Rising early, I said good-bye to Kangding and ducked low, into the white van. The night before, arrangements were made with a driver to pick me up at 7:30 the next morning. But of course, he was early! He had been waiting since 7 am!

Driving through the countryside with the trees painted white

The drive today took me from Kangding, west to Yajiang. The morning broke into stunning balmy sunshine as we motored along country roads fully embraced by soft-shaped green hills to the right and left. Along the sides of the roads, poplar trees with their trunks painted white to a height of about 1 metre. I have seen these a lot around China. I have not yet heard of a reasonable explanation for the painting, so if you have any ideas, send them in.

I have heard and read of a few good ones (very sarcastic here…) 1. To keep the animals from eating the bark. Hmmm! 2. The prevent insects from climbing the trees. As if! And what about the insects that can fly? 3. And this is sort of plausible… to act as a reflector at night to keep drivers safe as they hurtle along the roads like nocturnal missiles. Yah! You are right, still looking for answers.

Prayer flags in the mist fog and cloud over 4,000 metres

Steadily, the road climbed throughout the day. And with the climb, the temperature dropped. We stopped at one point in dense fog and heavy cloud to admire my first prayer flag sighting! Like a newbie tourist, I needed to get some photos! There was also a huge and impressive altitude marker stating that my enthusiasm was up to 4,298 metres (14, 101 feet) no wonder I was out of breath!

Another high (excuse the pun) today was stopping and struggling to the top of a very high climb which ended at a huge rock alter. Gain, adorned with more prayer flags. At the top I met three young men who were burning juniper, reciting sutras and throwing small sheets of coloured  paper, printed with prayers, to the stiff wind. The three were offering prayers and asking Buddha for good luck, as they were to set off the next day to Beijing to start up a computer business.

One of three young men offering prayers and prying for success in a new business

After a lunch in Ya’an where I was the entertainment on the street, my driver said goodbye and a new driver was found. The new driver was a Tibetan man, his name is Su, with a quick smile, sparkling eyes and had a distinct advantage in the area – he was fluent in Mandarin and Tibetan. Two languages one cannot be without – especially a visitori who only knows English!

Inside the Tibetan home where I was staying

Su drove his wife and baby home and I continued with him to a very small Tibetan village of Yajiang. This village was well of the beaten path of the Sichuan-Tibetan Highway. Here I am living in a spacious and ornately coloured room on the third floor of one of a few houses which is allowed to accept foreign tourists. Staying here is my first experience living with a Tibetan family.

Still suffering from jetlag, I went to bed after a short walk around the village’s 60 homes (or what looked to be about 60)!

+ + + + + + + + + + +

OK, middle of the night now and I cannot sleep. Before coming to Sichuan, I did a lot of reading about the effects of altitude on someone unfamiliar with high altitude traveling. Though I am a little anxious about my condition, I am comforted to know it is everything I had read about. Still though, with dogs outside my window barking all night long, I get little comfort from knowing I am feeling this way.

Symptoms of altitude are greater at night for some reason. Perhaps because there is not much to do other than focus on your situation. Unlike during the day when you are distracted by other things to see and do.

Here is what I am feeling:

  1. I have the classic headache which pulses in my temples.
  2. I am, despite trying to calm myself and breath slowly, gasping for air every fifth breath.
  3. Trouble sleeping. No, correction, totally unable to sleep.
  4. A feeling of anxiousness. No kidding! And this is the irony, the anxiety, just makes me sleep less.

I try to sleep sitting up in a corner. It works for a brief time. But by the fifth breath, its gulping-for-air time and the cycles begins again! Oh well, only four more hours until daybreak!

The children in this town are sweet and full of curiosity. I may be the first foreigner they have ever seen other that on television.

The spirited brother of the girl above. No shyness here!

Categories : SICHUAN


  1. Edward Keung says:

    I am really satisfied with this posting that you have given us. This is really a stupendous work done by you. Thank you and looking for more posts

  2. Renita Kogan says:

    Hey! That’ a extremely great post. I very positive I suggest it to my co-workers. Should you submit extra posts please email them to me.

  3. Louie Moncrieff says:

    My god! You’re a really good writer! I could read this all day and never bore. You have lovely insight, tender observations, and a very sharp wit.

  4. Manuela Setliff says:

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  5. Meble debowe says:

    Whoah this blog is magnificent i love reading your posts. Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  6. France Macomber says:

    HUGE Kudos to you for writing such an amazing blog my friend, you are very talented and you should be proud of your writing skills! I’m sure you got a high score on the sats lol

  7. Nocleg Warszawa says:

    Nice post. I learn something on different blogs everyday. It’ll all the time be stimulating to read content material from different writers and follow slightly something from their sites. I’d prefer to make use of some with the content material on my weblog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide you with a hyperlink on your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Jacquetta Golston says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve got a fantastic weblog here! Have you considered writing a book on Sichuan and your other travels?

