Page 6 of CallMeBecs Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Sichuan » Xiangcheng September 26th 2012

Since our last blog we have been in two small towns - Kangding for three nights and Xiangcheng for two. KANGDING Kangding is a stop over for most people to get from Chengdu (where we saw the panda's) into western Sichuan. Once you head west of Chengdu the mountains start and traffic slows. We took our very first Chinese bus from Chengdu to Kangding. We had planned on finding a hostel in Kangding, but since we got off the bus late and it was raining, we decided to follow a little old lady to her hotel and she hooked us up with a clean double room for 80 yuan. Our first double bed and our cheapest accommodations in China! The room ended up being pretty nice. It was cold and the walls were thin (we could ... read more
View of Xiangcheng

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 21st 2012

We spent three nights and four days in Chengdu, a city with a population of 4.1 million. The highlight of our time spent here was the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base! For such a massive city, it only took an hour (during rush hour) to get from the centre of town (where we stayed) to the beautiful nature reserve that felt like a different world. We arrived when the gates opened at 8am and it was a good thing we decided to be early birds! We had an entire hour basically to ourselves with the pandas before the tour groups arrived. There are 4 or 5 main areas to see the giant panda's; each with a specific age group housed within it. You can also see red pandas at the reserve in a few different ... read more
Baby Panda - Nursery1
Red Pand2
Panda in a tree

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an September 17th 2012

Xi'an quickly became our favourite Chinese city so far. The large cities in China are so well run that it's hard to not love them. Getting around is unbelievably easy, the streets are spotlessly clean, there is plenty of shopping, a million places to eat, tonnes of historic sites and enough culture to keep you as busy as you want to be. Our guesthouse was fantastic! We would definitely recommend Shuyuan Hostel to anyone spending time in Xi'an. Not only does it have friendly helpful staff, the entire hostel is immaculately clean, the three courtyards are great places to hang out and they have pets. There is a beautiful golden retriever named Terra and a fluffy white cat whose name we didn't catch (Ty decided to call it snowball). These loveable animals are just as friendly ... read more
Mmmmeat sandwich lady
Pit Three 1
Pit Three 3

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao September 12th 2012

Oh my goodness, we are in China... wait... what?! I'm going through all the same emotions I experienced two months ago when we arrived in Indonesia. Culture shock round two! Overall, I'm very impressed. We were really smart to practise our key social terms before getting here. The little mandarin we can speak has gone a long way! The locals seem to find it pretty amusing when we can say the price of something or carry on a short conversation with a child. We probably sound silly, but I love it. I have never really wanted to learn another language before. Sure, I found french class more interesting than most and took it a year longer than required, but other than that I never had to speak anything other than english and wasn't in a hurry ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Pingyao September 12th 2012

Pingyao is an ancient Chinese city surrounded by the original walls built over 1000 years ago. Only one section of wall had to be rebuilt after a portion collapsed a few years ago. We wanted to spend some time in Pingyao mainly to break up our long trip from Beijing to Xi'an and unwind after seeing Beijing. Once we arrived, we checked into our hostel and, as usual, hit the streets. The main streets are lined with vendors that at first glance appear to have fantastic genuine Chinese relics. Old chess boards, coins, tools etc. blew us away until we realized every store has the exact same things and they weren't really as old as they looked. There was also an abundance of stone carvings, jade jewlery/statues, and tour groups. Pingyao really is beautiful. We escaped ... read more
Shop front
View from Central Tower II

Asia » China » Beijing » Dongcheng September 7th 2012

We got to Beijing and haven't stopped since. The last three days have been insane... THE FORBIDDEN CITY The Forbidden City was the first site we wanted to see. It is within walking distance from our hostel so we set our alarm, woke up early our first day here and set off on our merry way. We grabbed some dumplings and pastries for breakfast en route and got to the City gates right around the time it opened at 8:30am. The first thing we thought was, "Wow, so happy we aren't in a tour group!". The tour groups are adorable in the most chinese way possible. Most of them wear ridiculous hats or have matching shirts (or other matching attire) and they all follow around a Chinese person with a microphone and a flag. It's just ... read more
Ty climbing treacherous slopes
Rebecca on the wall

Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon September 7th 2012

After hours and hours and hours of greulling research and stress, Tyler came to the conclusion that Hong Kong was going to be our best option for obtaining Chinese Visa's. Usually you're required to provide exit flight info and reservations for accomodation during your stay; neither of which we could show since we are leaving China by bus to Vietnam and have no clue where we will be staying along the way. Originally we wanted to use a visa agent that has plenty of recomendations online, but it turns out our hostel was able to get us a visa hassle free. While our time was very limited in the city, we saw enough to realize how well run Chinese cities really are (we are going to consider Hong Kong part of China for our blog, there ... read more
HK harbour at night2
Hong Kong harbour

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra September 4th 2012

We spent the first two months of our trip travelling through Indonesia. Neither of us really knew what we were getting into. Not only had we dropped our lives to see Asia together but suddenly we were in a foreign country full of mosques and a culture very different from our own. This blog is going to summarize our experiences and our perspective of the many surprises we came across. Indonesia is immensely different from Canada, so while most of the surprises will hold a place in our hearts forever, some of them we could have done without. After almost three days of flying (with a stop in Singapore for a real bed), we arrived in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia. Yogya (pronounced Jogja) was a perfect place to start – big city, some english, lots of true ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba September 4th 2012

Danau Toba Part II This blog is being written on a train to Beijing so bear with us while we figure out where we left off. Pretty sure we told you about our motorcycle trip to the north end of the island so we can pick up after that... After seeing the north end of the island, we had yet another “nothing” day. That means we sat on our porch reading, taking regular swim breaks and not going much farther than our guesthouse or Joe's (a nearby restaurant with killer Chicken ala Batak) for food. With so much time left, we decided we wanted to see more of the island so we rented a motorbike the following day and headed south. Our map had a barely legible written arrow that said “views” so we wanted to ... read more
Tuak Shack
Cleaning Fish
Tyler Riding South

Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon September 2nd 2012

Hi everyone! I just wanted to write a little blog to let you know that we arrived safely in China. Of course the travel "day" was a bit stressful but everything worked out! We left Samosir Island at 1pm Saturday, got to Medan around 7pm and our flight ended up leaving a bit early around 9pm. We got to Kuala Lumpur about 11pm Saturday night and had a loooooong layover... 8 hours to be almost exact. The KL airport has awesome shops and restaurants, but very little space to hang out for long layover people like us. So we had to make do - We laid out my yoga mat and curled up in a corner. I doubt either of us got much more than 2 hours sleep before our flight but we arrived in Hong ... read more

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