Page 4 of Chris and Lisa Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu November 3rd 2010

Right, onto Chengdu with the sole purpose of meeting a very cuddly native of China, no not Jackie Chan, the Giant Panda. Chengdu, the provincial capital of eastern Sichuan, was originally a printing centre and its claim to fame is that it was the first place to produce paper money. Today there is a lot of evidence that its love of paper money has gone from strength to strength if the shops and the general affluence of its citizens are anything to go by. On arrival in Chengdu the first thing we noticed was the weather - warmish, well enough that we could pack our woolly hats and gloves away at last - hurrah. The second thing we noticed was that we were definitely underdressed for our 5 star hotel - the Minsham. Even though we ... read more
Panda Brekkie
Teen Pandas

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an October 30th 2010

Yep, it was still here when we landed. Xi’an is the capital of the Shaanxi province and a city of about 6 million although there is a very distinct cultural centre contained within the city walls as opposed to outside where it’s one of China’s manufacturing heartlands. We got here quite late so had didn’t really take too much in when we got to the Hostel, the Han Tang Inn which is probably one of the best hostels that we’ve stayed in anywhere. In fact we would recommend hostels over hotels for anyone travelling in China, they’ve all been really good but the Han Tang is excellent, although it is placed innocuously down a grubby little road. A nice communal area, cheap beer, good breakfast and menu, nice clean rooms, brilliantly helpful staff and there’s even ... read more
This was our sunny day!
Head Man
The Archer

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde October 28th 2010

This is not going to be a very long blog because a lot of the trip involves endless waits in airports or train stations and while we can wax lyrical about the beauty of a named 47 that would be admitting to a very geeky youth. So we booked a couple of ‘soft seats’ to Chengde. Obviously when I say soft I mean in the same way as laying on a pile of bricks is ‘soft’ or ‘soft’ as in iron is softer than diamond. The 4 hour journey was in aid of a visit to the Summer Palace; the places that countless Emperors and Empresses went to escape the heat of Beijing. Had we thought about it this meant that it was cooler than Beijing and, as Beijing was hovering just above freezing, urmm, this ... read more
Wrapped Up
Sex Temple
Sledgehammer Rock

Asia » China » Beijing October 26th 2010

Wrapped and ready we decided to keep the royal theme going and we headed off to see where the emperors spent their summer holidays; namely the Summer Palace or Yiheyuan. It is situated a little further out of Beijing but it was really easy to get there on the metro, which incidentally has been very easy to use and unbelievably cheap, even if it meant negotiating the thousands of locals who aggressively push their way on and off the trains every day. (We read on someone else’s blog describing the Chinese attitude to queuing as “aggressive queuing” and that really is how it is). We paid a bit extra for tickets to make sure that we could go into all the areas of the Summer Palace, and it was well worth it. The palace complex is ... read more
The Emperors Gaff
Big Doors
The wall

Asia » China » Beijing October 23rd 2010

The first class train ride to Beijing took about 10 hours, but turned out to be reasonably comfortable. At one point we were zipping along at the snail pace speed of 167 km/hr and we were briskly overtaken by one of the bullet trains, by the time I had turned to Chris to point out the white blur it was already gone. Even though it would have been really good fun to take the fast train, and obviously a lot faster, it would have been a shame to miss the scenery. Well, we arrived in Beijing - OMG - how flippin’ cold is it here. But of course because we arrived in the evening it would only be cold during the night - stands to reason!!!! Our chosen hostel for our stay here was the Red ... read more
Watch out Behind
A sign of things to come
Poshest Starbucks ever

Asia » China » Shanghai October 19th 2010

The following day was day trip 2, an early start this time as we were headed out to the City of Hangzhou, wrapped around Lake Xi Hu, a place where no lesser person that Marco Polo commented “A voyage on this lake offers more refreshment and pleasure than any other experience on Earth”, some accolade even on the understanding that he said it before a night on the Guinness was possible. Unfortunately for us, and in keeping with the weather so far this trip, it tipped down for most of the day. The rain, the low cloud and the mist denied us the chance to truly understand why this is one of the most popular destinations in China. Weather apart, we hopped on a bus (10p) and went to visit our first monastery, and yes Matthew ... read more
Still Scary
Mystical Temple in the Clouds
Another Big Buddha

Asia » China » Shanghai October 18th 2010

Well here we are at last, mainland China. Wow. I guess this shows just how much the world has changed in the last few years. As we mentioned, getting out of Hong Kong to anywhere is expensive, almost the same to fly the few hundred miles to the mainland as our return ticket to the other side of the world cost. Being intrepid (and often deluded) travelling types we decided that a train a few hours north to Guangzhou (used to be Canton) and then flying from there wouldn’t be that difficult - doh. First, there was fighting with the various Chinese Airlines’ websites (5 frustrating hours to get the right ticket) and then there is the language. This is a country remember where the people eat with sticks, and write in pictures. The train journey ... read more
Chinas Blooming
The Little Apple
Round the Bund

Asia » Hong Kong October 10th 2010

Phewey we’ve made it and phewey the rucksacks seem heavy. They are not actually much heavier than the last trip, but after months of not having them attached to our backs it seems strange to don them again. Anyway, our train to London, tickets having been purchased on megatrain at the billy bargain price of £13 for the both of us, was the beginning of our adventure. Although we ended up at Heathrow considerably earlier than we would normally it seemed a small price to pay for getting tickets so cheaply. Surprisingly we found a stowaway on the train, which turned out to be none other than Matthew’s first ever teddy bear, so we agreed that Sir TEDmund Hillary could come with us on our trip as long as he kept in regular touch with Matthew ... read more
Just like New York
The light fantastic
Colonial Reminder

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Dorset September 28th 2010

Let’s hope the sequel is just as good as the original, because as we all know sometimes in films this just isn’t the case - the Rocky movies spring to mind here (except for Rocky III which is considered by some to be the best, but it is open to debate)! Well here we are just one day before we embark on the second leg of our “gap year” and, as the weather is starting to get cooler at home, the warmer climate of Asia is beckoning us. Obviously we use the term “gap year” loosely as, firstly, that implies we are youngsters off on our world tour before we begin the serious business of studies or a career (obviously not true despite Chris’s delusions) and, secondly, we intend to string it out for as long ... read more

Asia » India » National Capital Territory » New Delhi June 29th 2010

Well, we landed in Delhi with much anticipation, looking forward to what was now going to be a very truncated trip to India. For those of you that don’t know, probably by the time you read this we will be home. We have decided that Asia is just too big and, at the moment, too flippin hot to continue on so we decided to cut short this first part of our adventure and return home for the glorious English summer before heading back out next winter to try to see some of the wonderful places we have missed. It is also true that, and surprisingly for Chris, we have really missed our family and friends at home. Unfortunately due to a family bereavement we have had to chop our stay in India down even further, but ... read more
Jantar Mantar

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