*The Best Quest is in no way involved with this journey/expedition. Photo credits –

Paul Salopek / Out of Eden

From Rural Life to Outer space

Date: January 26, 2022
Approximate GPS Location: (26.70°N, 100.03°E)

Salopek continues, step by step, to advance through China’s south-eastern province of Yunnan.

The route has been mountainous, with several river crossings, and countless small villages. Most villages seem unchanged since the days of the silk road, Salopkek described it as like walking “through tableaus and rituals so old that your alien passage doesn’t cause the least ripple. You may as well have never passed through.”

One village did come as a surprise though. After the construction of an observatory, potato-growing farms around Gao Mei Gu are “being rebranded as an astro-village, complete with murals of astronauts & UFOs.” The murals stood in stark contrast to the surrounding countryside.


update history

Out of Eden

The Beifu Tea Porters

November 14, 2022 // Out of Eden

The Muli Kingdom

June 15, 2022 // Out of Eden

Tight Covid Controls in Sichuan

May 25, 2022 // Out of Eden



There are no comments on this update yet. Check back soon, or be the first to leave a comment


The Best Quest provides visual experiences of journeys. One by one you see the latest updates from the best expeditions and journeys currently under way around the world.

Sign Up

Sign up for our biweekly journey summary letter!