Couple step out of comfort zone to tour world

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-02 07:09

Couple step out of comfort zone to tour world

Zhang Xinyu and his wife, Liang Hong, have explored many places off the beaten track over the past few years-from Antarctica, Oymyakon in Russia Afghanistan and an active volcano in Vanuatu. Their most recent journey was an 80,000-kilometer trip on an aircraft they bought. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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Since 2013, their exploration of the world has captured the imaginations of a large number of followers via the online reality show On the Road.

"I don't call the program a show. It's more of a documentary that is broadcast online for free," says Zhang.

"It's recorded without any ornamentation," Liang says.

Not every place they have visited has been pleasant. They almost lost their lives when approaching lava at Marum, an active volcano in Vanuatu.

"At the very beginning, we often challenged nature this way," Zhang says. "We have come to realize that the only thing we can challenge is our own limits."

Simply a form of self-expression in the beginning, Liang says they have taken on more responsibilities as their journey has progressed.

For instance, the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan had been destroyed by the Taliban when they arrived in 2015, so they helped to create digital images that were projected of the remains of the original site at night.

Zhang considers the moment when the projector was turned on as one of the most emotional moments of the journey.

However, the move-although welcomed by local people-prompted the Taliban to put a bounty on their lives. The couple had to conceal their whereabouts, and their internet show was suspended for months.

The couple's most recent journey can be seen in the new season of On the Road, which premiered in April on Tencent's video platform. It follows their 80,000-kilometer aerial trip around the world in a 32-year-old Harbin Y12, a twin-engine turboprop aircraft.

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