  9. Basil Roel says:

    This is very intriguing, You are a quite skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to looking for far more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your internet web site in my social networks!

  10. Rosie Tang says:

    The wise person has long ears and a short tongue. YOU ARE SUCH A PERSON – I can tell by what you write

  11. Matt Cartier says:

    Someone I work with visits your locality oftentimes and recommended it to me to be familiar with also.

  12. Andrea Leung says:

    Thank you for an informative blog. No place else could I get that kind of info written in such an ideal approach. I’ve a mission that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.

  13. Jason Ng says:

    Interesting. Will defintely be back to see more of your wonderfully entartaining video

  14. Ray Ganneshi says:

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait ..

  15. Kaila Chinault says:

    I’m impressed! I must say. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that’s each educative and entertainingd. Your concept is outstanding; the travel stories are something that not sufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I’m very pleased that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

  16. Billy Cittadini says:

    wonderful put up, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  17. Chareese Deveraux says:

    Wow, I have a blog too but I can’t write as well as you do. Good stuff.

  18. Amanda Frost says:

    You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material. The photography is STUNNNNNING!!!

  19. Tracey Stech says:

    Hello, I absolutely fancy reading your posts, thank you as a remedy for the gifted advise! I love your pictures. How talented you.

  20. Patricia Zehrbach says:

    Good site! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the stories are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  21. Andrea Wong says:

    I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again!

  22. Shane Doan says:

    good article, very articulate. I like it in deed. I come acoss your blog by yahoo search engine. I will visit your site weekly and share it to my relatives. Please keep it fresh. Keep on the good work. – A colleage student

  23. Sung Mustian says:

    fantastic site

  24. Pamila Nordby says:

    hello! I love your writing very so much! I need an expert in this area to advise me on where to go in china. Maybe that is you! Looking ahead to peer you.

  25. Roderick Brann says:

    Whats up very nice site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally…I am happy to search out a lot of useful info here in the post. thank you for sharing.

  26. Jordan Wang says:

    If conceivable, as you clear knowledge, would you insight updating your blog with more information? It is extremely beneficial in behalf of me.

  27. Larry Kuyper says:

    Hey, excellent job on writing this KANGDING – YAJIANG :: up, I am going to link this from my personal blog!

  28. Dallas Calise says:

    Thank you so much for such a nice and complete information mostely blogger provide uncomplete information which i found here after half hour browsing. Thank you so much.

  29. Jordan Fusio says:

    I derive pleasure reading it. I need to learn more on this subject.. Thanks over the extent of writing this amazing post.. Anyway, I am gonna subscribe to your support and I desire you mail again soon.

  30. Oliver Preer says:

    I am to a great extent under obligation to you as regards posting such stuff.This really take me lot.I extraordinarily appreciate your work.

  31. Wallace Vaquero says:

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My my visitors would genuinely benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Cheers!

  32. Derick Chow says:

    Exceptional blog post, loads of really good facts.

  33. Doug Centorino says:

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  34. Susan Price says:

    I truly loved this brilliant article. Please continue this awesome work. Regards.

  35. Trent Ng says:

    Nice piece, I am a big believer in leaving comments on blogs to help the blog writers know that theyve added something useful to the internet! For a western guy, you have a deep knowledge and respect for the Chinese people and culture. You are a Westerner with a difference.

  36. Brandon Morrow Jersey says:

    Could I re-print some of this blog if I accommodate a tie-in link to your site? Your info is so huge and pictures amazing.

  37. Alfredo Naffah says:

    You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

  38. Denis Timlin says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I love your photos and your videos. Such great pictures of life in China that we do not get to see. Like reading National Geographic. I think this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  39. Janice Ng says:

    Hello! Just want you to know that I really found this website really helpful to me. I will come back to this blog more often to read more. Thanks.

  40. Rudy Rissling says:

    You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material

  41. Kenny Ching says:

    Very interesting article. Your current web pages is promptly growing to be considered one of my top picks.

  42. Evan Edwards says:

    thank you very useful information, I think your blog has good content and article of interest to be discussed and serve as an example of writing a good article

  43. Jonnie Wang says:

    I wanted to thank you for this interesting I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have bookmarked your web site to look at the latest stuff you post.

  44. davids luis says:

    Web site, you are very interesting to read. Very interesting and engaging.

  45. Shannon Hojnacki says:

    Hey! I loved your post; it’s better than 90% of the other blog posts I read (and I mean it)!

  46. Anisa Johnting says:

    Fantastic blog post, I’ve saved this internet site so hopefully I’ll discover more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

  47. Mary says:

    thank you very useful information, I think your blog has good content and article of interest to be discussed and serve as an example of writing a good article

  48. Anthony Ng says:

    Thank you very much for that marvelous article. I have read much of your writing and find it well balanced and fare. You are a true journalist with a great writing talent. And your photos are simply brilliant. Cheers!

