Looking through the windows of China

Joel Carillet's picture


A teenage girl peers from a guesthouse room at a village in Tiger Leaping Gorge. A stunning natural wonder tucked away in China's Yunnan Province, the gorge is one of the world's deepest canyons. Here the Yangtze River is pushed to the narrowest point of its 4,000-mile long journey.

Two women, perhaps talking about the strange guy with the camera, on a bus in the far south of China (probably about 10 miles from the Lao border).

A restaurant in the beautiful old town of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While waiting for my soup in a restaurant in Shanghai, I looked out the window at this scene. The woman was waiting for a bus.

Kashgar was once an important stop on the Silk Road. Today it is perhaps best known for its market and as the home of the Uighurs, a Turkic people found throughout this westernmost portion of China.

Zongdian, in the northern reaches of the Yunnan Province, is the only place in the world where I've been shot by a Buddhist at a monastery. (The Buddhist was a boy novice, nine years old or so, who had a pellet gun and didn't seem to have much else to do but play with it. He shot me in the rear end.)

The Tibetan capital Lhasa is rapidly looking more Chinese than Tibetan. But the old quarter is still home to traditional architecture, as seen in the photos above and below.

The building known as Chungking Mansions, located on Hong Kong's Nathan Road, suits those visitors who love low rent (and who aren't easily creeped out). I stayed at a hostel here and had seen few things like it.

Other windows in Hong Kong weren't as run down looking. Indeed, somehow a few even looked rather attractive, in a modern billboard sort of way.

After that last picture, perhaps I should close this essay with a return to the great outdoors. Here is a portion of the Tibetan Plateau, seen through the windows of a Landcruiser parked about 20 miles north of Everest Base Camp. The day before, I had spent the night in view of Mt. Everest and was completely in awe of the mountain.



Joel Carillet, chief editor of wanderingeducators.com, is a freelance writer and photographer based in Tennessee.  His most recent project is 30 Reasons to Travel: Photographs and Reflections from Southeast Asia, due for release in June.  To learn more about him, visit www.joelcarillet.com.