Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 1 year 1 week ago

Back in Phase 1, I was creating questions and inquiring about my project as a whole and in Xizhou. Then, after doing some background information that I deemed necessary in Phase 3, I had created 10 big questions that will help guide my learning in Xizhou. In Phase 2, I will be reflecting on my past research, specifically on the credibility of the source, reaching out to some experts that correlate with my topic, and finding people and resources in Xizhou. The purpose of Phase 2 will be to help create a strong foundation for me in terms of background research and moving forward with essential resources. 

In Phase 3, I had done some background research. While in the midst of this research, I used plenty of search engines and digital resources, entering keywords such as tourism, sustainable tourism, tourism impact, ecotourism, tourism dependency, Yunnan tourism, and Xizhou. At first, I did not have the slightest clue on what leads to follow and where to start. So, I started with the plainest word: tourism. Through this, I learned the impacts of tourism, the necessity of tourism, and how tourism can be sustainable in some research papers and magazines. I then began to apply this knowledge to the community of Yunnan in terms of researching. It was during my research that, slowly but surely, my seemingly narrow topic began to branch out.

I originally chose this topic of tourism because of my fascination with the economy and different stances of the economy. So, while researching, I was disappointed to see that people, other than professors and lecturers, do not often write about tourism sustainability. I was grasping at straws; there were not many websites to pick from and learn from. To avoid invalid or untrue articles, I have always checked the author, publisher, and date of the article, which has also helped me with citing my resources. My system for the check of credibility was simple; if a publisher or producer has nothing to hide, they were not usually be hard to contact, to know, or to even cite from. So, the websites that I used were always published with an author and who produced it. I tended to look at the research papers, so producers and authors were about the same thing, except for the platform that the author had put their paper on.

Below, I have found some of the authors and experts on my topic that will help me receive general feedback on my work and help me improve and guide and improve my experience in Xizhou:

Hung Chiu-Hui (

I have chosen Mr. Hung as one the experts to help me with my work as he is the author of various research papers that I have read concerning tourism, such as "The Influence of Tourism Dependency on Tourism Impact and Development Support Attitude" and "A Study of How Indigenous People Perceive the Impact of Tourism and Support These Attitudes in Their Tribes". He is also part of the Department of Tourism, Leisure and Entertainment Management in Tatung Institute of Technology, located in Taiwan. Since he is from Taiwan and wrote his research paper in correlation to Taiwan, I hope to be able to compare and contrast the tourism industry in Taiwan compared to Xizhou with the extra information I could possibly be receiving from him.

Kirsty Needham (

I have chosen Ms. Needham as one of the experts to help me with my work as she is the author of a news article in the Sydney Morning Herald, which talked about recent news upon the damage of Lake Erhai, possibly damaged by the tourism industry. She also is the China correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, so I hope to find her perspective and tone onto the tourism industry in China in her reply. She is consistent with writing articles, each pretty-detailed and informative on the situation. 

Here is a sample of an email I have written to both these experts:

Dear Mr. Hung/Ms. Needham,

I have recently read your research paper called, "The Influence of Tourism Dependency on Tourism Impact and Development Support Attitude"/your article upon Lake Erhai called "Smog Refugees pollute Dali, China's 'hidden gem'". My name is Cathleen and I am currently in the 8th grade at Shanghai American School. I have taken the opportunity, with 15 other like-minded students like me, to participate in a program called Microcampus, where I will be staying in a quaint village called Xizhou, Yunnan province for roughly a month. During the trip, we have to take on an independent project called an "inquiry project". Although, before the trip, I had to do some background research, in search of learning what could be a lead and guide for my trip in Xizhou. 

I came across your research paper/article and I thought that I could seek some feedback, clarifications, or extra knowledge by reaching out to you. It would be a great honor if you could take the time to look at my research and reply with regards to my research, perspective, and how to improve as a whole. The link to my research is here: Furthermore, I created 10 big questions in hopes of helping to guide my research in Xizhou along, though it would be really great if you can simply give me some tips and pointers, as you do not need to answer the questions. Here are the ten questions:

1. What types of tourists visit Xizhou? 

2. What do tourists often visit and buy in Xizhou?

3. How do vendors interact and work with tourists?

4, What does the host community think of tourists visiting their area?

