JUNE 30, 2021

It’s been 2 years since the last time I felt some place as home. Langmusi gave me a feeling of love, like Danba had done 10 years before. Maybe it’s where I arrived after half of the journey, I no longer felt like a passenger to a stranger place.

Bạn không cần tìm nhà cho tâm hồn, cơ thể cần nhà, tâm hồn chỉ cần cảm giác như ở nhà. Mọi thứ trên đời đều có thể cho tâm hồn về nhà. Chỉ cần bạn cảm nhận được cái đẹp, tâm hồn sẽ trở về nhà ngay.
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不用给自己的灵魂找家,身体需要家,灵魂只是需要家的感觉,天地间万物皆可以给予灵魂家的感觉,只要你一察觉到美好,灵魂即刻归家。
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You don’t need to find a home for your soul. Your body needs home, but your soul just needs the feeling of home. Everything in heaven and earth can give your soul the feeling of home. As soon as you perceive the beauty, your soul will return home immediately.

P.s.: Picture taken in Langmusi, Sichuan and Gansu, China in 2019.

Continue ReadingJUNE 30, 2021

Ngawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Day 15: Chengdu To Hanoi

Part 1: Chengdu to Hanoi

At 8 in the morning, I went downstair to have breakfast at the hostel restaurant. But I opted for a dish of Taiwan rice instead of the buffet. I decided to stay inside for the whole morning because I’d get tired of waiting at the airport later.

I checked out of the hostel at noon, and got to the Chengdu airport by metro. Because I was 1-hour early, I tool a stroll around the airport and took some pictures. It seemed to change a lot compared to the picture of 10 years ago in my memory.

Part 2: My overall opinion on my Ngawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture trip

I guessed Langmusi was the best place of my trip. I even preferred Langmusi to Danba, but there was no special place I’d like to return. Next time, I’d like to see more of China besides Sichuan.

In the end, I was back to Hanoi safe and sound. Overall, I have traveled 1,756km on this Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture trip, sitting around 29 hours 22 minutes in a car or a bus. And according to Pedometer, I have walked 262,269 steps during these two weeks, rounding to 125km on feet fortnightly.

Continue ReadingNgawa Tibetan And Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Day 15: Chengdu To Hanoi

Nhớ Đan Ba

Thích nhất vẫn là Đan Ba (Danba). Đi tới 1 lần trên đường quay về lại phải ghé lần nữa. Giờ xem hình ngta đi chơi up lên Instagram thấy vẫn cảnh quan như thế, chẳng có gì thay đổi. Vẫn nhớ con đường hiking làng người Tạng khi mây tan mặt trời chiếu rọi lấp lánh ánh vàng. Nhớ cả những que kem đá mua để giải khát suốt dọc con đường trục này nữa.

Continue ReadingNhớ Đan Ba

Trekking Ta Nang (Lam Dong)

My company organized a 2-day trip to trek Ta Nang for managers. Despite advice to practice before the trip, I didn’t think it would be as hard a the hikes/treks I did in Kangding, Danba, or Garzê (all in Sichuan province of China) in 2009. Turned out I was wrong somehow.

The day before the trek, we finished our work early and left the office for the Tan Son Nhat airport. We flew to Lien Khuong Airport at Dalat and then checked in to the hotel.
The next morning, we started off quite late, and only after the farm truck arrived at a small house did we begin to really walk off the paved area, around 10AM. It was very sunny, but I didn’t feel any tired in the morning because we only walked through a meadow. We were taking a rest real soon, around 1PM. After siesta, I began to realize that we had to climb over some steep slopes. Only at those places was I slower than others.

We reached to the tents at Ta Nang top at 4PM. Too early. I learned that we walked just about 8km today. My thighs hurt a bit.

I had a really fun night with my colleagues. We had a warm dinner by the fire, then we sang the night away. Though I brought my own backpack all the way up to the top, I had to admire the health of porters who brought almost everything that we needed.

This was the first time I slept in a tent on a mountain. It was a good experience though.
We woke up early the next morning, and helped unload the tents before going down. Because we had to take the flight home in Lam Dong, we didn’t have a chance to continue but go back. The road was not too difficult but there were many turns. Unluckily, I saw no waterfall.

Still I had the fear of crossing a very tiny tree bridge over a stream.

