Airplanes have made the farthest reaches of the globe accessible to a large number of tourists. But while air travel makes the world more accessible, it also makes the experience more sterile. The true way to see a country is to travel overland, and doing this journey while sticking to the surface of the globe was another key point of this journey.

Compared to bus travel, train trips are often better because your escape traffic and can catch glimpses of truly remote areas. In southern Vietnam especially, the train cut right by the coast, giving views unavailable to bus, let alone planes.

The following pictures were taken from the window of a train as we headed north in Vietnam. Click the icons for larger photos.

The following pictures were taken from the window of buses as we traveled around Yunan province at the foot of the Tibetan Plateau. Click the icons for larger photos.

As plane travel becomes cheaper, it's easy to succumb to the temptation to fly from one big city to the next. Resist the urge. You see so much more of the world when you take the slow route by ground. You can see more pictures of overland travel in the upcoming post on the ferry trip from Shanghai to Osaka.

On to the next entry...





AUDIO TRACK: The streets of Lijiang.

c. 2006