Read about Dan’s travels around the world.

2016, What the Year! Part VI: China and Korea

Katie and I headed out with several friends to Panjin, to check out the “Red Beach.” Suaeda Salsa is an algae that thrives in highly alkaline soil, such as that found in parts of northeastern China. The algae is green for most of the year, but for around a month in the fall, it turns a Martian red. Around the same time, the tourists arrive in droves, including us. To explore the area, we rented 3-person bikes, which were a lot of fun but not very fast. (Wouldn't you think they'd be three times faster than a normal bike?) We spent the afternoon avoiding the throngs of Chinese tourists who were rolling up in buses, and checking out the beautiful landscapes.

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2016, What the Year! Part V: Wedding

Katie and I had been planning to get married for the last few months. And now, we were both back in the States for the summer. We spent a few weeks making our final preparations, then our big day came. And what a day it was! I don't even remember it very well, it went by so fast. But everything seemed to go smoothly. And this was a great chance to get caught up with friends and family we hadn't seen in a long time, especially considering that we live on the opposite side of the planet.

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2016, What the Year! Part IV: Dubai

My plane took off from Chennai, and I was on my way home for the summer. But I had one last pit stop to make – a three-day layover in Dubai. I was excited – this was my first trip to the Middle East. But when I booked my flight, I didn't think about the consequences of being in a Muslim country during Ramadan.

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2016, What the Year! Part III: India

The Dalai Lama spoke for an hour; his message was mostly about creating peace on Earth. He seemed to be winding down his time on this planet – he made it clear that he was from the twentieth century and now it was time for the twenty-first century folks to take over. He was humble, too. At one point he said that if he thought of himself as the Dalai Lama, he felt lonely. But if he thought of himself as a human, then he had seven billion others to share this life experience with. He spoke in English for this whole hour. During his speech, monks walked through the crowd, passing out bread rolls and pouring cups of yak milk tea. It was savory, not sweet, but still delicious, and a nice gesture.

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2016, What the Year! Part II: India

This is part II of my “2016, What the Year!” series. I'm recapping some of my travel memories from the year that was...2016.

I spent about five weeks in India. It was an incredible country, with never a dull moment. This is a long post, but trust me, it's just a brief summary of my time in India. In fact, this entry will only cover May, so there's more to come.

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2016, What the Year! Part I

2016: what the year! Though I spent most of 2016 in China, I did manage to travel to a few other countries. This blog entry, as well as the next two, will be a recap of where I went and what I did last year.

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Hong Kong, City of the Future?

Hong Kong, what an amazing place! The city is full of energy. Its markets are sprawling; its people are always on the go. Parties last until the wee hours of the morning, fueled by bottle shop beers and 24-hour coffee shops. Little dim sum restaurants dot the streets, offering locals and tourists alike a wide variety of Cantonese morsels. Walking around, you get the feeling that this is a city of the future.

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An Easy Day Trip to Macau

As I made my way south through China, I got an idea: why not stop in Macau for a day? As it turned, out, it was quite easy. I took trains through Guilin and Guangzhou, and eventually ended up in the lovely city of Zhuhai. (One bonus of Zhuhai: it was the only place I had been in China where cars actually stopped for pedestrians.) From there, I just had to go through some immigration formalities and walk across the border, into Macau.

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The Fu Ling Weekly Market

Nowadays, it may seem like everyone in China lives in a big city. But that definitely is not true. Many villages are emptying as more and more people migrate in search of a better life, but small-town life still is flourishing in pockets of China.

Take Fu Ling, for example. Once a week, the people of this southern Chinese village get together to sell their wares in a market. Local produce, as well as household goods, are sold under one roof. For me, the Fu Ling market offered a great look into a way of life that is in slow decline. Given that the average age of salespeople in Fu Ling was north of fifty, I doubt this market will exist in thirty years. But for now, it is still thriving.

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Yangshuo, Gumdrops of My Dreams

Yangshuo, in northeastern Guangxi Province, is a part of China that everyone should see. Magnificent gumdrop hills dot the landscape. You can climb to the top of some of these peaks for great views of the region. This is also where many traditional Chinese artists gain their inspiration. Quite often, those beautiful paintings of emerald hills and frothy waterfalls are made in the villages along the Li River. The journey from the giant southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen takes less than a day. If you want to relax for a weekend, Yangshuo is a great bet.

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