Page 3 of AmandaL Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Macau » Macau April 20th 2010

Day 144: Tuesday, April 20th, 2010. Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Macau, Macau. Per Intrepid notes, "In the morning after breakfast on day 2 we take taxis to the ferry terminal where we board our ferry to Macau (approx. 75 mins). After arriving in Macau we take taxis to our accommodation.

Sometimes referred to as the Las Vegas of the East due to the recent proliferation of casinos and nightlife hot spots, Macau nonetheless has some fascinating history to discover. As a former Portuguese colony only handed back to the Chinese Mainland in 1999 there is a unique fusion of Mediterranean and Asian influences in the architecture, culture and food.

We take a walking tour through the tiny charming streets of Macau to see the colonial architecture up close as well as sample some of the local snack ... read more
Town square in Macau
Moi and St. Paul's

Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon April 18th 2010

Day 142 & 143: Sunday, April 18th and Monday, April 19th, 2010. Hong Kong, Hong Kong- Kowloon District. Per Intrepid notes, "It was as a British colony that Hong Kong made itself known to the world and since the 1997 handover back to Chinese rule, the city is still a unique and fascinating place to explore and see where the East really does meet with the West. Hong Kong's cityscape is spectacular, where traditional Chinese stores sit next to 21st century brand names; towering skyscrapers nestle alongside ancient temples and the modern fast paced life of Hong Kong in only minutes from picturesque islands and beaches. The locals are very proud of their Cantonese culture and history, so step out of the shopping malls and off the main streets to discover another side of Hong Kong.

For ... read more
Dim Sum Breakfast!
Hong Kong
Street near hotel

Asia » Hong Kong April 17th 2010

Day 141: Saturday, April 17th, 2010. Hong Kong. Per Intrepid Notes, "Days 23-24 Hong Kong After a mid-morning arrival in Shenzhen, we cross the border and catch the metro into the heart of Hong Kong. There are so many things to do in dramatic Hong Kong, from wandering around Stanley Market and shopping on Nathan Road, to taking in stunning views from Victoria Peak or cruising the harbour on the famous Star Ferry - take your pick! Hong Kong's many fine restaurants and food markets provide the perfect setting for a final group dinner.

Our hotel in Hong Kong is clean, twin-share with private bathroom and in a great location, just a short walk from the markets. We will take a short orientation walk of the area surrounding our hotel, your leader will explain where and how ... read more
Night market.

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin April 16th 2010

Day 140: Friday, April 16th, 2010. Yangshuo to Guilin then an overnight train to Hong Kong. Per Intrepid Notes, "On the evening of day 22 we transfer to Guilin (approx. 1.5 hours) and board a comfortable overnight train bound for Shenzhen (approx. 12 hours). We use hard-sleeper class trains for our overnight train journeys. These are not as rough as they sound - compartments are open-plan and clean, with padded berths (six to a compartment), sheets, a blanket and hot water available. Most trains have a dining carriage where meals are available three times a day, and there are snacks available on the train along the way." On this rain free morning, myself, Rita and Ling took a walk "down by the river" (to be said a la Chris Farley). We were going to go into ... read more
A man and his Cormorant's waiting for you to take a picture (guess his fishing days are done.)
Brunch and fixin's!!
Ling (top bunk), Me (middle bunk), Rita (Bottom bunk).

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo April 15th 2010

Day 139: Thursday, April 15th, 2010. Yangshuo, China. Still very cold and rainy here. Things could be worse, there was a horrible earthquake in the Northwest part of China, in the Qinghai province. I'll be in Chengdu in a couple of weeks which is near there, so I was lucky. We decided not to do a bike ride in these lovely conditions so that morning we (minus Ling, she gave us directions the night before) went to a local market. There, you could buy any vegetable you could imagine, and any animal you could imagine. Yes, that means dog. We avoided the area where they had the skinned dogs and explored the rest. Then, it was pretty much a hotel day which was friggin' boring as hell since 1) I'm in Yangshuo and want to explore ... read more
Yangshuo at dusk.
Yangshuo, China
Yes, part of me is saying "poor little guys" but most of me is saying "that's life over here".

