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Adventure Magazine

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Ask Adventure
Q: CAN I GO CLIMBING IN CHINA?
HOW ABOUT SNOWBOARDING?
OR EVEN, SAY, KAYAKING?

Yes, yes, and yes. There has hardly been a better time for adventure travelers to explore the Middle Kingdom: Visas for American travelers are easy to get (www.china-embassy.org), and internal travel in most regions is now largely unrestricted. Also, the risk of SARS has dissipated, with one happy side effect: The widespread practice of spitting on the street is now against the law. The country's geography is staggeringly diverse, but there is one problem—China is big, really big, 14-times-the-size-of-Texas big. "To get around that," advises travel writer Douglas Wissing, author of a forthcoming biography of China explorer Albert Shelton, "focus on the less touristy, backcountry portions of China: Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi." Rock climbers can head south to the towering karst walls of Yangshuo in Guangxi (www.chinaclimb.com), and at the Yabuli International Ski Resort in Heilongjiang (www.yabuliski.com), 710 miles (1,143 kilometers) northeast of Beijing, snowboarders can carve 1,500 acres (607 hectare) of runs covered with some of the best powder this side of Siberia. Kayakers will find miles of virgin white water in the drainages of Sichuan province (877-242-7108; www.shangri-la-river-expeditions.com). "I was there for 13 days and kayaked 7 rivers," says expedition paddler Brad Ludden. "Six had never been run."

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Expedition Advisor
Read explorer-tested tips from adventurer Jon Bowermaster.

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December 2003/January 2004



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