Posts Tagged ‘China’
Sometimes it’s not so hard to see the faces of the future. All you have to do is look at the children around the world.
She’s a former lawyer from Montreal currently eating her way around the world, one country at a time. Marshmallow enthusiast, volcano climber and cave spelunker, also a geek. She’s been traveling since April 1, 2008. Check out all of her adventures at Legal Nomads and follow her on Twitter @legalnomads.
Corina & Jason
Corina & Jason left their jobs, sold their house and said (a temporary) goodbye to their kitties to travel around the world. Never having left the North American continent in her 39 years, Corina decided it was time to spread their collective wings. Armed with Jason’s obsessively compiled list of UNESCO sites they spent 10 months circumventing the globe. Now back home in Canada, Jason is looking for a job and Corina is overwhelmed with the possibilities. You can read about their RTW trip at www.in2travels.com and follow her on Twitter @in2travels.
When Andi is not treating patients, she is traveling or dreaming of the next place to visit. Thus far, she has stepped foot in about 40 countries. Her adventure-filled life is satiated only by more experience and more knowledge. To her, her country is the world and she want to explore all of it! Her undying love affair with travel is due to the sheer intrigue of untrodden roads, different cultures, and life-changing encounters.
Temples. Temples. Temples. What can I say about temples? I don’t know. Let’s just look at pretty pictures of temples instead.
Pura Luhur, Uluwatu
Temple of Debod, Madrid
Temple of Poseidon, Greece
Ryan and Dina are a couple of permanent travelers vagabonding around the world. Ryan is a software guy from Canada, and Dina is a chemist from Java, Indonesia. They met in Japan and then lived in Ontario, Canada. In April 2009, they closed their home and since then have been living on the road with their 2 backpacks. They focus on cheap travel and ways to get more travel enjoyment for less cash. In their blog “Vagabond Quest“, they share their stories and recommendations. Follow them on Twitter @VagabondQuest.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Ayngelina left her job, apartment, boyfriend and friends to travel solo throughout Central and South America. You can read about her adventures at Bacon is Magic, as she eats her way through Central and South America. You can follow her on Twitter @Ayngelina.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Kevin Revolinski is the author of The Yogurt Man Cometh: Tales of an American Teacher in Turkey and the Bangkok expert for NileGuide.com. His website and blog are at The Mad Traveler Online.
My Son, Vietnam
Dave was born and raised in small town New Zealand providing him with the perfect beginnings for a lifelong travel addiction. After graduating from university with a degree in History and Political Science he packed his meager belongings into a backpack and headed for London. The subsequent years have seen him traveling through thirty-something countries and watching my ‘must see’ list grow larger almost as quickly as I’ve watched my bank balance grow smaller. Check out Dave’s blog, What’s Dave Doing, and follow him on Twitter @driftingkiwi.
Simon is ‘wild about travel’ and as soon as possible she packs a few things and goes. Born in Italy, growing up in a small village in the Swiss mountains and at 18 back to Italy, in Milan, she remained a nature lover. Simon loves adventure travel and wilderness, and she is wild about scuba diving, hiking and skiing. She started blogging for fun, while she was jobless, but soon got passionate and continues writing her ‘Travel tales by a Travel Addict’.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Pre Rup, Cambodia
Michael just completed a sixteen month, round-the-world trip without taking a single plane. His blog — One Lap, No Jetlag — is at www.mobilelawyer.blogspot.com and you can Twitter him at @mobilelawyer.
Phenom Penh, Cambodia
Matt Preston is an English travel photographer and co-founder of Travel With Mate. He has also created a book entitled “Portraits of Asia.” Matt is currently living in Sydney, Australia before going to Borneo.
Emily Hyndman is a recent college graduate who never leaves home without her camera. A recent trip to Beijing left her with a desire to explore Asia. A big fan of slow travel, Emily hopes to eventually live and work abroad. Until that day comes, she enjoys exploring and living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, starting with her new home in Seattle, WA. You can follow her on Twitter @eehyndman.
New Delhi, India
Aye, Jack & Emma
These pictures were taken during a mother-daughter Buddhist Pilgrimage to India and Nepal in early 2008. Follow this fabulous family of three on their inspiring blog Got Passport: Will Travel. Will Serve and follow them on Twitter @gotpassport as they prepare to move to Chiang Mai, Thailand this summer.
Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto, Japan
Jenna works as a professor in Sacramento, California, but loves to get away whenever she can. She studied and lived abroad and has traveled extensively through Europe. She has a multi-cultural family and spends time every year visiting family either in Brazil or Indonesia, or both. As the mother of a toddler, she is learning new ways to travel and looks forward to sharing her adventures with others. Check out her blog at Adventures of a 21st Century Family.
This photo was taken by my friend Jabari Bell. He took all of the photos from Beijing. I’m not exactly sure what these are but they look like scroll tubes. The preservation of colors is incredible.