  49. Cory Hesters says:

    Hello there, You have done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.

  50. Jorg Peternoppf says:

    Thank for share i love it and bookmark this content and share I look forward to seeing more.. Thank for sharring.

  51. Kate Allen says:

    I think this is interesting and do not see posted often. This is great information.

  52. Jackie Grimsley says:

    Beautiful images you captured. Makes me want to visit this amazing country for my first time. I will show the others in my travel group. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I would like to go to China with you:)

  53. June Remple says:

    After study just a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site checklist and shall be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my website online as well and let me know what you think.

  54. Derek Tse says:

    Wow! Your website is a very interesting site. I was very impressed and felt had to get a valuable experience after reading your article.

  55. Troy Polamalu says:

    I am an darling of your website. Safeguard up the angelic work.

  56. Dwight Myer says:

    Hello, I absolutely fancy reading your posts, thanks be given to you as a remedy for the gifted post!

  57. Mewelde Moore says:

    Hi there, I love reading your posts, hold responsible you! Your photography is a beacon on the internet.

  58. Tyson F. Gautreaux says:

    Keep the faith, my Internet friend, You are a first-class writer and deserve to be heard.

  59. Sidney Gale says:

    nice blog, unique article, and content. I like the templates you use. if you design it yourself? please information to me. thanks

  60. George Pervais says:

    Really interesting blog, keep up the good work!

  61. Roger says:

    Wow, thank you very much for this really informative article. Just like your other blog posts, everything is well structured and clear. Thank you again!

  62. Allen Heath says:

    Hey I believe this is a great post I will definetely keep up reading your works, well done. It is very important to have quality contents in the web, we can use them as a reliable source for our trips.

  63. Rod Litscher says:

    I love your site! I wish more sites were as entertaining, visual and informative. I have learned a lot about China.

  64. Azahar Seville says:

    nice blog, unique article, and content. I like the templates you use. if you design it yourself? please information to me. thanks

  65. Meta Arizona says:

    This is good writing. Kudos to the author very well said. Keep up the good work!

  66. mike tindale says:

    I am really glad to see that you are putting so much of effort for encouraging the readers with valueable posts like this, I have sent this post to my facebook.

  67. Finley Dunkleberger says:

    Wonderful post, thanks! Maybe you could do a follow up post about this?

  68. Mallorca Reisen says:

    Nice little blog and very easy to navigate. Got it bookmarked and will visit again.

  69. Emily Titusman says:

    This is really a really great read for me, Have to admit you happen to be first from the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

  70. Marc says:

    This website is really a stroll-by for the entire information you wished about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll positively uncover it.

  71. Hayden Berthelsen says:

    You should take part in a contest for top-of-the-line blogs on the web. I will advocate this web site!

  72. Mohamed Frattini says:

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck with your next adventures

  73. Tracey Imaizumi says:

    Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  74. Orpha says:

    Hi there I like your post

  75. Kristofer Wiltgen says:

    Im impressed, I have to say. Rarely ever do I come across a blog that is both informative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your blog is critical; the problem is something that not adequate people today are talking intelligently about. Im definitely pleased that I stumbled across this in my search for valuable information

  76. Lamont Griffitt says:

    Hey, congrats! Your site was mentioned in the weekly travel video on exotic locations. You are far too professional for them, but hey! Cool anyway!

  77. Soon Duignan says:

    Its really awesome posting,the many content is so beneficial and valuable for us.presentation of posting is very good,so I will bookmark it for sharing it with my friends.Thanks for sharing good and really article.

  78. Terrell Owens says:

    Thanks for the information. I hope you don’t mind if I use some of this information in my school paper

  79. Manuel Dancause says:

    I think that is one of the most significant info for me. And i’m happy reading your article. But want to statement on few general issues, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is in point of fact nice : D. Excellent activity, cheers

  80. Isaiah Corter says:

    You have a very well maintained and interesting blog. You can see that the articles contained therein is a high level. Anyway, this note is also very interesting. Develop further the project!

  81. Nathanael Bonnin says:

    I simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness to your put up is just excellent and that i could think you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to seize your feed to stay up to date with coming near near post. Thank you a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  82. Mike Hysmith says:

    I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  83. Yoko Oczon says:

    Really excellent info can be found on web site.

  84. Evan Calfee says:

    Thanks for your blog post. I sent your blog to many of my family and close friends. I worked in China for a year and everyone thought I was crazy to go to “such a country”. They are too influenced by bad press. Like you, I see China as a beutiful place with beuatiful people.

  85. Lynn Dematteo says:

    I like your blog.

