Page 2 of TravellingFlossy Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 22nd 2011

I woke up with a mixture of excitement and nervous today about going to the orphanage. Having spent time in the Children's Home in South Africa I was worried that I had a basis for comparison that would hinder my time in this orphanage. However I need not have worried. We drove the 40 minutes to the orphanage and were greeted by some very kind nanny's in a very nice state run childrens home in a very deprived part of town. The kids were amazing, they are all under 3 years old and most of them are sick, either with some kind of facial deformaty or with another health defect. The place was stunning, a really nice home for the kids and they were all very well looked after with many nanny's to take care of ... read more

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 21st 2011

We contemplated not going back to the sanctuary today, however we felt we had made a comitment that we must see through and besides it was only one more day after all. Some of us went back, not all of us wanted to so it was a little quieter than when there is the whole group of us. We spent the day either sitting around waiting to be told what to do, and when we were working it was either weeding or feeding the pandas. We didn't mind the weeding, although it was hard work as it was pulling up vegtable patches and lots of bamboo sticks it was better than doing nothing and it was nice to be doing some manual work outdoors (athough it is still raining!). Today was sightly better than yesterday but ... read more

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 20th 2011

Today thankfully we were all on time to begin the day of volunteering and we set off ready for our day at the panda sanctuary which is in the foothills of the Qingling mountains. The drive took about an hour and a half and when we got to the panda place we were pretty disappointed. The place was incredibly run down, moreso than is usual for Asia and the place had a feeling of deprivation and abandonment. There was no real structure in our day, we were briefly shown around in the morning to see some of the other animals they had there, they had golden monkeys, a snow leaopard, black bears and vultures, and all of them lived in small enclosures that were completely shocking to see. We met a Kiwi who was working at ... read more

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 19th 2011

After waiting in the bus for half an hour for a few late arrivals after the kareoke night we headed to one of the most significant archeological sites of the 20th century, the Terracotta Warriors. It was about 2 hours outside of the city and the site was amazing, the site of the warriors was found by farmers who were digging a well on day in the 80's on their land, and they came across these pieces of pottery and some warrior heads. The site has still not been fully excavated but it is thought that there are tens of thousands of these warriors still buried under the earth. The ones that have been excavated are truly remarkable and it is incredible to see them all in rows, with all different features and positions. There are ... read more

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 18th 2011

Up and out early and we were heading for the city the rain! The weather reports had been right and the temperature has massively dropped and the rain has come. However this has not ridded the air of the smog and it is still hard to see very far in the distance in this smoggy country! We also had to let Yilera know our decision this morning and there are 6 of us that have decided to split from the tour and head to the Yangzte river on our own. So Liz, CJ, Emily, Holly, Tabitha and I are all heading together to the river on our own. We have all got really close and are sharing a room together here and we all really wanted to go and its nice that we can stick ... read more
Karaoke Night

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 17th 2011

We were up and over to building 6 early to throw in some washing and speak with the main co-ordinator of the programme before our orientation. Her name is Yilera and she is incredibly tall for an Asian woman, she towers over me and has an air of authority about her and I was instantly worried that we would get nowhere negotiating our problems and issues with her. After a fruitless hour 'chat' with Yilera we hadn't resloved much at all, as there were 15 of us all trying to get our point across and it wasn't going to well. In the end we gave up and decided to talk to her individually at a later point. We had our orientaion and were given all the information we would need for our time in Xi'an and ... read more

Asia » China » Henan » Luoyang August 16th 2011

We were ushered out of the hostel very early thank god, however we were hearded into KFC for breakfast, something we were not expecting and not particularly happy with, especially as one of the boys on tour is a coeliac and a diabetic meaning that a KFC breakfast was not great for him. After a sprite for breakfast and many miserable faces, we headed on our trip for the day which was to the Longmen Grottos, which are huge caves in the sides of the mountains right by a river. It was a lovely place with hundreds of caves carved into rock with huge buddha statues carved into the rock face. It was an impressive sight especially as it has not been restored and is claimed to be thousands of years old. Our visit concentrated on ... read more

Asia » China » Henan » Zhengzhou August 15th 2011

Kung Fu day!! Today we were up again bright and early and leaving behind the city of Zhengzhou to head to the Shaolin Temple. The bus led us up the winding roads of the mountains towards the Temple and the views from this high were stunning. There was still a hint of smog this far out from the cities, however not as bad as the inner cities have been. It is also still incredibly hot and every time we leave the air con buses or rooms we are immediately dripping in sweat. We all piled out of the bus at the Temple, all very excited and eager to learn kung fu. We were lead into the Shaolin Temple grounds to be met with a host of school aged children learning all different types of Kung Fu, ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong August 14th 2011

We were up and ready for a 7am start after an almost full English breakfast in the hostel. We boarded the train from Taishan and an apparent 6 hour train journey ended up taking nearly 8 hours! Luckily for us, we managed to get chatting to a Chinese guy who after spending 3 hours trying to speak broken English suddenly pulled out a pen and paper and began to communicate with us in writing! It was really cool to speak with him and he told us so much about his life and we really learnt a lot from him about China and the local culture. We also found out it was his birthday today, however he explained that in China at his age (he was 22) birthdays aren't really celebrated until you are much older as ... read more

Asia » China » Qufu August 13th 2011

So after a terrible nights sleep on the train we eventually arrived at Taishan, a smaller city around 7 hours from Beijing. We were all pretty tired, some of us having slept worse than others due to an awful snoring man in a bunk opposite, and we were all looking forward to getting off of the train and freshened up, me especially as I had not slept much at all, I was on the top bunk and felt very claustrophobic and every time the train jolted I thought we were having a train crash which kept me up and scared all night! We were taken straight to breakfast from the station by a lovely little guide called Selly who was a sweet and kind Chinese lady who was really good to us the whole day. After ... read more

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