Tag Archives: China

Anna Karen(ina) and I

Chengdu was never on our original hit list. However after chatting to Sarah and Danielle in Shanghai about their trip and the promise of a local to show us around we squeezed in a stop over. The deal breaker was the chance to get up close with pandas of all shapes sizes and colours- yes […]

“These City Walls..

..only to be with you” On a rather dull grey morning we headed towards the Goose Pagoda in Xian. This involved navigating our way round the city on the local bus. Confidentially we hopped on the bus no 6 and handed over our 4rmb and sat eagerly following the bus route on our free hostel […]

Muslim Quarter

Xian is a pure dichotomy experience. It was once the terminus for the Silk Road and had historically hosted poets, monks, courtesans, emperors and warriors of varying nations. Now however it is a modern city gripped by smog. Walking South from our Hostel we encountered the familiar sight of the Drum and Bell Towers. No […]

Hutong Clan ain’t nothing to drum with!

Beijing’s back streets are a maze of alleyways, locally known as Hutongs. Nearly all Hutongs run east to west so that the main gates faces south, satisfying fang shui requirements. They say the spirit and soul of the city lives and breathes among these little lanes, where there is a huge sense of community. Sadly […]

Heavenly Temples

It wouldn’t be a JKRoaming certified city visit without some Temples being included. Beijing has some answers for that… First up was the Lama Temple located near the Hutongs of Dongsi District. This Buddhist Temple was very impressive with riveting roofs, amazing arches and some fine architecture. On entry everyone got free incense. What made […]

Peking Duck Hidden City

Today would involve walking and lots of it, our destination was the Summer Palace. This was once a playground for the imperial court fleeing the summer heat of the stifling Forbidden City. The palace grounds, temples, gardens, pavilions, Kunming lake with numerous bridges and gate towers is a beautiful landscape so much so that UNESCO […]

You’re my Wonder-Wall!!

A century of good times- our 100 post! For many years I (Karen) have always wanted to walk the wall, not just any wall but the Great Wall of China. Monday 9th June 2014 @10am was the moment it happened!! Since this had been at the top of my bucket list for years we spent […]

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 […]