Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: Winter in Shangri-la

(Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features an altogether unfamiliar scenery for someone who grew up in the tropics. This week's photo, taken in Shangri-la, Yunnan province in China's southwest, is all about winter landscapes.)

Shangri-la (Zhongdian), Yunnan, China

Most long-term travelers I meet on the road would always prefer to travel through warm, tropical countries. It makes perfect sense. Lesser clothes, therefore, smaller pack, therefore, easier life. Not me, though. Having grown up in the tropics, I knew I want to see something else, something completely different from what I see everyday. So I set out to experience real winter. Real snow. It sounds odd but that's something a Filipino doesn't really get to experience in the Philippines.

I traveled to Shangri-la (or Zhongdian) in China's Southwest this past month and I got my wish. I looked out the window one morning and there it was: snowfall. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve. It was even more of a treat seeing wide open fields, trees and mountains covered in blindingly white snow. Winter landscapes. Now that is something I don't see everyday. I'm saying goodbye to winter in this post. I'm leaving China in a few days. Going back to the tropics. It will be a while before I get to experience the bitter, icy cold of winter again. I'm glad I did though.

Is winter something you avoid or, like me, chase after, when you travel? During which season do you find most rewarding to travel? Why?

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