Travel last year was awesome with trips to just about every part of the great wall, hiked the Leaping Tiger Gorge, visited more classical gardens than I can remember and went on a Beijing drinking spree that finished at 5 in the morning. With 2012 just starting, this is an ideal time to take a deep breathe, sit down and write a few resolutions to make travel in China this year even better.
1 – Learn how to use my new camera
I’m not much of a camera expert and are always take photos using the auto setting. Just bought a shiny new Cannon PowerShot SX230 so finally time to bite the bullet and learn how to take pictures manually. Will have to (gasp) read the manual and experiment a little. Maybe tomorrow.
2- See Heavenly Lake at Changbai Mountain.
Heavenly Lake was formed in the volcanic crater of Changbai Mountain, surrounded by a ring of 16 mountain peaks and just incredible. I went to Changbai Mountain last April and never saw Heavenly lake due to bad weather. This year I HAVE TO go back and finally see Heavenly Lake.
3-Take photos from Zhengbeilou Tower at Jiankou
The Zhengbeilou Tower at the Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China is reputed to be the best place on the wall for taking photos. I climbed Jiankou last year but ran out of time and did not make it to Zhengbeilou. This year I will make it to Zhengbeilou and take incredible photos with my new camera (after learning how to use it).
4-Be a little less budget conscious
Normally when I travel I stay at backpacker hotels sleeping in dorms and eating at small local out of the way restaurants. This is fine but need to occasionally splash out and enjoy the luxury of my own room and eat at a restaurant where they use something better than disposable wooden chopsticks.
5- Be a little more adventurous
Walking through centuries old palaces, hiking through desolate mountains and admiring exotic temples is all very nice BUT lacking in adventure. The only really adventurous thing I did last year was climb the northern end of Jiankou and that was more reckless stupidity than being adventurous. Need to do something adrenaline pumping such as ride a camel in Inner Mongolia, scuba diving off Sanya or wearing a t-shirt with a political slogan in Tiananmen Square.
6-Relax a little
Travel for me is normally intense trying to see as much as possible in the limited amount of time I have for each trip. Be good to occasionally sleep in, hang out in the hostel bar swapping travel stories with other tourists and slowly wandering around without the excessive need to see everything.
Your Take – what would resolutions would you have for better travel in China in 2012?