  86. Hortencia Farman says:

    Wonderful goods from you again!. KANGDING – YAJIANG :: I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too wonderful. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great KANGDING – YAJIANG :: informations.

  87. Verna Garner says:

    Thank you for every other great post. No place else could anybody get this kind of information in such an ideal way of writing. I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such information.

  88. Tom Bradley says:

    This is very attention-grabbing, You are an obviously a professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and enjoy your excellent posts. Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  89. Tijuana Mcleon says:

    Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back at some point. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts, have a nice day!

  90. Don Desmarias says:

    Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about traveling to China. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  91. Torrey Smith says:

    great blog! keep up the great work!

  92. Burton Haynes says:

    I simply want to tell you that I am just beginner to weblog and definitely loved this blog. More than likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You definitely come with amazing posts. Thank you for revealing your blog.

  93. Fredericka Evansky says:

    I went over this site and I see you have a lot of great info, bookmarked :)

  94. Brittani Claiborne says:

    You, my friend, are amazing!! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and simply could not find it. What a great site.

  95. Annie Pottersley says:

    I greatly like this article! If it’s not too much trouble make more tutorials.

  96. Bernie Vil says:

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  97. Palma Rudick says:

    I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  98. Eboni Roettger says:

    I wish more people might inscribe websites such as this that are completely interesting to read.

  99. Julieta Stachnik says:

    WOW, I figured out lots. As a western who has never been to Asia, I was unsure of that part of the world. Now I see things about China that are never talked about. Thanks for making me see straight.

  100. Brunilda Lich says:

    Took me time to read all the feedback, however I really loved the article. It proved to be very useful to me and I am positive to all the commenters here! It is always good when you cannot only learn, but additionally engaged! I am certain you had pleasure writing this article. I want to go now!

  101. Roseanne Harford says:

    Wow!, This is a top quality post. I want to write like you one day. I will study your style and hope to be this good

  102. Sam Adams says:

    Thanks so a lot for sharing all of the awesome information! I am looking forward to checking out a lot more posts!

  103. Chan, Stacey H. says:

    Howdy! I just want to give you a big thumbs up for the great information you’ve got here on this post. I will be returning to your site for more soon.

  104. Carmine Paskett says:

    I’m impressed, I need to say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your insight is outstanding. I’m very happy that I stumbled upon your site.

  105. Lilly Fausto says:

    I’m feeling this site. I have you bookmarked now to check out new stuff you post.

  106. Corey says:

    Wow. It’s so nice to find somebody with some new ideas on this. Thanks for the stimulating and smart story telling.

  107. Emelina Drobny says:

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this to friends of mine who I travel with. We did consider travel to China but thought it would be too hard. Different language, cultures, customs. But now I read you blog and get courage to go there.

  108. James Ng says:

    This is the perfect blog for anybody who would like to find out about China. You are a great blogger and a very fare person. You are careful (I can tell) not to get political about China. Your views are views of the people. I know. I am a Chinese and appreciate your observations. We all do. Thank you

  109. David Lehiyak says:

    What a relief to discover an individual who truly knows what they are talking about on the net. You definitely know how to bring your travels to light and make them memorable. More people have to read your stories. I will pass the word about your trips.

  110. Kerstin Wibbens says:

    Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! Your blog provided me with valuable information for my own upcoming trip to China.

  111. Leonard Marks says:

    Hi there, a very good read and it sometimes just takes someone to post something like this to make me realise where I’ve been going wrong! Just added the site to my bookmarks so will check back now and then. Cheers.

  112. Jennefer Oatley says:

    I truly love this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again!

  113. Chris Whiteside says:

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to KANGDING & YAJIANG

  114. Lavonne Serdula says:

    I greatly appreciate all the info I’ve read here.

  115. Nelle Furber says:

    My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  116. Georgianne Stinser says:

    Well I really liked studying it. This subject offered by you is very constructive for proper planning.

  117. Pablo Persechino says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are, but definitely you are a famous blogger 😉 Cheers!

  118. Basil Laraia says:

    Excellent article, covers a lot of ground i’ve found a great article. thanks.

  119. Harrison Gulliver says:

    Some truly nice stuff on this site, I enjoy it.

  120. Joe Flacco says:

    Great post. I was checking this blog continuously and I am impressed! Very useful info specifically the last part :) I was seeking this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  121. Jarrod Beach says:

    It’s the first time when i’ve seen your site. I can gather a lot of hard work has gone in to it. It’s excellent, well written and an inspiration.

  122. Matt Henry says:

    Love your blog!

  123. Garrett Denzel says:

    I’m really inspired along with your writing skills as well as with the format to your blog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  124. Maria Sinitiere says:

    I saw your text and its really good. Well done. 😀

  125. Birgit Jokinen says:

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Leave a Reply