Dumplings and Naan in Kashgar

If Danielle had blindfolded me for the 72-hour train journey (uh, thanks for not doing that though) and secretly led me to Kashgar, looking around I doubt I would have been able to guess which region of the world she had taken me to. Over two thousand miles from Beijing, Kashgar feels much more like the Middle East than China. Arabic script sits alongside Chinese characters, men wear doppa hats and women... read more

72 Hours: Beijing to Kashgar

Ever wonder what it’s like to be on a train for more than a day?  Here are our thoughts….   Hour 2: (Silvia) With probably an unlimited number of standing tickets being sold, our train car is bursting with people. But so far it feels more lively than claustrophobic. Our neighbors helped us stow our bags and gave us bananas! And after the look of horror our hostel receptionist had given us... read more

A Sleepover at the Great Wall

After about two weeks in Beijing, I was developing bad habits — well, let’s just say I was getting lazy and constantly overdosing on baguette and cheese from the nearby gourmet grocery store.  Local food only fail.  When a friend from my hostel (I was basically a longterm resident) invited me to join him on an overnight adventure to the Great Wall, I jumped at the opportunity.  I had already... read more

Bedridden in Beijing

It happened, just as I should have known it would the moment I told Danielle that, sure I would get travel insurance, but really I never get sick. I got sick. Getting sick while backpacking is one of those worst case scenarios you avoid thinking about. It’s the pits. You’ve just touched down in a new country and haven’t even worked out the currency, much less where to get crackers and... read more


Oh Beijing.  Where to even begin.  We’ve become so well acquainted.  I’ve almost gotten used to your more shocking aspects: the smog, the men in their summer uniform of no shirts aka the “Beijing Bikini” and the babies whose bottoms are never covered, because why waste money on diapers when there are so many sidewalks and sewer grates open for use!  I’m still in awe of the... read more

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