The Sichuan Diaries: A China Journey – Evan Osnos and Wes Pope

Chicago Tribune China correspondent Evan Osnos and photographer Wes Pope are keeping a diary of their walking trip through China’s heartland. From Evan’s introduction:

China’s jaw-dropping facts no longer astound: the glittering coast, the legions of yuppies, the factory towns powerful enough to affect what we buy, where we work, and the air we breathe half a world away.

But, if you are like us, you know almost nothing about a vast, hidden China: the interior, home to 800 million people and a breadbasket that feeds, houses, waters, staffs, and sustains the China we know. China’s history has always been shaped by its volatile heartland, where the city collides with the village, Communism meets Buddhism and Islam, and the present encounters the past.

This land draws us to the start of our journey, overloaded with old books and boots, new backpacks, and some unnerving travel medicine that we hope we won’t need. [Full text]