Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Time sinks of travel

There are some time sinks to consider which can add up while traveling especially if you're moving from place to place quite frequently:
  • Time spent packing and unpacking
  • Time spent on a bus or train
  • Time spent checking in and checking out
The more frequently you hop around, the more time you spend on the above activities and the less time you have to do what you came here to do. Also, consider the additional effects of time spent transporting yourself. If you take a 7-hour bus to your next destination, you may be tired on arrival. If you've taken daytime transportation, many sights may be closed or in the process of closing by the time you arrive. If you've taken overnight transportation, you may not be well-rested. If you don't want to lug your stuff around all day, you will want to check in which will also take additional time. You may also be in an area with no direct transportation to your next planned destination so this may require some backtracking and unexpected days spent in places you've already seen -- not that this would be a particularly terrible thing, just a potentially unexpected addition to your itinerary.


After a 23-hour train from Guìlín to Kūnmíng, a 7-hour bus from Kūnmíng to Yuányáng, and a 1-hour minivan to Duoyishu village, I was able to spend some time walking around the rice terraced mountains which have made this area famous. Weather here is about 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than Guìlín area and it's great to be able to step outside without being drenched in sweat.

Sunrise over Duoyishu village in Yuányáng

While in Yuányáng, I stayed at Jacky's Guesthouse which offered views of the surrounding rice terraces. I can only imagine what it looks like during the winter time when the terraces are flooded with water. Still amazing. However, I may have to come back.

Recently, someone taught me a useful phrase: tīng bù dǒng (听不懂). Roughly, it means, "I hear, but I don't understand." It's my most frequently used phrase here.