Talking about Bali and Daya Bay


I’ve probably watched too much TV and don’t have time for email …

The 2 links below in Yahoo have some pictures that I’ve taken in Bali, Indonesia as well as some in Daya Bay Nuclear Plant.  I didn’t remember to take my camera to HK but my sister lent me hers.
Though the nuclear plant in Daya Bay is just 50 km from HK’s Victoria Harbour, it’s taken 2-3 hours to get there.  I think the coach didn’t go thru’ 羅湖 but 落馬州 (though I’m not absolutely sure now ). I’ve never been there to go into Mainland China.  We needed to get off the bus to pass the HK immigration and then went into the "no-man zone" between HK & Mainland China, waited for the coach and everybody.

The coach was driven for a minute or 2 before it arrived at the Mainland Chinese border and we needed to get off again to pass the Chinese immigration and then we had to find each other as well as the coach to go to Daya Bay.  Slightly more interesting than 羅湖 !

A couple theoretical physicists said that there should be a topological problem as HK and Mainland drive on opposite sides ?!   I couldn’t find any explanation to satisfy them … but I told them to just watch as
"topological problem" has been solved 🙂

I’ve had a good impression from the Daya Bay Nuclear Plant. It looked much cleaner than I’d expected (though I wouldn’t really know what to expect).  There are actually like thousands (at least > 3000) of staff
working at the Nuclear Plant — again another surprise.  Their control room for their training is quite impressive as well which is identical to the real control room.  I’ve never seen any special control room in HEP Lab. dedicated for training as we just use the real control room to train people — well probably only the particle beam would be lost, not likely a nuclear explosion in HEP lab.    Another "surprise" is that there
are many many many residential buildings inside the Nuclear Plant and they’re still building new ones.  The nuclear plant is basically
a French product (PWR … pressurized water reactor … I’m not really an expert here) but these days, the French are only there for consulting purpose and some electronics/control are from UK etc.   ~16 years when we (HKU Physics Dept.) visited there, I remember there was a clear division line and the poor looking houses on one side (for the Chinese) and the other side for the foreigners.   Today, you still saw some not so nice houses somewhere but there was no such a clear line of division.
All in all, I’ve been really impressed.  Even though I’ve seen a lot of fast development in Shanghai and Beijing etc.,

I’ve never felt impressed.   Though the Nuclear Plant is not as grand as the ? etc., I somehow felt impressed especially by how clean and neat the place is — though I’ve always joked that maybe each of those >3000 people is responsible for one room to clean 🙂   

I’ve gathered that there are 10-20 nuclear plants in Mainland China and it’s responsible for >2% of China’s power supply and the national target is 6% in the future.
For us, particle physicists, nuclear reactors are a source of neutrinos and nothing else !  We’re going to make use of it to measure  neutrino oscillation (between tau neutrino and electron neutrino) which is possible as neutrino has non-zero mass.   There 2 nuclear reactors in Daya Bay (70% of which is said to go to HK) and another 2 in LingAo (~walking distance from Daya Bay).  They’re going to build 2 more in LingAo and together we’ll benefit from all those 6 nuclear reactors (for their neutrinos).

….. Eh, my friend, what I wrote above is far more detailed than what I wrote to DOE !


About Bali,  I stayed in the Kuta-Legian region in Bali where the 2002 bombings took place.  I think I’ve taken a couple photos at the "ground-zero" there.  In addition to the psychological adventure, Kuta-Legian-Seminyak is where most tourists go and stay when they go to Bali anyway 🙂
The most interesting part probably was the trip to Mount Batur and Lake Batur as the view was just spectacular and eye-opening.  And I also watched the "Barong & Kris" Dance and some rice field/terrace on the way to that Kintamani region (where Mount/Lake Batur is located). I’ve needed to charter a car to go there but since I was so well prepared/studied before the trip (by online and reading tour guide), the driver basically just followed my "order" to go to various places that I told him to go to.  I tried taking Bemo 2 times when I visited Denpasar (the capital of Bali).  But the Bemo made me wait for a very long time before it’s willing to leave the station (> 30 or even 45 minutes).  Since from Kuta-Legian to go to Mount Batur, I needed to take at least 3 Bemo busses and I decided that the waiting time would just kill me and waste my time and so I chartered a car.   This driver (after all my effort) has been good that he didn’t take me to buy/see anything.  I have his email address and I could give it to you if you want 🙂
And of course, I’ve been walking around Kuta-Legian-Seminyak region.  I like the atmosphere.  Compared to
Pataya in Thailand (where it’s just a resort area and most people are westerners), Bali is a place where Indonesians (or Balineses) actually live.  There are a few big westerner malls (just like Pataya).  So, one can taste a bit of the local life as well as the convenience of shopping/dining etc.  I’ve had a lot of Indonesian meals though they usually aren’t the most expensive.  The most expensive meal that I had was a buffet at Penelokan (viewing Mount/Lake Batur) which costed 60000 rupiah (~US$6.7).  It’s not the best buffet that I’ve had but it’s good enough 🙂
It seems that after 9/11, 2002 and 2005 bombing, the Bali tourist business has not been as good as it used to be, at least that’s what the driver (for the trip to Mount/Lake Batur) told me.   I’d not be able to tell as I’ve seen many people and congested traffic.   The beaches in Kuta/Legian are nice but I feel that though they’re clean, they’re not as white as those in Long Island (where I live).  Probably because too many people are using them. I didn’t swim nor did I do anything water sports.   That’s my style 🙂  I don’t really enjoy physical stuff but just enjoy watching (people, the architecture, the scenery and the overall atmosphere). 
I stayed in a 3-star (quite cheap) hotel called "Wida Hotel" in Legian.  It’s recently renovated and it has some post-modern furniture and style and the bed is very big.  But it doesn’t seem to be well-kept.  Though I can’t say that towels were dirty, they didn’t look to be the whitest/cleanest.  They could have kept it better …
In any case, this has been my first trip in Indonesia.  It’s good to see what Indonesia looks like and after all, this was my Mom’s birth country and I also seem to have a little Indonesian blood — which I thought about quite a bit when I was in Indonesia 🙂 

About kinyip

An experimental particle physicist ...
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