Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why Travel Tuesday: Thai Red Curry

(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 one of the things I miss the most about living in Thailand: Thai Red Curry.)

Gaeng Phet Moo (Thai Red Curry), Thai Food, Thailand
Thai Red Curry, spicy in all the right places

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Highs and Lows of Trekking the Jade Cloud Road in Dali

The trail was climbing up the mountain again and I was starting to get worried. We have been walking for about five hours now and what we thought was a morning hike was lasting well into the afternoon, God forbid, the evening. Neither my equally worried trekking companion nor I am prepared for trekking in the cold dark night.

"It does not make sense," Kristen said. "We were descending the mountain just a few minutes ago, why are we climbing up again?"

"I say we follow the trail," I responded as I sat down to take a breather. "If there's anything I learned about trekking in the Himalayas, it's that you trust the paved trail in front of you."

Cang Shan, Dali, Yunnan, China
One of the more scenic parts of the Jade Cloud Road in Dali

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Travel Tuesday: Great Wall of 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 one of the wonders of China and one of the most scenic sights in China: The Great Wall.)

Great Wall, Mutianyu
The Great Wall of China in Mutianyu

Monday, February 18, 2013

Finding the Hippie Haven in Dali


"What is the name of the place again?" I asked from across the bonfire.

"Dali," Sarah says. "It's this hippie town in Yunnan, China. When it gets hot here after the cool season, I think I'll go there." Sarah, as with many others gathered around the fire with us, was an American expat who spent the last few months here in Pai, Northern Thailand's own hippie town. For hippies, Sarah and the others who have made a home in Pai seemed very well dressed and cleaned up. Perhaps it was the remarkably cold weather, which had us donning all of our clothing in our tropically packed backpacks.

It was my first time in Pai but having been here for only three days, and despite the town's growing tourist kitsch, I understood why Sarah and the others stayed as long and why she was searching for another cool and laid-back hippie haven like this.

It was not the first time though that I was hearing about Dali. The province of Yunnan, China has always been in my radar for a number of reasons and Dali, in my hippie wannabe aspirations, is an obligatory stopover. Back when the Banana Pancake Trail of Southeast Asia used to be a hippie trail, as all backpacker trails began, Dali formed part of it.

Gate to the Old Town, Dali, Yunnan, China
Gates to the Old Town of Dali

Saturday, February 9, 2013

18 Reasons to Travel to Yunnan in China (Part 2)

So it was that I found myself traveling through Yunnan province in Southwest China to see for myself why Lonely Planet declares it the only province you should see in China if you only have one province to see in China. In the tradition of the 18 Oddities of Yunnan province, a tourism campaign promoting travel to Yunnan, I listed my own 18 reasons for traveling to Yunnan. I have written down the first nine reasons in Part One. Below is Part Two. Here we go.

10. The History of Kunming

Green Lake Park, Kunming, Yunnan, China
Colorful history, colorful flowers. That’s Kunming alright.