Chinese New Year is on a different day every year because the holiday is based on the lunar calendar. Learning about my own traditions has always been a hands-on, and sometimes painful, experience. When I was 5, I stuck my chopsticks upright in my bowl of white rice and got whacked. I later learned you only do that when making offerings to the deceased. Oops!
Chinese New Year celebrations began with the legend of a wild beast called Nian. “Nian” in Chinese means year. Nian appeared at the end of every year to cause ruckus in villages and terrorizing villagers. Loud noises and bright lights were used to scare away the wild beast and that’s how Chinese Year celebrations were born. This time of year brings about the strangest superstitions.
- On the eve of Chinese New Year, children should sleep after midnight to ensure their parents will live a long life. I’m not sure if the later you sleep, the longer your parents will live. That might be important. I’m usually out by 12:01 AM.
- Clean the house spotless before the first day of Chinese New Year. This is a must because…
- During Chinese New Year, sweeping and cleaning is a no-no. (I’m all for that.) If you do, you’re sweeping all the good luck out of the door.
- Don’t buy books. In Chinese, the word “book” is a homonym for ‘lose.’ You don’t want a sucky year.
- Don’t buy shoes. In Chinese, the word “shoes” is a homonym for ‘rough.’ You don’t want a hard year either. Unless, you like to hustle.
- Pay off your debts. If you start the new year in the red, you’ll finish the same way. Ahem – Dad (You owe me money.)
- No talks of ghost or death. It’s an extremely bad omen. Boogie Monster? Psh…I’ve seen bigger boogers.
- Wear red – my favorite color and the ultimate bringer of good luck.
- Eat sweets, as in candy, so you’ll have a “sweet” year. Heellllooo, chocolate.
- Open your windows and doors to let in good luck. And the Arctic breeze.
- Put away scissors and knives. Sharp objects cut away your good luck.
- Don’t get a haircut, or you’ll have your good luck chopped off. And trust me, the “barbers” around my way like to chop.
- Don’t wash your hair, or you’ll wash away good luck. Good thing Chinese people don’t have nappy hair.
- Set off firecrackers to welcome the new year and chase away evil spirits. Or if you just like blowing things up.
Thanks @darrickjlee for contributing. I think I’ve got most of it. Right?
Image by JC
This photo was taken in April of 2008 – a month after the deadly riots between the Uighur, Tibet’s ethnic Muslims, and the Han Chinese. The clash was a result of the increased oppression of Uighur by the Chinese government. The Uighur were protesting against Beijing rule and demanding independence from China.
Daily life in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, was very polarized with the Chinese military’s physical presence of control and the prayer flags‘ spiritual presence of peace and compassion.
Carved poems by Confucius and the poet Dufu are scattered along Taishan. The poems describe the beauty of the surrounding, respect and a legend that says those who climb the mountain will live until they are 100 years old.
Thanks to @darrickjlee, the poem has been semi-deciphered! He introduced me to, Nciku, an amazing resource for learning Chinese. It even comes with audio to help with pronunciations! Below is the poem’s pinyin in Chinese.
乾隆皇帝, Qian Long Hong Di
回峦抱深凹， Hui Luan Bao Shen Ao,
曦光每独受。 Xi Guang Mei Du Shou.
所以朝阳名， Suo Yi Zhao Yang Ming,
名山率常有。 Ming Shan Lu Chang You.
是处辟云关， Shi Chu Bi Yun Guan,
坦区得数亩。 Tan Qu De Shu Mu.
结构寄幽偏， Jie Gou Ji You Pian,
潇洒开窗牖。 Xiao Sa Kai Chuang Shan.
历险欣就夷， Li Xian Xi Jiu Yi,
稍息复进走。 Shao Xi Fu Jing Zou.
即景悟为学， Ji Jing Wu Wei Xue,
无穷戒株守。 Wu Qiong Jie Zhu Shou.
@darrickjlee to the rescue! He’s translate the poem into English. Thanks so much Darrick! I envy your skills.
Meandering peaks embrace deep vales;
Twilights are often received exclusively.
That’s why the name Early Morning Sun,
Is used to name many a famous mount.
[Middle verse harder to translate...]
Having faced danger, it’s pleasing to find peace.
Having rested, it’s time to resume proceeding.
The current scenery is enlightening me to learn,
That the infinite sky forbids procrastinating.
Her eyes scanned from left to right. She missed me but I certainly didn’t miss her. She sat directly in front of me and she was digging. She was really digging. She was digging like there was gold. I cringed as she pulled out a yellowish-green gunk sitting on the underside of her long, narrow pinky fingernail. She rolled it into a ball and flicked it, shamelessly. Then she snorted.
As I watched, I thought, “Should I tell her politely that it’s not appropriate to be doing that in public? Should I hand her a tissue and maybe she’d get the point? Or should I continue to give this look of disgust for her to see?” In the end, I did nothing. I turned away when she looked at me. I wasn’t sure if she was embarrassed but I was. We both had the same face – yellow skin, almond eyes. This is how stereotypes are born.
