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The absolute latest updates in China travel information.

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Our tales from the trail and dispatches straight from the source.

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What to bring, where to go, and how to get around China.

Mei Zhang
WildChina founder, entrepreneur, mother.

Chelin Miller
Insider tips on China's finer side

January 13th, 2012

Zhang Mei featured in China Daily: A walk on the wild side

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

Earlier this month, Zhang Mei was featured in China Daily in “A walk on the wild side.”

The article tracks Mei’s “Cinderella” story of growing up in Yunnan province, her transformative experience at Harvard Business School and working at McKinsey & Company. Journalist Mark Graham also discussed Mei’s pivotal moment when she began thinking about starting WildChina in the late 1990s. After several years in the corporate world, Graham reports, “Zhang began to formulate a plan to turn her favorite hobby, exploring the wilderness regions of China, into a viable business.”

Zhang Mei and her son in Argentina

Graham not only followed Mei’s professional life, but about how she spends her time when she is not in the office. “I love going back to Yunnan; I find living, breathing real villages more interesting. I take these amazing hikes; I still feel an adrenaline rush on every trip I go on,” Zhang says.

Outside of Mei's hometown, Dali, Yunnan

Mei also hinted at her favorite hidden treasure in China– Guizhou Province. The upcoming Sisters’ Meal Festivalis not to be missed (early April 2012) and the rich minority culture, warm people and colorful Miao villages are unlike anywhere else in China.


Did Yunnan or Guizhou perk up your ears? Interested in having Mei as your travel consultant? Send an email to info@wildchina.com to learn more.

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October 16th, 2010

Going off the beaten path, safely

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

This past week, China Daily reported that Beijing’s rescue team, “Luye,” responded to four emergency calls during the week-long October Holiday alone – all from travelers who needed assistance in remote areas outside of the city proper.

As, according to the article, this and similar teams received only 9 similar calls for all of 2009, what is causing this rising trend in travel emergencies?

Luye head Lu Zhonghong attributed the increase to lesser-known spots preferred by travelers and lack of know-how, saying, “Most people who get into trouble those days are travelers without professional knowledge and the equipment they need to hike.” Though “people increasingly prefer to travel in undeveloped areas and in the mountains around the city,”  he said “it can be very dangerous to climb such peaks, especially when people are not familiar with the terrain.”

We’re strong proponents of off-the-beaten-path travel in China – but, safety is also our first priority. Here are our tips for experiencing China’s unique sites without ending up lost, injured, or worse:

1) Choose your destination wisely: Adventure is one thing; danger is another. Research destinations carefully, because someone’s definition of “difficult” might be your idea of certainly unsafe. Consult travel operators, travel review websites, and other travelers.

2) Explore with an expert: Just because you’re a good adventurer doesn’t necessarily mean you can navigate unknown terrain without a local guide. Do your research and make sure that you are traveling with a well-trained, experienced guide who can knows the area, terrain, and routes like the back of his or her hand. (We know plenty – just ask.)

3) Off-road during the off-peak: Holiday periods in China are notorious for logistical issues that may cause delays and cancellations. If you are traveling remotely during a Golden Week or other popular travel period, emergency services may not be able to act as swiftly on your behalf. Choose a time to adventure when rescue teams, hospitals, and police will be less busy.

4) Have connections handy: If you’ve traveled China extensively or live in the country, you might not want a guide to take you beyond the tourist hubs. In that case, make sure that you have plenty of local contacts whom you can call or find in the event of an emergency. Information for friends’ families, local hotel / lodge owners, and regional emergency hotlines should be on hand at all times.

5) And, of course, do not travel alone.

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July 7th, 2009

Updated July 8th: Violent Demonstrations in Xinjiang

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

A demonstration in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, turned violent on Sunday, July 5, 2009, with demonstrators attacking passers-by and setting vehicles on fire. Chinese media reports that at least 150 people were killed and over 1,000 injured. According to China Daily, internet access in most of Urumqi has been disabled and some shops and restaurants remain closed. Xinjiang authorities declared a traffic curfew in the regional capital.

As of today, the Chinese Government has not issued travel warnings. At the moment, WildChina does not currently have trips in Xinjiang.  For trips departing in August, we will advise clients on July 15th regarding the suitability of continuing their trips.

WildChina takes the health and safety of its clients very seriously and will continue to carefully monitor media reports for news regarding the riots in Xinjiang.


Jia Li-ming


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