When I dreamt up this story, I knew it was going to be a boy with his pig, and I knew the story centred around a mysterious tree. The tree that inspired the story is found in South-East Asian countries, where pigs are not commonly cultivated. So I struggled with the story location for a long time. Eventually I decided on China. I have never been to China but I knew the setting had to be authentic. So I took a trip there to get a feel for the place. I will give an account of several aspects of my trip: the people, food, transportation, lifestyle, homes and the surrounding scenery.
Based on what I saw, and what I found in my searches on the internet, I created the world Kai lives in. Kai does not live in a particular place in China nor does he belong to a particular ethnic minority. However, I hope his world gives you a flavour of the beauty of China and the cultural richness.