China

Pandas, Horses, and SARS.
Tibetan flags on a hillside. Tibetan flags on the (small) mountain that I climbed with an Israeli and a Dutchman near Xiahe. Baby Panda at the Chendu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center. Baby Panda at the Chendu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center. This was for some reason his makeshift home, and he would make it out of the furniture "cage" about once a minute and his watcher would put him back in.
Old monk at a temple in Chengu. Old monk at a temple in Chengu. Chendu temple. Chendu temple.
Incense burning at the temple. Incense burning at the temple. Wild horses at play in the Chinese National Park of Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan. Wild horses at play in the Chinese National Park of Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan. This is where the Jet Li film Hero was filmed. True to Chinese form, there was a very official tour and a very expensive official hotel, which Chinese tourists assrued me was the only place to stay. I walked a quarter-mile from one of the stops and made a sleeping-head gesture to some Tibetans, however, who pointed me to a cheap Tibetan guesthouse where I was able to leave my things and go hiking for the day.
Stream in Jiuzhaigou. Stream in Jiuzhaigou. The park is in the foothills of the Himalayas, and so presumably is soaked from being a watershed. Closeup of some plants living on the streambed. Closeup of some plants living on the streambed.
Trees and flowers in a stream. Trees and flowers in a stream. Small tree growing in the middle of a lake, Jiuzhaigou. Small tree growing in the middle of a lake, Jiuzhaigou.
Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou. Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou. A group of people I went on a horseback trip with in Songpan, Sichuan. A group of people I went on a horseback trip with in Songpan, Sichuan. Lots of Canadians.
One of the Canadians -- Keith, I think his name was -- happy to get off the horse on the top of the world. One of the Canadians -- Keith, I think his name was -- happy to get off the horse on the top of the world. Tibetan flags on a hillside. Tibetan flags on a hillside in Western Sichuan.
Me on a hillside in Sichuan. Me on a hillside in Sichuan. A couple of young monks in Xiahe, in southern Gansu province. A couple of young monks in Xiahe, in southern Gansu province; this is at the Labrang Monastery, one of the largest outside of Tibet proper. These monks do prostrations in laps around the monastery, which has to be at least a city block if not two.
Pandas lounging at the Chengdu Panda Research Center. Pandas lounging at the Chengdu Panda Research Center. The Center was a nice zoo with lots of space for the Pandas run around, almost like a Western zoo -- except for the part where you could pay $20 to get your picture taken with a panda (as in with the panda, hugging it or whatever).