Rice Terraces, Skyscrapers, and Panda Porn: Pictures from China

Remember that time that I predicted I’d be blogging here “roughly two to three times per week?” Yeah, about that…

Anyway, I figure I’m probably due for an update. I’m writing this from the Chengdu airport, waiting to board a flight to Kunming: our last stop in China before moving on to Vietnam. China has been an experience, to say the least. We’ve covered a ton of ground, met lots of interesting people, eaten some incredible meals, and, of course, ogled baby pandas.

Since I last wrote from Xi’an, we’ve made our way down the west coast of China (via Shanghai) and moved inland, first to Guangxi province, then further east to Yunnan province, and then slightly north to Sichuan province, where I currently sit. Instead of my usual, barely legible wall of text, I figured I’d instead share some photo highlights from China:


Forbidden City

Tiananmen Square, on a particularly smoggy Beijing day. We walked there, which was in retrospect a poor choice. I felt like I’d smoked a pack of cigarettes by the end of the day.

With our friend Andy and his mom / our adopted Chinese mother. We stayed with them for a weekend in Beijing. They’re awesome.

Obligatory Great Wall shot. Not pictured: the toboggan that we took back down.

Zibby, renouncing capitalism for communism.


Terra Cotta Warriors. I had to fight through a hoard of aggressive, Nikon-wielding Chinese tourists to get this shot – and was promptly trampled thereafter.

Drum Tower, which marks the end of the Silk Road in Xi’an. Yes, I did also post this to Instagram, but c’mon, it’s like the coolest picture I’ve ever taken.


View from the Hyatt bar on the 84th floor of the World Financial Center, where I expect that many important business people conduct matters of global commerce. I was just excited to find good bourbon for the first (and only) time in China.

Our friend Jeff, rocking his standard smoggy day biking gear.

For those wondering if I’m following the Patriots from afar. It was past noon somewhere…

Shanghai skyline by day.

We made kimchi burgers for dinner. Delicious.

Guangxi Province

Zibby and I, after hiking up Moon Hill outside of Yangshuo.

After a cooking class. I include this one only because Zibby pointed out that I kind of look like a middle-aged British lesbian in this picture, and I’m inclined to agree with her…

Shot of the karst-style mountains that pervade throughout northern Guangxi province. We had a similar view out our window from a place we stayed nearby.

Steamed meat buns, aka bao tze, we’ve had this for breakfast almost everyday here and it’s yet to get old (it’s also less than $1 US).

Yunnan Province

Panorama shot from a bike ride we did around Erhai Lake in Dali. Alternated between rice paddies like this and small villages around the lake.

Yak: it’s what’s for dinner.

After climbing nearly 2,500 feet at Tiger Leaping Gorge, looking out at the Himalayan foothills (and Tibet beyond them).

Ran into some cranky locals on a hike.

Standing at the bottom of Tiger Leaping Gorge, looking at some of the craziest rapids I’ve ever seen. Also probably trying to discretely catch my breath after scrambling out there over a bunch of rocks.

Climbing this ladder was terrifying. Once you got past the canopy, there were about 100 feet in which you were completely exposed against a cliff face, with a healthy 1,000 foot fall awaiting you if you slipped.


Ghostly Mao statue.

Panda eating.

Panda climbing.

Panda being a red panda.

…Annnnd, baby pandas. For those of you that actually scrolled all the way down here, this is your reward.

One thought on “Rice Terraces, Skyscrapers, and Panda Porn: Pictures from China

  1. Matt, we love your blogs! Fantastic pictures. Re the cooking class: is Zib saying you look like my friends and me?? xoxJulie

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