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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Our first days in China/Southeast Asia

After a fourteen hour flight to Hong Kong, three hour flight to Kunming, and a two hour bus ride around Kunming we finally arrived in a gorgeous rural village of Tuan Jie Zhen. So far we have been learning how to count and ask basic questions in Mandarin, we are building our foundation for meditation, and learning the Do’s and Dont’s of Southeast Asia.

At the moment, we are staying in a local NGO hostel. This hostel is based around being eco-friendly, using solar power to heat the water, recycled goods to build the furniture, and all the food we are eating has come from their own organic farming. This village is full of amazing locals who have made a serious effort to interact with us, which has eased us into using our poor Mandarin skills to interact. Tomorrow we are leaving this hostel, Heart to Heart, we are getting on a thirteen hour overnight bus to Shangri La. We will arrive at nine AM, we will check into the hostel and then begin exploring the city.

In china, the firewall is much more extensive then my preconceived idea. The firewall bans us from using Facebook, Skype, and Gmail, this is why most of you have not heard any updates. We will be in China for four weeks, do not expect many emails or Skype calls until we reach Laos.