Monthly Archives: April 2017

Around the World #41: Bounce

Bounce: Picture of MCK and Dan.

MCK and me after our Bounce session.

My guest MCK runs a program called Bounce. Basically, it's a twenty-minute conversation in which he listens to you and asks you the right questions to work through whatever's on your mind. He and I did a Bounce session at the beginning of this podcast and it was very helpful. We also touched on many other travel related topics.

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For one week after this podcast is released, MCK will give you a twenty-minute Bounce session, and you can pay whatever you think it's worth. Head on over to for more info.

And now, let's listen to the podcast:

Download this Episode (right-click and choose “save as”)

Show Notes:

  • MCK's website is He has lots of information about Bounce, as well as his other projects.
  • His other website, is focused exclusively on Bouncing.
  • We talked rather extensively about my Chain Fail episode of this podcast. Highly recommended.
  • When I said that there were 100 million cars in China, I was citing outdated news. In fact, this number is from 2011. It's nearly double that number today, and there are likely more licensed drivers in China than there are people in the US.
Picture of sour papaya.

Here is the sour papaya that MCK brought in. It tastes like a lighter version of a Sour Patch Kid.

Around the World #40: Matthew Clausen

Picture of Matthew and Dan.

Matthew and Dan.

Matthew Clausen and I recorded this podcast on a dark and breezy night, while sitting atop the Great Wall of China. We had just finished a long day of trekking on the wall, starting at the popular restored section of Mutianyu, and ending at “wild” Jiankou. We had a fantastic time reminiscing his week-long visit to Beijing, culminating in this outdoor adventure. We also discussed rock climbing, our views on what it means to travel, and much more.

Download this Episode (right-click and choose “save as”)

Show Notes:

  • According to, the district of Huairou (怀柔区), from which we recorded this podcast, has a population of 373,000, barely a blip on the radar by Chinese population standards.
  • Jiankou (箭扣), where we were camping, was constructed in 1368 and has never been restored.
  • The Dunning-Kruger Effect basically states that when people have a low level of skill for a certain task, they tend to overestimate their skill level at that task.
  • We didn't talk about this during the podcast, but these infographics help to explain the cultural differences between Germany (or “The West”) and China (“The East”).
  • Apparently Amazon Prime Air is real, and it's coming to an airspace near you.
  • It is forbidden to fly a drone over the Forbidden City in Beijing. Just ask Trey Ratcliff.
  • You can hear Roni Rodrigues tell his story of flying his drone over Lake Baikal here.
  • Here's an explanation of the notion that You Remember 10% of what you read.... It's not really quantifiable, as we suggested during the podcast.

And now for some photos from our hike on the Great Wall of China:

Picture of Matt and Jess.

Matt and Jess.

Picture of Dan and Katie on the Great Wall.

Me and Katie on the wall at Jiankou.

Picture of down-climbing the Great Wall.


Picture of Jess, Dan and Matt on the wall.

Breakfast on the wall.

Picture of Katie watching the sunrise on the Great Wall.

Watching the sunrise.

Picture of valley at Jiankou.

Looking down the valley toward Huairou.

More photos from my trips to the Great Wall of China

Around the World #39: Tamara Gil

Picture of Dan and Tamara.

I'm a fan of Tamara Gil.

My guest today is Tamara Gil, a multimedia journalist based in Beijing, China. Tamara and I had a long and interesting conversation, during which we covered quite a large number of topics. Be sure to check out the Show Notes below for more info.

Here's my podcast with Tamara Gil:

Download this Episode (right-click and choose “save as”)

Here is a link to Tamara's Twitter Feed.

