10 Adventurous Tourist Attractions in China

10 Adventurous Tourist Attractions in China

The last post I wrote was called 101 Travel Experiences in China. Excited to share all of the experiences I had in China, both good and bad, I poured weeks worth of work into that post. But nobody read it. It was just too long. Plus, I made the mistake of putting in tourist attractions in China that were not worth doing. People don’t care about those – they just want to know what to do… not what not to do. So being the industrious fellow that I am, I condensed my 10,000 word behemoth to only those experiences that were truly adventurous (this is, after all, an adventure travel blog). They are the Best of the Best; the Eric Roberts of travel experiences if you will. So please enjoy. 1) Walk the Plank Road in the Sky on Mount Hua Located a short day trip outside of Xian, Mount Hua is one of the five sacred mountains of China and has a long history of religious and historical significance. Reaching the northern summit takes approximately 5 hours and requires ascending a series of steep stone staircases (like most mountains in China). Mount Hua’s crags and spines make for a beautiful, all be it, precipitous trek. So much so, that its been labeled the world’s most dangerous hike. Probably the most infamous of all the attractions is the Plank Road in the sky, located on Mount Hua’s south Peak. Fifty meters of wood precariously nailed to the side of a cliff takes you on a stroll 1000 meters above a spiky mountain range below. I was scared shitless before doing it, but I found that once I got there, it wasn’t nearly as bad...
Inspire me! Top travel bloggers share their most inspiring travel destinations.

Inspire me! Top travel bloggers share their most inspiring travel destinations.

Looking for a destination that will leave you breathless or change your perspective on life? I asked 17 bloggers about their most inspiring travel destinations.  In search of the next great travel experience, I asked 17 travel bloggers a simple question “What is the most inspiring destination you’ve been to and why”? I thought I did some serious, badass traveling, but their answers truly humbled me.  I haven’t begun to crack open this world. Of the 17 destinations, I have visited only one (South Africa). I mean, how can I even compete with Brad’s entry of participating in a ritual of corpse dancing in Madagascar? Unbelievable! But I didn’t just receive destinations filled with adventure. No, I got some beautifully introspective answers as well. Like how Candice felt a deeper sense of appreciation in the once war-torn Bosnia & Herzegovina. She writes: There was a genuine feeling of gratefulness for life, and I feel it’s so unappreciated elsewhere. There is so much out there to see, taste, touch and experience in this big, beautiful world that it’s impossible to cram it all in. So hopefully these bloggers can narrow the field a tiny bit and give you the same case of wanderlust as they gave me. And so without further ado, check out some really inspiring travel destinations for 2015: The Phillippines Humanity shines even brighter amidst poverty.  I visited one of the biggest Slums in the Philippines earlier this year and it really taught me a lesson. Thousands of kids are living in Manila’s largest dumpsite and making their livelihood by picking up garbage. The living conditions in these slums are one of the worst I’ve ever seen. The people living there don’t really have...
10 Things that are different in Germany compared to the US

10 Things that are different in Germany compared to the US

1) You can’t name your kid Blanket In Germany, the local Stadsamt can veto the name of your child if the proposed name doesn’t reflect the sex of the child or if it may endanger the well-being of the child. So sadly little Espn and his sister Yoga will probably not be getting their birth certificates in Germany. Then again, Helmut, Mechtchild and Waltraut will pass with flying colors, so maybe it’s better to skip the approval process entirely. 2) Animal sounds In Germany, animals may look the same and even sound the same to you, but the “Ol’ McDonald had a farm” song sounds completely different. A rooster doesn’t say “Cockle a doodle doo”, to a German they say “kikiriki”. Whaaa? Oh and as a bonus, Germans don’t say “Ouch” or “Ow” when they get hurt, they say “Aua” (pronounced like “Ow-wah”). To an American, it’s very weird. 3) Time commitment to Hobbies Germany is a land of regulation. It’s not so easy to just pick up a hobby like it is in the US. Want to play golf? You need to take lessons, get a handicap and join a club. Public courses are few and far between and most of them require a proof of handicap card anyways. You have to invest a lot of time in your hobby of choice, so it is my experience that Germans are usually very good at their free time diversions. Whether it be singing in a barber shop quartet, horseback riding or having an awesome mustache, the time commitment for your favorite hobby is no laughing matter. 4) American Pop culture references are...
25 Reasons why you should visit the Salar de Uyuni

