Bàn tú ér fèi 半途而废: To Leave Something Unfinished

Bàn tú ér fèi,半途而废.

It means to leave something unfinished.

This Chinese idiom somewhat sums up my recent work on the blog. I’ve written a lot of new texts and I’ve selected a lot of photos to go with them. However, I haven’t been able to put them together. Hopefully in the next few weeks they all will be finished.

In the meantime enjoy this very apt idiom (成语 Chengyŭ): Bàn tú ér fèi半途而废


Coming up (when finished):

Yushu town (Qinghai Province)

The Yangtse River 1991 & 2009 compared. A day to day account of how it was sailing from Shanghai to Chongqing in 1991. And our more recent adventure last year from Chongqing to Yichang.

Chongqing : The City

Book review: Beijing Coma by Ma Jian

Zhaozhou Bridge, Hebei Province,  old text re-done.

Yushu to Manigango via Serxu

Jiuhuashan 2001

and more ………..

No Sky Burials Please! The plane is landing.

Zhira Gompa (吉然寺) –Yushu – Qinghai Province.

What’s a Sky Burial?

“Sky burial or ritual dissection was once a common funerary practice in Tibet wherein a human corpse is cut in specific locations and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to the elements or the mahabhuta and animals – especially to birds of prey. In Tibet the practice is known as jhator (Tibetan: བྱ་གཏོར་; Wylie: bya gtor), which literally means, “giving alms to the birds.”


The majority of Tibetans adhere to Buddhism, which teaches rebirth. There is no need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel. Birds may eat it, or nature may let it decompose. So the function of the sky burial is simply the disposal of the remains. In much of Tibet the ground is too hard and rocky to dig a grave, and with fuel and timber scarce, a sky burial is often more practical than cremation.” (quote taken from Wiki-pedia)

The grisly details and other considerations.

I’ve never gone out of my way to see a Sky Burial, though I’ve had the opportunity. In Litang, Continue reading “No Sky Burials Please! The plane is landing.”