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Archive for October, 2007

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The Highest Railroad in the World

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

It is sometime in the middle of the night.  I’m not exactly sure when.  The train’s clock has been flashing 20:35 since I boarded on Sunday, and I only know today is Tuesday.  I can’t seem to stay asleep for very long, and have awoken several times only to find the rest of the cabin in a deep slumber.  Maybe it’s the increasingly high altitude and thin air or maybe it’s the high pitched whizzing of the oxygen being artificially pumped into the train.  Maybe it’s just anticipation for the unique culture and breathtaking (literally) scenery I have yet to experience in Tibet.    [read on]

Saying difficult goodbyes in the shadowless city

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

The city of Chengdu, center of Sichuan; China‘s “spiciest” province!  A land more accustomed to laziness, where an unfortunately consistent stream of bad weather reigns supreme.  It seems as if every single minute of the nine days in the city were plagued by an unbroken cover of grey.  Occasionally a glow of sunlight would show though a less dense patch of clouds, but more often a haze would form so thick that the horizon would be completely obscured.  At first the effect was tolerable, but soon the dreariness shadowing any desire for “Carpe Diem” was the only shadow to be found.   [read on]

Ambushed on a train…

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Today is Saturday.  I got on a train on Thursday and I’m still on board now.  The trip from Nanjing to Chengdu takes almost two days.  It is the longest continuous stream of transport I’ve endured so far.  At least no hard seat is involved.  Rather, I’m comfortably residing on the bottom of a three-tiered hard-sleeper bunk compartment with my journal, a copy of ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, deck of cards and the most excellent travel companion, Carrie.   [read on]

Anhui: Home of Huizhou and Huang Shan

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

No loose ends to tie up in Shanghai… all business and preparations taken care of… It’s back to another fresh start in traveling!    [read on]

Hangzhou to Huang Shan

Friday, October 12th, 2007

After finding out that to procuring my Indian visa would cost me another five days, I decided to leave the metropolitan wonderland of Shanghai for a while.  The nearby city of Hangzhou, proclaimed by Marco Polo as paradise on earth, seemed like a perfect escape to the commotion of the city and relax.  As an added bonus, I found that Carrie, the Cantonese backpacker from southern China who I met in Xi’an, would also be there at the same time.    [read on]

Socks, Street Food and Sickness in Shanghai

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Ten days in Shanghai.  I’d love to say they flew by in a blur, but that would only be partially true because a couple days were excruciatingly enduring.  The length of a typical vacation was only a pit stop on the long road ahead of me.  There wasn’t much time for sightseeing and most of my days were occupied with preparations for the upcoming journey away from westernized civilization.    [read on]