Thai Air News Newsletter from
1 March 2004
The next newsletter will be published on 7 May 2004 and will be devoted to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
China. Markets and Art.
In this issue of the newsletter we bring you a collection of fascinating information about China, ranging from a language created by women, through calligraphy to a tour of street markets, plus a Chinese rail timetable. We would also like to remind you that we only send this newsletter to people who have actually sent us an email requesting it. We do not release email addresses to any third party and we only use the addresses for sending out this newsletter.
Although the holiday season is rapidly approaching there are still excellent prices available on flights and hotels, so don't forget you can easily find cheap air fares from any starting point to any destination, using the Connected Globe Flight Finder. For accommodation, you can find real bargains in good hotels if you book with Agoda.
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is organising a "Fly THAI with Thai Artists" campaign during which First Class and Business Class passengers will have an opportunity to have their portraits drawn by leading Thai artists while airborne. The programme, in conjunction with Silpakorn University, will take place from 14 February - 9 April 2004.

Full details are available on the Thai Airways International page:
Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is adding three new destinations as well as rerouting and increasing flights for the new summer timetable starting 28 March 30 October 2004. The new destinations are Milan in Italy, Jihong (Xixongpanna) in China, and Bangalore in India.

Full details are available on the Thai Airways International page:
Thai Airways International
Nushu is a beautiful script which was created hundreds of years ago by unschooled, rural, peasant women in Jiang Yong Prefecture, Hunan Province, China. There are so many unanswered questions surrounding this script, that Orie Endo, a Japanese University professor, invites you to Journey with him into the mysterious and fascinating world of Nushu--an extremely important and valuable part of global women's culture and is now threatened with extinction. Orie Endo's account of how Nushu developed from the sadness of young women being forced from their idyllic teenage years into the "hell of married life" is drawn from the stories of these same women, now very old, recapturing the memories of their youth.
You can find this fascinating article at:
Introduction to Nushu
In China, the style in which an individual writes has long been believed to communicate something essential about his or her personality, intellect, and abilities. East Asian calligraphy was established as a "high art" form well before the Tang dynasty. It has continuously enjoyed a high status among the arts ever since, and is practiced today by many people, including every school-aged child. This link looks at the calligraphy in China up through the Tang dynasty, with an emphasis on the Six Dynasties and Tang. It was during this period that calligraphy first began to flourish as an art form. By the Later Han, the basic script types had been created, and no new types developed after this time. The site is part of A Visual Sourcebook for Chinese Civilization and contains a wealth of well written information. You can find it at:
The exhibition Taoism and the Arts of China was on view at The Art Institute of Chicago from November 4, 2000, to January 7, 2001, and at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco from February 21 to May 13, 2001. This was the first major exhibition of Taoist art in the United States, showcasing 151 works of art illustrating many facets of the Taoist religion. The exhibition included paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, porcelain, lacquer, and ritual robes and implements from museums and private collections in the United States, Europe, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. This link takes you to the exhibition web site which includes not only much fascinating material but also lots of classroom projects suitable for students, including lots of references and further reading. A most interesting site, well worth visiting.

The link you need is:
Taoism and the Arts of China
In 1985, the government took a bold step -- it withdrew entirely from trying to control production and distribution of non-staple crops, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and it dissolved the People's Communes, allowing farmers to decide what to grow and allowing the market to set prices. What developed from there was a "free market" system that is flourishing in China today and that accounts for the abundance of cheap, fresh produce that's available throughout the country.
Thus starts this fascinating site which gives a photo-illustrated guide to the street markets of China. The site is very comprehensive and contains lots of information useful if you are thinking of exploring the markets yourself.

The link you need is:
Photo essay about Free Markets
In 2001 Duncan Peattie published the first edition of his Chinese Railway Timetable. This translates available timetable information into English, and also converts the information into the style of a British or European railway timetable, from the somewhat incomprehensible Chinese format. The timetable is now into its third edition, with the fourth planned for publication in June 2004.
For many travellers, both potential and actual, it contains far more information than is required. Duncan therefore developed the FREE 'quick reference' timetable, which shows direct, air conditioned trains running between a selection of major Chinese cities. The timetable is set out in the 'quick reference' format used in airline timetables.

For many travellers the information in this timetable will be sufficient. This quick reference timetable is made freely available to assist travellers with journey planning. But the trains in this timetable represent a small fraction of trains running in China. More information can be found in Duncan's Chinese Railway Timetable, which lists every train shown in the official timetable (over 2,400) plus some others. The timetable contains many useful features, including an index map, an index (in Pinyin and Chinese characters) to the over 850 stations shown, information about travelling by train in China and a copyable, bilingual booking form to assist with the purchase of train tickets.

Due to its size and complexity the full timetable is not a free publication, but I believe that it offers good value for money. The timetable is available either in printed form (size A4 or A5 - 147 pages) or as two .pdf files (total size 1.64MB). The .pdf version costs GBP9; the printed version costs GBP15 or 18 post paid dependent on size and destination.
Payment may be made in various currencies and by various methods, including the possibility of credit card payment. Please contact Duncan, stating your location and mentioning ConnectedGlobe's Thai Air Newsletter, for full details.
Email address: Please put 'CTT' in the subject line.
If you do not receive a timely reply please contact
Postal address:
Duncan Peattie (CTT)
29 Watford Field Road
Watford WD18 0BH
United Kingdom

The link to the FREE quick reference timetable is:
Chinese Rail Timetable
For useful books on travel, you will find a comprehensive listing with prices and reviews on my books page (with links to buy direct from on:
There is excellent hotel accommodation available in China at international standards. However, you don't need to pay international prices. There are substantial discounts available if you know where to look. Our research suggests that the best deals are usually available from the Agoda reservations system which you can find on:
Back issues of this newsletter are available. You can find them on:

The countries covered in other issues are:
Far East Air Fare deals from ConnectedGlobe
There are some excellent prices to be found on flights to China. For flights originating anywhere in the world use the ConnectedGlobe fare finder page.
Other Useful Links

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