Our trip included China as a destination, after Mongolia, and we wanted to reach it by train. Unfortunately, however, the Chinese embassy in Ulaanbaatar did not issue visas for the country, there were diplomatic problems between China and Mongolia at that time. So we should have taken a flight to Hong Kong, an autonomous district that allowed visa-free entry. There we could have carried out the necessary bureaucratic paperwork to then enter "real" China. I was excited to go from the cold climate of Mongolia to the tropical climate of Hong Kong. And I also knew that from then on, for another 7 months, our season would only alternate between summer and spring! I had to get rid of that useless heavy coat, which would only have been bulky by now. I left it at Ulaanbaatar airport before we boarded our flight to Beijing. There we had very little time for the stopover, so we hurried to that gigantic and colossal airport to catch our flight to Hong Kong. It was evening when we arrived and when we got out into the open air, a warm and humid cloud enveloped me and I welcomed it with joy. After 4 days our visas were ready and in the meantime, we visited that jungle of skyscrapers and tropical trees of that Asian metropolis so new for us!
China hosted us for a month and we crossed and visited five of its provinces, one different from the other and each one spectacular and full of surprises. Our intention was to immerse ourselves in the magnificent sceneries that characterize this country in many ways still mysterious and from which we were not disappointed. The cities that we found on our way gave us the opportunity to get to know a very interesting and multifaceted culture. Moving by train and bus, we were able to capture the greatness of this country, its still very rural character, its green landscapes. Taking a train in China involves almost the same procedures as taking a flight! The stations are very large and the people are always many. I could write pages and pages about China, about the individual experiences left in my memory (and in my travel diary). I have a wonderful memory of that month and, if I think about China, the first things that come back from the memories are the magical lights and atmospheres, of dusk and evening, that take over the streets, from which the mountains and karst formations stand out as a background.
Yunnan was our last province in China before the bus took us to the Laos border. I was a little sorry to leave, but I remember the "travel bulimia" that had taken hold of me: there was still so much to see and discover, people to meet and borders to cross!