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A month-long journey in China to discover the boundless culture, lives and colors.

The song you are hearing now was sung by a young Tibetan who handled my horse as we went up the mountain at Juizhaigou. I used my iPhone to record this song and the quality turned out pretty well. I hope you are enjoying this melody as much as I do.

For this trip, I decided to do a 30-day backpack journey on my own from Juizhaigou to Chengdu to Chongqing to Zhangjiajie to Guilin to Longsheng in Guangxi to Huangshan to Shanghai, and finally back to Chengdu and then to Singapore. It took an adventurous spirit and lots of guts to embark on such a journey, especially in a large and foreign land like China. But to me, traveling is not about the destination but about the journey. I hope to capture the essence of life as I traverse through the various regions. And I must say, this trip has been a true eye-opener.

In China, there are so many ways to move within and between cities. To get around, I relied on the directions or suggestions given by the lovely people I met along the way. Many times, I was approached by strangers who offered all kinds of services ranging from hotels to eating spots and even tourist attractions. For example, when I was in Yangshuo, I was offered a ticket to watch the Li River Show produced by Zhang Yimou, an acclaimed Chinese filmmaker, for just 50 RMB, which also included the transportation fee to Guilin where the show was
  being put up. If I had planned this by myself, it would have cost me a total of 250-350 RMB! Additionally, almost all the places I visited offer cheap accommodation—all without having to make any advance booking!

As a whole, this trip has been a great experience for me. It was an enriching time as I was engulfed by the full spectrum of what China had to offer me: travelling on all sorts of vehicles ranging from a bamboo draft to a two-wheeled “boxy bike”, to the many house visits that allowed me to savor the copious amounts of local delicacies and to forging new friendships. On one such occasion, I was invited to the birthday celebration of an 88-year-old grandfather; it was truly amazing to be able to share such a glorious celebration of life with newfound friends. But apart from this, I also managed to get my old bodily ailments fixed as I visited the local physician and even got a chance to join a five days free tour that was organized by the China tourist promotion board and stayed in a seven-star Chinese hotel (I think that a five-star rating would be more fitting. This is evidence of China’s belief in “the more the merrier”)!

I told myself: If in one month I could experience so much, then what lies ahead of me will be even more colorful! So don’t work all through your life, my friend. Remember to take time out to enjoy the whole new world out there.

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If you wish to read more about the daily updates of my trip click here