Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 6 months 3 weeks ago

The creation of a visitor's guide is the topic I chose for my inquiry project in Phase 0. I had a long list of various choices, and I considered each carefully before narrowing them down to my final topic. Now, in Phase 1, I will be referring to the knowledge I acquired in the past and posing questions that are essential in helping me better understand my topic.

Prior Knowledge
What do I already know about this topic?

There are a few things that I already know about visitor's guides. First off, I know that a guide's purpose is to help tourists enjoy and experience the best out of their travel destination. I also understand that visitor's guides can come in any form. They vary from websites, books, magazines, and videos. Inside the guides, the creators collect and offer the best restaurants, accommodations, and tourist attractions based on reviews from other travelers. In addition to that, a guide may also contain additional tips that a traveler may need to keep in mind, such as some simple phrases in the local language, the proper conversion of currency, and transportation in the area. When combined together, these pieces of information form a guide that serves useful to any traveler who needs it.

Where did I learn these things?

My knowledge on this comes from guides I have used before. For example, a specific one is the Lonely Planet guidebook I got when I traveled to Tokyo. I also got my current knowledge from various websites that I used. These guides had content and layout much alike to what I mentioned above. They are all great examples of guides because they had everything I looked for during my trips, and when I ended up traveling at the destinations I really enjoyed visiting the popular listings on the guides. 

What would I want to know about this topic?

There are many things I would like to learn about regarding this topic. I would like to learn more about the process of designing and creating it, and what I could do to make it appealing to the eye. In addition, I would also want to learn how to make my itinerary for the guide plentiful without having it last too many days. I need to know a lot more about Xizhou as well; how to get around, interesting attractions, and more, which I will find out about on the actual trip. There is just so much that I need to learn about in order to create my final product!

Before moving on to asking my Big Questions, I need to do some background research to help me in doing so. This research can be found in Phase 3.
10 Big Questions
After my research, I am ready to ask my 10 Big Questions in order to progress and fuel my research during the Microcampus trip in Xizhou. Please keep in mind that the answers in italics are only inferences based on my previous knowledge and are not definite answers. I have also grouped my questions in a meaningful way so that they would be easier for readers to understand and connect with, rather than having them randomly written throughout the text. 
Questions on Traveler's Impact
These questions are regarding on how tourists will leave an impact, whether it be their manners, clothes, or how they interact with the people of the village.
1. What are some tips for maintaining proper etiquette while visiting Xizhou (clothes, eating, etc.)?
Tourists should avoid wearing revealing clothes (this applies everywhere across the world) and make sure to maintain good hygiene. They should probably refrain from going outside when sick in order to prevent infecting others, and they should remember to treat everyone with respect by being patient and trying to smile when talking to the people of the village.

2. How will tourists interact with the people of the village?
Tourists can probably use simple hand gestures or learn some basic language before arriving in Xizhou.

Questions on Sightseeing in Xizhou
These questions are regarding tourist sightseeing and lodging. There are also questions regarding who should come to Xizhou and the best time to come as well. 

3. Who would like to come to Xizhou?
I think that people who love food will definitely enjoy trying out the cuisine in Xizhou. Also, people who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors would also probably like to visit Xizhou. Overall, I think that Xizhou is suitable for anyone if the activities during the trip are planned to their liking.

4.  What is the best season for tourists to come to Xizhou?
I think that spring would be the best season, as it would not be too cold or too hot for tourists. It is also the season when everything starts to bloom and wake from the winter, so it will probably be very beautiful as well during that time. 

5. What are some must-dos in Xizhou?
From what I know so far, Lake Erhai is a must-go place in Xizhou. Tourists should also try out the tea and Baba pizza while they are in the village as well. In addition, tourists should visit the town square and the Bai-style homes (they need to be open to visitors) that can be found throughout the village.

6. What are some good places to stay at during Xizhou?
I think that the Linden center is a good choice since we Microcampus students have been staying there for every Microcampus trip! 

(replaced this question)

7. What are some places to visit nearby Xizhou?
Tourists can visit the city of Dali, or try hiking the mountains that surround Xizhou as well. 

Questions on Helpful Tips
These questions are regarding additional tips when traveling to Xizhou, like issues to watch out for and essentials to bring. 

8. What are some safety issues in Xizhou?
I do not think there are any safety issues, as Xizhou seems to be a very safe village with very courteous and warm villagers. 

9. What are some health issues that tourists should watch out for?
Since Xizhou has somewhat quite high of an altitude, tourists should make sure to stay hydrated and wear clothes suitable for the weather 

10. What are some essential items needed when traveling in Xizhou?
I think that tourists will definitely need to bring their cameras, as Xizhou is beautiful and will have many photo opportunities. Tourists should also bring enough clothes that are suitable for the weather there.

Additional Questions (Added during Phase 3)

11. Is tourism generally beneficial or harmful to the Bai culture of Xizhou?

12. How is development in the village affecting the culture of Xizhou?

13. How can tourists support the community?

14. How many days should people stay in Xizhou?

These questions were added to my list of questions during my Phase 3, and help me further understand how I can create my guide. Please see Phase 3 for the answers and more details.

Before leaving for Xizhou, I think that I should learn more and decide on what format I want my guide to be in (either website, book, etc.) and how I will be creating it. I will also research more on the general area of Xizhou and have an idea of what general attractions tourists like to see.

The next step for me after asking these 10 Big Questions is to find helpful resources. This work can be found in Phase 2.


I was born in Canada and my family is from China. In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, playing with my dog, talking with my friends, and learning new things. I have been to two previous schools prior to coming to SAS in cold Canada and sunny California. The month that I spent at Microcampus has been really memorable and an experience that I will never forget in my life. I am yet to return to Xizhou to see the community, scenery, and taste the food again!