《2016 Discovering the Land of the Matriarch, Nov 8-19》

My Nov. 8-19 trip with Little Po Adventures was wonderful! Szu-ting and David and Karen were geographically skilled, helpful and supportive and always friendly. Daily qi gong, tasty meals, exploratory walks, tea ceremony, museums, a monastery where we were in the room as monks prayed and played instruments, exploring Lake Lugu, a gondola up Goddess Mountain, a boat ride, watching and joining a dance inside with opening to the sky, rides past dozens of piles of stacked dry corn cobs for pigs, Mountain of 1000 turtles and MORE!
They were very accommodating to our needs and preferences.

That China trip was on my bucket list for 7 years. I’m 75 and had no problems getting around.

Moreah Vestan, Seattle

Camel riding Mongol Els Mongolia

Camel riding Mongol Els Mongolia

《2015 Customized Expedition in Mongolia》

Dear Dave and Ting Ting,

We just wanted to take the time to thank you two for guiding us on a literal once-in-a-lifetime experience through Mongolia. “Cross-Cultural Competence” is the all-encompassing idea that Dr. Thomas planted in our minds at the beginning of the trip that spelled out exactly what we should strive to achieve on our LREC – essentially, the ability to not only adapt, but to thrive in completely foreign environments. You both set the bar pretty high by displaying this concept 24/7. For example, how you organized a canoe trip in a country where canoes are looked at as space shuttles and how you formulated contingency plans mid-LREC, over the phone, all without speaking a word of Mongolian! As we reflected on our trip sitting on the steps overlooking Chingiss Square, Dr. Thomas mentioned the characteristic “imperturbable” as being one of, if not the most important leadership trait one can possess – being unshakeable in the face of adversity. While we were never stranded on the side of a snow-capped cliff with dwindling supplies, we certainly had our moments of uncertainty (the day of freezing rain on the Tuul River, Ryan’s sickness, Dr. Thomas’ accident) and in every situation you two were calm and collected, inspiring confidence in the group. We were collectively “comfortably outside of our comfort zone” thanks to your leadership. Finally, we were in-country a total of thirteen days but thanks to your patient planning, creativity, and coordination, it felt like we got to experience a month’s worth of authentic Mongolian culture in half the time. Thanks again for an unforgettable experience and also for the gift of your photographs. They were an entirely unexpected luxury coming into the trip and an extremely generous gift to the group. We will treasure them forever!

All the best,

Audrey, Christine, Jackson, Kyle, and Sam

Go Navy!

《2014 Trekking in the Majesty of Tibetan Plateau》

I highly recommend exploring, trekking and traveling with Little Po adventures. I was on the 2014 Tibetan Plateau trek with a small group in August 2014. Little Po partnered with Karen Fletcher for Qi Gong and the trek was the beginning of a 3-month adventure for me in Asia. The two weeks with Little Po (Dave and Szu-ting) and Karen was awesome and one of the highlights of my entire three months.

This trek covers rugged roads for travel, complex organization of supplies, horses and gear. Dave and Szu-ting are masters at efficiency, patience, spontaneous flexibility and truly listening and intuiting what is happening individually and collectively with the group. Communication was open and all views listened to if plans needed to be changed due to weather. Different levels of fitness, desire for activity both during the trek and after were all creatively met. Daily Qi Gong with Karen was potent, vital and a beautiful part of the journey. Being a Qi Gong teacher myself, I really appreciated the consistent and beautiful practice.

We had challenging weather and road conditions and there was an even tolerance for unexpected events always. Szu-ting is a master chef in the backcountry and all the extras were brought! The trek was especially auspicious for us as we were doing the trek the same year as the local Tibetans since Mt. Genyen is the horse and it was the year of the horse. This led to many additional local encounters that were particularly special.

I highly recommend traveling with Little Po. You will have the adventure of your life!

──Carrie Lafferty, Seattle, WA

Joining in Little Po’s trekking adventure on the Tibetan Plateau was one of the best decisions in my life. The depth and beauty I experienced with the local people, culture and wilderness really instilled me with a whole new perspective of love and passion for living. I would like to credit the great experience to our leaders, Szu-ting Yi, Dave Anderson and Qi gong instructor Karen Fletcher.

