Guiyang Jazz

This is Guiyang Jazz. Martin, an Australian, has loved music all his life. He plays with Chinese musicians and brings his jazzy friends up from Australia to play at the Obsession Jazz bar, on Wenchang Beilu. Live Jazz  ( Alt Link ) . It is right across from the Wenchang Castle in the old part of town. It is a multicultural experience with Chinese and foreigners together in the same Jazz Bar venue. Martin has drawn from many parts of the globe, including from England to Australia. Guiyang Jazz, like all Jazz has it roots in the south of the USA. Martin even pulls in Americans to play drums, horns, and one of my favorites, the zydeco. The zydeco is sometimes referred to as a Louisiana washboard Zydeco  ( Alt Link ).

Guiyang jazz seems to be coming up in the jazz world. Guiyang Report

Gaotie and Bus from new Dongzhan

Two engines for a long Gaotie train.

I recently discovered that Guiyang has a fourth rail station. We.had one conventional rail station during the sixteen years since I first visited Guiyang in 2000. Then there were three with the addition of a high speed rail station at the new airport and the north high speed rail Station called Beizhan. I just arrived at  the East Station (Dongzhan), from Kaili, about 110 miles away.. It has been open for a couple months. Now there are four train stations . . . one conventional and three high speed rail (300 kph or 186 mph). The high speed rail is called Gaotie, which loosely translates as “High Iron”.

The infrastructure investment is very aggressive here, We have had three train stations and a replacement air terminal open in the last three years. A ring road and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line circling the city has also been completed during that period.

Cost in time and cash of yesterday’s trip from Kaili is as follows:Kaili kindargarten to train Station, 30 minutes and 4 rmb; Kaili rail station to Guiyang rail station, 35 minutes and 53.5 rmb; Guiyang East Station to my home by bus, 21 minutes and 2 rmb. The short walk to my apartment cost seven minutes and about 16 calories (no cost, calories were borrowed from surplus). It took about an hour and a half including wait times for buses and trains. Total cost from kindergarten to home, about 130 miles was just about 60 rmb, or approx. $9.50.



Macao by Gaotie (Fast Train)

I was about to post what an uneventful (pleasant) trip to Macao I had when I had occasion to find out what happens when a passenger loses a ticket. In short, you go to the ticket office, show your passport, and buy your replacement ticket. You can then get a refund in the place where you bought your ticket. I had removed my overcoat with the ticket and remembered it before forking over the 337.50 RMB for another full fare ticket.

This is the Zhuhai Railway Station. It is right next to the border crossing (Gongbei Port).

So the cost of a bullet train (Gaotie) ticket from Guiyang is less than a plane ticket. On a good day, the plane ticket costs about 900 RMB round trip (rt). The Gaotie ticket costs 675 RMB rt every day.

Comparing plane vs train is interesting. The plane is about 1.5 to 2 hours flight time compared to about 6 for the train. The train takes about twenty minutes for the security check and boarding time, while the plane takes two hours to be safe. At the destination the plane needs another hour to park and retrieve bags. It’s about five minutes for the train.

This is the Gongbei Port border crossing. It takes about five minutes to walk from the railway station into the border crossing building.

I need to cross the Chinese border every 60 days to stay legal under my tourist visa. So arriving by plane in Zhuhai or Shenzhen still leaves me at least an hour from my border crossing (Hong Kong airport is cost prohibitive). The Zhuhai/Macao border crossing is only a 5 minute walk from the train station. The two parcels are literally adjacent to each other. There is no need for a taxi or bus.

Market for Self Driving Cars

The market for self driving cars (Autonomous Vehicles)  is growing rapidly and is particularly active in the USA and Europe.  Guiyang, as referenced elsewhere on this site (see: is ideally suited to promote this technology in China. Here is what is happening in the USA and Europe:

Guiyang Virtual Reality Theme Park

This photo reminds me of a Godzilla movie.

The Guiyang Virtual Reality Theme Park may already be open. I have been curious since going by a big transformer, which I took to be about seven stories high when I recently posted it to Facebook. In fact it is about seventeen stories high. It’s so big that you can’t tell how big it is. After trying to take photos from the bus, I found that the Guiyang East Bus Station provided an adequate view. It can also give perspective by looking at the signs and cars in front of it. My sister complained that I haven’t kept her up to date on Guiyang happenings because she has been reading about this project in the West. I checked China Daily and found this article: .  Apparently Reuters recently ran a story on it which caught her attention: . also:] 5,694

Well if this is what it takes to get my sister to come back to Guiyang for a visit, then I say it is a billion rmb well spent!

I’ll try to find out more about this place and post it here. Meanwhile, Guiayang is racking up a number of impressive man-made firsts: 1) There’s the worlds tallest bridge , 2) The worlds biggest telescope: , 3) Worlds first Virtual Reality Theme Park, and 4) The worlds first seventeen story transformer. I finally found out what the Chinese call him — JiCheRen . Plane, car, man . . .  Makes sense.


The Mighty Arduino Uno

The MIghty Arduino

I finally got around to getting serious with my Arduino. It's a cheap little computer that can be made to behave as a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and literally control machinery. I bought the machine in June of 2016 and finally got a couple teens interested in working with me on it. See: . The kids are in the 14 to 16 range, really an "at risk" age. This is a "traffic light" application which is a beginner introduction to programming in C++. I am hoping to

Stop Light Coding

create a curriculum or some kind of club that promotes technology. If that doesn't happen, no problem.  Screwing around with these cute little computers is a very good way to spend time with kids. In about two hours, only one kid looked at his cell phone, one time.  Wow. This application created a stop light scenario where the program turned the red, yellow, and green lights on at appropriate times, as if it were a real traffic light.  Right now we are at the beginning, with plug and chug operations. We did teach input/output, circuits, positive/negative, and some other electronics. It is very cool.