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Month Nine

Cool cover image, right? Those are the Longsheng Rice Terraces near Guilin, China – also known as the “Dragon’s Backbone”.

It’s been a fun-filled six weeks since our last trip update. Ishigaki, a tropical island off the south coast of Japan, was very relaxing and a great place to celebrate our one year anniversary. Unfortunately typhoons in the area cost us our scuba diving opportunity (the main reason we had gone there), but it was still a wonderful place to spend a couple weeks.

On our way back to China we made the most of an evening layover in Seoul and had a tasty BBQ dinner (and too much soju – that stuff is dangerous!). Once we got back we went to see the Himalayas from the Chinese side and traveled across the Tibetan Plateau.

Plateau
The Tibet-Sichuan Highway was VERY bumpy, and freezing cold!

Another neat sight was the Baishutai Limestone Terraces. They’re in the middle of nowhere, but the tiny villages in the area are unlike anything else we’ve seen.

Baishutai
A rarity in China: We were the only people there.

We also found that Southwestern China is home to many of the “World’s Biggest” things, including the world’s largest Buddha, prayer wheel, Mao statue, and, of course, giant pandas!

Pandas
We promise that panda isn't dead.

In an effort to experience real Chinese culture Eric underwent some painful spa treatments in Chengdu. He was paired with a particularly aggressive masseuse who missed the memo on “soothing massage” and left him with a limp and a bruised face. Then he volunteered for an invasive ear cleaning from a man wielding some sort of medieval torture device. Thankfully he walked away relatively unscathed (and without any signs of infection).

Don't move...
What was he thinking?

As for Sam, she’s been working diligently on writing website posts with the hope that one day we’ll actually be up to date (or at least within a month of the things we’re talking about). We’ve also been spending a lot of time trying to figure out our upcoming travel schedule. Let’s just say we’re getting further and further away from our original plan…

We’re off to Hong Kong soon and have lots of surprises in store. Stay tuned!

More from Plotting the Course:

2 Responses to “Month Nine”

  1. sarah

    Eric how was the ear cleaning? I didn’t realize this was something ppl sold. Do you hear better now?

    And everyone loves reading your posts but I’d be pretty lazy about documenting my travels too. Just think how awesome it will be for you in 5 yrs tho.

    Reply
    • Eric

      Hey Sarah,
      The ear cleaning was a combination of painful and terrifying. He digs way into the inner ear and scrapes against the ear drum, then he uses a tuning fork on the end of the device as it’s in my ear. Very strange experience…
      He got a lot of wax out though! Not sure if it has improved my hearing…

      Reply

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