Edwin Dingle's book China on Foot details his trip through Hong Kong and Shanghai, and finally into Tibet, where he would be one of the first Westerners to enter a Tibetan Monastery. There he learned certain advanced spiritual forms of yogic breathing and meditation, which later inform his spiritual practices. Later Dingle would change his name (who wouldn't?) to "Ding Le Mei," which was given to him by his spiritual guide in Tibet. This book is a recount of his trip through China in the early 1900s, and is good as a travelogue for that period: it's entertaining, has a solid amount of detail about cities and villages, contains elements of China's geography, politics, religion, native peoples, animals, and the difficulty of traveling through such unforgiving territory. Dingle falls into the category of gentleman explorers of China for whom the journey was far greater than the destination, preparation was minimal, and caution was ultimately thrown to the wind.
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CHINA ON FOOT
Copyright © 2017 by Edwin Dingle.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.
While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.
For information contact :
Sheba Blake Publishing
Book and Cover design by Sheba Blake Publishing
First Edition: January 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
To travel in China is easy. To walk across China, over roads acknowledgedly worse than are met with in any civilized country in the two hemispheres, and having accommodation unequalled for crudeness and insanitation, is not easy. In deciding to travel in China, I determined to cross overland from the head of the Yangtze Gorges to British Burma on foot; and, although the strain nearly cost me my life, no conveyance was used in any part of my journey other than at two points described in the course of the narrative. For several days during my travels I lay at the point of death. The arduousness of constant mountaineering_--_for such is ordinary travel in most parts of Western China_--_laid the foundation of a long illness, rendering it impossible for me to continue my walking, and as a consequence I resided in the interior of China during a period of convalescence of several months duration, at the end of which I continued my cross-country tramp. Subsequently I returned into Yün-nan from Burma, lived again in Tong-ch'uan-fu and Chao-t'ong-fu, and traveled in the wilds of the surrounding country. Whilst traveling I lived on Chinese food, and in the Miao country, where rice could not be got, subsisted for many days on maize only.
My sole object in going to China was a personal desire to see China from the inside. My trip was undertaken for no other purpose. I carried no instruments (with the exception of an aneroid), and did not even make a single survey of the untrodden country through which I occasionally passed. So far as I know, I am the only traveler, apart from members of the missionary community, who has ever resided far away in the interior of the Celestial Empire for so long a time.
Most of the manuscript for this book was written as I went along>--a good deal of it actually by the roadside in rural China. When my journey was completed, the following news paragraph in the North China Daily News (of Shanghai) was brought to my notice:--
"All the Legations (at Peking) have received anonymous letters from alleged revolutionaries in Shanghai, containing the warning that an extensive anti-dynastic uprising is imminent. If they do not assist the Manchus, foreigners will not be harmed; otherwise, they will be destroyed in a general massacre.
"The missives were delivered mysteriously, bearing obliterated postmarks.
"In view of the recent similar warnings received by the Consuls, uneasiness has been created."
The above appeared in the journal quoted on June 3rd, 1910. The reader, in perusing my previously written remarks on the spirit of reform and how far it has penetrated into the innermost corners of the empire, should bear this paragraph in mind, for there is more Boxerism and unrest in China than we know of. My account of the Hankow riots of January, 1911, through which I myself went, will, with my experience of rebellions in Yün-nan, justify my assertion.
I should like to thank all those missionaries who entertained me as I proceeded through China, especially Mr. John Graham and Mr. C.A. Fleischmann, of the China Inland Mission, who transacted a good deal of business for me and took all trouble uncomplainingly. I am also indebted to Dr. Clark, of Tali-fu, and to the Revs. H. Parsons and S. Pollard, for several photographs illustrating that section of this book dealing with the tribes of Yün-nan.
I wish to express my acknowledgments to several well-known writers on far Eastern topics, notably to Dr. G.E. Morrison, of Peking, the Rev. Sidney L. Hulick, M.A., D.D., and Mr. H.B. Morse, whose works are quoted. Much information was also gleaned from other sources.
My thanks are due also to Mr. W. Brayton Slater and to my brother, Mr. W.R. Dingle, for their kindness in having negotiated with my publishers in my absence in Inland China; and to the latter, for unfailing courtesy and patience, I am under considerable obligation. "Across China on Foot" would have appeared in the autumn of 1910 had the printers' proofs, which were several times sent to me to different addresses in China, but which dodged me repeatedly, come sooner to hand_.
[Signature: Edwin Dingle]
HANKOW, HUPEH, CHINA.
The scheme. Why I am walking across Interior China. Leaving Singapore. Ignorance of life and travel in China. _The "China for the Chinese" cry_. The New China and the determination of the Government. The voice of the people. _The province of Yün-nan and the forward movement_. A prophecy. Impressions of Saigon. Comparison of French and English methods. _At Hong-Kong_. _Cold sail up the Whang-poo_. Disembarkation. Foreign population of Shanghai. Congestion in the city. _Wonderful Shanghai._
Through China from end to end. From Shanghai, 1,500 miles by river and 1,600 miles walking overland, from the greatest port of the Chinese Empire to the frontier of British Burma.
That is my scheme.
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