China here I come!
Ho ho ho followers - welcome to my travel blog!
I intend to update this fairly regularly whilst in China and Thailand so please keep popping back to hear my travelling tales. It's also lovely to hear stories from my back home so please keep me up to date with all the gossip .........
I am taking my laptop but I'm not sure how often I'll get the chance to update this. I'm on the go a lot and won't be staying in the same place for any more than a few nights. Santa Clause will just have to use his magic powers to track me down!
Merry Christmas from across the miles, I'll look forward seeing you all in 2010! Well, that's if I decide to come back.
Ma Hong Kai
P.S that's my Chinese name/alter ego incase you forgot!
"The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step"
- Lao Tzu: (Chinese Taoist Philosopher, c. 600 B.C.E.)
January 12th 2010
We were supposed to go to Disneyland yesterday but it was raining and there was a typhoon warning. The weather was a lot better today so I finally got to go to Disney and act like a big kid for the day. Although, the place was full of middle aged Chinese men so I didn’t feel so ashamed haha. The funniest thing was seeing 3 business men in suits on the cups and saucers. They looked like they were having a great time; they had the whole hands up in the air thing going on. As soon as the doors were opened for an event they would physically run to the front. Disneyland Hong Kong is popular with people from mainland Chinese. They probably haven’t seen any thing like it in there like so I imagine ... read more
January 10th 2010
You will be pleased to hear that I am now a qualified Chinese cake making chef haha. This afternoon Jodie and I took part in a Chinese cake making class at the award-winning Wing Wah Cake Shop. We were taught by two Chinese chefs. They gave us demonstrations and then we got to bake and try our own creations. There was another 8 students in the class and reminded me of home economics at school. We all made Wing Wah Wife Cakes and Wing Wah Egg Rolls. It was so funny; we were cooking in an open air cooking area and had a little audience haha. I had one of my ‘what on earth is going on’ moments …… I can’t stay away from the Hong Kong markets. I enjoy haggling, its good banter and always ... read more
January 9th 2010
This afternoon Jodie and I met with our friend Eloise. Eloise took part in the Beijing Easter 2009 Study China Programme and is now studying in Hong Kong. She arrived last week so we thought it would be nice to do some sight seeing and have a good wee catch up! Eloise brought along a friend and we all went on a dukling boat tour along Victoria Harbour. It was really strange meeting up again at the other side of the world. The sun decided to pop out so Jodie and I took advantage of it and went to The Peak. Victoria Peak is Hong Kong Island’s highest point and the view was absolutely incredible. It’s a good way to put Hong Kong into perspective. On the ground you spend most of the time looking up ... read more
January 8th 2010
I’m not even a vegetarian but today I went to vegetarian paradise haha. Jodie is a celiac and therefore can’t eat wheat and has to avoid gluten. It makes eating in China very challenging! I came across a vegetarian restaurant in my guidebook so we decided to check it out. Dad - quit trying to make cauliflower soup because I now know what it should taste like! The restaurant was in the Soho area of Hong Kong and was my kind of scene. It was full of trendy bars, restaurants and quirky vintage clothes shops. Soho is all uphill so they have an outdoor escalator. It’s quite bizarre. Apparently it’s the world’s longest outdoor escalator - a wee fact of the day for you! We then hopped on the Star Ferry which took us across to ... read more
January 7th 2010
Ni hau! I’m back in China! I had a great time in Thailand but I was ready to leave. I’m sick of the sight of the sun, sea and sand. It has been unbearably hot over the past few days. I have heard that the weather in the UK is really cold, so I appreciate that you might find it difficult to emphasise with me! Jodie and I are now staying in a hotel in Tseun Wan. We got a fantastic deal on lastminute.com. Our 4 star hotel costs less than the youth hostel in Hong Kong. We had a look at the prices down stairs and what we paid online for 8 nights doesn’t even cover the cost of the standard rate for one night! We are both enjoying the small things in life e.g. ... read more
January 3rd 2010
We have moved accommodation as the place we were staying was fully booked. I didn’t realise we had booked some where on the same beach. It just meant that we didn’t need to get a taxi haha. We just carted out luggage across the sand to out new beach hut. I’ve had a really lazy past couple of days and I’ve been trying to get a tan, but it’s just not happening! Today has been the most adventurous day so far! Jodie and I went on the Phangan Safari tour. We were picked up in a jeep this morning and joined a larger group of travellers. I met a lot of really nice people. We started the day off on an elephant trek which was amazing. Although, I did feel really sad for the elephants and ... read more
December 31st 2009
Happy New Year every one! Ok, I’m writing this blog entry on New Years Day because we didn’t get back to our apartment until the early hours of the morning. I’ve also got a wee bitty of a sore head! The Full Moon Party was absolute madness; I’ve never seen any thing like it in my life. It makes T in the Park seem tame! There were so many people I couldn’t even see the sand, it was more like a sea of people! We nearly missed midnight because we couldn’t get through the crowds and also because we kept on bumping into randoms. All the bars/stalls sell buckets of alcohol, rather than individual drinks. You get a can of juice, a can of red bull and then a bottle of whatever. Our night started out ... read more
December 30th 2009
I’ve finally arrived on Kho Phangan after SUCH a long journey. The bus and ferry trip was even more entertaining than the train! I met a few interesting people - good chat! Everyone is on the island for the same reason; it’s just one massive party every where! We are staying in the Had Yao area and we literally live on the beach. It’s absolutely picturesque. My aim is to get some colour in me because I swear I’m the whitest person on the beach haha. I’ve been making friends already …… when I was swimming in the sea I got joined by a golden retriever haha. I got a bit of a fright but he was harmless! He reminded me of Dylan (my dog!) and how much he loves to swim. I had another one ... read more
December 29th 2009
I’m currently on an 11 hours overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Surat Thani. I feel like I'm Harry Potter on my way to Hogwarts but I'm actualy heading to Kho Phangan for the Full Moon Party - a bit different! The Full Moon party is basically a massive dance music festival on the beach that attracts people from absolutely all over the world. The first Full Moon Party was in 1987 but this is the first time it has landed on New Year’s Eve, so it’s pretty special! There’s expected to be around 70, 000 people. I’ve been dreading this train journey since we booked it because all the flights were fully booked. We had to settle for 2nd class train tickets from a travel company. I was a bit concerned because the joint train-bus-ferry ... read more
December 28th 2009
I don’t really know where to start because the past few days have just been incredible. I was feeling a wee bit home sick over Christmas because it was my first time away from Santa Clause, but don’t worry I’m over it. (Wise and wonderful Auntie Peckett - you were right!) It also took a few days to get into the Hong Kong lifestyle and being in such a busy city. Any way, that’s all history ….. I’ve arrived safely in Bangkok and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Thailand. I am here with Jodie and Iris (Jodie’s room-mate from Hong Kong). Iris is Chinese so it’s a great opportunity to test out my Mandarin. Her sister is a qualified social worker in Hong Kong and would like to meet me when I’m back from Thailand. ... read more