China was a place we had been curious about for some time. We thought it would be a little different from anywhere we had visited before. Hearing so many people tell us it would be impossible without a guide or joining a tour group, intrigued us more. In true JK roaming style we ditched the guide idea and refused to become a number following a flag and wearing a hat so we braved it solo!
Oh boy this proved very challenging and few times along the way we questioned our choice. The meltdown moments included:
1. Attempting to order food- Not understanding a word on a menu and randomly pointing to fellow diners meal in an attempt to order.
2. Using the bathroom – our squats are excellent after a month in China, we can also hold our breathe for several minutes…enough said
3. The staggered payment scheme at major attractions. Like Ryanair flights you don’t stop paying until you get to the end.
However these moments were quickly forgotten when we:
1. Stepped on to the Great Wall at Jinshanling
2. Took our first glimpse of a proud Terracotta Warrior.
3. Hung out with the Pandas in Chengdu.
4. Cruised the Li river on a bamboo boat.
5. Drank Basil Drop cocktails in the French Concession in Shanghai with new friends.
China almost broke us but we still think it was one of our favourite countries so far. It certainly was our biggest adventure and challenge to date. Next time we will call on our friend Shirley for some Mandarin lessons before jetting off!
Enjoy our favourite photos- these were tough to select.
If our adventure has encouraged you visit China, we will be publishing a survival guide soon.