Hello from Beijing, China

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Romainpek

Hello from Beijing, China

Post by Romainpek »

Hi,

I'm a French expat living in Beijing for the last 14 years.

Just bought a Klepper Aerius II last week, with the sail option. I hope to find other Beijing kayakers, but it might prove difficult...

Bye

Romain

Christov_Tenn

Post by Christov_Tenn »

Hello from Tennessee,

I know the guys from Pakboats visit the factory in China fairly often, but I can't think of the name of that city. Additionally, a Chinese company manufactures and sells a folding kayak called Atlatl, at Qingdao (but I have no idea where Qindao is in relation to Beijing), according to Chris Wilkes' photo album here: http://foldingkayaks.org/gallery/album74
Finally, my guess is that some of the representatives of outdoor gear companies that have outscourced their fabrication to China may also kayak/canoe.

One kayaker I know who travels to China fairly often told me the levels of pollution in rivers and lakes are pretty high, and that the Chinese, themselves, typically don't engage in pleasure boating upon them because the water tends to be rank, and because of government restrictions about where one may and may not walk about, boat, explore, and so forth.

Of course, you're there, so you undoubtedly have better information vis-a-vis water quality and boating regulations or restrictions. Possibly a local university has a paddling or outdoor club.

Good luck, and welcome,

Chris

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tsunamichuck
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
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Post by tsunamichuck »

I am sorry you are in Beijing
I have paddled at Beidahe and Qingwandao (sp) when I visitted my inlaws a few years back. I may go back and will bring my kayak. I rowed around The Summer Palace, and would consider paddling there. I wanted to paddle an Longxinsha( sp) sp but those little *%$#&*^minor officials would not allow me to launch.
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Romainpek

Post by Romainpek »

Thank you Christov_Tenn and tsunamichuck,

Christov : I did not know there were Chinese-made folding kayaks. I checked the Atlatl website, it seems interesting, even if the part "why design" is a bit Cinderella-like. They don't do double kayaks yet.

Regarding pollution, the lakes close to where I live are dark and smelly. Many have been emptied since their picture was uploaded on Google Earth. Rivers are totally out of the question, as they are either dried up or changed into giant sewers.

However, by driving 100 km east, there is an OK lake, made 4 years ago, and if you push to 135 km, a bit further than the Eastern Qing Tombs, there is a nice lake, with reasonably transparent water, where you can see the Great Wall and stay over for the night in little bungalows. That's where I went yesterday, to try my Klepper Sail for the first time !

tsunamichuck : why sorry ? :) I want to try Qinhuangdao myself next spring, there is a new "Beijing Sailing Center" that was established this year. It's about 300 km south east of Beijing. It's good you tried at Longjingxia for me, as I was considering a day trip there. Miyun lake and Huairou lake are also forbidden. I'm quite sure they won't let you launch your kayak in any public park, even if rowboats are there for rental. I tried to negociate the right to paddle in the lake of the State Planning Commission Recreation Center, no way. I went also to the Rowing and Canoeing Olympic Center but it is forbidden to the public...

Imagine the crowd you would attract anyway by assembling your kayak in the Summer Palace ! :D

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chrstjrn
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
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Post by chrstjrn »

Hats off to you for keeping a sense of humor about it.
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

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chrstjrn
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1718
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)

Post by chrstjrn »

http://tinyurl.com/yw9xqd

I haven't gotten far past the first page, but it gives a good idea.
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

Romainpek

Post by Romainpek »

Hi chrstjrn,

I have a friend living in Wuxi, and he basically had to flee to Shanghai for more than one week as he couldn't use tap water to cook or take a shower anymore, the water was stinking.

His comment was : you can live fine without electricity, but not without tap water...

jcwlx

Post by jcwlx »

