In the Mongolian Grasslands

In the mid-80s and earlier, most international tourists in China traveled with organized tours to places the authorities wanted them to see, while university students and faculty were more likely to be independent travelers who might well find themselves in areas that were “closed,” or off-limits to foreigners.

In 1986, I spoke with Valerie,  a fair-complected Australian studying Chinese at Xiamen University, or actually attached to the school but learning Chinese by traveling.  Her modest, unassuming manner gave her the ability to blend in almost anywhere without being noticed, except China.

Valerie’s story

I love the minority areas. The Chinese … Read More