When did you become a backpacker? In 1996, before I graduated from university [in painting], I decided to take a three-month trip to Yunnan. There were very few Chinese travellers, but a lot of foreign backpackers, and I learned what a backpacker was. What were people's reactions to your decision to travel? A lot of people thought I was crazy to go travelling on my own. They'd say, 'Why not go with a travel group?' and warned me that it was dangerous, but nobody could tell me why they thought it was dangerous. Since 1999, I've done a major bike trip each year in the western regions of the country. What was that trip like? I rode my bike from Lanzhou to Lhasa and lost all my money. I had to work for food, but many people just gave me food. It was then that I realised - you don't need money to travel. People freak out when they hear I rode to Tibet, they think it's impossible. I'm not that strong - look at me! I drank two beers a day from Lhasa to Kathmandu. And how did you end up in your current business? I came back from a trip in 1999 with no job. When I was having a beer with my friends one night, I recalled the notes I scribbled during my trip. That was about my feeling as a passer-by. Then I decided to open a pub called 'Passby' for people who pass by the city. In 2000, I decided to go into T-shirt design, making use of the inspirations and ideas I got during my travel. Now our T-shirts are sold in 20 outlets. And you are involved in the local scene in other ways ... The bar has become a space, a lot like a chat room, where my travelling has enabled me to help others. I have photo exhibits from my trips and we host an informal gathering of NGO people every month. More people need to learn that there's more to life than just a car, cellphone and house. What are your favourite travel destinations? As I do more and more travelling, I am more convinced that travelling is a process itself. Like the name of my pub, I pass by a place and experience the environment, as well as the people and things I encounter there. The experience counts more than the specific destinations.