We were present at the small house around 10. I really walked slowly on the way back to talk with some female colleagues my age. The best thing about this trip was to connect with other managers.

I guessed I’d have a good tan now after the trek, and sore legs for a few days ahead.
The top wasn’t as high (as in China), my health wasn’t as good as I had been 9 years ago, but I wanna trek more mountains after this tiring trip.

My new pair of trekking shoes were a bit damaged after the trek. I’d have to bring them to the seller to repair soon.

Check out the video of the trip done by the organizer team:

Looking back at the trip, it was my most memorable moment in this company. The previous company trip wasn’t as delighted.

Continue ReadingTrekking Ta Nang (Lam Dong)

I Would Wanna Be a Jumper

I watched “Jumper” all over again. I watched the last part yesterday on TV. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’ve let my freak flag fly. Actually, flying could metaphorically comes a poor second to “jumping.” I don’t wanna fly no more. No catapult, no gliding, no paragliding, not even hang gliding. I just wanna “jump.”

If there was life after death, I wouldn’t wanna be a bird no more. I would only wanna be a “jumper” so that I could say like David Rice, “Let me tell you about my day so far. Coffee in Paris, surfed the Maldives, took a little nap on Kilimanjaro. Oh, yeah, I got digits from this Polish chick in Rio. And then I jumped back for the final quarter of the NBA finals–courtside of course. And all that was before lunch. I could go on, but all I’m saying is, I’m standing on top of the world.”
I decided to take the red pill. Can somebody come show me how deep the rabbit hole goes, NOW?

My first jump would be to Danba. It would be great sitting waiting watching the sun setting in a watchtower. Arghhhhhhhhh, all the imagination about where I would go if I could teleport myself made the day more damning than ever.

Continue ReadingI Would Wanna Be a Jumper

Ấn Tượng Danba

Chỉ ở Danba có 2 ngày rưỡi, nhưng vùng đất nhỏ xinh này để lại cho mình nhiều kỷ niệm. Danba có tất cả mọi thứ: thị trấn và nông thôn, núi và sông, cây và cỏ, ngày có nắng có mưa, đêm có trăng có sao, có người Hán người Tạng, thức ăn có thịt có rau.

Đặc biệt, các con đường mòn lên núi lấp lánh ánh kim khi mặt trời chiếu vào. Cảnh tượng này chỉ có thể thưởng thức bằng mắt thường, vì máy ảnh không thể lưu lại được. Con đường lên núi tuy không dễ dàng, nhưng nếu vừa thong thả đi vừa thả hồn với cây cỏ, hoa trái ven đường, hoặc ngắm nhìn những dãy núi xa xa mây trắng phủ đầy, hay nghe tiếng suối nước róc rách chảy thì bạn chẳng muốn rời xa Danba nữa.

Mặc dù ở Danba người ta không nói tiếng Anh nhiều, nhưng con người rất thân thiện. Người Hán người Tạng tụ họp nhảy múa lúc chiều tà ở phố trên rất vui vẻ. Ở làng dân tộc Tạng người ta trồng đủ thứ, từ lương thực, rau màu đến hoa quả. Ở khu trung tâm, người ta buôn bán đủ loại hàng hóa vật dụng.

Danba có một dòng sông chảy dọc thành phố. Ban ngày đi dạo các con đường ven sông, buổi đêm đứng ở những cây cầu bắt ngang thị trấn để ngắm trăng ngắm sao thì thật tuyệt.
Giờ thèm cà rem ở Danba ghê nha!

Danba, thiên đường trên mặt đất!

Haiz, makes me wonder where I buried all the dreams I had.

Continue ReadingẤn Tượng Danba

Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Day 14: Danba To Chengdu

We got up very early, packed up very fast. We shared a cab with an Asian guy, costing 3 yuans each. We were early for the bus so I had a light breakfast. The drive to Chengdu got us stuck in 2 traffic jams, one of which was caused by our bus driver. He hit a car and quarreled with them for about 1 hour. The we got stuck in another traffic jam spot somewhere near Ya’an where we had been stuck on the way to Kangding on day 3 (???).

We returned to Chengdu around 7 PM. Sim’s Cozy Garden Hostel was all booked. Because we had no advance reservation, we went to the hotel next door called Angelica Hotel (安祺高酒店). The price here was cheaper, and I thought this was the best accommodation we had stayed in China so far.

