Pop bottle raft arrives at the Expo ... almost

08:34, October 12, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Xia Yu (right) rows his raft made of plastic bottles near Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on Sept 13. [Photo provided to China Daily]

After a trip of 1,500 kilometers on a raft made of plastic bottles, Xia Yu finally arrived in Shanghai on Oct 4 - but he was not able to fulfill his dream of sailing into the Expo 2010 Shanghai.

As soon as he arrived in Shanghai, Xia applied for approval to enter the Expo Garden via the water gate along the Huangpu River.

However, maritime management authorities said the raft was too slow to sail safely in the Huangpu River, and turned down his request. Xia then decided to anchor his raft at a dock in suburban Shanghai and instead took a subway to visit the Expo Garden on Saturday.

"I've been sailing for 156 days to see the Expo Garden," said Xia. "The journey has been much more turbulent than I had expected before I launched the raft."

The 36-year-old pub owner from Xiangtan of Central China's Hunan province built his 7-meter-long 2-meter-wide raft out of 2,010 plastic bottles collected at his pub and attached to a wooden frame.

The unusual mode of transportation has been widely debated in online forums, with many applauding his perseverance, while others suggest he is playing himself up and is not engaged in honest work.

"I just want to promote a lifestyle with a low-carbon footprint and raise awareness to protect the water environment, just like the Shanghai Expo advocates," Xia said. "It's not really all about myself - it's about an environmentally friendly lifestyle."

For the first couple of weeks, Xia sailed with friends, but he completed the trip by himself when the friends returned to work.

Xia stayed at hostels in towns and farmhouses in villages where he could buy food and drinking water. One time his breakfast was a single piece of ham. When he could not find a bed, he slept in a tent.

On his way he often had to fight whirlpools, rapids and tides that made sailing impossible.

"I sometimes tied my raft to bigger ships," Xia said. "Otherwise my raft would have lost control."

When the raft was wrecked in Chizhou, East China's Anhui province, halfway to Shanghai, Xia did not give up. He left the raft in Chizhou and returned home to Hunan for a break, then continued his journey after he repaired his raft.

Despite all the dangers and difficulties, Xia said the trip was worthwhile because he did something "beyond imagination".

"Before I started, no one believed I could make it," Xia said. "Now here I am. But it's the cause that matters most."

Source: China Daily(By Wu Yiyao)


  • Do you have anything to say?



Related Channel News

Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Hot Forum Discussion