Category China

La Cité Interdite

1215 AD – Beijing (Northern Capital) Slowly he walks through the city. The other soldiers are too busy looting and torching the surrounding buildings to acknowledge his presence. It doesn’t enrage him, his mind is a blur with grand plans of future conquests that lay ahead. With the Great Wall breached by his array of […]

25 years on…

This one is a bit wordy so put the kettle on and if reading at work – block out your calendar for the next hour. We arrived at our courtyard guesthouse deep in one of the renowned hutongs (alleyways) in Beijing. It was too late to really enjoy one of the pay-for sights so to […]

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet!

Not exactly the Bullet Trains that link Osaka and Tokyo (Thanks for that one Raul Julia) but really fast nonetheless. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the Maglev Trains of China. The stations were state of the art. Looking more like airport terminals than their national railway counterparts. They had bars and restaurants, newsagents and […]

Crosstown Traffic

What do you get with a population of 19+ Million citizens? Integrated Transportation Here’s a fact: Shanghai has the largest bus system in the world! There is an incredible 1,424 bus lines! Shanghai has a bigger population and probably just as big a footprint as London. That’s where the comparisons end I’m afraid. Are you […]

Shop til you Drop!

  5 monthes in….Clothes looking tired…God do I have to wear that t-shirt again?…Uh-oh my Jeans have ripped at the knees. It was time for some shopping, but where will we go? In Shanghai you can go anywhere. Walking to the Bund on our first night we passed Forever 21, H&M and GAP. In the […]


“Toto. I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore?” Our next destination has had a powerful hand in shaping Chinese history. The scene of the founding if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a frontline theatre of the Opium Wars and the operations of Chiang Kai-Sek. Up until recently it was the hotbed for the leading […]

Treasure Hunt

Today we were on a treasure hunt. Sarah who we met in Huàngshàn had kindly invited us to stay with her Shanghai. Sarah would be working when we arrived so she had sent us detailed directions to find her apartment. Firstly we had to get to Shanghai, our transport would be on the trailer of […]

I am the Mountain..

The alarm went off for the second morning at 5.30 am. We woke to the sun glaring through the crack in the curtains, what a difference a day made. We were off to climb the Huàngshàn mountains, commonly known as the yellow mountains or for the movie buffs the scenery in Avatar! Steven packed us […]

The Krypton Factor

After showing the taxi driver the bus tickets we were on our way to the station to catch the bus to the yellow mountains. Navigating the station was fun, every sign in Chinese and our tickets, purchased using our translator app at the post office were also in Chinese. We stood aimlessly staring at the […]

Língyîn merrily on high…

Built in AD 326, Língyîn Temple is Hangzhou’s most famous temple. To get here we had to take a taxi. This involved pointing and the map and smiling. When we arrived we realised that there were even more temples and a whole park that they were contained within. Being in China there was a pricy […]

There’s an awful lot of Chinese here!

Showered and bags filled with our picnic- thanks Jessie and Steve for a lovely home made dinner all packed in tinfoil, almost as good as Helen’s packed lunches for Cork airport, we headed to Guilin train station. The journey would be in 3 parts, a taxi from Stonebridge to the bus station , or so […]

It’s Showtime!!

The bus back from Xingping was uneventful except for the end destination. It was the correct town but wrong station (aagh!)and we had to trudge back 5km to the centre of Yangshuo. Lunch was dumplings in a local place where you washed your hands from a hose out the back. Earlier in the day Steve […]

Smoke On The Water

On the back of a ¥20 note there is a great scene from China – the Li River cutting a path through the wonderful Karst scenery of Yangshuo County. Today’s mission was to find that scene. We got on our mountain bikes and headed for the bus station about 10km away. Steve – the owner […]

Last Stop

“Knock Knock” It was the door to our cabin. Karen opened it to he greeted by a guard saying that we were here. It was half an hour too early and as we scrambled to pack our bags up we realised our cabin was the last occupants on the train along with our room mate. […]

In the Red Corner

So it begins…. We packed up our belongings and bade farewell to Hong Kong, with the promise of a return one day. Jumping on the MTR we headed for Wo Lu – the border station with China in General and Shenzen in particular.Customs took a while as it was busy but within the hour we […]