Watch this video interview with photographer Tom Carter in ChinaFile, the Asia Society’s online magazine.

Backpacking photographer Tom Carter somehow succeeded in circumnavigating over 35,000 miles (56,000 kilometers) across all 33 provinces in China during a 2-year period, the first foreigner on record ever to do so.

What Carter found along the way, and what his photographs ultimately reveal, is that China is not just one place, one people, but 33 distinct geographical regions populated by 56 different ethnicities, each with their own languages, customs and lifestyles.

Tom has also edited a new collection of China travel stories entitled Unsavory Elements — you can see pictures from the Hong Kong launch event in this Facebook album.