unexpected kindness: taiyuan, china

unexpected kindness: taiyuan, china

My way out of Kunming took a string of flights and trains. The first leg was Kunming to Taiyuan. My flight arrived at 9 pm, and I wouldn’t leave until 11 pm the next day. So I booked a hostel (use my affiliate link here!) and thought nothing of it. The flight went smoothly, and [...]

unexpected mongolia: trekking in the altai mountains

unexpected mongolia: trekking in the altai mountains

In the beginning of July, I mentioned that I wanted to explore Mongolia. It's a place travellers often overlook, and it was calling my name! So I made it happen. Phil (from my Chinese school) and I met back up in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and then flew out West to the Altai Mountains. The Altai are [...]

unexpected questions: is nepal safe for solo female travelers?

unexpected questions: is nepal safe for solo female travelers?

I am a solo female traveler. Naturally, this prompts people to ask me about safety. One of the places people ask me about most is Nepal. I've traveled to Nepal three times- two of which were solo trips, and I've "lived" there for about three months. It's important to remember that bad things can happen [...]

unexpected wanderlust: 10 photos that will make you book a flight to yunnan

unexpected wanderlust: 10 photos that will make you book a flight to yunnan

As you read this, I'll have left my Chinese school! It's crazy to think that before I had come here, I didn't want to study Chinese, as so many lovely things have come from this experience, in addition to more solid Chinese. Yunnan is the province I'd chosen to study within... Honestly, the reason I [...]

unexpected weekend trips: dali

unexpected weekend trips: dali

By now, you guys have probably guessed that my friends and I like to get away from our studies by going on weekend trips. This weekend, we checked out Dali, an ancient town north of Kunming. Dali is a great destination for a weekend away. It's full of amazing restaurants and cute little alleyways to discover and [...]

unexpected weekend hike: tiger leaping gorge

unexpected weekend hike: tiger leaping gorge

Anya went hiking again... that shouldn't even be a surprise by now. I've heard wonderful things about Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China, and being in Yunnan made for no excuse NOT to go! This past weekend, some friends and I headed out, despite the bad weather reports. NOTE: there is an upper trail (hiking) [...]

unexpected hikes: kunming’s western hills (xi shan)

unexpected hikes: kunming’s western hills (xi shan)

After a lovely weekend in Shangri La, we decided to spend the weekend in our home city- Kunming! Kunming is a wonderful, manageable-sized, charming city. There’s plenty in the city to check out (if you’d like a post on that, I can definitely do that), but we headed towards the mountains. Kunming is the home [...]

unexpected weekend trips: kunming to shangri la

unexpected weekend trips: kunming to shangri la

Located 3160 m above sea level, Shangri La (also known as Zhongdian) is the Himalayan paradise of the 1933 James Hilton novel Lost Horizons (or so they say, although other towns also claim to be THE Shangri La). My friends and I decided to do a weekend trip here to see the mountains and Tibetan culture. G E [...]

unexpected tips: backpacking in singapore

unexpected tips: backpacking in singapore

When one says "Singapore," you may think "luxury." While Singapore is known for extravagant hotels with boats and infinity pools at the top, rooftop restaurants and bars, and malls with rivers inside them, there's an underground backpacking scene here, and it's well worth checking out! Singapore is worth spending a couple days in en route to [...]

unexpected wanderlust: 10 photos that inspire you to go to vietnam

unexpected wanderlust: 10 photos that inspire you to go to vietnam

Vietnam is an absolute gem. It's a place that I hold special in my heart. It was a place where I reconnected with a friend I hadn't seen since kindergarten, a place with so much beauty to explore, and a place to fall in love with. I'm dying to return and to see the places [...]