We went to eat noodles and wonton dinner at the place Alex picked the last time because he liked the noodles here a lot. The weather was kinda hot so I didn’t enjoy my wonton much.

We counted money. Except for the camera, I only spent very little here. That was a surprise to me! But then think again, we ate little and I must have dropped some weights after this trip.

We’ll have breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant the next morning. Yahoo!

Continue ReadingGarzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Day 14: Danba To Chengdu

Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Day 13: Danba Hiking

Last night I had the longest sleep ever. I didn’t wanna go out, but then to please Alex’s desire to walk more, we got out of the hotel at 9 AM and walked along the road out of town until we found a track. We met a Tibetan woman, later she gave Alex two oranges. And he gave me one. It must be the best orange in my life.

But unluckily, at noon, we couldn’t keep going forward anymore because the way was blocked by a lot of grass bushes. After trying in vain for another way to come up to the mountain, we gave up and gotta go back, also because of Alex’s allergy to pollens. We stopped under a big tree to rest and wait for the sun to go down a bit. But we only sat there for 1 hour or so because the clouds seemed to be afraid of the sun, too. While sitting on a rock, I was thinking I wouldn’t wanna leave Danba, and Danba was the most beautiful place on earth.

While walking back to the hotel, there was a guy in a car signaled if I wanted a ride, but I rejected. We reached the hotel at around 3:15 PM. Then I took my shower while Alex was searching for peanuts. I liked the shower I had today. I feared the coldness no more.

I was waiting for the round moon, but it hid behind the mountain. I could only saw it a bit on the way back to the hotel.

I so loved life here. Danba had everything: mountains and rivers, trees and grass, downtown and countryside, sunny and rainy days, cloudy and starry nights, lovely and friendly Chinese Han and Tibetan people, the food, the dancing on the road in the evenings, stores of all kinds, and especially, the roads that glitter every step I take.

I shed few teardrops when I thought tomorrow I would have to leave these beautiful sights. The only thing that Danba didn’t have was Facebook.

Continue ReadingGarzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Day 13: Danba Hiking

Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Day 12: Garzê To Danba

I hardly slept so I got up early. I rushed Alex to pack things up because we had to walk to the bus station.

The bus looked like a truck with so many things on the floor, blocking the isle. The music on the bus was too loud. Also, the driver used too much of the horn. Anyway, I didn’t feel like I would get a fever again. Hope my tonsils won’t hurt me again, either.

At the bus station, we realized that there would be no bus back to Chengdu tomorrow. Thanks to another Chinese girl who spoke English, we could book the bus ticket for the 6:30 AM bus the day after tomorrow. We decided that we’d go about Danba tomorrow because we only could come back to Chengdu the day after.

On the way to have dinner and back, I bought a pair of earrings looking like the one of Aussie woman for 30 yuans and gifts for my siblings (a folding fan for my sis and a prayer wheel for my lil bro). We had another beer but Alex didn’t like the black beer much.

Tonight the sky had a few stars. I saw the round moon. It must be day 14 or 15 of the lunar month. These were the first stars I’ve seen since I came to China. I had expected more than that.

Continue ReadingGarzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Day 12: Garzê To Danba

Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Day 11: Garzê Monastery

We woke up very late around 8 AM. Didn’t know what to do so I listened to music while waiting for the rain to stop. As Alex wanted to go out, at 10 AM, we walked to a monastery nearby then another temple on the way we went to the mountains yesterday. 4 hours of walking today was nice, I felt no pain in my feet. We bought the bus tickets to go back to Danba tomorrow.

Even when it rained, I still loved the place too much to leave it behind. We had some cakes for lunch. I thought that cakes in China tasted better than in Vietnam.

At 4 PM, Alex wanted to walk out again, so we went around, passing a military base. Alex told me not to take photos of the soldiers, or else I would be in a complicated situation. I took a pic of a cosmos flower instead. Later I found out it has a beautiful Chinese name gesanghua after a legendary story of a Chinese princess marrying a Tibetan king.

I successfully ordered noodles without chili for dinner tonigh. I got fever before going to sleep (due to tonsillitis, I guess). Damn!

Continue ReadingGarzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Day 11: Garzê Monastery