Every semester, the IES Language Intensive in Beijing (as well as many other IES programs) incorporates a long trip for its students, labeled “Mobile Learning.” This semester, students chose between Guangxi and Yunnan, both located in (beautiful!) southern China. I chose Yunnan and I’m so glad I did. The Yunnan group visited some of the best sites in all of China, including Dali Ancient Town, Lijiang, The Three Pagodas, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and the city of Kunming. We learned about the various ethnic groups in Yunnan, witnessed villagers fishing with cormorant birds in Xizhou, and did our best to understand that southern Chinese accent!
My personal favorite was Tiger Leaping Gorge. The gorge is one of the deepest in the world, rising along the Jinsha River as the river passes between Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The first day of the hike entailed the infamous “28 Bends,” a series of steep, rocky switchbacks that conclude at about 2600 meters. Unfortunately, a bad sinus sickness kept me from being able to hike the bends along with the rest of the group, so several of us opted to take a mule up the hardest part of the hike. Being perched atop a mule, perched atop a very steep incline, is certainly a feeling I’ll never forget. Included below are photos and a short video documenting this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! My name is Alexa Penton and I'm an undergrad at the University of Mississippi pursuing degrees in Chinese Language and Culture and Art History. I started photography as a hobby in high school, and have since expanded my collection to 10 film cameras and one digital. Most of my photos and videos document my travels at home and abroad. I am particularly inspired by the qualities of light, memories, natural history, nontraditional developing practices, and nontraditional portraiture. I call Orlando, Florida home, but can't wait to spend a whole semester living and learning in Beijing!</span></p>