Go to China 2005 [details]

Information about previous trips
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Carl Johan
Posts: 174
Joined: 07 May 2004, 12:41

Go to China 2005 [details]

Post by Carl Johan »

Hello go playing friends!

This post concerns the 2005 Go'n'games Go to China trip, organized by Carl Johan Ragnarsson and Michael Yao. The webpage for the trip is at http://gongames.com/china/ and contains some pictures from this year's trip. I also hope to make an extensive update of the website in January, but all the relevant information, except pictures, is in this email, and is more up to date than the current website.

It may be the longest post you have received in a long time, and hopefully it is also the most interesting one. We are sorry we have been delayed in sending out the detailed information for next year's trip, but here it comes, right in time for Christmas. It is now clear that the trip will take place, as we have had a lot of interest and positive response.

While the 1st Go to China trip was already very successful, as it is the 2nd trip, we believe that we can improve what we did last year, and make the whole arrangement run much smoother this time.

If possible, we would like you to send us the registration form before the end of the year. AND, IF YOU KNOW ANY FRIENDS WHO ARE INTERESTED, BUT HAVE NOT REGISTERED YET, PLEASE ASK THEM TO DO SO. You may forward this email to them, and send us their email addresses. This goes among others for you Luleåites, and also for some French people I heard from.

The trip will take place from approximately June 10 to August 10. Exact dates may change by 2-3 days, but not more. You may participate for 1 or 2 months, and if you participate for one month only, you may freely choose the month. You may also arrange your own ticket if you wish, however, we encourage everyone to travel from Stockholm if possible, as for most of you, cheap flights exist within Europe, and it will mean that you arrive on the same time and date as most others, thus saving you from trouble in China. (If you wish to participate for shorter than 1 month, say 2 or 3 weeks, we may be able to give some discounts compared to the 1 month package during the 2nd month, or include sightseeing arrangements in the package, at the 1 month fee. You will stay and play together with the other participants. Please contact us if you are interested in this!)

We are also happy to let you know that the trip promises to be more international than before, with prospective participants from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, UK, France, Spain, Italy, USA and Australia (sorry if I forgot anyone!).

If you are interested in any custom arrangements, in terms of living, go teaching or anything else, please let us know. We will do our best to cater all of your needs, although special arrangements may cost a little extra.

Again, please tell your friends about the trip, too. For us, it will be possible to make better arrangements the more people that go. It is also a unique opportunity for western go players to see the Chinese go scene for real. This is not an ordinary tourist trip, this is an adventure!

Best regards, and Merry Christmas
Carl Johan and Michael


If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to contact china@gongames.com, michaelyao@hotmail.com or minismurf or myao on kgs. You may call Michael at +46-70-4407128, but generally we prefer to deal with email communication.

PS. We are also sorry that the trip is a little more expensive this year than the last, and we think we can give this back to you in terms of a better trip. The prices here are the final ones, and not exactly the same as those on the webpage. One of the main reasons is increased housing costs before the Olympic Games that will be held in 2008. Unfortunately, costs are likely to rise more until future years.

PS2. We apologize if anyone who doesn't want this email has received it, or if anyone has received it twice or thrice. Please let us know!

Living and facilities

The participants will live in apartments in the same apartment complex somewhere in Northern Beijing, near the university area (exact location will be decided later, we can only guarantee that it will be in Beijing). This year, the location was around 8 km from Tiananmen Square, the city centre, and that will be similar this year.

Facilities will include TV, DVD, Internet access (hopefully broadband), and if there are more than 30 participants (as it seems to be now) we will try use a separate apartment for all go related activities. We will try to offer beds and soft mattresses to everyone. We will also hire a separate person to take care of practical arrangements, such as side activities, sightseeing, and domestic travel. Rooms will be shared by 2 people, or 3 people in larger rooms (single rooms will cost 110€ extra / month).

Side activities may include Chinese lessons, taiji, martial arts and calligraphy, and others but this depends completely on interest and in your own creativity. Costs for these lessons may be around 1-5€ / hour. It will be charged at actual cost to hire the teachers. We will offer a short free Chinese crash course at the start of the trip. While our "official language" is English, we do believe that your benefit will increase from trying to learn some Chinese before and during the trip.

In addition, we will try to arrange sightseeing activities in and around Beijing, and as described above, there will be someone available to help you with domestic travel. These activities will also be charged at actual cost. A single day trip is estimated at 10-20€ including food, depending on distance.

To facilitate for us, we ask that you pay €100 before, or at the start of the trip, to cover sightseeing and side activities. Otherwise, we will charge 20% extra for each activity, as it involves extra work for us to collect money every time. Of course, any of this money not used will be refunded the last week of the trip.

Certainly, many more activities are possible, and we will do our best to help you with them. They include football, karaoke, basket, swimming, badminton, tennis, ping pong, and pool. By the way, a beer is around 0.20€ in Chinese stores. I know some of you will like that, although I am not a big drinker. However, going out for shish-kebab and beer at midnight is not bad. Many will probably enjoy going out to a bar or dance club as well, or just a (quiet?) party in the apartments.

Food is quite cheap in China, at around 1-2€ for a regular visit to a restaurant, so you may be able to afford something extra. Western food and fast food is available, but expect western food to be a little more expensive (quite cheap anyway). Vegetarian choices are usually plentiful too. 5€/day is a reasonable budget for food, if you want to get by cheaply.

Everything else is also quite cheap, and many of the participants this year discussed the possibility of going to China with an empty suitcase (or buy the suitcase in China too), and buying everything you need there. If you can afford it, you are likely to save 2/3 of your regular clothes budget, and the quality is generally good, as long as you are careful with what you buy.

