One Photo!

The Children of Roopangarh

On my Intrepid tour of Rajasthan I stayed at Roopangarh Fort, the former palace of the Maharaj of Kishangarh. The hotel was a highlight of the tour, partly because it included a dress up session and dance party.

But our stay also included a tour of Roopangarh village, with special visits to the various craftsmen and women, including the carpenter, the women who run the ribbon-making looms, and a marble carver who made the most tempting mortars and pestles. But the most memorable part of the tour were the children of the village who, shy at first, soon followed us around, demanding that we take their picture and show them the result.

China’s Adorable Treasures

We arrived in the city of Chengdu before dawn, after a 17-hour train ride from Xi’an. It was so early that we couldn’t check into our hotel or even get our morning fix of pork dumplings. Of course, there was no point in rushing, as the morning’s destination wouldn’t open for another few hours. And so we sat in the lobby, stunned, taking advantage of the wifi, the chance to use a toilet that wasn’t moving, and air that wasn’t filled with second-hand smoke.

Welcome to Beijing!

I’ve arrived safely but exhausted in Beijing—I’m simply not cut out for overnight flights. I managed to get a taxi to my hotel and was only very slightly confused out of my change. Of course with the early arrival, I had to wait several hours before I could check in—so I hit the streets of Beijing in a bit of a daze, but thoroughly enjoying the crisp autumn air after steamy Thailand.