25 Reasons why you should visit the Salar de Uyuni

1) To climb on modern ruins The first stop on our journey into the Salar de Uyuni was the Railroad Cemetery. You are free to explore these modern ruins, climbing on top of them or searching out their gutted innards. Our guide Abel, explained to us that the area was used by American Engineers during the silver rush here in the 1860s. Decommissioned trains were stashed here and used for parts. Eventually the Silver-mine closest to the cemetery was closed down and the trains were left to wither and become part of the barren landscape. In the picture below, you can see that it’s not only trains that the Salar has claimed, a dog has also succumb to the harsh environment. 2) To feel a deep connection with nature Now don’t go and call me a hippy just yet. Hear me out. The Inca and other indigenous tribes have held pagan beliefs in Bolivia for a thousand years. Although Christianity was introduced by the Spanish 500 hundred years ago, today the connection with nature is as palpable in Bolivia as pop culture is in the United States. Need an example? Pachamama, or mother earth, still receives sacrifices in the form of Llama fetuses before any construction is undertaken in Bolivia. The landscape is so beautiful and awesome (and I believe I am using awesome in it’s proper form here), you begin to understand their veneration. 3) Because Zorro is here Well, Zorro just means fox in Spanish, but still! Officially the Andean Fox is a protected animal. Unofficially, some locals chop off their tails or noses because they are considered lucky. Run Zorro, Run! 4) To let your...
5 World Travelers That Will Inspire You (and how to follow in their footsteps)

5 World Travelers That Will Inspire You (and how to follow in their footsteps)

Ah, the World Traveler. Just invoking the word probably brings up a stock image to your mind. For some, it may be a picture of Indiana Jones – rugged, resourceful, intelligent and never left without a witty comeback due to his years of worldly experience. To others, it may be a feminine role model. Again, maybe we dream up something from pop culture and insert Julia Roberts from Eat. Pray. Love. as the quintessential representation of the benefits of world travel. But these representation have become clichés (even if Eat Pray Love was the memoir of Elizabeth Gilbert, the idea of the transformed person through travel has taken on a life of its own and become overused to ad nauseam). What we need are real travel heroes. People that are much more human and don’t have hollywood producers behind them. At least not yet…. (Click the title at the top of the email to read the rest of this...
Trips of a Lifetime

Trips of a Lifetime

When compiling a list, you have to define the parameters. I didn’t want a list of extreme trips that only a national geographic adventurer could accomplish.  Furthermore, I wanted the trips to be unique and memorable. For example, bungee jumping may be memorable, but it is far from unique, as you can bungee jump pretty much anywhere in the world. Similarly, seeing the largest ball of yarn in the world may be unique, but for most people, it won’t be very memorable. So if you need some ideas for your next trip of a lifetime, why not consider the 10 below?   1. Stay in a Buddhist Temple   Why staying at a Buddhist temple is a trip of a lifetime: The Temples themselves are works of art and up to a thousand years old. Many are situated in breathtaking natural environments. Staying at one allows you to catch a glimpse of a simpler life, to examine your priorities and to maybe, just maybe, understand yourself and your place in the world, slightly better. Where: Various Temples in South Korea including some near Seoul. How Long: Between one to five days. Longer stays without program are also possible. Cost of staying at a Buddhist Temple: Between 70,000 and 100,000 KRW or 65 to 100 USD for two days. Airfare obviously not included. Further Resources: http://eng.templestay.com/index.asp (source of picture above) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/southkorea/9231956/South-Korea-finding-sanctuary-at-a-Buddhist-temple.html   2. Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula  Why cruising the Antarctic Peninsula is a trip of a lifetime: Solitude. Beauty. Untouched and pristine wilderness. A trip to the Antarctic will remind you that the earth was here long before humans and was doing just fine by itself, thank you very much. Plus, penguins! And...
Is Tough Mudder really that tough?

Is Tough Mudder really that tough?

The Start You are surrounded by Snow White and the seven dwarfs, ninjas and butterflies. AC / DC blares in the background. You know that after running 12 miles and jumping into a container filled with ice-cold water, you will be subjected to multiple electric shocks in the magnitude of 10,000 volts. Although this sounds surrealistic, this is something quite real. And you chose to do this out of your own free will. You thought it would be fun. This is the scene at the start line of a “challenge” (not a race) called Tough Mudder where you must traverse a number of obstacles along a 12 mile stretch and are encouraged to dress up in ridiculous outfits. A group of friends, 5 of us in total, decided to take a trip to Berlin this weekend to see if we were tough enough, although we left the outfits at home. In this post I would like to answer two questions: First was it really that “Tough” and secondly “Why”, as in why would you do something like that, which I was asked often leading up to the event. But first a bit more about the event itself. [photo_gallery] [image thumb_width=”150″ thumb_height=”150″ lightbox=”true” custom_link=”” title=”” caption=””] http://passportchronicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/IMG_6826.jpg[/image] [image thumb_width=”150″ thumb_height=”150″ lightbox=”true” custom_link=”” title=”” caption=””]http://passportchronicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/IMG_6844.jpg[/image] [image thumb_width=”150″ thumb_height=”150″ lightbox=”true” custom_link=”” title=”” caption=””]http://passportchronicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/IMG_6836.jpg[/image] [/photo_gallery] The Course In total there were 20 different obstacles that we had to cross over 12 miles. Two of the obstacles, I have already mentioned, “Arctic Enema” and “Electroshock Therapy”. These two were probably the most physically painful of the entire bunch. I am from Wisconsin and I...