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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #1
There have been quite a few discussions of late about the cost and complexity of visiting various countries. Have been hearing a lot recently about a couple (he's Swedish, she's Chinese) who wanted to visit her hometown and spend some time with her parents. As they we were heading in the general direction of China they were trying to get a clear understanding of the procedures for a yacht visiting the country (they certainly are not the first but it is pretty rare). Since you could communicate in Chinese it should have been easier to do than for most of us.

After much of this discussion, and by the time they reached the Philippines, they were told there was no procedure for a yacht to visit the country. They would have to enter as a ship with normal requirements for pilots, etc. For starters they would have to put a deposit of about $5000 that the various charges would be deducted from. If there was anything left they would get it back. If there was a balance it would be payable before they were given their clearance papers to leave.

This caused a huge stink in the sailing discussion group on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter and many complaints about the treatment this couple were getting. It was even in some of the newspapers in China who talked about this 'older couple'* wanting to come to the country and how the government was being unreasonable. The government relented (sort of) and said they could come free of charge but could only stay for 15 days. The last I heard was that couple had decided to go to Hong Kong and leave the boat there while they visit the parents.

*For some reason the newspaper reported the combined age of the 'older couple' - 110. Damn, we have a decade on them. Wonder what they would call us?
 

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I have spoken with some well educated Chinese citizens, and though they are no means government representatives, the consensus was that an American cruising yacht would be welcome to visit China, with some pretty severe restrictions on where that vessel could go. You would definitely NOT be allowed to "cruise" the coast of China, stopping wherever you choose. You would only be allowed to visit metropolitan areas, with plenty of eyes watching your every move.
Though cruising that country has long been a dream of mine, I'm really not much interested in doing it that way.
 

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I spent 9 months in China or Shanghai... in all that time I did not see any sailboats anywhere... some powerboats owned by Chinese nationals and some fishing boats but not pleasure boats... maybe in more coastal areas I may see them but going up the Hunang River where you see these pics... not a single sailboat in sight.

This is Pudong across the river from Old Shanghai:




The first thing I did in Shanghai was to find the music stores to buy a guitar and this store is under the Shangahi Music Conservatory... I lucked out as the piano store was next door:



Here the parks are full of recreation and the people love ballroom dancing... I danced on several occasions with some of the young lovely ladies:



This photo is the Chinese New Year and the people are all shopping on this day... wall to wall people!



Didn't think I'd find this Catholic Church built by the French back in the mid 1800's... the pagoda at the top of the building to the right is indicating their religion is of higher significance.



As everyone here knows I love gardening and the Chinese have an eye for beautiful gardens...



Beautiful country if you can get past the politics...
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #4
I think it is a fascinating country and we were quite seriously thinking of taking the boat there. I imagine in the next five years they will figure out what cruising is all about and come out with regulations to deal with it. There are a couple of places with pleasure boats but they are either power boats or one-design sailboats, generally in Olympic classes. Sailing lessons are springing up and a few Chinese are off sailing the world. It is interesting because most cannot read English so do not go to places like this for info and they cannot read Cornell or pilot charts so they tend to look at the globe and decide they want to go from here to there because it is interesting.

One of June's contacts has just taken delivery of a new Tayana 48 and is heading to California and then down to Patagonia and possibly Antarctica. Not clear if he is hiring a captain since he has little experience.

Nice pics of China btw. I would be less concerned about the government in China than the environmental quality. It is interesting when you talk to Chinese citizens about the government. Most people have a much higher opinion of them than we do of our governments. With the exception of air quality and corruption which are the big concerns, the government provides excellent infrastructure, a good climate for business, low taxes, and keeps out of people's day-to-day life. The last couple of years in Beijing where the in-laws are have been horrible for air quality and in most areas, the water quality is dreadful too
 

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I'm sure there are Chinese sailors out there and the growing economic stability and wealth for the new generations of Chinese are sure to get them into pleasure boats for sure. I just have not seen the infrastructure for mass quantities of sailboats or powerboats, ie; marinas, slips, moorings or anchorages. Maybe in the south part of China where the resorts are there may be these marinas, I've never been south of Shanghai.

The government seemed to take care of its people and the elderly but the people in the Party of the government seemed to have more of the wealth (sound familiar) so in turn they drive the luxury cars, homes, and spend like no other. The economy of China is staggering when I ventured out to see the upscale stores and cars... in my building where I had my apartment one of the owners had 9 Ferrari's and a pink Bentley... there was over $1.5 million in cars alone in the garage by one owner... I have the pictures too.

The air quality in Shanghai for the most part I was there was excellent... I rode the metro sometimes and they are secure (did I mention no one has guns?) and crime was non existent all the time I was there, walked the streets late at night walking home from the pubs with my friend. It was great and sad when the assignment ended... working on getting another assignment or contract either in Shanghai or Xi'an... where the Terra Cotta Warriors were found.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It is certainly not like most of the world where if you combine water and a big population with lots of money you get yacht clubs and marinas. There are only a few. The big sailing centre is Qingdao where the Olympic sailing was held so it is quite far north. There is also some sailing on Hainan Island near the southern border. It is coming, just very slowly.

We quite like Xi'an. The old city inside the wall is fascinating with a 1200 year old mosque not far from the designer stores (Cartier and Gucci), with the designer knock-offs for sale within a block. The archeological sites in addition to the Warriors are incredible. Haven't been to Kunming and would like to go. Sounds like a lovely spot to live with a really good climate.

We were in Beijing when the Paralympics were on and the air was sparkling because of all of the restrictions they had in place. When we were in Shanghai the air was OK, but apparently the problems are only getting worse. Now the pollution events cover almost all of the coastal areas from Guangdong northward and extend at least a third of the width of the country inland - basically the area that has a large population.
 
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