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Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region

Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region, P.R. ChinaJune 4, 2007 Man on river collecting bottles. Market scene.“Too much contact with people brings conflict, hatred, and attachment. To rid myself of inner conflicts and hatred I must walk.”–Santoka TanedaI am getting back into the tropics after being away for a long while. I am finding that my body [...]

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Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region, P.R. China
June 4, 2007

Man on river collecting bottles.

Market scene.

“Too much contact with people brings conflict, hatred, and attachment. To rid myself of inner conflicts and hatred I must walk.”
Santoka Taneda

I am getting back into the tropics after being away for a long while. I am finding that my body needs to readjust to the heat. It is a good thing that Nanning is full of heavily air conditioned shopping malls and grocery stores that I can do my walking in. I laugh now at how much of a pansy I have been. But my body is adjusting well to the radical climatic change that it just went through- it was snowing in Mongolia on the day that I left- and I am just about ready to keep on keeping on.

Simply put, walking is the base rhythm of the human body. Everything about the motion of walking compliments and supports all facets of the body’s physical, psychological, and emotional makeup. When I want to think on something I must walk. I travel just to walk. We were made to tramp- just look at your feet, concentrate on how perfectly in balance your gait is! It is almost musical. Is it any wonder why walking brings comfort…and ideas? I once heard of a desert hermit/ philosopher in the Western United States who would rate the difficulty of philosophical questions by how many steps it would take him to solve them. The mind is connected to the feet. If we all still walked long distances how ingenious this world would be. It all went down hill the day the first man sat down and built a fence.

I got my Vietnam visa today. It cost me a good deal of money but I got it. Now I need to meet the Lunatic in Hanoi and then we will be on our way.

I have been in Nanning for the past four days. It is one of the three Autonomous regions of China. I am not sure what this really means- maybe they can have more than one kid???. Perhaps it is just a name that China gives to culturally/ politically problematic locations to calm the rabble. “No you are not a province, you are an autonomous region.” But many of the people here are defiantly SE Asian rather than Han Chinese- the little children smile and laugh and seem to be nothing like the expressionless drones that are spawned in China proper. This area reminds me alot of the south west of the USA, which is predominantly Mexican.

This stay in Nanning has been just what I needed: a time to relax, think up plans, eat good food, adjust to the heat, wash my laundry, read books, and just walk around the city. It has been a really nice time. The “progressiveness” of this city has really surprised me. I was expecting a Chinese backwater, and instead this city is very much a part of the “modern” world and is actually kind of new; as if most of it just sprung up yesterday. It very well may have. It has been a nice place to be anonymous in. Just walking the streets, looking around, eating oranges.

I don’t mess around when it comes to food on the road. When I find a restaurant in a town where I can get a sufficient quantity of good cheap food I go there for just about every meal until I move on to the next town. The proprietors oftentimes seem to think that I am a touch cracked and laugh at me every time that they see me coming, but I don’t care. I would rather go to where I know I can get a good meal than spend hours searching through the back alleys of a city searching for food. I think this also adds a little bit of regularity to my days. Actually, I find that life on the road is surprisingly consistent….I think that I have found a touch of stability in constant motion.


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Filed under: China, Travel Inspiration, Travel Philosophy, Travel Preparation, Urbanization

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3717 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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