THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY - HONG KONG
"To the Source of the Yellow River"
Wong How Man
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
2/F Olympic House, So Kong Po, Causeway Bay
Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
We are delighted to welcome again Wong How Man, China's greatest explorer and one of our most popular lecturers, to speak on his recent exciting expedition to find the source of the Yellow River. Following discovery of a definitive source for the Yangtze in 2005, the China Exploration & Research Society team returned to the Tibetan plateau to pursue their next geographic feat and, in 2007, found the long sought source of the mighty Mekong. Mr Wong now presents the story of another epic journey, to find the elusive source of the Yellow River, to complete the "Triple Crown" of Asian river sources.
The Yellow River is the cradle of Chinese civilisation, still feeding some 300 million people on its 5,000km journey to the Bohai Sea. The source of the river, though, like other important rivers in the world, has been under dispute for a long time.
The Chinese government endorsed a tributary with its source almost directly to the west of the twin lakes of Gyaring and Ngoring, with a stone tablet inscription by former President Jiang Jiming to mark the location. Remote sensing data analysis performed by CERS Earth System Scientist Martin Ruzek showed otherwise. Mr Ruzek is a former NASA Scientist, who helped CERS define the Yangtze and Mekong Rivers previously. Research conducted by another scientist from the Chinese Academy of Science Remote Sensing Institute concurred with this finding.
CERS launched an expedition with 18 members in June 2008 to verify the finding, which was achieved from space, to define the river on the ground. Despite having to pass through the heart of Sichuan's earthquake region, followed by a huge detour through the Qilian Mountains on the edge of the Gobi Desert, the expedition continued with its objective. The expedition also stopped for an interlude to join the Olympic Torch Run at Qinghai Lake.
Mr Wong led his team in a successful drive to the Yellow River source region, using an unconventional approach from west to east by crossing the Yangtze River drainage basin. After the final two-day march with their yak caravan, the team arrived to find out not only the real source of the river, but that the watershed of the Yellow River is only an amazing ten minutes walk from that of the Yangtze River.
As always with Mr. Wong's lectures, this lecture is illustrated with stunning photography and also a short film.
Wong How Man is Chairman of the China Research & Exploration Society. Being "China's most accomplished explorer", Time Magazine honoured Wong How Man as one of their 25 Asian Heroes in 2002. In a career spanning thirty years of exploration in remote China, Wong How Man is a veteran at the National Geographic, having led six major expeditions for the magazine. In 1986, he founded the China Exploration & Research Society, which expanded his exploration work to conservation of China's natural and cultural heritage. He has authored many books and his work has been featured often on CNN, National Geographic Channel and many other media.
Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$100 for Members and HK$150 for guests and others.