At the moment this group of projects is functioning as a not-for-profit organization promoting niche market tourism along the Silk Roads. Travelers are encouraged to meet with experts in your hobbies, dreams/passions and/or professions, along the Silk Roads. Sharing those experiences with the world via multi-media helps build cultural bridges that make the world a bit more friendly. However until registration of a non-profit organization for this project is complete, the two registered travel agents I know in Beijing and Chiang Mai are commercial. I on the other hand, worked as a reporter and journalist for 30 years, so I know how to help the traveler get the interviews, or lunches, or whatever with the experts they’d like to interview and know. If friendship blooms, so much the better. See contact page for more information.
Don’t let travel ads or tour companies determine your vacation plans.
Writer g. brundage in Dayahatyn Caravansarai – Silk Road Trading Center, now a half buried ghost town.
Ayutthaya lagoon, Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay
Hobbies, dreams/passions and/or professions come alive when meeting kindred spirits along the Silk Roads, and sharing those experiences with others via social media, magazines, journals, blogs, etc. is a meritorious thing.
This gem of a project started like many or most, by accident. Fact is Coach Stone went to primary schools in three countries starting at age 5 in 1961, had to fight a huge amount, then started martial arts training at age 12, loved it, started winning competitions, and traveling all around North America, Columbia and Ecuador in South America, and Europe, always training in one martial art or another. Then, while on vacation from teaching at a large private high school in Beijing in 2015, wondered: “I wonder if those Afghans like Kung Fu?” So he visited their embassy, got a visa, went to the airport and next thing you know there he was meeting and interviewing the masters of Kung Fu in Kabul!
After writing and publishing four exciting stories about all those adventures in Kung Fu Magazine published in California, he got to thinking some more, and the concept of the Silk Road Kung Fu Friendship Tour was born.
Later that year he was on a long bus through Kazakhstan and Coach Stone had another Eureka moment when he thought: “Wow! I love Taekwondo too!” We’re the oldest of friends! How could I do all this traveling and not also meet the Taekwondo Masters? That would be rude! Outrageous!”
So, after beating himself up for a while (about a millionth of a second) on the bus, he vowed to explore the wonderful world of Taekwondo right alongside his passion for and love of Kung Fu! And thus was born Silk Road Taekwondo Quest, with the series published in Taekwondo Times magazine also in the US.
Seven years later and fifteen, or sixteen or so countries later, in a hotel room in a small town in the Isan Region of Thailand near the Mekong river after work teaching at a public school, while he was busy making logos and websites for his seven-year twin passions, he thought: “Mmm! I’ve always been interested in medicine, and still do medical editing for doctors and professors in hospitals, universities and research centers, and have studied traditional holistic & naturopathic medical systems including herbal medicines, the evolution and physiological basis of acupuncture and acupressure, and so on, so why not cover traditional medicines everywhere as well?”
About two seconds later he thought: “Most of my articles cover visits to the most glorious Silk Road archeological sites, and museums; I often feature food, cultural highlights, including martial art competitions and festivals, weddings here and there, and so on.”
And thus was born the Silk Road Culture, Arts and Sciences and Sports Friendship Tours.
There was and for the moment, only one problem.
He doesn’t want to make any money. He tried explaining that to two friends and neither could understand even though it was perfectly obvious to him. This is what he said:
First, people’s desire to learn, and need sometimes to share, should not be controlled by someone with a profit motive. That would naturally lead to diminished desire to learn and stupider people.Coach Stone
Second, I wouldn’t want tour companies too narrowly focused trying to book every minute of a trip. Half of my fun comes from finding the masters. Of course I know the easiest ways now, but in Afghanistan? I and a couple of local friends just visited a few local Kung Fu schools in Kabul (there were maybe 50 – 75 in the city at that time, and more than a thousand around the country) and asked the teachers. We got the right phone numbers and the rest is in Kung Fu Magazine and those articles collected and published in books on Amazon.comCoach Stone
How to start?
- Evaluate your own dreams from childhood, favorite hobby/passion or profession, and start to plan a Silk Road Friendship Tour. Choose one, or two or three topic areas if you like. If you can, bring a friend with a childhood favorite hobby/passion or even profession, because two heads are better than one usually and it certainly possible and best to explore several “best locations” for your Silk Road Sport, Culture and/or Arts and/or Science Friendship Tour. Universities and professors are usually not difficult to contact, depending on the university semester schedules.
- Hopefully within the relatively near future I will be registering Silk Road Friendship Tours as a non-profit organization in at least two or three countries, possibly as a not-for-profit subsidiary of this company: Hainan Pioneer Silk Road Culture Education Consulting Ltd. (Hainan Pioneer Silk Road CEC Ltd.)
- In the meantime, if the reader of this page has one or two or three hobbies/passions in mind, and they are not illegal or unethical, has the time and resources to travel, and would like to try a Silk Road Friendship Tour, you are cordially invited to contact Coach Stone, his contact is here.
- It costs nothing. There are no papers to sign or logins. However, if the reader would like to use the Silk Road ______ Friendship Tour theme or logo for publications, videos, etc. please be so kind as to send Coach Stone:
– Your CV
– Copy of ID
– Three professional or academic reference names contacts that can be verified via email and phone numbers.
Again, I’m not looking for money, however I know people in quite a lot of countries, but most importantly, know the strategies for finding and getting to know the specific groups and individuals you might want to meet and interview, photograph/video, etc. to make your hobby, dream/passion and/or profession something you can share with others.
The SILK ROAD CULTURE, ARTS & SCIENCES FRIENDSHIP TOURS has an established and functioning travel business, run by Co-Founder of Hainan Pioneer Silk Road CEC Ltd. already covering all of Asia, Mrs. Ma Hui. Her husband also sold a travel company a few years ago he founded for a rather tidy sum I was told, at least enough to buy a new car and few other trinkets. Thus, they both knows the ropes for taking care of visas, transportation, accommodations, etc., and in many cases have at least a few friends here and there in most Asian countries.
How can we afford this?
Simple, for now I just explore how well prepared the traveler might be, and refer people as it only takes a few minutes, as I have always done.
As for the volunteer friends who work with me on the Silk Road Friendship Tours, until we get a non-profit registered they are independent business women who can help with visas, help with reservations at hotels/hostels, etc. if asked, take care of transportation from airport to hotels to destinations, etc. if asked however I’m sure each has some fees as well, however I never inquire about such things as I know them to be trustworthy.