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Category: 90 Days in China with Diabetes

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I secured an unusual 90-day visa for China and, despite being a Type 1 diabetic, made the most of it. Beginning in the ancient city of Xi’an and its Terracotta Army, my partner Masayo and I wound all around the enormous Chinese mainland and its endless surprised. We scaled sacred mountains, wandered into obscure hill villages hoping there was somewhere to sleep, boated up the venerable Yangtze River, and rode buses with the locals through the wild Tibetan Plateau to the edge of the Gobi Desert. Here’s how I handled food, insulin, and blood sugar supplies over three months in this vast and fascinating country.

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Day 1
Osaka to Xi'an

The big grey skies of Xi'an, China

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Day 5
Xi'an

The ancient clay army and the small wild goose

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Day 7
Kaifeng

The amazing food stalls of Kaifeng

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Day 12
Kaifeng

Saying "yes" to a Chinese tout was a good choice

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Day 14
Hefei

Laundry service plus vomit: The tale of Hefei

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Day 24
Tangkou

The secret misty mountain town of Tangkou, China

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Day 26
Huangshan Mountains

Struggling up China's sacred Huangshan mountains

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Day 31
Tunxi

Lose yourself on "Old Street" in ancient Tunxi

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Day 36
Shaoxing

Shaoxing and the mysterious yin-yang of travel

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Day 46
Gulangyu

Gulangyu, a Chinese community like no other

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Day 47
Taxiacun

Fujian tulou houses and the perfect kindness of strangers

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Day 49
Taxiacun

Tea leaves and local families in Taxiacun

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Day 51
Zhuzhou

Overnight stay in Zhuzhou, a town I can't remember

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Day 53
Wuhan

Eight days in a backpacker's oasis in Wuhan, China

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Day 64
Yangtze River

Three nights on the smoggy, majestic Yangtze River

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Day 68
Chongqing

I left my jaw in Chongqing's hotpot

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Day 72
Xining

Xining, the high and dry fulcrum of central China

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Day 74
Golmud

Golmud, dusty crossroads on the edge of nothing

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Day 75
Golmud to Dunhuang

Through the desert to Dunhuang with special permission

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Day 79
Dunhuang

Sand dunes and street food in distant Dunhuang

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Day 87
Beijing

Three days in Beijing without sightseeing

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