5. How do tourists affect your work and job? (Various Perspectives)

6. What are the main types of customers? If your customers include tourists, how would you describe these tourists?

7. What priority do the vendors put Lake Erhai compared to the significance of tourism? (See Phase 3 for further information on the damage to Lake Erhai)

8. How do the tourists treat the citizens and community of Xizhou environmentally and socially?

9. How has tourism affected the culture of Xizhou?

10. How have citizens living in Xizhou changed because of the idea of tourists?


I have also come up with possible answers for these 10 big questions which can be found here:


Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this email and it would be a great privilege of mine if you could look or even glance at the website and list of questions I have given to you. Feel free to reply in regards to any questions you have about my project or any concerns. 




A Microcampus Student of 2019


I have not received any replies from my email yet. 




A 3-to-5 is a 3-5 recording with 3-5 adults. These adults are from Xizhou, including teachers, staff members, and contacts of the Linden Centre. The purpose of a "Three-to-Five" is to help me gain more insight into people and local resources that I can reach out to. Through my 3-to-5s, my objective is to learn which people and which resources to look for in finding different perspectives of tourism, tourism impact and dependency on Xizhou, and its sustainability in Xizhou.


Mr. Tafel

As Mr. Tafel is the head of Microcampus, visited Xizhou many times, and knows much information on various topics of the inquiry projects, I believe that he will benefit and help provide resources to my project. 


Some people he recommended talking to are:

  • People that sell old town snacks
  • the Zhong sisters who are southeast of Sifang Jie
  • Silvershops
  • Mr. Zhao, especially on his walk from Yang Zhuo Ran to home

Ms. Mai

Ms. Mai has gone to Xizhou countless times, meeting lots of people and 

Some people she has recommended talking to are:

  • Xiao Bai, who runs the Tie-Dye Gallery near the Linden Center
  • Owners of tie-dye shops near here to Sifang Jie
  • Mr. Mao, owner of the antique shop left of RangYiShan 
  • Mr. Yang, owner of the antique shop in the T-intersection on route to the wet market
  • A family who sells Sa Guo Mi Xen in Sifang Jie
  • A family who runs the Xizhou Baba in Sifang Jie
  • Mr. Yang, old town coffee shop owner on the west side of Sifang Jie
  • Linden Center staff, such as A Ling
  • Mr. Zhao, the security guard
  • Mr. He, the security guard
  • Ms. Song, travel curator
  • The Lindens

Ms. Braverman

Ms. Braverman has lived in Xizhou a long time, working with the Lindens and their program. 


Some people that she recommended talking to are:

  • Local vendors found in the main marketplace in the alleyways
  • Vendors from other parts of China that traveled to Xizhou to sell found in spots more oriented for tourism
  • Jewelry store owners
  • A Xizhou Baba (a food unique to Xizhou) maker in the marketplace
  • the Lindens, who brought a lot of Western and foreign people and culture to Xizhou

Ms. Wang and Mr. Yang

Ms. Wang and Mr. Yang have been working alongside with Microcampus students, so they have lots of experience.


Some people that they recommended talking to are:

  • Qing Yun, the girlfriend of a coffee shop owner, Mr. Wu
  • Xizhou baba makers, who have made lots of profit due to the increase in tourists
  • Fishermen, who had to endure the recent policy on restriction in Lake Erhai


I know when I have done enough "3-5"s when my workload during my time spent at Xizhou can have more a sense of purpose, effective, and definitely full and busy. 


Finally, more than people, I think that I can utilize the books and resources in the Linden Center. Types of books I will most likely look for are biographies or books on the past of Xizhou in search of helping me find a comparison between the past and present. Furthermore, I think that I will look for books in the context of Xizhou and the economy. I think that I will use the books in the Linden Center to focus on the past of Xizhou's economy and ask people in Xizhou to discover what the present is like.


In Phase 2, I have discovered resources both local and inquired on the topic as a whole. Using resources both online and offline, I have discovered people and resources to utilize in my coming days. Next, in Phase 3, I will be finding the information and issues about the tourism industry by having conversations with people in the community.

Hi! I am 13 years old and was in Xizhou. I have been at SAS for about 5 years and beyond Shanghai, lived in Los Angeles. I am grateful to be able to go to experience the life of others in different cultures and to be able to witness and observe things from a learner's perspective. I liked experiencing new cultures and looking at things from both a tourist and student perspective. In a sense, this serene and vivid city has brought me to realize how everything and everyone works together, perhaps even not realizing it! This trip to Microcampus has helped build bonds with people I never knew, helped me understand a whole different style of living, and be able to learn in a new fashion.