When visiting Malaysia, it’s great to spend some time among lush landscapes of Cameron Highlands, a hilly region on the westernmost edge of Pahang state. It was British explorer Sir William Cameron, who was the first one to discover these heights in 1885. Mild climate of that area was perfect to start the tea and strawberry plantations as well as turn it, back then, into the holiday destinations for prosperous Brits. Here are my recommendations for anyone, who is planning to visit the area.Continue Reading
My Travel Diary
Exploring the north
Situated in northern part of the country, in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, Luang Prabang is a real gem of Laos. The entire place is a perfect blend of ancient past, French colonial influences, Asian tradition and stunning nature. There is something pretty around every corner, from tree-lined boulevards, Royal Palace to over 30 Buddhist temples with gilded roofs.
To be fair it came as a bit of a surprise to me how small Luang Prabang actually is. One of my friends was living there for four months. He was working as a social media consultant for an eco-fashion company and he definitely managed to generate enough hype about the place. I pictured it as a much bigger town.
When I was planning my trip the idea of spending 40 days in China seemed just crazy and I was a bit worried that maybe my plan was overambitious. I had a feeling that after few weeks I will be desperate to leave China but actually I was wrong! On a day of my flight to Vientiane, a capital city of Laos, I was excited but somehow sad that I was leaving spectacular Yunnan. On the other hand, I had enough of cold weather and even the tastiest bowl of noodle soup was not going to change the fact I was looking forward to fresh and raw vegetables, ice coffee and beautiful sunshine.
The Lost Horizon
One of the roads from the Tiger Leaping Gorge was leading to Shangri-La. It was not really a mystical and mythical Himalayan utopia but a city originally called Zhongdian. Since December 2011 it changed its name to the place out of James Hilton’s novel to promote tourism in the area.
Located at 3,317 meters it was one of the coldest places I visited during my trip in China. It was also the last stop before heading back to Lijiang and Kunming and later flying to much warmer Laos.
The incredible legend
Saying that hiking the in Tiger Leaping Gorge was the reason for my trip to China would be an overstatement. It was definitely at the top of the list of things I wanted to do while exploring this huge country though. The gorge is one of the deepest in the world. It’s located between Jade Dragon Snow mountain and Haba Snow mountain. It towers approximately 3,500 meters above the Jinsha River, a primary tributary of the famous Yangtze, the longest river in Asia.
The legend of the gorge says that a tiger jumped across the river at its narrowest point, which is still a massive 25 meters, to escape a hunter. When I first read about this dramatic scenery and the story behind the name I got hooked on the idea of getting there. It seemed like a perfect place to finish my travels around China.