Saturday, June 28, 2008


Shangrila - where the sky is blue and the grass is green.
Originally, the plan was to go to Tibet and the surrounding area. But the unrest arising from protests before the Olympics, and the huge earthquake that took thousands of lives in Sichuan meant that I have to make do with a 2 day tour from Lijiang to satisfy my curiosity of Shangrila.
Yes, I do know, no matter which part of the world I go to, the sky will always be blue and the grass will always be green. But standing in Shangrila, you can't help but be amazed at how blue the sky really is and how green the grass is. Coupled with the lovely flowers in bloom, you will fall in love with this place instantly.
After a day of stopping and taking pictures, we were brought to a Tibetan house to so-call experience the Tibetan way of life in the outskirts of Zhongdian. Although most of us felt that the 180RMB(about SGD 32)extra for this so-call Tibetan experience seemed a bit too much, we thought we might as well do it after travelling for so long. We were warmly welcomed by the Tibetan family with the traditional white scarf and wine. Upon stepping into their house, we had barely warmed the seats when they started serving the food. Noodles, chicken soup, yak butter milk, biscuits.....the whole table was filled with food.
Finally, the "main cast" of dinner arrived,ie.roast yak and goat, Tibetan style.
Next up, was song and dance, the Tibetan way. Although we could not understand what was being sung, we were still captivated by their lovely voice. Wine cup in one hand, roast goat on the other, it definitely made the money worth. 隔天一大早就起床,来到了这个香格里拉之行的最后一站——普达措国家公园,中国的第一个国家公园。天不作美,一直下着细雨,气温特别低。虽然影响了游玩普达措国家公园的兴致,但却遮盖不了这个地方的美丽。
The sun was barely up the next morning, when we had to set off for the final destination of this two day tour, ie. Pu Dacuo National Park. The continuous drizzle meant that we had to walk around the park in the cold with the umbrellas over our heads, but that could not spoil the beauty of this place. 虽然在这短短的两天看到的“游客骗钱商店”比什么都还多,看不到香格里拉真正的美,多少有些失望,但一路上所看到的景致已经足以说服我,一定要再来香格里拉!  ~伟
Although we saw more of tourist trap shops than the real beauty of Shangrila, the lovely scenery we saw from the bus is enough to convince me, one of these days, I must be back! ~wei

Monday, June 23, 2008

束河与丽江/Shuhe and Lijiang

First stop was Lijiang. Headed for Shuhe Old Town which is 5km away from Lijiang Old City.

Really loved it here. Rows and rows of tiny streets lined with old houses. Although this place was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1994, giving the place a touristy feel at times, you can still see quite a bit of character in some of the buildings.
Just like Shuhe, Lijiang Old City is made up of many tiny streets, all lined with old houses coverted to shops selling the handicrafts of the Dongba tribe or the Naxi tribe. But yet, these two places give off a different feel. I just walked from street to street without the help of a map, seeing where the street takes me to. After covering most of the streets, I thought this was just a small place. But looking down at Lijiang Old City from the rooftop of the little cafe, sipping my jasmine tea and with the crooning of the in-house band in the background, you realised this place is not that small after all!
Know what is the most popular activity in Shuhe and Lijiang? 这也是我最喜欢做的。  ~伟
Signs read: chit-chatting, chance meeting with strangers, reading, day-dreaming, sun/moon-tanning, "stoning", make dreams and sleeping. My fav activities.   ~wei

启程/On the road




看来这个一人浪迹天涯的旅程一点也不孤单。 ~伟

Finally, I am on the road.

D said I am going to be a snail for a year. I thought he meant that I would become a hunchback carrying that fat backpack on my back. But he pointed out, my backpack is practically my "home" for the next year, so ain't I a snail?

This had felt just like any other trip I had taken. Until I was saying my goodbyes to the close buddies who sacrificed their sleep to send me off and mom and bro. Feeling mom's hands tightened around me, it suddenly dawned on me that I won't be seeing my home (oh, my bed!) for at least a year. Couldn't said anything after that, except to keep waving my hands at my loved ones.

I was just thinking about how I will be tramping about all over the world on my own, when suddenly I heard someone calling my name on the plane. Turned my head to the opposite row, only to find Kemin, my radio deejay friend staring at me with astonishment.

Kemin couldn't believed it when she first heard of me quitting my job to go travelling for a year. She even mentioned it on one of her programmes. Turned out she was heading to Dali to give her parents a surprised visit. What a coincidence. In the end, not only did I get a treat for the very first meal of my trip, I will have a free tour guide when I get to Dali in a few days' time.

