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travel interview: tiger leaping gorge

travel interview: tiger leaping gorge

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Ever heard of Tiger Leaping Gorge? Despite how it may sound, it's not home to dozens of prancing felines, but chilled cafes, rocky terrain and one helluva stunning view.

Ever heard of Tiger Leaping Gorge? Despite how it may sound, it's not home to dozens of prancing felines, but chilled cafes, rocky terrain and one helluva stunning view.

Making a habit of jetting around the globe to snap away at rad places like this, photographer Drew Dunlop jumped on Geckos Adventures' Tiger Freakin' Gorgeous tour, then gave us a rundown of his pretty darn excellent trip.

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Tell us how you ended up in China. Well, I've been lucky enough to shoot a lot of Asia for Geckos already, but had never been to China before. I was coming back from a holiday in Europe and my flight was stopping off in Guangzhou so I extended the stop-over and got on the Tiger Leaping Gorge tour.

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What was the first thing you noticed about the country? China is a massive country! Some modern conveniences have made their way into southern China, but the majority of the south is still very remote and isolated. We travelled for 10 hours by local buses to get to our first destination, which was a great way to see the country firsthand.

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Which parts of the country did you travel through? We travelled around south-western China, starting in Kunming and travelling to beautiful villages such as Dali and Shaxi, before beginning our two-day hike through the incredible Tiger Leaping Gorge.

What do you remember about the landscapes of China? The landscapes were epic; huge mountains ascending into the clouds with beautiful waterfalls, lakes and rivers.

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Tell us a bit about Tiger Leaping Gorge. Tiger Leaping Gorge is stunning and it was the highlight of my time in China. The trek was tough at times but the scenery was breathtaking. Clouds covered the tops of the mountains so they just seemed to go up forever. The traditional guesthouses along the way were very cool and at the end of the hike we trekked down to the powerful Yangzi river to soak it all in from the bottom of the gorge.

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What were the people like? The people were really friendly and loved having us explore their country. A lot of people in the remote parts obviously don't speak English, but our guide Jay was excellent and helped us communicate!

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Did you eat any interesting cuisine while you were there? We ate a lot of the typical Chinese cuisine such as rice, noodles and dumplings, but one night I did have a yak burger, which was very tasty!

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What were you trying to capture in your photos? I guess I wanted to show that although a lot of China has embraced modern technology and western culture, the south-west is still very traditional in their way of life.

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What was the main thing you took away from your trip to China? That it's an incredibly diverse country with so much history and tradition. It has really inspired me to travel more and see as many remote places as I can before they eventually change their ways and succumb to modern living.