Local color in Yunnan.
I had the good fortune to have lunch last week in Boston with Mei
Zhang, founder of Wild China. For more than a decade, the Harvard MBA
grad has brought visitors to the remote parts of China, telling me that
“over 80 percent of travelers to the country see less than 20 percent
of the land mass.” More than likely they get a glimpse of the Great
Wall in Beijing, go on a Yangtze River cruise, and, if they have time,
see the Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China in Xi’an. But what about
that impressive mountain and river scenery found in the backdrop of
Zhang Yimou films? To immerse yourself in that otherworldly beauty,
you’re going to have to sign up for one of Wild China’s trips.
keen on taking people to her native Yunnan Province, north of Laos and
Burma. Here you’ll find centuries-old Hill Tribes making bricks of tea
high up in the mountains and the Tea & Horse Caravan Trail,
a southern Silk Route still being used that links southwestern China
with Tibet. The trade route will be featured in the May issue of National Geographic,
a perfect time to take the weeklong jaunt with Wild China, according to
Zhang. She also offers hiking trips on the 19th-centruy French
Explorers’ Route, along the Mekong and Salween Rivers, and trekking in
the heart of Shangri-La. Read more Active Travels.