Guess this round the world solo trip is not going to be that "solo" after all! ~wei

Sunday, June 15, 2008





第一站是中国云南的丽江。在中国待上三个星期至一个月后,下一站会是蒙古。然后就是俄罗斯和东欧。从爱沙尼亚往南走,一直到土尔其,然后就到非洲四个月,再到南美洲四个月。最后再回到亚洲。没有详细地计划,就连要在丽江待几天,要住哪儿都没有决定。只有一张机票和一堆的旅游指南。浩大的世界我来也!  ~伟

Finally, the countdown has started. In a week's time, I will be off on my one year plus solo trip round the world!

It seem to be just yesterday that I was counting down to my last days at work, and now, I am already counting down to the day I can start on fulfilling my dream. It all seems surreal.

An old friend asked, so how are you feeling right now? Excited? Chewed on the question for a few minutes, but couldn't figure out the answer. Guess I am too busy trying to get used to the idea of walking down Orchard Road on a Friday and Saturday night to go think about the upcoming trip. Guess the idea that I will be backpacking for a year or so will only sink in when I am about to board the plane.

First stop is Lijiang, China. After 3 weeks to a month in China, it will be followed by 2 weeks in Mongolia. After which, it will be the Trans-Siberia railway through Russia. From St. Petersburg, Russia, it will be East Europe, from Estonia to Turkey. Next stop, Africa for 4 months. Then it will be another 4 months in South America. Last stop, somewhere in Asia.

No detailed itinerary. Not my style. Just a backpack, 3 guidebooks and a air ticket to Lijiang. One year round the world... here I come!  ~wei

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

再见与期待/Goodbye and Hello

等买了机票再通知你们吧。   ~伟

Finally said goodbye to a life I'd known for 8 years and said hello to the unknown.
Friend A couldn't wait to wish me "Happy last day". Friend B congratulated me on the "great escape from hell". But there was no jubilation from my part. It just felt weird. Weird to be sitting at home watching the tv on a Saturday and Sunday. Weird to be watching videos on crunchyroll when I should be watching Euro 2008. A "normal" life never felt so "unnormal". It's been 4 days, yet the thot of having to fill in "unemployed" in the employment section of forms have yet to sink in.
Oh well. Just have to learn how to discard all these weird feelings and focus on the excitement at the thot that I will be on the road in 2 weeks time.
yeah... the dream of backpacking round the world is slated to start in 2 weeks time. "Stocks" have been replenished. Visas are being done. Everything seems to be in place except for the most important thing, ie. buying the air ticket. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, has been asking me when am I setting off. Well, I don't know. I cannot even decide where I want to start off. Not to mention get a air ticket. I will set off. I will go see the world. I won't put it off. Just as long as I can make the lazy me go grab a air ticket, I will be off....    ~wei

Sunday, June 1, 2008

舍不得/Can't bear to leave

慢慢收拾东西,才知道自己累积了这么多废物。两个盒子都装不完!不知道到时要怎么把这些垃圾给搬回家。翻着之前留下来的剪报,原来这些已经是那么久以前的事了。舍不得的心情越来越重了。整理东西的当儿,也尽量整理自己的心情。希望到了最后一天,可以真的像之前自己讲的那样,不流一滴泪,潇潇洒洒地与大家说郑重,再见!   ~伟

Used to think that the one months' notice or three month's notice rule set by companies for employees that are resigning is a ridiculous rule. After all, since he or she is leaving, why prolong the 'torture' by making him or her stay for one or three more 'long' months. But going through it myself, it suddenly dawned on me, one month is actually very short!!
Kept thinking that I still have lots of time left before it is my last day at work or before I set off on my trips. But these have crept on without me realising it. It just dawned onto me that it is less than one week before I will stop 'reporting' to the office. And that made me realised, it's time to start packing.
Didn't know how much rubbish I have accumulated over the years till the actual packing started. Flipping through the old newspaper reports that I have kept, cannot help but wonder, "Did all these happened so long ago? Time really flies."
I know I can't bear to leave. I know I do love this job. But I also know that if I do not leave now, I may never get to realise my dream of going on the road for at least a year. And I know that, 10 or 20 years down the road, I won't regret my decision today. I will be able to sit back and savour whatever I have learnt or seen on my travels. So there, i will rein in my feelings and make sure I say goodbye with a big smile!   ~wei