Friday, October 26, 2012

Our Journey 我们的旅程

Our route 我们的路线 

On Friday 12/10/2012 morning, 16 of us met at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) for a flight to Kunming for our 13-day photographic adventure.

At Kunming, we were joined by a 6-member Singaporean group for the same expedition traveling on a separate vehicle.

It was our (my wife and I ) third trip to Yunnan.

Besides my wife, I knew only 4 from the group, the rest were strangers whom I met for the first time. However, 13 days of sticking together has made us friends!

Our Yunnan tour guide (also tour organiser) is a famous photographer whose father is the President of Yunnan Photographic Society. 

It was a great trip which I would describe it as an adventure with exciting elements :

1. Afghanistan-like landscape - barren and snow-capped high mountains with winding roads.
We traveled from Yunnan to Sichuan through mountainous area. Our small bus traveled from Kunming (Alt 1900 M) to an incredible height of 4850 M in a matter of 4 days, encompassing the remotest areas of Yunnan and Sichuan. (*Genting Highlands is at 1800 M )

We have viewed more than 6 snowy mountains, including the most beautiful famous sacred Meili Snow Mountain, It is the world's only virgin mountain, no one has ever climb the highest peak successfully.

 2. Indian deadliest roads type of risk and excitement (History Channel IRT India Deadliest Roads)
The roads were winding and narrow. At certain stretches, the bus tires were just inches away from the edge of the road. A mistake would see the bus plunge hundreds of meters into ravines.

It had no road signs to show direction or distance. A stretch of 150-km road, if lucky, could see one or two road signs telling you where you were heading to...

The rude and unruly Chinese drivers, honking most of the time irrespective on-coming or overtaking, were hazards of the road as well.

We were lucky to have an experienced and skillful bus driver who is also a photography enthusiast, knew the roads well.

 3. Himalayan level of satisfaction and achievement 
Blue sky, sweeping wind, dark glasses and hood, thick clothing, picturesque snowy mountains as background .... can't help but the desire to shout: " we have conquered ..!". Such a good feeling!

 4. The most prayed traveling trip my wife and I had undergone so far, simply for elements 1 & 2. I saw my wife holding her Rosary beads most of the time inside the bus.

We also marveled at the great creation of God ... the mountains, the rock formations, snowy mountains with crystal clear water flowing .... the vegetation, vivid colors of nature.....

5. Astonishingly beautiful landscape and great view throughout the journey.
Besides beautiful Autumn landscape and vegetation, I (we) saw also the beautiful night sky filled with stars .... and Milky Way which I last saw at the age of 10 !!! ( I would like to rephrase it -- I (we) pee-ed under starry sky and looking up to the wonderful Milky Way !)

From Shangrila (Zhong Dian) of Yunnan, we traveled off the beaten tracks, crossing high altitude mountains (highest 4850 M) into Sichuan Province, to the beautiful Dao Cheng -Ya Ding Scenic Parks, the climax destination of our journey.

The journey brought us through 8-lane urban highways, to 2-lane country roads, and potholes filled, bumpy mountain roads, stretching more than hundred of kilometers.

Calls of nature, men and women, were done by the bushes or pulling of cloth cover along the road (back to the nature way). For 4 days, our lunch were instant noodles and self-heating rice packages.

 Due to single digit cold weather, many (me inclusive) did not bath for days!

I marveled at the dynamic of the government in improving the infrastructures of the country. The whole province seemed to be a construction site especially in road construction.

We would not be able to travel again on the same roads, enjoying the spectacular views in a year or two's time. Many mountainous road would be replaced by tunnels, bridges and elevated highways at a much lower altitude. 

It was a journey of a life time not to be repeated, and would be cherished the rest of our lives.

Thanks to God's Providence, all of us and the bus made through this tough journey. We have to brave the wind and coldness, altitude sickness and adverse living conditions. We made it !

And it is good to be home !

** Our journey can be divided into 2 parts:
Part 1. From Kunming - Daili - Shangrila. It was an easy part because of its lower altitude and better road conditions.

Part 2. From Shangrila to Daocheng-Yading Scenic area, the main focus of the tour. We traveled between altitude 3500 M to 4850 M. Not only we have to overcome altitude sickness, but also the cold weather.

I would share my pictures in batches.

1. ( Yunnan - Sichuan Pictures 1 @ Facebook )

2. ( Yunnan - Sichuan pictures 2 @ Facebook )

12/10/2012 星期五早上,我们一行16人,在吉隆坡国际机场集合,共乘飞机,飞往昆明,开始我们为期13天的摄影之旅。




我们的云南导游, 也是旅游业者,是云南一位知名的摄影师,他的父亲是原任云南摄影协会的会长。


1. 阿富汗般的地理形势,就如电视新闻所看到的一样,有着荒芜高耸,白雪覆蓋的山峦。


2. 有如印度最危险的死亡公路般的危险及刺激(卫星电视历史频道的节目:印度死亡公路)





3. 喜马拉雅水准般的满足感及成就感。
无云的蓝天一片,孟劲的强风,黑眼镜,头套,厚厚的衣装,图画般的雪山作为背景 。。。情不自禁要喊道:“我们征服了。。。” 感觉正好!

4. 我们祈祷最多的一次旅途,因为以上的(1) 及(2)。我见到太太手上,玫瑰念珠从不离手。


5. 整个行程令人惊叹的美景


我们的行程经过8条车道的高速公路,也经过了2 个车道的乡镇小道,当然也经过满布窟窿,颠簸摇摆,一山又一山的弯曲山路,延绵数百公里。


因为天气非常的冷,在2 至8度之间,所以很多团友(包括我本身)数天都没冲凉。







我见识到了摄影发烧友的热忱,对拍摄美景及风光照片的付出,令我敬佩不已,而从中也学习到一些摄影的技巧及技术的认识。 他们都满载而归。



** 我们的行程分成两部分:

第二部分,摄影之旅的重轴,是从香格里拉到稻城,然后到亚丁风景区。这是最艰难的部分。除了海拔升高 (从3500 米,升到4850M 之间,不仅要面对高山反应,还要强忍寒冷的天气(晚上可能在1或2 度)。



1. 云南-四川 Facebook 照片 1.

2. 云南 - 四川 Facebook 照片 2. 


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