The trip was unique in many ways. We trekked and camped at the high altitude mountain ranges where the surrounding peaks were mostly unclimbed and where the people and culture were far-reached. The connections Szu-ting and Dave had established with the local hotels, monasteries, restaurants, drivers and villagers really promoted the smooth and enjoyable trekking experience. During the two week traveling from the villages in Western Sichuan to backcountry camps, Szu-ting and Dave often shared their knowledge about the region and tried their best to help the team get connected with the local people and culture. We danced with the town people, dined at delicious local restaurants and constantly shared smiles and conversations with villagers and monks through Szu-ting’s translations.  

Other than being able to experience the abundant Tibetan culture, I really like how the five-day backcountry hiking plans and paces were developed based on teammates’ day-to-day conditions. Szu-Ting and Dave’s professional mountaineering experience also ensured our safe hikes and stays in unpredictable weathers at high altitudes. Their proactive attitudes to change conditions and expertise in guiding helped us gain the confidence in exploring the beauty of Genyen mountain ranges. The Qi Gong each morning led by Karen also charged us with positive energy and opened our minds for new experiences.

I love the trip. The trekking was an unforgettable and incredible experience. I highly recommend Little Po Adventures. If anyone desires for professional, open-minded and trustworthy guiding and meaningful trips, Little Po Adventure will be an irreplaceable choice.

──Hsiang-Ting (Ting) Hsiao

 

《2013 Trekking in the Majesty of Tibetan Plateau》

 

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As a midshipman and future naval officer, I find it important to understand perspectives outside of those we see on a daily basis in America. Although I study history and have observed the Chinese and Tibetan cultures from books and classes I’ve taken, nothing compares to the hands on personal interactions that I experienced while traveling Tibet. This trip specifically allowed my fellow midshipmen and I to analyse the daily lifestyle of the Tibetan people and interact with Tibetan monks who spend their entire lives seeking true enlightenment. With their nomadic lifestyle’s, I believe many of the Tibetan people exemplified our own native american culture. I feel that both Dave and Ting Ting give the traveler and inside perspective through their connections and thorough knowledge of the people and land of the Tibetan plateau. If you want to observe the world through the Tibetans perspective, I highly suggest traveling with Dave and Ting ting.

──Eamonn McCarey, MIDN USN, 11th Company Commander

DEA 55337

《2012 Discover the Lost Horizon》

In China one senses a culture of balance and harmony. Szu-Ting and Karen Joy, our trek guides, are a perfect reflection of that balance and harmony. Szu-Ting, from Taiwan and a resident of the US, is as close to being a native as possible with mastery of the language and culture and knowledge of Chinese history expressed through many great stories. Karen Joy, from the US and fluent in Mandarin, complements with her enthusiasm, her spirit shared with her QiGong, and her ability to provide comfort and ease for Westerners being integrated into Chinese culture.

Treks offered by Karen Joy and Szu-Ting provide a most unique, enlightening and intimate experience of China. My husband and I recently did a Yunnan province trek with them and we feel so privileged to have seen China so closely in a way most Westerners never do. Our lodgings were comfortable mostly in small, local inns and our meals were all delicious, authentic, local, fresh food. We were able to experience the tremendous diversity and beauty of China hiking and biking in many beautiful places and to have many interactions with local indigenous people. We left feeling great respect and appreciation for our rich experience of this special place and people.

──Jane Wicklund

Annie Wilson sharing iPhone photos with young monks, Genyen Massif, Sichuan China

Annie Wilson sharing iPhone photos with young monks, Genyen Massif, Sichuan China

《2012 Trekking in the Majesty of Tibetan Plateau》

As a former NOLS instructor and all around travel enthusiast, I have visited many countries around the world. My recent trip to China with LittlePo Adventures was by far the most memorable and special experience I have had to date. The culmination of our chosen route and the organization & guidance of Dave Anderson and Szu-ting Yi were primarily responsible for what made this experience so extraordinary. The adventure started in Chengdu where I met our group that included Dave, Szu-ting, Rinchen, Karen and Reidun. The first few days were spent adjusting to jet lag and doing last-minute outfitting before heading to the mountains. We also enjoyed the specialties of Chengdu such as local cuisine, a trip to see the pandas and Chinese opera. As few people speak english in this area, I had expected to feel a shock to the system and frustration for being unable to communicate. Not only is Szu-ting fluent in Mandarin, she is very well-versed, well-read and well-experienced in the food of every province of China. She knows the ingredients of each dish as well as how each is prepared in the finest of details. Quite impressive! Her fluency of the language and vast knowledge of the geography and food culture succeeded in making my entry to China as seamless as possible.

