“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

I am definitely not lost, but I have a burning desire to wander. I love to explore other countries and cultures, mingle with the locals and support local businesses. I also love to meet people from all over the world. I have just been to China in April and May and I am captivated by the beauty of the country and the friendlyness of the locals. On my journey I met some fantastic people along the way.

I have spent three days in Beijing on my own before I have meet my group of thirteen great people from South Africa, the UK, Italy, Denmark and Germany and my chinese tour leader Leon who was absolutely outstanding. He was without a doubt one of the two best tour leader I ever had. With them I travelled all across China. We have walked along the Great Wall at Mutianyu, visited the Forbidden City and the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. On our free day I did a Hutong tour by Cycle Rickshaw on my own through one of the Hutongs – the old quarters – which are the heart of Beijing. Together with the group we have stood in front of the skyline of Shanghai and on top of China’s tallest building, the Shanghai World Financial Center. We have watched the Shanghai Acrobats and have visited the Terracotta Warriors in Xian. We have encountered the Giant Pandas in Chengdu and have seen the World’s tallest stone carved Buddha, the Giant Buddha of Leshan. We have enjoyed a Hot Pot dinner in Chongqing, one of the two spiciest dishes I have ever eaten. We have cruised along the Yangtze river into the three Gorges and in a confluence of the Yangtze. We have glided along the Li river on a bamboo raft and have cycled through the rice paddies and the countryside along the karsts of Yangshuo. Finally we have encountered the fascinating skyline of Hongkong where my tour have ended.

It was my second time in the country, I have already been to Yunnan and Tibet in July and August 2010. Before going to China in April, I have thought that I will tick off China for the next two or three years afterwards. But when visiting I was totally blown away and I couldn’t resist to book my next trip to the Middle Kingdom. Now I am on my way back to China.

I just got into Dubai last night where I spent the night and where I will spend the full day today before continuing onto Shanghai tonight. There I want to see a few things which I couldn’t see last time and I am intending to visit one of the ancient watertowns around Shanghai. After three or four days I will be flying to Beijing where I have another four or five days on my own to explore a few places more in depth and visit others I don’t know yet. I also hope to meet Mill this time, who was the other outstanding tour leader I had and who led me in Yunnan and Tibet. She now lives in Beijing. We couldn’t meet in April as she wasn’t in China at that time and I really hope, it works out this time before I meet my group of fifteen other, hopefully nice people from different countries with who I will again travel across China till Hongkong where the tour finishes. There I’ll have a few days on my own before flying home. I really hope, this trip will be as amazing as my China tour in April and May was. This recent China trip and Leon as a tour leader will be hard to reach and seem to be impossible to top.

In China I will visit several places of my last trip a second time and three places in Yunnan where I have been to in 2010 already. Some people might say that this is boring, I do not agree. I think, it’s a great possiblity to explore things more in depth without rushing around to see as much as possible in a short amount of time. And there are always things you don’t know yet, even in places which are already familiar. I will also visit a few places I don’t know yet and I am curious to explore the unknown things along the road.

As WordPress is banned in China, I won’t be able to blog while I am there. But as soon as I am back home I will continue to blog about the China tour which I have done in April and May before I’ll start blogging about my upcoming China trip. I want to finish this post with a quote which I recently found on the blog on one of my latest followers which I think, matches perfectly just right now. Thanks, Samantha, for the inspiration.

Down below is an interactive map with all places which I will visit. And this is how you can follow me on my journey: just click on the image blow and a new window which leads you to my account tripline.net will open. Just hit the “Play”-Button there and my route will display automatically, or take a look on the day-by-by-itinerary at the end of this article.

„Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.“

(Cesare Pavese)


My itinerary:

17th October: Flight Frankfurt – Dubai, Arrival in Dubai in the late evening

18th October: Dubai

19th October: Flight Dubai – Shanghai at 2.50 A.M., Arrival in Shanghai in the afternoon

20th till 23rd October: Shanghai individually

23rd till 27th October: Beijing individually

27th October: Start of the Tour at 6 P.M.

27th till 29th October: Beijing & the Great Wall at Mutianyu with the group

29th till 30th October: Xian

31st October: Chengdu

1st till 3rd November: Leshan – Mount Emei Shan

3rd till 5th November: Lijiang

5th till 7th November: Two days trek through the Tiger Leaping Gorge

7th till 9th November: Dali

9th till 10th November: Kunming

10th November: Flight Kunming – Guilin, Drive to Yangshuo

11th till 14th November: Yangshuo

15th November: Arrival in Hongkong in the morning

16th November: End of Tour

16th till 19th November: Hongkong individually

20th November: Flight Hongkong – Dubai – Frankfurt at 12.35 A.M., Arrival at midday