This page contains some memories to some of my numerous journeys to China. My first visit to China was in 2002. I was excited about practiceing my newly acknowledged skills in Mandarin after two stressfull semesters as student in Chinese Studies and Economics in Tübingen. Together with a good friend of mine, we embarked on a fantastic tour that took us to Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Xian, Datong and back to Beijing.
However, the collection of photos presented on this page starts in 2007. The first five years of travelling in China is missing in this collection.
Things changed in 2007 for two reasons: I started exploring the more remote places in the South and South-West of China and I realized the potential of having a good camera equipment. Most of the photos from 2008 were taken by Bruno, a nice guy from Switzerland who we met on the way to the mountains boardering Tibet. His photos in comparison to the photos I took with my lousy camera equipment motivated me to invest some money into a better camera.
By today, I still think that Sichuan is the best place to go in China. Far off the tourist hotspots, this place is unique and very difficult to compare to other destinations in China. Its impressive landscape and the mix of both Tibetian and Han culture offers a lot to explore.
Yes, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City are places one must visit when coming to China for the first time. I was fascinated about these places as well but these places are too croweded by tourists in my mind. The same is true for the skyline in Shanghai. I love walking along the Bund in Shanghai and it is always fascinating for the time being. However, there are so many more interesting places to visit in China, which are less frequented by tourists and more unique compared to the top tourist hotspots described in the common travel guides.
It is not too difficult to find these hidden treassures: Just go off the paths described in your travel guide to find them!
The South-West of China
Sichuan is one of the Most exciting places to visit in China for several reasons. Firstly, it is famous for its delicious food. However, you must not necessarily go all the way to Sichuan if you want to enjoy Sichuan cuisine. Sichuan restaurants can be found everywhere in China and even the non-Sichuan Restaurants offer all it’s famous dishes. More conving to me, the more remote areas in Sichuan offer a huge variety of things to explorer. Surrounded by many mountains, Chengdu is the ideal starting point for trips into the Tibetian world. There is no need to go all the way to Lhasa in order to explore the Tibetian culture. A bus from Chengdu to Kang Ding takes you to the beginning of the Tibetian world and from there it is possible to explore the smaller villages along the Sichuan-Tibet highway, which can take you all the way to Kathmandu but I have to admit that I never went that far. There are too many things to explore without really crossing the border to Tibet. The „highway“ is more like a muddy trail and not comparable to modern highways you can find elsewhere in China, which makes it difficult to travel in this region. Maybe this situation changed as this area is developing fast.
Sichuan – Gansu 2012
Kang Ding 2011
Emei Shan 2011
The South of China
Another interesting trip took us to the South of China. We started our journey in Xiamen, from where we took a plane to Guilin. I was very impressed about the nice villages surrounding Guilin and the kindliness of the people we met on our trip. From Guilin we took a plane to Guangzhou and from Guangzhou we were going to Hong Kong by train.