Backpack Full of SunshineA travel blog of a boy following his dream and embarking on a four year backpacking sabbatical around the world

China

Macau

2/14/14 I got home early this morning. I wanted to spend the end of Spring Festival with dad. Plus, it would give me a chance to rewind, recharge, and get ready for the big trip in Africa First thing first, I found a clinic and took my yellow fever shot. It was 5 bucks… gotta give some love to the communist health care system. Since the clinic was actually on the...

Hong Kong

2/11/14 It was a rainy day in Guangzhou, and the soft tapping of raindrops on the glass made the train ride to HK that much more somber. Everything seemed dark and lifeless. I rested my head against the window, and stared aimlessly at the passing factories and fields. Beautiful was our encounter, and equally poetic was our goodbye. It was only fitting that M and I...

Yangshou

2/09/14 The bus to Guilin was longer than we had planned. It took most of our day, although Katie and I did get to doze off here and there after an early morning start. I’ve always had a soft spot for Guilin. My parents spent their honeymoon here. I remember going thru a photo album as a kid, and dreaming about visiting this paradise myself one day. Well...

Tianmen Mountain

Next morning, we got up early to send Anna to the bus station. She was heading back to Changsha, and would catch another bus to her hometown. We promised each other we would keep in touch. Katie looked much better, finally with some color back on her cheeks. Even though she kept down the porridge and fried pancakes we had for breakfast, the thought of a half day...

ZhangJiaJie

2/06/14  Brent and I materialized our plan over skype a few days ago, and we decided to rendezvous in Dubai, before heading to Kenya together. We picked Dubai a) because it sounded pretty cool, b) it was a central hub with tons of connecting flights to Africa, and c) it had one of the easiest tourist visa for a Chinese passport holder. Yes, I was still traveling with...

Chinese New Year with the Fam

2/04/14 Katie and I came back to Shanghai for the Chinese New Year. It wouldn’t feel right to miss it since I haven’t celebrated with dad in almost a decade. We invited a pair of girls we met during that Couchsurfing meet-up a month ago. The older of the two cousins, Clara, told us that home was too far of a trip, so she and her cousin were planning on spending...

Mt. Emei

1/24/14 7:47 pm local time, and what a day it has been! I am now sitting in the restaurant of a small guest house tucked in the mountains, taking a much needed break while waiting for my rice bowl with cabbage. Looks like I am the only guest here for the night, and the family running the place made sure I had everything I needed to be comfortable since I checked in...

Leshan

1/24/14 I left the hostel in Chengdu early this morning. First stop of the day, Leshan, a town in the southwest that was famous for its gargantuan buddha statue. A couple of local bus connections got me to base of the hill, where the statue of gray stones and orange clay rested peacefully against the side of the mountain. And boy, was it a sight to behold. The...

Chengdu

1/23/14 Chengdu will probably end up being one of my favorite cities in all of China. I remember seeing a photo somewhere years ago. It was taken by a reporter after the city was flooded. Four grandparents were sitting outdoors on 4 sides of a wooden table, playing a game of Majiang. It would had been perfectly normal, except that they were shin deep in water, with...

Yichang

1/16/14 Katie and I took the slow train this morning from Xi’an to Yichang, making our way toward the gorges of Yangtze delta. Xi’an was an incredible place. I thoroughly enjoyed its wealth of culture, history, and cuisine. Although my tummy was paying the price for trying out various street stalls to my heart’s content. Dodging those deadly puddles and getting used...