As of Oct 20, Shannon and I had been traveling for two months. You may remember my summary of my first month of travel, so I wanted to come back and recap our second month backpacking through Asia.
We spent most of the month exploring the rest of China. After Tibet closed to foreigners, our China plans changed and we ended up having more time to explore the rest of central and southern China. After exploring Shanghai, we headed off to hike the fabled Huang Shan mountain complete with cloud shrouded peaks and amazing views.
Afterwards, we hopped a flight to Chongqing and boarded a three day river cruise down the Yangtze River Cruise. For three days, we glided through the immense Three Gorges and took time to explore out of the way temples and see the newly completed Three Gorges Dam.
After disembarking in Yichang, we took an overnight train to Xi’an, where we spent three days visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors and exploring the cities famous Muslim Quarter.
Next we flew down to Lijiang, China near the Tibetan Plateau. Although Lijiang was kitchy and packed with Chinese Tourists, it was a great jumping off point for one of our trip highlights – Hiking through the Tiger Leap Gorge.
After another overnight train and flight, our last stop in China was Yangshou – a countryside retreat known for it’s famous Karst Landscape. We spent four days bamboo rafting down the Li River, exploring the local mud cave, and bike riding through the countryside.
We had spent 30 very full days in China and now our visas were expiring. It was time to move onto our next country: Nepal. We were sad to say goodbye to China (especially the food) but we were ready for our next adventure.
We flew into Katmandu, the country’s capital, and spent a two days exploring the city and preparing for our upcoming Everest Base Camp Trek. Then we headed to Chitwan National Park where we bathed an elephant, explored the jungle searching for Rhinos, and spent the night in a Jungle Observation Tower. During one particularly enthusiastic Rhino hunt, I managed to break my toe on a root.
Next up – Pokhara and it’s famous lake with a view of the Annapurna Mountain Range. It was a great place to relax, swim in waterfalls, and boat on the lake. We also had a chance to Paraglide over the mountain range for a great view of the snow capped peaks.
Finally we returned to Katmandu for one more day of relaxation before our eleven day Everest Base Camp Trek Began!
Overall it was another great month of travel which only got us even more excited for the month to come:
After our Everest Base Camp Trek we will be leaving Nepal and heading to a country I’ve always dreamed of visiting: India! We decided we might need a break after our trek, so we signed up for a 13 day tour with Wandering Earl through Northern India. It should be a great way to see some off the beaten track sites with an “experience backpacker” without the stress of organizing our own schedule. We will still be staying in budget digs and taking our favorite mod of transportation – overnight trains, but it will be a great “training wheels” for India.
Afterwards, my very good friend Caroline will be flying in to meet us as we explore the famous golden triangle – Agra, Delhi, and Jaipur. We’ll also be making a trip to Varanasi where we will se the holy burning ghats where the dead are cremated before reaching their final resting place in the Ganges River.
Now for some monthly statistics:
Overnight Trains: 2
Countries: 2 (China, Nepal)
Cities: 9 (Huangzhou, Chongqing, Xi’an, Lijiang, Guilin, Yangshou, Katmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara)
Diet Cokes: 0
Weight Lost: 0 lbs (Oh, food in China!)
Injuries: 1 (Aforementioned broken toe)
Days Sick: 0
Items Lost: 0
Times Eaten at Pizza Hut: 2 (Shame face)
Money Spent: $3,803.75
That works out to $126.79 per day. If you read my post about my daily spending habits in China then you may be wondering how my average daily costs are so high. This month, the extra cash went to a few high ticket items including our three day Yangtze River Cruise ($450), an expensive flight to Katmandu ($500) and a few other high ticket items such as Hiking the Tiger Leap Gorge, hiring a guide in Yangshou, and purchasing the gear needed for our Everest Base Camp Trek.
The good news it that with the money I’ve been making through blogging, I still have a little over $17K in my trip account, so I should be set to fund the next three months.
Thats all for this month. I’ll be back on or around November 20th for my month 3 wrap up!