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Dali Dali, We Like to Party

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Dali is one of the more popular tourist destinations in China, especially for backpackers, known for a laid back vibe, beautiful scenery and the availability of certain herbal delights. I was more intent in getting out of the city of Kunming and seeing some nice countryside again, and booked an afternoon bus to Dali which would take about 5 hours. There was also the option of taking an overnight train, but seeing as that takes 10 hours, I didn’t see why anyone would do that. After eating some breakfast and packing up, I hopped in a taxi to the bus station. Kunming streets are clean and easy to navigate, but are a real pain in a car, as you have to drive very far out of your way and do a U turn instead of being able to just turn left at any given intersections. But after only a few minutes, I arrived at the bus station, ticket in hand, and made my way past all the hawkers to find my bus. Showing my ticket to a few people, I was finally directed to the back of the station, and shown a minibus that had the Dali characters on the front. My bags were thrown in the back, and I sat on the  minibus, by myself, and waited for it to leave. No other people got on, however, and a nagging feeling started at the pit of my stomach. Something didn’t feel right. [read on]

Back in the Game

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

After buying my subway ticket to the stop nearest Shamian Island, I waited for the train for only a few minutes. Since there didn’t seem to be any way to tell what stop we were approaching,  I had to count the stops before arriving at my destination. Leaving the subway, it had suddenly darkened outside, and I pulled out my guidebook to try and figure out where I was. A young Chinese girl approached me and asked me if I needed help, and she quickly pointed in the direction over a small canal, “Shamian Island.” I thanked her and headed off over the bridge towards the island, which is not only home to many British and European style buildings, but also houses the US embassy,which is where American families have to go when they adopt Chinese baby girls. It was something I wanted to see for myself, but as the island is one of the bigger tourist attractions in itself, I thought I might meet some people there. [read on]

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Spending the last night on the cruise boat was relaxing and peaceful, and aside from having to repack our stuff, we didn’t have much to do. Our final port of call was a town called Yichang, and we were told ... [Continue reading this entry]

Cruising Chinese Style

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

The first night in Chengdu was an early one, and I fell asleep almost instantly, only to wake up in the middle of the night having to run to the bathroom. Uh oh. Something other than my rash was also ... [Continue reading this entry]

On Two Feet or Four?

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006
Early in the morning, which was becoming the theme for our travels through China, Chris and I boarded our bus from Xiahe to Langmusi, another small Tibetan town featuring a monastery and beautiful scenery. The leg room, astoundingly, was quite ... [Continue reading this entry]

Something New Every Day

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006
Exiting the train station in Lanzhou, I had only one thought on my mind, and that was how crappy I felt. I pushed this thought aside however, and managed to concentrate on the new task at hand. We needed to ... [Continue reading this entry]

My Very Own…Train Ride From Hell Story?

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

It is a common practice among travelers that you try to read a book about the country you are currently traveling in. Almost everyone I met was reading “First They Killed My Father,” a story about the Khmer Rouge regime, ... [Continue reading this entry]

You’re Fatter Than My Mom

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006
Boarding our Thai Airways flight in the morning, I had some little jitters about my next destination. Every person I have spoke with who has been to China has just said how hard it is to travel there, that no ... [Continue reading this entry]