What should have been a 6 hr journey turned into a 12 hr bus ride inching along high construction zones from Chengdu to Kangding. Here we spent two nights exploring the area and acclimatizing to the higher elevation. This was followed by two nights in Litang where we arrived after an epic 14 hr bus ride along narrow & treacherously muddy roads to acclimatize to the higher elevation, check out the sights including the local monastery, and as always, enjoy the local cuisine. From Litang, two jeeps transported our group approximately 60 miles to the base of the great Genyan Massif. After two nights base-camped at the “new monastery”, we hiked 2.5 miles up a trail that led us to the “old monastery”, better known as Lengu Monastery. At this point the majority of people we interacted with were of Tibetan descent. Fortunately Rinchen being of Tibetan descent himself, was able to be our interpreter. It was because of this we had the opportunity to interact with the 250 + monks that occupied both new & old monasteries, an experience that I will never forget. Another 5mile hike up the river from Lengu led us to our final base camp which was our highest camp in terms of elevation. While Rinchen & Reidun stayed to enjoy Lengu for a few days, Dave, Szu-ting, Karen & I explored the area around our high camp in an attempt to gain more mountain views.

Sadly this is the point in which it was time to turn back. After two nights at high camp, we walked back to Lengu met with Rinchen & Reidun to start our journey back to Chengdu via Litang & Kangding where we spent one night in each respectively. Since the leg between Litang & Kangding had been so harrowing the first time around, Szu-ting arranged for us to take an SUV rather than the bus. Though more expensive, the SUV proved to be much more comfortable and worth it in the end!

Between past injuries, adjusting to altitude and over-all physicality, our group was at varying levels of ability when it came time for the trekking component of the journey. Dave & Szu-ting handled this situation effectively as they devised differing scenarios allowing each participant to gain the most out of their experience according to individual level. Instead of a circuit, our route consisted of exiting the same path we entered in on. This allowed individuals the option to stay put if they so desired and not feel pressured to go beyond their comfort zone. It was also successful in that it allowed those who wanted to move forward do so. Our varying levels of ability could have posed a problem, but Szu-ting and Dave dealt with each with ease and efficiency.

I think it worth mentioning that the weather had not been ideal as it rained each day from the time of our departure from Chengdu on. This became increasingly evident as we entered the mountains and began utilizing our tents for sleeping and mega-mid for kitchen staging/cooking area. Despite the rainy conditions, Dave and Szu-ting did what they could to make our group as comfortable and dry as possible. During the heaviest of downpours, they were in the kitchen to ensure each of us had a hot drink and a hot meal. This I understand can be a very challenging feat at times, but they handled it beautifully and as a result, we were all very happy.

In addition to their general knowledge of the area, high tolerance for adversity & uncertainty, and ability to lead & navigate in the backcountry, Dave & Szu-ting really listened to our individual needs/limitations throughout the trip. Whether we were tired, cold or suffering the effects of high altitude, they effectively addressed each issue with compassion while maintaining the pace of our group in order to complete the planned route. For these reasons it was a total success and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

──Annie Wilson

China, Genyen Expedition

China, Genyen Expedition

《2010 Trekking the Oriental Alps, Siguniang Mountains》

Little Po’s leadership and flexibility helped us customize a trip that was perfectly tailored to our desire for both outdoor adventure and cultural immersion.

Her knowledge of the food, the land, and the culture helped us gain access to an adventure that wouldn’t have been possible without her.

I can’t wait until my next adventure with Little Po! She made us feel like we were traveling with an old friend!

──Sara Hopkins

 

Little Po adventures is exactly that- an adventure that will surpasses any and all of your wants and desires that you could possibly ask for in a trekking journey. The most exciting, authentic, transformative, outdoor travel experience that I have ever had.  The only way you would be disappointed was if you did not go!

──Thea J Rabb –4th year medical student

 

Little Po adventures by far exceeded my expectations. I was enjoying traveling in China before meeting up with Little Po adventures, but once under their care and guidance the whole trip shifted and I felt that I was actually experiencing the people, the land, the food and the customs with a richness unparalleled by any of my previous travel experiences.  Ting Ting and Dave are personable, professional, fun and most importantly flexible, we were not bound by rigid schedules, but rather given options day by day to make the trip our own.  I feel truly blessed to have had the oppurtunity to share a part of my life with Little Po Adventures, I am forever changed and look forward to carrying our friendships and my connection to China throughout the rest of my days.

──Kacy Borba

 

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