And here are two videos that Tamara made from the Naadam Festival in Mongolia, which we talked about during the podcast:

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Show Notes:

  • Tamara works as a multimedia journalist for Efe Noticias.
  • Chinese has the most native speakers (955 million), followed by Spanish (405 million) and English (360 million).
  • New York City has about 1.2 million Puerto Ricans. San Juan's metro population is 2.3 million.
  • The Foreign Services Institute has a ranking of the difficulty of learning languages. Unsurprisingly, Chinese is a Category 5 (the hardest).
  • Voice of America recently put out an interesting article concerning Rex Tillerson's lack of media access.
  • Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye was impeached last month. Now she could be charged with bribery, a crime that could land her in prison for ten years or more.
  • South Korea will elect its next president on May 9.
  • Here is a great BBC article explaining North Korea's current nuclear technology.
  • For more info about the West's strategy in dealing with North Korea, I'd highly recommend The Impossible State by Victor Cha.
  • The BBC has more info about the latest laptop ban. This article, as well as other media I've read, focuses on the fact that we'll have to talk to our neighbor or read a book while flying. It'll be just like the good old days! But my concern has nothing to do with this. I'm worried about my laptop getting broken or stolen. This is no laughing matter; the media (at least from what I've read) doesn't seem to get it. Especially considering the fact that journalists (AKA the media) are commonly targeted by hackers. And now they have to hand their laptops over to airlines – maybe even to hostile governments – and hope for the best. This is far more important a concern than keeping yourself entertained during a long flight.
  • Shangri-la, China is 10,367 feet (3160 meters) above sea level.
  • Where are the people at? This map shows China's population distribution.
  • Here's a short video about the Naadam Festival in Mongolia:
  • The movie about the Mongolian family is called The Cave of the Yellow Dog. You can buy it on Amazon.
  • Dan Carlin's Hardcore History is the best podcast out there. I talked about Wrath of the Khans during this show.
  • The Netflix show that's set in Kublai Khan's time is called Marco Polo.
  • The Lost City of Z by David Grann is a great book about Percy Fawcett's 1925 journey into the Amazon. A movie of the same title is now out. I can't wait to see it.
  • Conspiracy theories abound about Malaysian Airlines flight MH370's disappearance. Here are some of them.
  • And finally, here's some more info about the 2014 protests in Hong Kong, AKA the Umbrella Revolution.

And now for some photo fun! Here are some pictures of some of the places Tamara and I talked about:

Picture of Burj Khalifa.

The Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building, at 2722 feet and 163 floors.

Picture of umbrellas Dubai Mall.

The Dubai Mall has all sorts of elegant art and architecture. Here are some umbrellas hanging from the ceiling

Picture of Metro in Dubai.

When it's 45 degrees outside, it's good to know you can stay inside. In this case, I'm riding the metro toward the center of the city. The trains are automated, so you can stand in front and look out the giant windows.

Click for more photos and stories from Dubai.

Here are a few pictures from Australia:

Picture of kangaroo in Australia.

A kangaroo in Grampians National Park.

Picture of Craig.

Craig points the way to the Great Ocean Walk.

Picture of ship in Melbourne.

On my way to Tasmania, via ferry.

Click for more pictures and stories from Australia.

And some photos from India:

Picture of Taj Mahal behind a barbed wire fence..

No Taj for you!

Picture of Chattru, India.

The mountains around Chattru.

Picture of boy bicycling next to a slum in Delhi.

On the outskirts of Delhi.

Click for more photos and stories from India.

And a couple of photos from Shangri-La:

Picture of Ganden Sumtseling.

Ganden Sumtseling is a monastery outside of Shangri-La.

Picture of Napa Lake in Yunnan Province, China.

Napa Lake is just outside of Shangri-La.

Click here for more stories and photos from Shangri-La.

We also mentioned Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (湖南张家界国家森林公园). Here are some photos:

Picture of Wulang Worshiping Buddhism.

Wulang Worshiping Buddhism

Picture of Avatar Hallelujah Mountain.

“Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” (阿凡达-哈利路亚山)

Click for more photos and stories from Zhangjiajie.

And finally, some photos from Manzhouli:

Picture of Manzhouli downtown.

Picture of a girl walking next to Manzhouli at sunset.

Click for more photos and stories from Manzhouli.