Duncan, China & Tibet Specialist
Studying for an MA in Geography and Spanish at the University of Glasgow gave me the opportunity to spend an unforgettable year living in Buenos Aires and exploring the rest of South America. After completing my studies, I wanted to explore a new region, so I moved to Beijing to work as an English teacher, followed by working as a journalist at a Chinese Government magazine. This allowed me to travel extensively across the Middle Kingdom at a pivotal moment in the country’s history and I became a strong Mandarin speaker.
Since working for Audley, I have returned to China several times. My highlights have been discovering the ancient towns and ethnic minorities of Yunnan province and an adventure through Tibet. And, taking the epic overland route from Lhasa to Kathmandu in Nepal is an experience I will never forget.
I'll never forget when…
I was in Yunnan in southwest China, a region known for its ethnic minorities, in time for the 60th anniversary of the prefecture gaining autonomy. My Tibetan guide insisted I should wear her husband's traditional clothes for the celebrations. As we entered the local stadium everyone's eyes seemed to focus on me, the only foreigner. I later found out that most people were laughing because I was wearing shorts which made the outfit look like a dress. My error helped introduce me to people from all of Yunnan's 20 ethnic minorities. I don't know if I was taking more photos of them or them of me.