (bday!) will be spent in a KTV (karaoke) club and some WuDaoKou clubs!

Then last day of August off I go to Vancouver, Canada!

Original map thanks to

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Liam's blog

Well, here's my new blog and a couple interesting tid-bits to start it off.
I've been arguing about the risks of travelling in China with bird flu recently and so here are a couple statistics:
On January 11th the WHO said 5 people had died in China of bird flu. I think 10 have contracted it by now. Thats 10/1.3 billion.
On the other hand, about 100 people die of lightning in the US each year, thats 100/300 million.

1:130 million - bird flu
43:130million - lightning
So, I'm 43 times more likely to die of lightning in the US than die of bird flu in China this summer!

And, if even one single person dies of bird flu in Switzerland, that'll fix the statistics so that I'm 20x more likely to die in Switzerland than in China...