Page 5 of CallMeBecs Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Guangxi » Pingxiang October 28th 2012

I got so caught up in my excitement for Vietnam, that I forgot I actually had to leave China first. It was pretty much exactly 12 hours before we were supposed to get on a train that I made this realization. I had just been packing up my things for the following travel day when I was like “woah! I'm leaving China tomorrow!”. There were a couple of loose ends I needed to discuss with Tyler so I grabbed a few things and headed down to the common room (where he was having a beer with James from Whales) and told him what I had just realized and needed to talk. We went over the plan for the following day and went through a checklist in our heads to make sure we weren't forgetting anything. Okay! ... read more
bye bye Birkies

Asia » China » Guangxi » Nanning October 28th 2012

Our last stop in China was Nanning. The main purpose for our time here was to get our Vietnamese visas. Since our hostel arranged visas free of charge, that part was easy! We just showed up, gave them our passports and money and waited three days. Every Chinese city we have been to has had its own identity and the same goes for Nanning. It was like a mix between China and South-East Asia. There were still people playing mahjong everywhere and people dancing in the parks, but it had a much more southern feel. We would wake up, walk around the farmers market (conveniently only a couple of blocks from where we were staying) and eat fruit. The fruit vendors had prepared fruit ready to eat; we just walked up and bought a full/half/quartered cut ... read more
Alligator? Crocodile? Yumm...
Not sure what any of this is...

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo October 28th 2012

We weren't nearly as active in Yangshuo as we had intended. Instead of long hikes along the river, we found ourselves aimlessly walking around Xi Jie (West Street). There were shops of every kind, restaurants with all types of cuisine, and street vendors filling in any gaps that were missed by the other store owners. Fresh donut with chocolate and peanuts drizzled on top? Fresh mango smoothie? Potato chips on a stick? Breaded and fried chicken drumstick? Duck meat wrap? Street food is the best! The majority of the locals spoke English and for once we welcomed the touts for things like bamboo raft rides. Of course we still declined but it was nice to be able to come across a familiar language again. A couple of times we found things we wanted to buy but ... read more
View from the roof of Monkey Jane's
Li River
Yulong River

Asia » China » Yunnan » Yuanyang October 18th 2012

Wow! It feels like we haven't stopped for the last few weeks. It's been a very busy time getting through Western Sichuan (way back when we were in the mountains) and Yunnan (from Shangri-La until now). There was a lot to see and that meant only stopping for a few days at a time in one place. While we have been constantly on the go, we were able to see a lot and definitely made the right choices along the way. This section of China has also been the most difficult mentally; after we left Chengdu (the city with the Panda reserve) we also left English menus and English-speaking locals behind. The only time we came across English-speaking locals in the last month was at our youth hostels front desk or the odd student wanting to ... read more
Duoyishu II
Banging out the grains
Rice drying on rooftops

Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming October 10th 2012

Kunming has been an adventure from the second we left Dali... When we left Dali, we got on the wrong city bus. We wanted to get to the train station and ended up at the bus station. Since we hadn't bought tickets in advance, we were on a bit of a tight schedule so we had to get a taxi to take us across town to the train station. We were able to get train tickets no problem and were super happy to be back on a train instead of those stupid buses (we've had a few rough rides). We arrived in Kunming slightly ahead of schedule (another reason to love the train) and had figured out how to get to the hostel we were looking for. It was going to take two buses but seemed ... read more
Green Lake Park II
Green Lake Park - Music Lesson

Asia » China » Yunnan » Dali October 6th 2012

First of all, it's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada so I want to properly thank all of my family and friends for their love, support, patience and understanding. I wouldn't be where I am today without any of it so thank you. I should also express my thanks to Tyler. He is my rock. There aren't words to describe what an amazing person he is; I'm so lucky to have found him and to be able to go on this journey with him. I couldn't have dreamed up a better man if I tried so thank you Tyler for my morning hugs, my bed time kisses and all of the other things you do in a day. China has surprised me every day. I've got to admit, I've written this blog 4 or 5 different ways and ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Dali October 5th 2012

October 1st is China's National holiday for which the majority of the country gets an entire week off. During this week, an average of 2.75 million people travel to the province we are currently in, Yunnan. For that reason, we wanted to find a nice little place to avoid the crowds for at least a couple of days. SHAXI Shaxi Village was the perfect place to do it. It's an ancient, dusty, wooden town that still survives from the millenia old Tea and Horse Trail which connected China with India and the rest of the world. This quaint little town has recently received tourism funding from the government. You can see that many renovations are being completed and there are more plans in the works uncluding a new highway which will cut at least half an ... read more
Bridge II
Rice Fields

Asia » China » Yunnan » Tiger Leaping Gorge October 2nd 2012

Before you read this blog please take a breathe and make sure you can give us your full attention, you don't want to miss a second of this one. I can't even start to explain how excited I am to share this with you!! Put your hiking shoes on, don't forget your water and let's conquer this together :) eeeeeeek!!! xo Becs Tiger Leaping Gorge is the deepest gorge in the world, the snow covered peaks at the top of the mountains are about 5500m above sea level while the bottom of the gorge is sub-tropical weather. This diverse landscape creates it's own little micro-ecosystem. The river that flows through the gorge is China's largest, the Yangtze river. TLG is another one of those “must visit” places when you are travelling through China. Due to the ... read more
The Gorge - Yangtze River
Day One - Back on the right trail
Day One - Into the gorge we go

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La September 29th 2012

Zhongdian aka Shangri-La is situated at 3200m above sea level; at that height, many travellers experience altitude sickness. We didn't recognize too many side effects of altitude sickness, mostly just shortness of breathe. We slowly worked our way up – from Kangding (2600m) to Xiangcheng (2800m) to Shangri-La (not to mention a few times on the bus over 5000m!) – and that could be what helped us out. Zhongdian was unofficially renamed Shangri-La by the government more than a decade ago, apparently because 'experts' had established with certainty that the area is the location of James Hilton's 1933 bestseller Lost Horizon. However, cynics say it was done to increase tourism since logging in the area was banned. The city is booming so the plan has obviously worked. As we drove into town all we could see ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La September 26th 2012

Before getting into much detail I should note that this area is extremely mountainous. Further west of where we have driven the last few days are the wondrous Himalayas. While the distances here are fairly short in terms of kilometres or miles, the difficult terrain lengthens the time of the trips. Number One – From Chengdu to Kangding – Hurry Up and Wait Approx. time quoted by our guide book: 8hrs Actual travel time: 12hrs We left Chengdu at 8am prepared for a long day of travelling. Until this point we had been able to travel via overnight trains and hadn't had to take any form of transportation during the day. Overall this ride wasn't too bad. It was a nice day and our first glance at the mountains in China. The only problem with this ... read more

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