Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why I Travel and Why I Traveled in 2012: Tiger Leaping Gorge of Yunnan, China

The soft, gray soil was proving too difficult to walk on with my worn-out hiking shoes, the same ones I wore to walk the trails of the same mountain range more than 1,600 kilometers from where I was at that moment, four countries away, to be exact. Although the load on my back was lighter this time, the same difficulties were making themselves annoyingly present. Legs sting every single step I make on the rocky uphill trail. Heart beats unrelenting and heavy as I try to breathe in as much oxygen as I can in the thin atmosphere of this Himalayan altitude. Never mind the cold wind blasting my already cold and sweaty neck. I look around and then I realize why I do the things I do.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China
Majestic cliffs of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, viewed from the Tiger Leaping Gorge

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Regular Travel Programming to Return Shortly

It's no longer a secret at this point that I have taken a short break from travel blogging this holiday season. The first half of December was spent traveling through the mountains of Mae Hong Son province in northern Thailand. The second half was at home doing a combination of your regular holiday merriment and good old work. Yes, even on Christmas Day! No complaints though. More work means more funds and more funds mean more travels! The good news is that regular travel programming in this travel blog will return shortly. Shortly than anyone might expect (assuming people still care or still read this travel blog). For now I leave you with a photo of one of the highlights of my travels this 2012:

Shangri-la (Zhongdian), Yunnan, China
Ganden Sumtseling Monastery in Shangri-la, Yunnan province, China

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: Yunnan Province, China

(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 the sweet smile from an ethnic Bai woman in a place I am to finally blog about in the coming weeks: Yunnan Province, China.)

Bai Woman, Dali, Yunnan, China
The sweetest of smiles from my snacks lady
in Dali, Yunnan Province, China

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: Mountains of Mae Hong Son

(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 the view from a above the clouds at sunrise in the Mountains of Mae Hong Son.)

Mae Hong Son Mountains, Thailand
View of the valley close to Pang Mapha from the mountains of Mae Hong Son, Thailand

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Loy Krathong 2012 in Chiang Mai and the Most Fireworks I've Ever Seen Blown Up in One Week

If there was one thing I learned about how Thailand celebrates Loy Krathong Festival in the country's northern capital Chiang Mai, it is that the Thai people are very bold and loose with their fireworks use. I do not believe I have ever seen that many fireworks blown up in one single week and blown up so close to the ground, sometimes near my face, too! I don't think the Thai authorities enforce very strict regulations on fireworks manufacture. That's for sure.

Loy Krathong Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand
A week after and my ears are still recovering. Beautiful lights though, right?