Writer and frequent visitor has seen the dramatic changes and felt the country's romantic lure, Paul Tomic reports.
Since his first visit to China almost 40 years ago, David Leffman has repeated the experience so many times that he estimates he has spent about four years in the country in total.
As a photojournalist and travel writer, a large part of his life has revolved around visiting and writing about locations as varied as Iceland, Indonesia, Australia and China.
Having traveled extensively in the Middle Kingdom, Leffman says the south and southwestern areas, particularly the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, remain his favorite parts of the country. "I love the landscapes, the unusual history — (in the past) the mainstream influence was often remote so far from the capital — and the peoples. The food is pretty good too, but you could say that about most of China," he says with a laugh.