it's 40k kilometers around the world's circumference

Month: March, 2011

Destination: Rafflesia

The destination was Rafflesia, and the journey was wet. Rafflesia isn’t a town, it isn’t a historic site, and it isn’t the name of a river or peak. Rafflesia is a parasitic flowering plant found in southeast Asia on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, and the Philippines, and the only part of the plant that […] – Creating a Soundtrack

Instead of focusing on the websites I couldn’t reach while in China, such as Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes even Gmail, I will write about the Chinese site, which is strongly affiliated with Google. Searching for music on Google China or through allows users to download almost any song. In a country that clearly […]


Before leaving his apartment in Shanghai, Kai and I made a plan to meet up at the Hangzhou train station and commit to a 24-hour adventure to Moganshan, a mountain top village that’s only a bus ride away. Before the Cultural Revolution, Moganshan was filled with foreigners, and there is still evidence through the style […]

Lost in Translation

Although I knew I was traveling to a foreign country where English was not an official language and not spoken everywhere, I expected more English-speakers than I found. As a result, over these two weeks in China, I began to perfect the gesticulation dance so integral to my survival. Traveling with an English map is […]

When in a Buddhist Temple

Similar to the old saying about the Romans, when in a Chinese Buddhist Monastery, one should do as the Chinese Buddhists do. While in Hangzhou, I ventured to Fei Lai Feng (also Fei Lai Peak), which faces the Lingyin Temple. The Lingyin Temple is home to hundreds of Buddhist statues, and many probably travel here […]

Hangzhou Encounters

Staying at the Hangzhou Hofang International Youth Hostel just off the busy Hefang Street, I met people who had come to Hangzhou for a variety of reasons. As an example, Monday night, I shared a beer with someone from Lithuania who was traveling the world trying to sell his artwork. Then the following morning, I […]


It’s still near the beginning of my trip, and I have high hopes of being able to maintain this journal throughout the trip’s entirety. Mark Twain offered his two cents on this ambitious goal in his “The Innocents Abroad”: At certain periods it becomes the dearest ambition of a man to keep a faithful record […]

Cloudy Day on Hangzhou’s West Lake

The silver-lining to any overcast day is the potential for beautiful black and white photos.  Thus, after finding my hostel in Hangzhou, a task that was far from easy and I plan to describe further at some point, I settled in, grabbed my camera and a book about the area I’m reading called “China Cuckoo” […]

Photos from Shanghai

After arriving to Shanghai on a sleeper train from Beijing, I navigated towards a friend’s apartment. Kai from Petaluma, CA was my college roommate and now we had the chance to catch up in Shanghai, China. It was great having a tour guide for the city, a place to crash, and a chance to see […]

Chinese Tea

After three very full days in Beijing, I was ready for a slight change of pace. I tried to sleep late, although this was not an easy task given the 16 hour time difference. Beijing is eight hours behind and a day ahead of California. I woke up, called home, showered, and reorganized my things […]