Regarding "Caught Up in Yunnan," by Phil Zimmerman, Oct. 28: I just returned from China and had the same experience. I had planned to go to Lhasa, Tibet, but at the last minute was told it was closed. I was instead rerouted to Jiuzhaigou, also Tibetan, in Sichuan province.
I stayed at the InterContinental Hotel, magnificent. Went to the Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong valleys. Beautiful waterfalls and scenery. Took Diamox and had no problems with altitude sickness. Had a bottle of oxygen but never used it. Had a Tibetan dinner, barbecued yak, yak butter tea and barley whiskey, mushroom soup, potato. The only problem — very, very few people spoke English. We had a private guide.
At the hotel I used iTranslate: Speak in English, speaks back in Chinese; speak in Chinese, speaks back in English. It needs Wi-Fi so I could only use it in the hotel lobby and lounge, but it worked pretty well.
Villa Park, Calif.
Great little article about Santa Cruz ["Life in Cruz Control," by Mike Morris, Oct. 28]. I just wanted to mention that he left out a very critical element of Santa Cruz — coffee!