For me China was a dive into the unknown. After staying only for twenty days and having travelled only in the Yunnan Province, I really consider China a top destination. The communication is extremely difficult and the country has a great civilization. These two things make the trip a fascinating experience.
“The mountains are high and the Emperor is far away”. This Chinese saying describes well this diverse province so far removed from the monoculture of many other parts of China. As diverse as defiant of labels as the people who call it home, Yunnan is where the Middle Kingdom meets Southeast Asia. Crossing the border into China was a relief after all that badgering in Vietnam. Here everything has a price and people are friendly although no one speaks English. My friends and I ended up at a bus station with destination Kun Ming, the big, impressive city and capital of the province. It took us three days to adjust to the new country.
Dali and Li Jiang, both with impressive old cities, made all three of us come face to face with the multicultural Chinese society. After all that culture we needed a break from civilization. Our target was the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the second deepest in the world. We trekked it for three days and each one of them was as magnificent as hard but in the end we left with a smile on our faces. As soon as we entered China, the weather got colder and although we had bought new warm clothes, the temperature continued dropping.
We reached our northern destination, Shangri-La, in snow and temperatures of 3-4 degrees below zero. It was our first contact with the Himalayas. Many people say that there’s something about the air of Tibet that changes you completely. It’s true, in Tibet I definitely felt calm and peaceful 24 hours a day. The mysticism of the place definitely slows you down. After visiting three ancient cities and getting a taste of the “top of the world”, as the Himalayas are called, it was time for us to turn back towards the warm South. It took us 3-4 days to reach Jinjong, our southern last stop in China.
I haven’t traveled to all of this vast land but judging from the small part that I’ve seen, I’m saying “Don’t hesitate. Buy a ticket and head to China, the real unknown.”
Almost three years later and as part of our overland trip through Eurasia and the Silk road was crossing China through Tibet and Xijiang. We have included the links on the posts on our crossing bellow. The only thing you need to do is click on them and follow our overland adventure through the roof of the world.
Worth mentioning here is that OVERLANDDIARIES wishes that one day driving through China will be as free as the rest of the world. Then we will be back to enjoy the beauty that this country that has been hidden form us under laws and regulation of the Chinese Government ,this time .SO LONG TILL THEN CHINA!!!!!!!!!!