I am overwhelmed with what I should write about Colombia. A 3.5 weeks trip means we did, saw, and ate a lot! Each place we visited also left us with the feelings of not having enough time in each place. We left each city and Colombia with a long list of places we have to visit when we come back. On this trip, we skipped the coffee region, the Pacific coast, the Amazonas, and the Llanos completely. And 3.5 weeks are still nowhere near enough!
On a side note, most people still associate Colombia with its violent narco-trafficking past. I am sure it still is happening to an extent, however, as a tourist who exercises caution and common sense, Colombia can be a safe country to travel in. There are still areas, especially in the Pacific and between Cali and Popayan (and some other areas) that still has issues with FARC and para-militaries at the time of this writing, but the Colombian has worked hard to make the country tourist-friendly. They have military posts in Ciudad Perdida (Lost City of) Teyuna and along the trek. Please do a check while planning your trip. Apart from being ripped off my a couple taxi drivers, nothing happened to us.
There are not many tourists from Asia yet. We are always asked if we are Japanese or Korean, but there are moments people said “ni hao” to us. A funny anecdote, this cab driver in Cali told us that there are few Chinese in Cali and all the Chinese in Cali owns a Chinese restaurants…..The fact that we did not see any chinese on the streets and the numerous chinese restaurants, I could only wonder if this was really the truth. There is only one way to find out!