As the winner of the #MyChinaExperience photo contest, Kevin Mao is on a two-week adventure through China. For him, it’s an opportunity to explore his ancestral motherland more deeply than he’s been able to on previous trips.Since touching down in Hong Kong on Oct. 16, Kevin has explored the bright lights and busy streets of Hong Kong, as well as the sweeping landscapes of Guilin. Excited to be completely immersed in “the entirety of Chinese culture,” he said, he made the most of his 24 hours in Hong Kong.

“I met some of my longtime Instagram friends for the first time in real life, both in Hong Kong and Shanghai. That’s always a wonderful moment. Getting to explore these amazing cities with them is even better,” he told Passion Passport as he hit the mid-point of his trip.

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Kevin wanders through Hong Kong during his MyChinaExperience trip

“I loved the feel of the warm humid air in Hong Kong enveloping my body, because it’s the weather I have come to associate with traveling in Asia,” he told Passion Passport. As quick as he settled in, it was time to swap the skylines for the rice paddies of Longji and rivers of Guilin. After exploring a series of rice terraces, he described them as “picturesque, otherwordly layers and layers of golden curves.” He added that, “Something felt right about seeing the source of the food I’ve been eating all my life.”

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“I’ve been really enjoying the sound of Chinese spoken all around me… the mind-blowing scenery in Guilin that makes you feel like you’re in a movie scene, and the stunning views from our hotel, The Shangri-La (which also happen to smell amazing),” he wrote.

Kevin is now exploring Shanghai. As he wraps up week one, he says, “I’m already feeling the time crunch to do and see more. I don’t want to leave so soon, and I know I will miss China sorely when I leave.”

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Read more about Kevin’s trip through China.

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