Archive for June, 2008

29th Jun 2008

China Adventure – Day 1

I suppose today counts as the first day of my China adventure, though at the moment I am sitting on my couch waiting for the clothes to dry. It sure doesn’t feel like an adventure day.

Tony and I are leaving on the train today at 4pm. We are headed “straight” to Kunming in Yunnan province. The train trip will take approximately 40 hours. From Kunming, the plan is to head south to Xishuangbanna (say that three times fast) and then probably up north to Lijiang and Dali. If we move fast enough we’ll end in Shanghai. Though we’ll probably spend the whole 2 and a half weeks in Yunnan. After the two weeks are up, I will fly back to Xiamen and then Houston, while Tony continues on the trip. If you’re really curious about the route, you can view a tentative one on my google maps. I will try to keep this updated while we are traveling. Yippee it’s adventure time!

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01st Jun 2008

Long overdue for an update

Since I last wrote, spring came and went; I actually saw a little bit of China; the rainy season arrived; I went to Boracay; we found a quiet spot in Xiamen; I had my first visitor; and I’ve mastered Mandarin. Ok, all are true except for the last one.

First, was the group trip to visit the Hakka Houses in the interior of Fujian province (where I live). It is a fascinating cultural group that builds familial round (and square) houses. Long drive with windy roads up through the mountains gave us a bit more of a thrill than we might have wanted, but it was well worth it. The groups allow tourists to come in, but most of the houses are functional homes and they basically just ignored us and went about their daily business.

A group of nine XIS people took off for the May Day holiday to sunny, sandy, and beautiful Boracay in the Philippines. We had originally planned on going to Beijing, but when one of our friends told us about the great deal her husband found on packages to Boracay, we decided to crash their vacation. It was well worth it and the pictures should back me up. I hope our friends agreed. It was a lovely break from China and a stunning location. I highly recommend it.

A couple weekends ago, Tony and I decided to brave the heat and humidity and explore Xiamen’s botanical gardens. It was well worth the 40 rmb entrance fee, considering it is a lovely and well-designed garden and it’s quiet. I never realized how much I might be willing to pay to avoid the sound of electrical saws, honking horns and hammering through my walls. Photos coming soon.

This weekend we’ve had a brief break from the muggy, hot, Houston-like weather. The unseasonal weather gave me, Tony and my friend Emily (in-town from Hangzhou) a chance to head off to the Riyuegu Hot Springs, which is my favorite place in Xiamen. We had a nice weekend of relaxation (thanks to the hot springs), good food and conversation.

Coming soon: More photos and adventures through China.

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