But who am I to tell her what and what not to do? It’s an American taboo to pick your nose in public but maybe it’s a norm in China, just like how it’s perfectly normal to hock a loogie in the hutongs of Beijing. Cultural norms in America are no superior to norms in China. However, if I were living in a Muslim country where the cultural norm is for women to dress conservatively, I wouldn’t walk out of the house in a tank top. I understand there’s a difference between religion and hygiene, but if you willingly choose to live in a foreign culture you should at least respect its cultural norms. Right?
My New Year’s Resolution: To be happy & healthy in mind, body & spirit. And travel a crap load more.
I started A Pair of Panties & Boxers as a reminder to myself to never conform to society’s norm in the daily grind of a 9-5. I didn’t want my job to be the reason I stopped seeing beyond four walls and I didn’t want the burden of saving for grad school keep me from seeing the world. I figured the best way to travel as much as I can is to start a travel blog because in order to write about my travels, I’d actually have to go and travel. When I start running out of things to write, that means I need to get on a plane, train, bus, boat or any type of transportation fast – not that I don’t get that urge to just jet every single day. But sometimes, we do what we have to do and not what we want to do.
It hasn’t been a year since I started blogging but I thought I’d still wrap up 2009 featuring my top 10 most popular blog posts of the year. I hope all my readers enjoyed growing this blog with me these past 6 months. Thanks for sticking around.
So without further adieu, here are the top 10 posts for 2009.
The beauty of traveling through China is that sometimes, I feel like I’m in two places at once – the past and the present.
See #8 for related post.
The one thing I absolutely loathe about China is the lack of Western toilets. Those hole-in-the-ground-you-have-to-pee-by-squatting apparatuses make me cringe every time. I’m a girl — how am I supposed to pee that way?!
So when my roommates and I decided to trek westward for fall break, towards rural Yunnan and Sichuan, I had to put on a brave face and come to terms with the fact that I’d be using nothing but “squatties.”
Five hours into the bumpy bus ride and two bottles of water later, I was bursting with thoughts of shiny automatic-flush toilets and marble sinks.
Alas, what greeted me at the makeshift rest stop was an outhouse made out of mud and three little children asking for a 50 cents fee for using their “bathroom.”
We took the next departing train from Shanghai to Hangzhou. It was an hour and a half of smooth sailing.
The Blue Mosque sits directly across from the Hagia Sophia on the Hippodrome, also known as the Sultanahmet Square. It’s hard to say which is more impressive. They both rival in beauty. With six towering minarets, The Blue Mosque dominates the Istanbul skyline.
I paid ¥20 for a cab ride down to People’s Park (人民公园), ¥10 to see the Gaudi exhibit at the MOCA, ¥40 for lunch at Pizza Hut, ¥50 for a shuttle ride to the Oriental Pearl Tower, another ¥50 for dinner and ¥1o for extraneous expenses. I dropped ¥170 like it was nothing because in my mind that was only $10.
My friend (at the time) JC and I walked along the Huangpu River that night. We saw a boy in ripped rags and torn slippers. He looked about 10 years old. He approached us raising a flower in his hand and said…
“一块，一块。要不要花？”(One dollar, one dollar. Do you want flowers?)
He haggled a little. We politely declined. I turned around and watched him zig-zag his way down the path. He made sure not to miss a single couple. JC and I sat down on the stone-rimmed flowerbed and watched the boy pace back and forth under the moon light.
Travel Secret #1: Art of Cheap Accommodations
Travel Secret #2: Kaifeng, China
Travel Secret #3: Climb The Great Wall When It Snows
What are some of your best kept travel secrets?
JC and I walked non-stop these past two days. It was either restless leg syndrome or it was the excitement of being in Madrid. I thought we would take it a little slower on the third day but nope – not when traveling with JC.He only knows one speed – and it’s just go, go, go, go, go!
We began the day with a trip to Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, home of Real Madrid.
This was Kaifeng’s welcome to us. Fog? Pollution? Combination? I don’t know but it was one hell of a welcome. I held out my hand and saw nothing. I looked down and I had no feet. We blindly walked forward – away from the train station and closer to the sound of the road. We had a hard time crossing the street. We couldn’t see the cars and bicycles and they couldn’t see us. We played it by ear. Literally. And hailing a cab? I want to say, “Fuggedaboutit,” but we managed to do so. Till this day, it still puzzles me.
I’m a nerd. I like math and I like to plan. Excel is my best friend. I can’t live without my planner. When it comes to traveling, I get excited at the thought of creating a new spreadsheet. Budgeting is my favorite part. How low can I go?
I conquered 7,200 steps to the top of Taishan and trekked 4 hours around the West Lake in Hangzhou. Climbing The Great Wall? Sure! No problem. Except I forgot to factor in the high altitude and nearly freezing temperature. Read more…