A Bit of Culture
Which books should you read before coming? Which books should you bring with you? The choices are endless! Amiwa has plans to provide a small selection of recommendations here in the not-too-distant future... Contact us before then if need be!

A reminder for the well-read hiker-traveller: be cautious about the information in travel guides. Yunnan, like the rest of China, is in constant flux and it is difficult for annual guides to keep up. Some websites can provide you with more information, including travel blogs, but in all cases, remember that the greatest flaw in any guide (paperback or online) is that it is prescriptive in nature: readers of the same guide often go to the same places and the influx of tourists to so few, specific places often destroys the true life of the locale (more money is to be made in managing a guesthouse three months a year than in keeping the village’s ancestral traditions alive...). Plus, travelling to the other side of the planet only to run into your own countrymen, neighbours even, isn’t exactly the reason you’re travelling in the first place, right? So be spontaneous, be bold and get off the beaten track to discover something unexpected. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Getting (Back) Into Shape
Break in your walking shoes if they are brand new! It’s such an easy way to avoid blisters, tendonitis and the like! You may want to take this opportunity to try some thermoform insoles (insoles that are adapted to the shape of your arch but that do not require a medical prescription).

If your schedule or location permits, do a bit of exercise before your arrival in Yunnan.  Start by walking more often or taking the stairs rather than the elevator. A daily hour or two of walking, a jog or a bit of biking will be efforts well-rewarded once you hit the Yunnan trails.

Medical Practicalities 
Required if you will be trekking with Amiwa and strongly advised if you will be on your own, a medical check-up with your personal physician should help you take stock of your health and your doctor may give you some specific instructions to follow.

Of course, you also need to ensure that your vaccinations are up-to-date, including those required by your home country and those recommended for travel to China. Don’t forget to bring with you any medications you take regularly, as well as the prescription (needed for customs, among other things).

If you are trekking with Amiwa, fill out the pre-departure medical questionnaire that we send you carefully and seriously; it is essential for the Amiwa team to be able to best adapt the route and to know how to react in case of an emergency.

Mountain hiking is an activity that can damage your health if you have known or suspected vulnerabilities. Listen to your body both before and during your trip as you are the one responsible for your own health! Amiwa’s guides will give you various suggestions before you arrive as well as on the trail, and we will adjust the route to meet your needs or limitations.

One highly recommended read for before you arrive (and after!) is the Petit manuel de médecine de montagne [The Little Mountain Medicine Handbook] by the doctor Emmanuel Cauchy from Éditions Glénat (only available in French) (ISBN 978-2-7234-5895-5).

Do remember, however, that the treks organised by Amiwa are not mountaineering expeditions and take place in relatively mild environments (notwithstanding the rare exception, there should be neither snow nor ice).

Higherland Inn, trek, Dali, Yunnan, Chine