During the break between fall semester and spring semester, I traveled for 5 weeks. Last year when I traveled, I went to many of the main tourist places--Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, etc. This year was a lot different. Since I've already been to so many of the main tourist sites in China, we went to some places that are a bit off the beaten path (with a few exceptions, such as Hong Kong). I traveled with Drew Langlie, another ELT Edge teacher who teaches at Northeast University (another university here in Qinhuangdao).
We left January 14th, heading straight to Shenzhen (the city adjacent to Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland) and spending a few days in Hong Kong. After returning to Shenzhen, we flew to Thailand, where we visited four different places (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi and Phuket) during our week there. After returning to Shenzhen on January 26th, we headed to Chengdu for a few days before flying to Lhasa in Tibet. We spent about a week in Tibet, then took the train to Lanzhou in Gansu province, where we stayed one night before flying to Urumqi in Xinjiang (the giant province in the northwest of China) on February 8th. We spent a week in Xinjiang, our time split between Urumqi and Kashgar. From Urumqi, we flew to Xi'an to visit a student before heading back to Beijing. From there, Drew returned to Qinhuangdao to begin teaching, but since I had an extra week before classes began, I went a bit south to Handan to visit two students, finally returning to Qinhuangdao on February 22nd.
Put another way, the trip was like this: Qinhuangdao -> Beijing -> Shenzhen -> Hong Kong -> Shenzhen -> Bangkok -> Chiang Mai -> Bangkok -> Krabi -> Phuket -> Bangkok -> Shenzhen -> Chengdu -> Lhasa -> Shigatse -> Lhasa -> Lanzhou -> Urumqi -> Kashgar -> Urumqi -> Xi'an -> Beijing -> Handan -> Beijing -> Qinhuangdao
All told, we traveled more than 13,000 miles.
Last week I discovered this really great feature of Google maps called "my maps" that I used to map out the whole trip. I've meant to add more detail to each placemarker on the map about what we did before posting this, but I haven't had the time to do it, and I've put this off long enough. Plus, the details will come in my future blog posts.
By the way, if you click the "View Larger Map" link above, it'll take you to the map at the Google page, where it has a few extra features, such as the list of all the placemarkers and lines in a column on the side, ordered chronologically. It's a handy way to trace through our trip.