Japan, You Stole Our Hearts and Our Wallet

When we arrived in Japan on a balmy summer day, we were prepared to step into a quirky futuristic wonderland, where cartoon characters roam the street, social order is near perfection, space age trains run faster than a speeding bullet, and temples are made from sushi.  Fortunately for us, the country we uncovered was exactly nearly what we had been dreaming of.  The following seven reasons capture why travel in this fantasy world is so special.

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4.5 Epic Japanese Day Hikes: A Hiking Guide to Japan’s Wilderness

Wild Japan is amazingly gorgeous.  The expansive wilderness is everywhere, ranging from lush green forests to rugged volcanic peaks.  But the best part?  The country’s national parks are relatively unknown to foreigners.  These are not the National Parks in the US, where people travel from all over the world.  But the beauty of Japan outside of the cities is among the most epic, pristine and unique.  This is a hiking destination that should be on even the most avid hikers and nature lovers trekking list.

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Myths, Misinformation and Chinglish: China Travel Unraveled

“The road to peace, from the beginning of the fire started.”  The sign was trying to tell us something, but exactly what was up for debate.  We could narrow it down to either instructions, directions, prohibitions, or perhaps an ancient Chinese proverb.  Regardless of its message, it was hilarious.  Chinglish signs like these are all over China and made travel in this misunderstood country, well, still misunderstood. Read more

Great Wall Trekking, Beijing and Beyond

The Great Wall snaked ahead as far as we could see, following the most difficult path across mountains with impossibly steep ridge lines.  We were trekking atop 2,200 years of history, where numerous dynasties defended the borders of modern day China.  Many phases eventually left almost 10,000 kilometers crossing the country.  It was built to stop invasion from barbarian nomads, and close to 500,000 people had died during its construction.  The very wall that had faced the Mongols now made our trail through wild North China.

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A Month in China – Hong Kong, Yangshuo and Longji Rice Terraces

We stood high in the mountains of Southern China, surrounded by some of the world’s most incredible rice terraces.  These paddies had been built over 600 years earlier and continued to be farmed to this day.  We had the perfect view as the mist rolled across the valley below, making the water in the fields shimmer in the golden light.  These were the famous Longi Rice Terraces, and we had traveled halfway around the globe for this sight.  After stops in Hong Kong and Yangshuo, our trip in China was off to a fantastic start.
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