Traveling!

Jul 06 2011

Ni hao ma. Wercome to my first blog post of ALL TIME (not really, but the first since Xanga, which hardly counts). I’ve been traverin for a good solid month now – I spent last month in Cape Town, South Africa, and now I am in the great Chiner (I won’t bother posting on the happenings of my South Africa trip – Thomas Wilson has an immaculate record of our time there on his blog). I’ve been having a blast – Cape Town was a gorgeous city, the Xhosa were a beautiful people, and our team was fun from the too-early morning to the too-cold evening. Leaving them was hard, but I’m back in my favorite country – the good old PRC.

Chinese State TV

Travel has been a bit hectic – Early June I traveled with our team from Waco to Abilene, Abilene to DFW, picked up Derek Brooks and flew from DFW to London, ditched poor Derek and then flew from DFW to Cape Town. We stayed mostly in the same area for the entirety of the trip, but at the end of June, just a few days before the trip officially ended, I flew from Cape Town to Jo’burg, Jo’burg to Doha (Qatar), & Doha to Beijing. From Beijing I flew to Wuhan (10 mil pop), jumped on a private charter bus down to Yichang (4 mil pop), and then got on a 5 star Yangtze River cruise (http://www.chinahighlights.com/yangtzecruise/victoria-anna/). For five days we sailed down the beautifulYangtze River, one of the better QT spots I’ve had.

5am on the Yangtze

Day 2 we went to see the Three Gorges Dam – the largest hydroelectric project in the world. We went through 4 (5?) ship locks to get past the dam, a process that takes 4+ hours.

 

Ship locks up close

a bit higher vantage point..

..and the highest vantage point! glory.

 

Day 3 we took an excursion to the Daning River Small Gorges, which was cool but took forever to get to. Day 5 we disembarked for good in Congqing (33 mil pop).

Chongqing Skyline

An itchy panda we saw at the Chongqing Zoo

After Chongqing we flew to Shenzhen (China’s version of Hong Kong – right on the Hong Kong border. 9 mil pop). From Shenzhen we drove to Hong Kong (it’s about 1 hour – much cheaper to fly to Shenzhen and drive the rest of the way than fly direct). We’re currently in Hong Kong and it’s one of the coolest places I’ve ever been – essentially all the things I love about China (the food, the people, the weird culture, prices, etc) and take away all the bad stuff (people in HK have personal liberties, Facebook/Twitter, money, and smiles). If I were to CP out of country, HK would be a fun place to do it. Not to mention they have the trendiest people I have ever seen in my entire life – and most of them don’t even look like they’re trying. I’ve come to realize that there are really own three types of Hong Kong residents: Asians that are trendy on purpose, Asians that are trendy on accident, and white people. I have been here nary 2 days and I already want to lose 100 pounds and get a pair of horn-rimmed glasses.

Even Ariel wouldn’t be hipster enough for Hong Kong.

We are just now getting into the thick of the actual project work – the product I’m working on is ridiculously cool and way better than I had hoped for. More on that to come. It’s very late here, so bye for now!

 

Mike

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