Go related activities

This is the focus of the trip, and while not everyone may want to play go every day, we will try to cater those who want to.

Bao Yun, 2p, and now a university student, is our main teacher, and will be teaching many weekdays, in smaller groups. Topics will include mostly every possible aspect of the game. We have tried to offer lectures with some of his commentary this fall on KGS, and will try to offer some more such commentaries during spring. To get an idea of Bao Yuns strength, suffice to say that he has beaten several players on KGS, playing with a handicap corresponding to 10d level. He is also able to play blind go!

The other teachers will mainly be recruited from the top universities of Beijing, and includes former professionals and Chinese 5 and 6d that are around the same level as the top European players. We hope that Cheng Lan, who is around the same level as Bao Yun, and who taught this year, will be teaching this year too, and while it looks hopeful that he will, it is nothing we can guarantee.

In addition, we try to arrange a few special visits from other high rated professionals.

Teaching will be conducted in the apartments, and will be both in the form of lectures, simultaneous and single games and game reviews. Participants will be divided into groups according to strength for the lectures. Lectures will generally be in English, while we will try to promote the use of Chinese go terms, and may arrange a few lectures in Chinese so that you learn some Chinese too.

In addition, we will arrange several other go related trips, to go clubs, schools, home schools for practice and friendship games and the Chinese go association and other places to watch professional tournaments. We will also invite players to come and play and study with us in the apartments.

I don't think anyone will be disappointed with the go playing arrangements, whether you come to play 1 hour per day or 8, and whether you just want to enjoy go or you want to improve a lot during the trip.

Costs (final)

1 månad: 13500 kr
2 månader: 16500 kr

+900 kr för sightseeing och sidoaktiviteter (personligt "konto")
(+1000 kr / månad för enkelrum)

Other countries:
1500€ (1 month)
1900€ (2 months)
(700€ deducted in you arrange your own ticket)

+100€ individual "account" for sightseeing and side activities
(+110€/month for single room)

If you are in an non-EU country, please convert the cost in Euros to your own currency. The numbers include everything but food costs.

We encourage you to travel with us from Stockholm, and arrange your own connection to Stockholm, as it will make the arrangements easier for us, as well as for you.

We have included the discount for paying early. We will ask that you pay 1000 kr or 100€ to our account in January. The flight will be paid in middle March, and the rest of the balance in May.

As participation and facilities is somewhat limited, and we expect there may be more participants this time than the last, we urge you to register in January, although we will do our best to cater you even if you are unable to register this early. Compared to the above fees, it will cost 50€ extra until March 15, and another 75€ after March 15, if possible to arrange at all.

Any participant from this year will get the above fees until March 15, but we hope you will contact us as soon as possible too, even if you are not able to commit yet.


Copy and paste the registration form below into an email, and send to china@gongames.com.

A. General
A1. Surname + Family name
A2. Age
A3. Go strength + system you reached this strength in
A4. How long have you played go?
A5. KGS nickname (if any)

B. Contact information
B1. e-mail
B2. Adress
B3. City
B4. Country
B5. Phone

C. General
C1. How long do you wish to participate? (2 months, 1st month, 2nd month, other (please give dates))
C2. Do you wish to arrange your own flight? (No (recommended), Yes)
C3. How much Chinese do you know?
(Almost all teaching will be in English, so knowledge of Chinese is no requirement.)
C4. What is your main priority/ies during the trip?
C5. Special requests, requirements (single room, room for family etc., may involve additional costs)

D. Registration (choose one option)
1) I pay 100€/1000 kr in January (you will get more information about how to pay later)
2) I wish to register later, but I intend to go if possible.
3) I haven't decided yet, please keep me updated with more information.
4) I don't think I can go, but please add me to the mailing list

E. Tell us a little about yourself: occupation, hobbies, previous visits to China, special diets or allergies, or anything else you think is relevant or interesting (even if you have already given this information, we would prefer if you give it again, to have it stored in one place).

F. Personal information
Do you permit that we give some of your personal information on the website? We intend to publish name, country, email (for future contact) and some general information about the participants that allow it.

-----Fill out this form-----

Participation form






Posts: 773
Joined: 07 May 2004, 12:47
Location: Hasslö, Blekinge

Post by mohsart »

Hur bindande är uppgifterna?
Jag har fått klart från jobbet att åka en månad, men det är svårt att få dem att godkänna två månader definitivt, såhär tidigt...
Carl Johan
Posts: 174
Joined: 07 May 2004, 12:41

Post by Carl Johan »

Hur länge du stannar är inte bindande förrän i mars, men är du inte säker, så ange i så fall det.

De som betalar 1000 kr i januari kan inte få de pengarna tillbaka senare, det är en säkerhet för oss så att vi kan vara lite lugnare i planeringen.
Posts: 104
Joined: 07 May 2004, 14:45

Post by bluesmurf »

Om och när kan man förvänta sig en tydligare specifikation gällande avresedatumet? Som det är nu så står det att det kan variera inom ett område på 6 dagar, vilket är ganska stort när det gällr planering av en sådan har aktivitet. Då jag tar studenten den 10e hoppas jag naturligtvis på ett datum efter detta.
-fel +rätt
Carl Johan
Posts: 174
Joined: 07 May 2004, 12:41

Post by Carl Johan »

Vi siktar på avresa den 11:e om möjligt. Även den 10:e eller 12:e är tänkbart. Du kan förstås åka med ett annat flyg ett par dagar senare, om du inte vill missa studenten.

Anledningen till att vi inte spikar datumet redan nu är att det kan vara begränsad tillgång till flygbiljetter vissa dagar.
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