Travel with a Professional Photographer
Even though I have thousands of justification to be solo on the road, it cannot be like travelling with your best friend sometimes. What if your best friend is a professional photographer? That would be of utmost excitement. During my twenties, I had good opportunities to travel with one of my best friends, Shun who was a professional photographer too. I was the routine foreground-background-center subject for most of his pictures. Eventually, l lost that privilege to travel with him as he was busy with his career. When there were no one to follow me, I had to learn all by myself.
The 30 hours bus journey from Laos plus the hassle and bassle in Mohan immigration really slowed down my momentum in Kunming. However, I got excited after I knew that another best friend of mine, Sundram was arriving in Kunming to travel with me. This was considered a good opportunity for me to have a short break from my solo travelling like a Monk on vacation. My happiness doubled as he is a professional photographer. I believed this to be an excellent opportunity for me to tag along with with him to improve my photography skills.
A Monk On Vacation
Sundram already booked a twin sharing room in LongMay Youth Hotel. He does not prefer Hostel. I reached the hotel earlier than the him. The hotel wasn’t English friendly. The temperature was about 12º C which pretty cold for me. I decided to stay in the room while waiting for Sundram to reach. Furthermore, my body hasn’t recovered from the tiredness of the 30 hours bus journey from Laos. Finally, Sundram reached the hotel around 7 pm. It was a great feeling to meet my best friend after 2 weeks and the best part was, on the way of my long journey, I scheduled to spend about 4 days in Kunming with Sundram. My solo trip journey ‘stress’ was relieved temporarily. I switched to ‘relax’ mode , just like a monk on vacation.
The cold temperature didn’t stop us on that night to look for KFC. Why KFC? Sundram doesn’t prefer Chinese food and desperately I wanted to have my favorite ‘Nai cha’ (tea with milk) which only available in KFC. The KFC was located 2 km away from the hotel. Walking wasn’t a problem because of the comforting weather. On the way back to hotel from KFC, we got amazed with night view of Kunming especially around Cuihu lake. Sundram taught me some special techniques and critical steps on taking night photography.
on the second day, we spent time around the Flower Market in Kunming. The flower market (they do sell many other items too) was surrounded with old architecture buildings, importantly the market wasn’t disturbed in the process of development. More locals than tourist was noted. The flower market also cater for pet lovers such as dogs, fish and birds, sometimes they do sell children also(hahahahaha) NO NO NO, she (photo below) must be the daughter to the shop keeper.
Yunnan Ethnic Village
The next day, Sundram and I were very confused on where to go, however, the Dianchi lake was in consideration. While waiting in the hotel lobby, we met Tereza and Torr. Tereza spoke Mandarin well. She solved the communication issue between me and the hotel reception girl. Fortunately, Tereza approached us to share a taxi to Yunnan Ethnic Village with them. Without second thoughts , we agreed. The village showcases approximately 26 ethnics cultural styles, architecture and folk customs. We only realized later that the village was located adjacent to Dianchi lake. The entrance fees was 90 CNY per person. Some villages did perform their cultural dances.
The tour with Tereza and Torr became a very unforgettable time in Yunnan Ethnic Village where both of them were very humorous, friendly and very entertaining. Especially, Torr was very witty.
The highlight in the village was, on that day there were hundreds of school children who have gone for a field trip there. The fun part was the childrens’ funny reaction towards us . However, we turned that moment to capture the children’s innocent and cute reactions.
Four days in Kunming passed very quickly and without any stress with Sundram, Tereza and Torr. My next leg of travelling which is to Shanghai from Kunming need to be arranged. A little stress was building up. Furthermore,I was going to be back to solo again (‘Vacation over for the Monk’). However, that is my objective, that is my way and that is my journey…..