Travel

stone forest • weekend photo diary

(I asked myself if it could still feasibly be called a photo diary when it really only has about 30 photos, and then I answered myself “Yes, because you made a resolution to yourself to blog at least once a week and this counts as a blog post, gosh damn it.”)

& so, here’s a rundown of my weekend!

Saturday morning G, J, and I met up, made plans, cancelled those plans, and then made (about four) different plans before settling on going to the Stone Forest and the Bamboo Temple, with liberal applications of alcohol in between. So we set out Saturday night, ended up at a party, bar, and club, in that order, and danced really badly with some French guys (if you know anything about me at all, you will know that I am infatuated with all Frenchmen) until about five in the morning, whereupon we returned to the Hump Hostel in Kunming to sleep it off.

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It turns out The Hump is named so not because of what I assumed (that a lot of humping went on inside), but because of the Allied pilots in World War II naming a part of the Himalayan mountains ‘the hump’. According to G, that hump was a crucial factor in the war efforts on this side of the world. Who knew, eh?

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Quote from our Xi’An trip: “Armed with a Lonely Planet guide and a semi-Chinese person, there’s nothing we can’t do!” This has proven to be semi-true, as the Lonely Planet guide has been most helpful, but the semi-Chinese person (aka me) has led the troupe astray many a time. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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We bumped into F at The Hump, and she took us to a Muslim neighborhood for breakfast/brunch/just plain old lunch, as it was pushing noon when we hauled ourselves out of bed. After a greasy breakfast that soaked through all the napkins we used to hold it, we parted ways with F and went in search of a bus to take us to the Bamboo Temple.

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Inside the temple there were statues of monks surfing (surfing!!!) on various creatures; unicorns, dragons, crabs, giant goldfish. Supposedly you count your age from the left and then the one you land on last describes your inner self. So I was a monk surfing a spider, and it was the worst, because I am so scared of spiders it’s not even funny that my reaction time between seeing one and screaming is 0.0001 seconds. (G was a monk with eyebrows that reached his knees, which made no sense but was hilarious all the same.) We weren’t allowed inside the temple, so we had to crane our necks around a pillar to catch a glimpse of the surfing monks – my camera was not allowed inside either.

 

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After wandering around the temple a little (and really, it was only a little – not sure why Lonely Planet recommended this place so heavily, if I’m quite honest) we took the road less travelled down. By which I mean, we followed some people who looked like they knew what they were doing down a path in the woods. We reached the bottom, and grabbed some beer while waiting for the bus to take us back to the city center.

 

Monday was reserved entirely for the Stone Forest, in part because it was supposed to be so awe-inspiring you need to give yourself time to appreciate it properly and in part because it takes a damn long time to get there.

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Classic tourist: climbing right next to the “no climbing” sign. I chuckled.

 

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G was feeling sick, so we hauled ass back to campus so he could rest, and that, my dears (am I even the sort of person who says/types “dear”? Something to ponder) was my weekend

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I’ll leave you with a sign that made me smile.

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