.:: Whale Shark in South China ::.

May 19th, 2011

Wake the Sun? »

Hi everyone! It’s me again, Whale Shark! I know it’s only been a few months since my last trip, but I already went on my second trip abroad! (I’m one lucky whale shark!) This time I went to the southern part of China. This was my owner’s second time to China, but it was my first. So maybe I got a little carried away… Oh well…

Author’s Note: This post is very picture intensive. And yes I realize my sanity is still in question…

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Posted in: Travel


.:: Chris’ Guide On How to Screw Up Your Nikon’s SLR Sensor ::.

May 10th, 2011

Wake the Sun? »

((  The above picture is a recreation, not an actual representation of what occurred.  We joked halfway through the trip that this would make a hilarious blog entry.  So, I went ahead and did just that.  Special thanks to Chris for the idea and verbiage used in this post. ^.~ When life gets you down, make fun of it! ))

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Posted in: Photography, Travel


.:: China Day 14: Goodbye Shanghai or Illness Is a Dish Best Served With Tea ::.

May 6th, 2011

Wake the Sun? »

As luck would have it, our last morning in Lijiang dawned with the most beautiful blue sky we had ever had on this entire trip (I also felt much better after a sleep).  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  Jade Dragon Snow Mountain stood in the distance with perfect clarity, reflecting the morning sun’s rays.  The most beautiful day of our entire trip and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy it…. at all.

All three of us did some mental (and vocal) screaming and cursing (Chris’ “I’m going to kill puppies” smile returned) as we packed our bags and climbed into the van that would take us to the airport and out of Yunnan.

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Posted in: Travel


.:: China Day 13: Tiger Leaping Gorge or Me on a Mule ::.

May 5th, 2011

Wake the Sun? »

As we had decided, our last day in Yunnan would be hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge.  The day opened with overcast skies but no rain, and as the day wore on, the clouds would recede giving us beautiful blue skies and soaring hot temperatures.  Due to the gorge’s popularity, a shuttle van serving all major hostels in the area leaves every morning to take prospective trekkers to and from the gorge.  We left with another hostel guest who was also doing a one-day trek and headed off to Tiger Leaping Gorge.

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Posted in: Travel


.:: China Day 12: Where the Locals Do Business or Is That a Rave? ::.

May 4th, 2011

2 Woke the Sun »

Today we were supposed to head out to start our two day trek through Tiger Leaping Gorge, heralded as one of the deepest gorges in the world and about a 2 and half hour drive from Lijiang.  It was to be the most grueling part of our trip and one that Chris in particular was looking forward to.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for three rather big reasons:

  • Chris was feeling better, but still a bit sick and didn’t want to chance a grueling two-day trek
  • I was coming down with a cold and my throat didn’t feel so happy
  • The weather was just plain shitty

So we did the smart thing and decided that we’d do a one-day Tiger trek the next day when the weather was supposed to be better.  That meant we had one more day to enjoy Lijiang.

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Posted in: Travel


.:: China Day 11: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain or To Blizzard or Not To Blizzard, That Is the Question ::.

May 3rd, 2011

Wake the Sun? »

While the previous day featured blue skies and bright sunshine, today dawned gray, dull, and very very rainy.  Chris’ complexion matched the weather, and Alissa and I convinced him to stay in the hotel and rest while we went out on our little morning excursion.

Our morning excursion was actually up Jade Dragon Mountain itself.  This normally would have been amazing except today was… dreary, rainy, and …. had a thick cover of gray ugly clouds.  Meaning, you couldn’t see the mountain. AT ALL.  We had no choice though, as we had already reserved a car and driver for the day.  So Alissa and I packed every single warm attire we had brought and headed out of town toward the iconic mountain.

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Posted in: Travel


.:: China Day 10: Old Town Lijiang or Blue Sky! Quick to Black Dragon Pool! ::.

May 2nd, 2011

Wake the Sun? »

Our sleeper train ended up being quite comfortable so we arrived fairly refreshed in the light dawn of 6:30am at the “train station” near the town of Lijiang.  I say “train station” because the place was really just a couple of warehouse buildings next to train track about 20 minutes from town.  Perhaps it was a temporary building? Anyway it was a far cry from the sophisticated train depot of Kunming (which even had separate arrival and departure floors) but not altogether unpleasant.  An army of official blue tourist vans awaited in the nearby parking lot, all prepped and ready to take the train’s scores of tourists to their selected hotels. We hopped in one, a bit apprehensively I might add, and headed off to Lijiang.

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.:: China Day 9: The Stone Forest of Shilin or Dorks Who Say ‘Yi’! ::.

May 1st, 2011

1 Woke the Sun »

Today marked our last day in Kunming (to Chris’ lament).  The forecast said rain, but like virtually every other single weather forecast about South China, there was no rain but just overcast skies. Which was good, because today we were heading to Shilin, also known as the stone karst forest.  Though it’s quite possible to do this trip yourself via public bus, we opted to rent a van and driver to save ourselves the hassle, and ended up sharing space with another traveler from our hostel.

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Posted in: Travel


.:: China Day 8: The City of Eternal Spring or Where is the Bloody Bank?! ::.

April 30th, 2011

Wake the Sun? »

And thus the Yunnan portion of our journey began in the city of Kunming, one of the largest cities in Yunnan and the central hub for any exploration into the high altitude wilderness of the Tibetian plateau.  The much higher elevation meant cooler temperatures (a welcome respite from the humid torture that was Guangxi) and much clearer skies! Actually Kunming is known as the “City of Eternal Spring” because it enjoys one of the highest numbers of blue skies anywhere in China (which is quite a rarity in China, particularly along the populated eastern coast).

So our first day in Yunnan commenced with the bluest sky we’d seen thus far (and would see for the remainder of the vacation).  We chose to spend this lovely blue day by leisurely wandering about the city… and vainly trying to find a bank to exchange money.

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Posted in: Travel


.:: China Day 7: Mist on Karst or Shoot For the Tree, Land on the Moon ::.

April 29th, 2011

Wake the Sun? »

Today marked our last day in Yangshuo and our last day in Guangxi proper. It was also the first day that featured rain. Dreary gray skies greeted us in the morning and dampened our spirits. We had initially planned on hiking to Moon Hill. After some discussion, we opted to go to see the 1000 year old Banyan Tree instead, which was next to Moon Hill but wouldn’t require hiking.

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Posted in: Travel