Would you help us celebrate Chinese New Year?

A request to all our readers and friends:

My name is Lisa Matthews and I am the Special Projects Coordinator for the Robeson County Public Library System in North Carolina. We would love to continue to offer the patrons of our rural community fun and exciting programs.

Our rural community is the third poorest making us the poorest in North Carolina. Our patrons are suffering. We are planning on having an event for Chinese New Year and other programs for adults and kids. Would you consider donating any items to help us celebrate? If you have samples or any items even with defects we would gladly take them off your hands.

Thanks so much for your time.

Lisa Matthews,


101 N Chestnut Street

Lumberton, North Carolina


P.S. Tax letters will be sent.

Our Favorite Documentary about the Middle Kingdom: Wild China

Wild China DVD

Our favorite documentary about the Middle Kingdom, Wild ChinaWild China takes you on a breathtaking journey of this land, its natural beauty and its people.

From the BBC Video series, if you enjoyed Planet Earth and Blue Planet, you will love Wild China!

The two-disc series includes 6 Episodes:

  • Heart of the Dragon
  • Shangri La
  • Tibet
  • Land of the Panda
  • Beyond the Great Wall
  • Tides of Change
This wonderful production is available from Amazon:

Watch a clip from Wild China.

Yangtze River Dam to reach full capacity for the first time

The Yangtze River Three Gorges Dam Project is expected to raise the water level to its maximum target of 175 meters (575 feet) for the first time this week.  Although it has worked at nearly full capacity for the past year, water levels had stopped short of the 175 meter maximum target due to droughts and other factors in the lower reaches. 

More on our visit to the  Three Gorges Dam and crossing of the locks. 

Need Advice for Beijing and Great Wall Toboggan

I really enjoyed reading your blog. I am 9 and have moved to Bangkok for my Dad's work. My mother, my little brother and I want to go to Beijing to see the Great Wall. Do you feel safe in Beijing and is the tobbogan safe? Some people say it is dangerous but I REALLY want to do it! Do you have any tips for kids in Beijng? I would love your feedback.

Thank you,
Anna Olivia in Bangkok

Dear Anna Olivia,

I was 7 when I first went to Beijing, I remember my mom being all freaked out with the traffic and people not obeying the traffic lights.  Beijing is a safe city but like all big cities, you always need to be careful, mostly with the crazy traffic and the pick-pockets that might try to get your money, and the vendors at the stalls that also try to get you to buy everything.   The main tourist places and public transportation can get very crowded, so you need to take care of your little brother so he doesn't run around!

Beijing is one of my favorite cities,  what I enjoyed most was zipping around the Hutongs in a rickshaw,  seeing the Pandas at the Beijing Zoo, the  Kung Fu Show, and of course the Toboggan at the Great Wall.

Regarding the Great Wall Toboggan, you need to go to the Mutianyu section of the wall, this is where the toboggan is.  It is very safe and there is safety personnel stationed all the way the toboggan route, mainly telling the ones that were going too fast to slow down and the ones taking pictures to stop doing that.    I wasn't tall enough then and had to ride with my dad, he let me operate the brake and it wasn't difficult.   You control your own speed and can go slow if you want, just tell the person behind you to wait a while before going down, otherwise some people that want to go fast get very impatient behind you.  So depending on your height they might let you go alone or you will have to go with an adult. It was a lot of fun and definitely you have to do it.

Hope you have a fun trip, please write back tell us all about it  and send us some pics! 

Christopher (10)

The Shanghai Expo 2010 has opened!

With a final total of 189 countries participating in this great event and bringing their best to the world, the long-awaited Shanghai World Expo 2010 is finally underway.

 Photo from the official site at expo2010.cn

In a spectacular ceremony with thousands of watchers and prominent international dignitaries, fireworks exploded and lit up the Bund, the waterfront promenade.

Performances featured world-renowned pianist Lang Lang and other international stars including Andrea Boccelli and Shinji Tanimura. And this is only the beginning! More than 100 cultural performances are planned throughout the Expo site every day!!! There are more than 20,000 events earmarked for the entire 6 month run of this World Fair.

What if you can't attend? Expo will come to you. For the first time ever, there is an interactive online version of the Expo. You can take a virtual Site Tour, Zone A is the center of the country pavillions. There are online games, puzzles, etc. Visit Expo Shanghai Online here.