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo April 14th 2010

Day 138: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010. Ping An (Longji Terraces) to Yangshuo, China. Per Intrepid Notes, "Days 20-22 Yangshuo Leaving the village behind us on foot, we catch a bus and travel via Longsheng and Guilin to Yangshuo (approx. 6 hours). The region around Yangshuo is probably the most well known scenic attraction in China, where the Li River winds its way around thousands of limestone karst mountains. Each peak is impressively named, in true Chinese tradition! 

We have free time to explore the shops of West Street, take a calligraphy lesson or a water painting class. Later, we take to the surrounding countryside with a local guide on bicycles, stopping at markets and picturesque villages along the way. This is a region well-worth exploring, as every turn in the road brings you to another picture-postcard ... read more
One of the gates to the Terraces
Very foggy Terraces
China Post- even in the middle of nowhere.

Asia » China » Guangxi » Ping An April 13th 2010

Day 137: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010. Ping An (Longji Terraces), China. So cold. So very cold. It had to make it into the 40's during the night. There was a thick duvet on the bed which, luckily, didn't make me itch. Later in the day, myself, Rita, Judy and Ling went on a hour or so walk around the area. It was only sprinkling, but still foggy. I declined to take a picture (aka pay to take a picture) of the women of the village but they are known for their verrrrrry long hair. I can't imagine how long it takes them to clean it. The terraces were beautiful to see as was the lifestyle all around. Unfortunately, they're experiencing an all too common problem- their youngsters are taking off for the cities and therefore they ... read more
Reads: "Longji Rice Terraces, Top Scenery of the World"
Us, freezing our asses off, play Mahjong again.
Chinese flag and Longji Terraces

Asia » China » Guangxi » Ping An April 12th 2010

Day 136: Monday, April 12th, 2010. Chengyang to Ping An (Longji Terraces), China. Per Intrepid Notes, "Days 18-19 Longji Terraces After we return to Sanjiang by private transfer (approx. 1 hour), our journey continues by local bus, as we cross the ancestral home of many of Southeast Asia's minority hilltribes to reach the Longji Valley (approx. 6 hours). Known as the Dragon's Backbone, this region is a remarkable feat of engineering, with rice terraces covering entire mountainsides. On arrival in Longji, we embark on an uphill trek (approx. 30 mins) to our guesthouse in a small hillside village. Our family-run wooden guesthouse is clean and twin-share. Most rooms have private bathrooms.

On day 19 we take a day-long hike through the Longji Valley to visit local hilltribe communities and learn about village life. ... read more
Very spacious bus ride to the Longji Terraces
Bridge to the land of fog.
Ling teaching us Mahjong- and peaking at Judy's pieces.

Asia » China » Guangxi » Chengyang April 11th 2010

Day 135: Sunday, April 11th, 2010. Chengyang, China. Sing along with me, "Who needs sleep? Never gonna get it. Who needs sleep? Baby what's that for?..." Ugh. So, started to fall asleep and then I woke up about 10 minutes later with my legs itching like crazy. Threw off the very heavy duvet cover and pulled up my PJ pants but couldn't see any bug bites or rashes on my legs and the itching was already subsiding. Weird. Put the duvet back on and about 10 minutes later, same thing. The duvet smelled clean, so I don't think it's bed bugs (especially since I don't see bites), so I don't know if I'm getting too hot because it is a very heavy duvet. Problem with sleeping without the duvet is that it gets pretty cold here ... read more
View of Chengyang
Market day!
Dick, Judy, Rita and Mr. Peacock in the study with a lead pipe.

Asia » China » Guangxi » Chengyang April 10th 2010

Day 134: Saturday, April 10th, 2010. Liuzhou to Chengyang, China. Per Intrepid Notes, "Days 16-17 Chengyang After a relaxing morning we take a local bus to Sanjiang (approx. 4 hours), followed by a transfer to Chengyang (approx. 1 hour). Chengyang is undoubtedly one of the most special places in China, thanks to its exquisite Wind and Rain Bridge. We stay here in a wooden guesthouse set near the riverbank, and after settling into our accommodation, we enter the village by crossing this special walkway. These bridges, or 'fengyu qiao' as they are called locally, once served religious purposes but are now mostly used as a place for the local people to sit around, chat and sell their wares. They were traditionally built entirely in pegged cedar, and it is often said that not a single nail ... read more
Us (thrilled) while waiting at a bus station.
View from our balcony door.
View from roof restaurant

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