CERS constructed its first multi-purpose center in China’s Yunnan Province. The Center is a 45-minute flight from the provincial capital of Kunming and is ten kilometers outside of the town of Zhongdian, also known as Shangri-la. A woman in her traditional costume walking by the reservoirThe Tibetan-style wooden edifice stands as the foot of a hill next to a protected pine and fir forest overlooking the nearby Napahai Black-necked Crane Nature Reserve. Gongbing, a Tibetan village home to about sixty families, is within walking distance. Two natural springs issue from the ground belonging to CERS. The three-storey building encompasses over 1,500 square meters of space devoted to the Society’s various functions.
The peaceful environment and idyllic setting make it the ideal location to conduct research on every aspect of remote China. It will host scholars and students of science and the arts, the social sciences and the humanities. Adequate space featuring full projection facilities has been put aside for seminars and conferences. Ten rooms, each with an individual bathroom, are available for use by select scholars and associates of CERS. An all-wood lodge with two units, each with its own loft and fireplace, is set aside to support long term stay by Writers or Composers in residence. The office is equipped with modern equipment to provide back-up support for the administration of CERS projects and meet the needs of researchers.
There is also dormitory space, with communal bathroom, capable of housing up to 20 students. An activity room is provided for recreation and leisure hours. The Center has two fully-equipped kitchens, one for staff and the other able to cater to much larger group of visitors. Our Exhibition Gallery featuring an outstanding collection of artifacts.A large dining room can provide seating for over 40 guests. A Patron’s Suite has been put aside for CERS Directors and key patrons of the Society, so they can observe and review CERS’ work close up. Space for a library and a small museum and gallery has also been allocated. The museum space now displays some of the rarest artifacts and ethnographic objects collected by Wong How Man during his 30 years of exploration. There is also an archive of photographs.
The Center also plays a critical role in support of exploration logistics. The several storage rooms have substantial equipment and gear in storage to provide for small to large-scale expeditions. These include an array of scientific instruments, camera and video equipment, outdoor equipment like tents and sleeping bags, satellite and other communication gear, inflatable boats and canoes, climbing and caving equipment, medical supplies including a compression chamber for altitude sickness, and base camps that can house up to ten people. Expedition provisions are also kept on hand at all times.
Our garage and workshop provide enough space for our current fleet of Land Rover Defenders, are specially prepares and equipped for extreme terrain. Outside our main premises, there is a studio that provides a space for minority artists and craftsman to work and teach their crafts to young interns and apprentices. Nearby is adequate space for future expansion, including buildings dedicated to sharing the diversity of China’ nature and culture, the history of exploration in China, and the results of CERS’ long years of involvement in China’s remote regions.