When 29-year-old Liu Peiwen proposed to his 23-year-old girlfriend Ling Hsueh, she jokingly told him, in reference to the song 500 Miles by Scottish band The Proclaimers, she would only marry him if he walked 1,000 miles for her.
The lyrics of the song goes: “But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked a thousand miles, to fall down at your door.”
But before Ling got around to telling Liu that she was only joking, he had set off from the city of Anyang in Henan province on the marathon hike to Ling’s hometown in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province in south-east China, 1,600km (1,000 miles) away, with only a rucksack and a red flag that reads “Valiantly, full of mettle, setting out to visit my wife’s mother.”
Ling told local media: "He's such a fruitcake. I would have married him anyway and was only joking when I said he had to walk a 1,000 miles."
Liu estimates it will take him about six weeks to complete his journey: "I love walking and always wanted to see more of the country - but my love was the final push I needed to set off."
Liu said: 'When I get there I hope she is waiting for me and I will ask her again - and I hope she says yes.'
“Life is short,” he said, “and for love, there’s no challenge too great.”