Journeying Through the Middle Kingdom: An Introduction

Hello Off the Silk Road readers!

It has been just over a week since I have returned from an amazing six-week journey in China, and now it’s time to bring the journey to you via the blog. But first, a brief introduction, in Off the Maine Road/Off the Silk Road list form (in no particular order).

  1. If you saw the reference “we” in the trip update posts, here’s why. I traveled to China as part of a program with Where There Be Dragons. Check them out—the organization is fantastic and I highly recommend them. Our group included 12 students from around the country (including Singapore) and three instructors.
  2. The “itinerary” was as follows:
    1. June 28 – July 2 — Orientation in Xiangshuihu (响水湖) — a small village next to the Great Wall
    2. July 3 — Sightseeing in Beijing (北京)
    3. July 4 — Transfer to Kunming (昆明), the capital of Yunnan province and take an overnight train to Lijiang (丽江)
    4. July 5 – July 17 — Village homestay in Nan Yao Cun (南尧村), a small village outside of Lashihai (拉市海)
    5. July 18 – July 24 — Student-planned expedition phase to the following locations:
      1. July 18 – 20 — Shangri-La (香格里拉)
      2. July 20 – 22 — A small Tibetan ethnic village called Niru (泥汝)
      3. July 23 – 24 — Trekking Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡)
    6. July 25 – August 4 — Urban homestay in the capital of Yunnan province, Kunming (昆明)
    7. August 5 – 8 — Final days at Shibaoshan (石宝山) and the old town of Shaxi (沙溪)
    8. August 8 – 9 — Travel back to the U.S.
  3. Throughout the trip, I took notes in my journal of anything we saw, did, or experiences I had. The following posts will be my words directly from the field, supplemented by pictures from each destination.
  4. Our group wrote periodic reflections during the trip, and you can check them out here.
  5. “The journey is the destination” was one of our “mottos” during the trip, and is a huge part of this blog. So now, sit back, relax and enjoy the tales from my trip to China — where the journey is the destination.

—Benjy R. (or as some Chinese people call me, 唐杰明), Editor in Chief, Off the Silk Road

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