A trip to China and an attempt to do work sounds like a bad idea...

Initially, I was reluctant to travel overseas when I could be using the holidays to catch up on my studies, but seeing that my parents were firm in their decision, I decided to bring some study materials there to get some studying done.

Plane ride!

Day 1: Since it was a night flight, we crashed the hotels once we landed in Kunming. The weather there was cool and refreshing - almost like an AC room. We were travelling as a tour and upon arriving at the hotel, I started to revise until I felt like sleeping... zzz

Economics after an economy class flight
Outside the hotel

Day 2: In the morning, we had breakfast and went to our first destination - The Stone Forest UNESCO World Heritage Site. The scenery there was breathtaking and I was taken aback to see how stone landscapes carry a very rustic and traditional atmosphere.

Tour guide giving a brief history
Stone pillars <3

After that, we took a boat further in the Stone Forest and went into the caves which were artificially and colorfully lighted. Although unique, it made the whole experience seem....artificial. Not too keen of this attraction I will admit.

Not sold by these effects, but whatever

After the first day, I felt really exhausted but also excited for the remaining days to come. I forgot how pleasant it was to take a breather from studies and enjoy myself to the fullest on these holidays. As a result, in a short span of two days, I gave up on revising.

Me in the 1940s
Outside another hotel

Day 3: We went to a Dinosaur Museum and it was full of fossils and..... well fossils. The place was really dark and wet, not to mention a foul stench. The dinosaurs that kept us company in the dark were all staring with empty eye sockets, as if they could turn alive at any moment.... It just gave off a creepy vibe ><

Lighting was terrible....

We continued on a long bus ride to Lijiang where I could finally rest from all the walking around. Our schedule was very packed for that day and we had to rush from one location to another.

look out of the window!
Touching scenery, touching words

We arrived at an old town filled with rich culture and a very traditional school. Not to mention, the scenery at the highest point was nice too. Renovation was also carried out to preserve the condition of the place. The students there were really bonded, with no reliance on technology and playing games with one another.

At the highest point of the town

It was getting dark, so we were about to go back. While waiting......

The bus was slow to arrive, the same as my shutter speed...

Day 4: The highly awaited day where we were about to catch a performance called <Impression of Lijiang>. Along the way we stopped by a few places to take photos

I like the colors :3

Finally the highlight of the day - Impression of Lijiang, and boy did it leave an impression on me. The crowd cheering, the tribe's strong emotions and deeply planted cultural roots, and their voices. Despite the hot sun, they still managed to sing their hearts out and display an enthralling performance. Because of the hot sun, I had a headache. Oh well. With that, we had a long bus ride to Shangri-La next.

Full force!
Young children
Swing, swing, swing

Day 5: Another highly anticipated day. We would be ascending the Shangrila Shika Snow Mountain by cable car. Before we departed from the hotel, the tour guide warned us that it would be very cold but I had no idea what to expect and could only hope that bringing thick clothes and winter wear would be sufficient.

On the way to the mountain

What bothered me was not the cold, but the altitude. At the mountain peak, I was struggling to catch my breath. Coupled by the strong headwinds, my progress up the daunting mountain was really slow. Half of the tour group had much more trouble going up the mountain, the -10 degrees celsius not helping at all. But overall it was still one of the best experiences I had so far.

Mountain Peak!

As we headed back, I had to go for number two. Now where can I find a 5 star toilet....

It reeks.... and no toilet paper

In the night, we visited a temple and there was this gigantic pillar where we had to move it around 3 times and pray. It was really heavy and I hope that praying paid off.... I shall find out one year later.

Golden pillar

Day 6: We started heading back to Kunming and along the way, we visited an old town yet again and came across some adorable kids playing catching - cardboard box style!

Lunch by the lake

Day 7: Second last day was spent travelling back to Kunming. At least we managed to witness a nice sunrise :D

Happy-go-lucky dog?
Fellow photographer
Halo ring effect..... Wow

Day 8: The last day. It has been such a nice trip spent with family and friends. 8 days seemed too short and I wanted it to last longer, but alas I had to fly off.

Philosophical bird
Bird dance-off
Goodbye China

If given another opportunity, I would like to come back again. I learned two things: The bonds in China were very deep. And homework was not meant to be brought on holidays xD

司机叔叔, you da real MVP!!!
Created By
Linus Yeong

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