Thanks for the email, I have just sent him a message back. I asked Jackey if he could help me with securing a train ticket and help with the pick up from Beijing airport to the train station.

I have written that I would transfer the funds for the ticket beforehand and that I would give him a fee for his trouble.
That said, what is a reasonable amount of money to give him?

Thanks for your help and pulling the strings on my behalf. I will let you know the developments.

Thank you

you should pay his taxi fair from beijing to the airport, and your taxi from airport to train station, and his taxi back home again. Plus maybe twenty or thirty dollars for his time. I think that's fair. up to you.
He will take good care of you.
There are a few train stations in Bejing, you don't want to end up at the wrong one. shame you can't spend time there, fascinating city.

I'm sure there are many interesting things to see in Beijing, maybe an adventure saved for later in the year. I think Lhasa is higher up on the priority list though.

Just worked out an arrangement, he will pick me up in a friends car, charge me about the same as the cab fare and also organise the ticket. He's generously said he will call DeCheng's to confirm I'm on the train as well.

Thankyou for getting in contact with him, he seems like a great guy. Look forward to meeting him.

Be in touch soon, only five weeks left

Jackey will take good care of you. make sure you keep his cell phone number. bring a cell phone with you that has international roaming, one that is unlocked, so you can get a new sim card in china. or,just buy a new unlocked phone in china and get a sim card there. also send me your train information so I can make sure decheng's school gets you

Hello Doc,

Been a while since I've been in touch so I just wanted to keep you 'in the loop'. I just emailed Jackey about the train details, he should respond sometime in the next few days and I will message you as soon as I have them.

I am at present busy training, catching up with friends and family and eating very well (not conducive to training), and of course, finalising the remainding components of the trip.

I do have a question for you if you'd care to answer. I'm sorting through insurance plans at the moment trying to find a policy which covers the necessities but is comprehensive enough to meet my needs. However, I am struggling to find an insurance provider that will cover me for 'martial arts', I've been told by the provider my family usually uses that it is a grey area. Thus, no garuanteed coverage.
So then, who do you use when making the Shaolin trips? or could you recommend a provider that will cover me for the martial training? One company only catered only for students learning Judo, no other martial art.

Many thanks

My American Express Platinum card gives me medical evacuation insurance. You can buy medical evacuation insurance, and a regular worldwide health policy from companys like William Russell out of England, etc. your insurance agent in Australia should be able to find one. As for martial arts, I don't think it's important to even mention that. I'm more concerned about you having a car accident, or some bizarre catastrophic gastrointestinal event, all unrelated to the practice of martial arts.

Just get a good health insurance policy that has a medical evacuation component.

Hello Doc,

Congratulations on your big news, I hope your family and you are very happy and healthy upon the arrival of your son. That said, I will be brief, I'm sure you've many other things to concern yourself and many sleepless nights ahead, all the joys of becoming a new parent.

I picked an insurance policy, with medical evacuation coverage, which was another stress dealt with (you know, those brochures are a pain in the arse to read through). I also got in touch with Jackey, I tried to ask him about the train details to give to you and DeCheng but I think he misinterpreted my meaning. Because he wrote back:

Dear xxx

No problem! for train ticket is no problem!just take it easy!;)
yes, no so many rain, recently snow a little bit, freezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing!but mid of March will be warmer!;)
stay well, keep in touch,

Oh well, he has said he will call DeCheng with train times once he puts me on the train. Which will be, god willing, the 19th of xxxxxx.

My journey now is finally 'organised', to use the term loosely. Apart from odds and ends here and there, I can leave the country knowing that the essentials have been covered.

In no small part has this come together with your help Doc. I am extremely grateful for everything you've done to make this adventure a possibility. Six months ago if I hadn't found your site (and your assistance) chances are I'd be rocking up to the Shoalin temple, sleeping bag in hand, ready to stand outside the famous gate to wait for a Master Kan lookalike to let me in. Now it's hard to believe after all the questions, developments and advice that Shaolin is now almost within reach. After a while the saving and the picturing what to expect in Dengfeng and the Temple becomes routine; it's surreal now to be living the dream.
Hopefully one day I'll get to meet the man behind the screen name and avatar, maybe even later in the year for a holiday in Thailand.

Obviously, 'brief' is a relative term, but I'll conclude by once again expressing my thanks, I'll be in touch soon, keep you updated on my progress and wishing you all the best on your journey as a father.

Fondest regards,

Dont thank me yet; you haven't gotten there yet, nor have you seen what you're getting into, LOL.

Have a safe trip. Any problems, call me directly +66 xxxxxxxxx. Bring an unlocked cell phone with you so you can buy a sim card; communication with the outside world is the key in case of emergencies.

Please resend your passport page and parents contact information again. I can't seem to remember where I filed it. I use it so that I can get in touch with your family if an emergency arises.

You're welcome any time in Thailand.

Have a great time. It will be a trip that you will hate, remember, and cherish for the rest of your life.


Sorry I've not been in contact lately, having a lot of trouble getting my Aunty's net to work and prior to that was doing the last of my preparation for the trip. I'm in Singapore now and the weather is pretty wild, unbelievable how a sunny day turns into a thunder storm in about fifteen minutes.

I haven't been in contact with Jackey yet but I will email him today, make sure all my tickets are sorted and he is still right to collect me from Beijing airport.

I just wanted to say thanks again, all you're help has not gone unappreciated on my end. I will be in touch when I've settled myself in Dengfeng and as soon as I can get my hands on a computer with internet access.

One last thing, I sent those details and passport photos to you again, did you get them?

Be in touch soon and hope all is well with you, your wife and newborn. Take care and stay safe,

all good. enjoy singapore, its a wonderful city. if you have time go to the night zoo.
if you have any problem, my number is +xxxxxxxxx. safe trip


It appears that this student's trip turned out well. After some initial shock and consternation, he settled into the routine and the culture without difficulty, as evidenced by his last message:

Dear doc,

Yes, everything's going well I don't have any complaints. My number one concern coming here was remaining the tourist unable to make friends at the school; I thought if anything would make me despise the place that would be it.

But quite the opposite has happened, I've made friends with all the kids in the school, I'm teaching English to one for an hour Mon-Fri and I intend to run a class for English for the others after the competition is over in the next week or soI can't see myself extending my visa beyond six months, I think once my time is up I will head down to Thailand. I'm certainly not over Dengfeng yet, but you're very right, six months, a year, many years is just so unrealistic. I applaud anyone willing to stick it out for that long, or maybe it's pity; when you do kung fu all the time you realise that though it may be an important part of your life it's not everything.

Thank you for all your advice, it's been very helpful and is appreciated. Thank you for the concern, I will be in touch soon.