China

For my last China post I’ve compiled a short list of helpful tips to prepare any westerner (blonde or not) for a trip to this amazing country. To help illustrate these points I’ve included real life anecdotes from my three weeks of traveling.

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After my days in urban Shanghai and Suzhou, the next stop on my Chinese Adventure 2015! itinerary was visiting the Avatar Mountains in the rural Hunan province. Located outside the city of Zhangjiajie in what had become China’s first national forest park in 1982, seeing the famous mountains was the next item on my list of round-the-world trip pillars.

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Known historically as the meeting place of Chinese high society, artists and writers, the small city of Suzhou is famous for its art forms and beautiful gardens. Located a breezy 25 minute bullet train ride from downtown Shanghai, it’s a nice destination for a one or two day escape from big city life to see its charming canals, pagodas and humpbacked bridges.

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Arriving in Shanghai was like a breath of fresh air after my time in the Middle East. Thanks to a layover in über-trendy Doha, Qatar, the transition from dusty, conservative Jordan to clean, progressive Shanghai was pretty easy, despite experiencing jetlag for the first time in months.

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