April 14, 2024

Explorer and extreme adventurer Ash Dykes shares first food blog from Yangtse expedition

St. Asaph Explorer Ash Dykes, currently attempting a world-first to traverse the entire length of China’s Yangtse river has received lots of communication and well wishes from his followers here in the UK – and despite adventures like being chased by wolves, there is one question he has been repeatedly asked about life in China – “Are your Chinese takeaways the same as the actual food in China?”

Ash shares the answer in his first food blog.

“I’ve had many people ask me what the food is like over here, so I’ve put together a small blog describing the varied foods that I’ve come across so far.

“A lot of people back in the UK are into their Chinese takeaways and have asked whether or not the typical Chinese takeaway meals, are the same as the actual dishes in China.

“The quick answer would be “no, not really”. Here in China, it’s better, healthier and there is SO much more choice, with the dishes being different in each province. 

Ash explains that each of the provinces has a different approach to food, driven largely by the environments:

In the Qinghai Province (west China, for example, Ash explains that the food has a Tibetan influence, and is made up mainly of fats, proteins and dairy products, whereas in Sichuan the climate is warmer and the food is more diverse, but also more spicy. Ash explains:

“Qinghai has mostly heavy and stodgy food that is needed for those kinds of environments, where it’s often below zero and is at altitude.

“We’d have a lot of Yak meat, yoghurt, bread, milk, butter and tsampa – which is roasted flour, usually barley flour and sometimes also wheat flour. It is usually mixed with the salty Tibetan butter tea and great to actually carry with you on long hikes.”

Ash is currently in the Yunnan region, which is his favourite food region to date.  He says:

“They have everything here, so many nice dishes – I still haven’t tried them all, it’s probably not possible.  They have all the vegetables, all the meats (chicken, I love chicken… mmmm) and can produce loads of meals, suited for all types of eaters.  

“My favourite dish so far, is either dumplings, with a little pot of chilli and vinegar or a stir-fry of all vegetables and meat, with rice and a small bowl of herbal soup!”

You can read more about Ash’s food journey and see pictures on his blog.

Your turn

Ash is keen for fellow Welsh travellers to follow his travels and interact with him as he explores the next leg of his journey – and wants to hear from you, whether its about food or to ask questions about some of the amazing experiences he’s had so far on the journey.

He asks:

“If you’ve been to China (or are currently here), what was your favourite food here and what do you recommend?  I want to know!

And if you’ve not been to China yet, which of the above provinces, sound like it would take your liking most?

“Email me with your thoughts!

Ash has been keeping everyone posted on social media and continues to grow a huge following with fantastic engagement, sharing everything he comes across in real time.  Ash is also regularly checking his social media channels for messages of support so please send him your food recommendations, questions and best wishes via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and use:

Keep an eye out for updates about when to submit your questions, which he’ll answer on live video streams, or email: [email protected]

Track Ash’s progress live, in real time

Follow Ash’s progress throughout #MissionYangtze in real time via a GPS Live Tracker. Click to see where he is, within 5 metres of his actual location.