How do you think Trump did in his first 100 days in office? Let us know

Off the bus, into the countryside

Times Staff Writer

MANY people who see China do so from a tour bus. But adventurous travelers may find bonuses by leaving the beaten path.

In June, I made my seventh trip to China, hiring guides in the regions I visited instead of joining a tour group. My request to each guide was the same: Avoid tourist spots; take me to places where I'll see daily life.

The rewards were many. Instead of having trinkets thrust at me, I wandered through quiet villages where farmers led water buffalo down dusty streets, old men sat on patios playing mah-jongg, and women carried water from community wells. Many of these scenes became part of the photo journal I kept of the trip.

China's culture is fascinating. And, I've found, it's easier to connect with that culture by taking the road less traveled.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times