unexpected learning: keats chinese school

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 [...]

unexpected china: five experiences you MUST have

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 [...]

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 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 immersion: my first week in china

unexpected immersion: my first week in china

Hello friends! I'm currently studying Chinese in the Yunnan Province of China. Yunnan is home to a wide array of landscapes and ethnic tribes. It's also the gateway into the Himalayas. Of course the mountain girl picked this province. I was surprised at how little culture shock I felt upon arriving here. That being said, China is [...]