International Travel, Itineraries & Trip Planning

1 Day in Lanzhou: What to Do and Eat

The capital of Gansu province, Lanzhou is a key gateway to northwestern China (your other option is Urumqi). These days Lanzhou is just a 2.5 hour plane ride or 9-hour high speed train from Beijing. It’s the perfect starting point to visit the famous Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, experience the Silk Road at Mingsha Mountain… Read More 1 Day in Lanzhou: What to Do and Eat

International Travel, Reflections, Travel Photography

ZhangYe Danxia, the Rainbow Mountains of China

This is ZhangYe Danxia Geopark in the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu. It’s also known as the Rainbow Mountains of China. This is also ZhangYe Danxia Geopark. In fact, it’s the exact same peak. And oh wait, this is the same place in ZhangYe Danxia Geopark yet again. The only difference, of course, is that… Read More ZhangYe Danxia, the Rainbow Mountains of China

Reblogs, Reflections

The Lost Kids

Originally posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 I call them kids, but they’re not really kids. A lot of them are my age or older. And I call them lost, except many of them are perfectly content as they are. I live in the Haight, a neighborhood in San Francisco that is somewhat known for… Read More The Lost Kids

International Travel, Itineraries & Trip Planning

The Best Hostels Around the World, Accordingly to Travel Bloggers

I adore hostels. While some believe they’re best saved for gap year and college students, I’m firmly in the camp of “hostels for all!” I have met amazing people of all ages in hostels, including those I’ve later visited in their hometowns. Some hostels do indeed fit the old-school image of being grungy and seedy,… Read More The Best Hostels Around the World, Accordingly to Travel Bloggers

International Travel, Reflections, Travel Stories

The Monk on the River Kwai

On Dec. 28, 2014, an Air Asia flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore crashed into the Java Sea, killing all onboard. That same morning, we flew on an Air Asia flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap, and gasped when we got finally on Wi-Fi and saw news of the crash. First, disbelief. Then, thankfulness. And… Read More The Monk on the River Kwai

International Travel

Treasures Along the Silk Road: the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang 

From the west came not only Silk Road traders who came to Dunhuang and passed by Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Oasis, but also monks. Monks who would forever change the people and landscape of this Silk Road garrison. Today, we know their legacy as the Mogao Caves, or Thousand Buddha Grottos. It is the largest and… Read More Treasures Along the Silk Road: the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang 

International Travel, Travel Photography

Treasures Along the Silk Road: Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Oasis 

From Marco Polo to camels and caravans, stories of the Silk Road have always been full of allure and mystery. So it was with much exuberance that I finally arrived in Dunhuang, located at the former junction of two key routes of the Silk Road network. One of its major draws is something I’ve always… Read More Treasures Along the Silk Road: Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Oasis 

International Travel, Travel Photography

This is Not Bolivia: the Salt Lake You Never Knew About

When it comes to vast expanses of salt, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is iconic and the best known. Americans may also be aware of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. But this is not Bolivia or Utah. Instead, this is in Chaka, tucked away in the western Chinese province of Qinghai. The keen observer will… Read More This is Not Bolivia: the Salt Lake You Never Knew About

International Travel, Travel Photography

Modern Art for a Modern China: A Walk Through the Changchun World Sculpture Park 

When I think of Chinese art, my mind goes to the classical brush paintings and classical sculptures of Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian figures. So when the World Sculpture Park in Changchun, one of northern China’s biggest cuties, was first introduced to me, I was a little skeptical. But I am so glad I was persuaded… Read More Modern Art for a Modern China: A Walk Through the Changchun World Sculpture Park 

International Travel

Booking an Amazon Lodge? A Review of Refugio Amazonas  

I’m all for DIY travel and generally abhor tours except for when necessary, such as with the Inca Trail. As we planned the rest of our Peruvian adventure and looked to the Amazon, however, we realized that it would be much easier to find a lodge that could provide airport-to-lodge service than to try to put together… Read More Booking an Amazon Lodge? A Review of Refugio Amazonas