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The Wall Street Journal currently features the China-Laos Railway on its front page in a special video report:[...]

This WJS report reveals China's BRI plan to connect SE Asia via this railway. Journalists Nikki Walker and Todd Holmes obviously didn't travel to the border SEZ themselves. This area has been a ghost town with stalled development projects for several years, but may slowly pickup in the future if one is cautiously optimistic.

The paragraph under "Side Trips from the Gorge" mentions the ferry across the Jinsha River. Ferry service has closed down with the April 2023 opening of a highway bridge for cars and pedestrians. The bridge is close to Daju Village. Thus ends a long-standing service that years ago was a standard feature of trekking the gorge. Nowadays, the vast majority of trekkers end their journey at Tina's Guest House, far upstream from the ferry location and new bridge. No need to weep for the ferry operator. He built a guest house in Daju, and now the village has seven lodging establishments.

Nice to see the return of travel blog pieces on this site.

Moon and Chalice boutique hotel has turned into a must-visit "打卡" (punch-in time slot) destination for selfie taking tourists who come to Kunming in the past couple of years.