• Asia,  China

    Everything You Need to Know About Train Travel in China

    Train travel in China is sooo underrated. It's so convenient to take short train journeys because they're faster than buses, and overnight trains are the best because you wake up where you need to be! That being said, train travel in China can be a little intimidating. That's where I step in. Here's a guide to train travel in China.

  • Asia,  China

    5 Weekend Trips from Kunming, China

    Kunming is the perfect home base for weekend trips to other cities in Yunnan. There are so many places to see, each completely different from the last. Whilst I lived in Kunming, I took full advantage of the location to see as much of Yunnan as I could! Here are my top weekend trips.

  • Asia,  China,  Miscellaneous,  Tips

    unexpected learning: keats chinese school

    As you all know by now, I spent 8 weeks studying Chinese in Kunming, China. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, Kunming is a fantastic home base. It’s pretty easy to get to loads of different destinations. More than three months ago, when I was in the process of looking for a language school, I was frankly overwhelmed. I decided to go for Keats Language School, as it had boarding, meals, private lessons, and a gym membership included (gym!!!). My experience at Keats has been nothing short of amazing. The one thing that really sets Keats apart from other schools is the staff. The teachers are…

  • Asia,  China

    unexpected china: five experiences you MUST have

    Try chou dou fu You’ll smell it WAY before you see it. Miles worse than durian, chou dou fu (stinky tofu) has a smell reminiscent of rotting garbage. So of course I tried it. Compared to the smell, the taste is surprisingly mild. In fact, I even went on to try a bunch of old fermented stinky tofu. That one didn’t go too well. Eat all of the dumplings you can. Xiao long bao (SOUP DUMPLINGS), jiao zi (normal dumplings), bao zi (big BREADY dumplings)! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner! If you are what you eat, I am definitely a dumpling. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Seriously, don’t miss…

  • Asia,  China,  Solo Travel

    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 upon arrival, I took a taxi to my hostel. I’d been told it was inside another building, so I got dropped off at the closest intersection. I entered the series of buildings booking.com/maps.me/google maps told me it was in and just COULD NOT find it. I went back out and asked a security guard if…

  • Asia,  China,  Uncategorized

    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 picked Yunnan was that it had mountains. I know, a silly reason, but a reason nonetheless. Yunnan has more than mountains. It’s surpassed all expectations I had for it. Need any inspiration to visit? Just keep scrollin’.  

  • Asia,  China

    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 explore. GETTING THERE Once again, we took the night train on Friday night, and we arrived Saturday morning at about 6am. The train station is a fair bit away from the old town. You’ll need to take the number 8 bus, which departs from the front of the train station. Where We Stayed We stayed…

  • Asia,  China,  Trekking Tips

    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) and a lower trail (road for tour busses). This post is all about the UPPER trail. G E T T I N G   T H E R E Getting to Tiger Leaping Gorge is not as hard as it seems! From Kunming, we grabbed a sleeper train on Friday night (at 10:23pm) and arrived…

  • Asia,  China

    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 to the Western Hills (Xi Shan in Chinese). I was expecting a hike up to the top and a quick descent, but the area is actually really lovely to explore, and I highly recommend checking it out. You can take a series of cable cars and ski lifts up to the top of the mountain,…

  • Asia,  China

    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 T T I N G   T H E R E  We bought our tickets at Kunming West Passenger Bus Station (Xi Bu Ke Yun Zhan). It’s best to take a taxi here (¥25), as it’s quite far away. The tickets were about ¥208 one way. You can only buy one way here. We took the…