Hi Romain,
Chris here. I just e-mailed you after seeing your photo in the Gallery and your Sailing section questions in the Forum. Then I found your "Introduction". Let's try to get together in Beijing for a day of Klepper paddling/sailing next summer....I'd love to see a fairly clean body of water in China, too! Someone commented on my photos, posted in the Photo Gallery, at the Atlyak factory in Qingdao (you will definitely know where Qingdao is...but he didn't...Shandong and home of Tsingtao Beer of course) with Ning Wang in 2005 I believe. Unfortunately, I believe Ning may not be producing kayaks any more, and is back in the logistics business, and possibly some engineering design consulting/contracing business. I talked to him on Skype about a year ago, but have not contacted him since. I can give you his e-mail and Skype address if you'd be interested. By the way, you probably know there is a some kayaking done in Beijing on a small lake (called the "Rear Sea", I believe) not too far from the Imperial Palace. I have some photos with the name of the club (it's the Beijing Jinfanhouhai Waterborne Sporting Center).....perhaps you have some involvement with it? I saw no folding kayaks on their storage racks, though.....just old fibreglass kayaks. hope things go well ther n Beijing and you are not getting the terrible weaher they've been having in Hunan, Shanghai, Shanxi, etc. And happy Chinese New Year (tomorrow Feb 7)! By the way, I just dug out 16" of heavy wet snow here. What fun....waiting for sping and kayak weather! Best regards,
Chris

Romainpek

Post by Romainpek »

Hi Chris,

Welcome to hop aboard next time you're in Beijing !

Unfortunately, this is rather skiing season than kayaking season... I just came home from the two coldest ski days of my life... low was -25C, high was -15C, but then the wind started blowing... Lots of guys write "winter ? what winter ?" and then show pictures of themselves kayaking in the sun, but until Klepper releases its ice-breaker kit, I'm stuck doing something else.

Hou Hai (back or rear sea) is in downtown Beijing, I heard there is a kind of "biathlon" staged there, with running and paddling. I like wilder, cleaner and further away, but I might have a look when the ice thaws.

jcwlx

Post by jcwlx »

Hi Romain,
Did you go to Harbin for skiing? I have never skiied in China despite going there many times annually since 1983. I did live in Labrador City, Canada for 3 years and experienced snow every month of the year, and one 4 week period with a high of -36 C....we routinely skiied in the -20C's....crazy! That's why I don't live there anymore. Give me "soft water", and a paddle please. OK, I'll look you up next time I'm in Beijing, and we'll try to do a day paddli'/sailin' next summer. Yes, the Rear Sea is not much (small, dirty, and busy), but it's the only kayaking I'd seen in China through the years , except for the very limited amount up in Qingdao with Ning Wang of Atlyak/Atlatl fame; and out at Sand National Park, near Yinchuan, Ning Xia. Later.......

jcwlx

Post by jcwlx »

Romain,
I just posted some photos of the HouHai Sea in Beijing and the Waterborne Sports center under the Ning Wang album. Not a really pretty place.

Romainpek

Post by Romainpek »

Hi Chris,

My Beijing kayak lakes are all (the 3 of them !) listed here : viewtopic.php?t=1587

I went skiing in Wanlong Ski Resort, 260 km away, situated North-East of Zhang Jia Kou.

jcwlx

Post by jcwlx »

Hi Romain,
These look like very pretty lakes. I can't find them on the large scale map I have....I'll try Google Earth a little later.

Now Zhang Jia Kou, I know all too well. I use a steel foundry called Hebei North Precision in Zhang Jia Kou. First visit was in February about 4 years ago, and it started snowing as we were about to leave at 7:00 pm for the drive back to Beijing. It took us about 4-1/2 hours through the heaviest truck traffic I have ever been in.....as all the trucks from the north begin heading into Beijing for the 10:00 p.m. "end of truck traffic curfew" in Beijing. The driver we had was nuts, driving as fast as he could while dodging trucks by inches. And I had the "suicide seat"! Enough said....somehow we got home. And I learned two things: 1) Know your driver well in China, at least by a good reference, before engaging. 2) Never leave Zhang Jia Kou later than 4:00 pm for going back to BJ. I'm glad yyou got back ok, too.

BTW, I noticed in the last photo paddlin with your wife and your daughter, that you did not have the rudder installed...because of you daughter not allowing the foot pedals, or do younot usually use it? I paddled my Klepper for the first 2 seasons without the rudder, perhaps because of all my canoe experience, but then fell in love with it. I never go without it now. Just wondered.....

Chris

Romainpek

Post by Romainpek »

You'll see the lakes on Google Earth without difficulty. That's how I checked their coordinates.

The freeway to and back from Zhangjiakou was very empty as we went during the Chinese New Year :D

The lady on the picture is not my wife, but a friend of hers, the little girl is my daughter.

As for rudder, as it was my first kayak trial, I did not bring it with me. I tried it since and it works very well, but with it, it's true it's impossible to add a kid as I'm using the pedals.

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