Thank you Doc, I know it's been quite a process but it's a huge relief to see my dollars going that little bit further. You can safely tell DeCheng that he can confirm my stay in xxxxx 2009 (that is of course if he'll have me!). I'll give you all the exact details as soon as I have them.

Just a question about how this all comes together. Do I pay upon arrival at the school or prior to arriving? and in USD or the equivalent amount in yuan? And I imagine from then on I pay every two months for another two months of fees in advance?

Also, I just wanted to know if the rooms I will be staying in are the ones shown in your 'Decheng school 1' video, is that correct? and will I need to lock up my stuff and keep an eye on the students lest I find my belongings disappear never to return?

not sure if you should pay all at once, i don't recommend doing that. pay them every two months.

Decheng will be there in March, he's coming to visit me in Feb. I think...

pictures are not what the new place look like. I dont think I took pictures of the new place. it's not bad. you'll be comfortable there.

So now that a price has been agreed upon, is this now finalised? Apart from the specifics of my arrival can I relax in the knowledge DeCheng will accept me into his school? Furthermore, are you still happy to be my go-between me and DeCheng or should I be asking this of him by correspondence?

It's great to hear to DeCheng will be there in March. If that then is the case, I feel obliged to give some gift when I get there, do you have any suggestions?

Just one more question from the last message, will I need to be protective of my luggage and possessions while at the school? is there any worry within the school that my things won't be safe left alone?


I see no reason why there would be changes. You should be fine for March. No guarantees he'll be there, he may still be in thailand iwht me, but who knows.
Don't worry about me. Don't worry about a gift for him. Start looking into visa issues.
be careful of valuables when you travel ANYWHERE in China, or asia for that matter.

Exciting day, booked the flights so I can give the details of the first part of my travel plans.

xxxxxx - Leave xxxxxx for Singapore
xxxxxx - Leave Singapore for Beijing  arrive 7-8am

From here I will catch the train out to Zhengzhou and will take a taxi to DeCheng's school (this has not been aranged yet however). I had thought about staying briefly in Beijing for a few nights but am still undecided. Most likely I will directly take the train which will be about 7 hrs, depending on what train I get, I would expect then I would arrive either on the 19th or 20th of xxxxxx.

Do you have any experience of the Chinese railway system? worth investing in a soft sleeper?

also, could you ask on my behalf how it is I am expected to pay for my tuition/lodgings/food, that is, either in cash or account transfer, in USD or equivalent yuan?

Tomorrow I am applying for my visa as well, so the essentials of my trip (apart from travel insurance) will be organised.

take sleeper first class overnight and sleep. hard seat third class is a nightmare.

you won't get a better visa than that at this point. deal with the extended visa issue when you get there, the school will help. as for money, pay in USD, do not pay the entire year up front, pay every month.

I might be able to have a friend get you at airport, show you around, and get you to train station. you might have to throw him some money, not much, for his time. at least you'll get around safely.

I might be able to have Decheng's school pick you up at train station, again, maybe for a small fee. would be better than dealing with taxi drivers.

Wear what you want. bring warm clothes, it's cold in March.

email me a scan of the front page of your passport.  email me name and address and phone numbers of your parents. Also your consulate information.

If there is an emergency, I need to be able to get a hold of someone. doc at   let me know your exact travel plans so I can get them to pick you up.

do you need help in Beijing?