John McIntyre


John McIntyre


Asia » China » Shanghai October 15th 2010

Today we got out of Shanghai on the fast train (330km/hr) and in 25 minutes we were in Suzhou. Apparently a very important place historically and very well known for it's beautiful gardens and canals. It certainly had both but the amount of construction and smog, like most places in China was a real pity. We bought a map off some cool out duck and took a taxi to some temples and gardens. There we found the coolest building. It was an octagonal pagoda about six storeys high with the biggest bell I have ever seen. It was probably 8 metres tall and covered in Chinese text and you rang it by swinging a battering ram against it - very cool. We then wandered around to an island with some cool bridges, boat and buildings and ... read more
boats on a river
tiger pagoda

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an October 10th 2010

It was raining heavily all day so we shelved our plans to look at temples and palaces and hit up some shopping centres. I think China must have the most shops of anywhere in the world. Within a few hundred metres of our hotel there are at least 5 huge shopping centres and all the streets are lined with small to medium shops - it's a girls paradise ! It seems to be what Chinese people do for fun ! We went to the movies ans saw a new Donnie Yen movie "the legend of the fist", the action was great and the story was ok and it was suprisingly easy to follow the story even without subtitles. We also went to the arcade and tried to play games, unfortunately half the consoles kept stuffing up, ... read more
basketball court

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an October 9th 2010

The last few days have been down time in Xian, which has been great. Xian is an awesome city with heaps of character and things to see. Of course we went and saw the terracotta warriors - amazing ! rode bikes around the city wall - Great ! Some of the most fun stuff is just dealing with ordinary people. They really get a kick out of dealing with you, especially when you surprise them by speaking mandarin (not that I can do much more than the basics). ... read more
fireworks contractor
hotel hooker

Asia » China » Henan » Song Shan October 6th 2010

Today we drove to Song Shan mountain which is where, among other things there is the famous Shaolin Temple. I think this is a or the birth place of Kung Fu but I'm not sure. This site is highly commercialised by Chinese standards but it is so touristy that it is hard to find out what the real story here is. There are certainly many schools around the area where parents send their children to study with Kung Fu as extra classes. There are a whole heap of temples and mini pagodas (that were destroyed in the cultural revolotion, and rebuilt recently) and stack of people selling crap ! Don't get me wrong it was interesting but it kind of felt Disney-fied. There was a really cool Pagoda that is the oldest in China, but the ... read more
jack pole dancing

Asia » China » Henan » Anyang October 5th 2010

Another early start and we off to wedding 2.0. Todays proceedings were far less formal with a huge meal, no speeches and a massive load of fireworks (awesome). Theluch must have had over 400 people and you should have seen the mess on the floor afterwards. The food was really good, in fact it seems to be getting better and better but there is just far to much !!!Two Chinese guys were sitting with us Mr kattle and english teacher and Mr Yeu a worker at the Train yards. They were both really cool and made us feel very welcome. There were the usual stares and hello, how do you do's which is very funny - you feel like a rock star over here. After lunch we went and checked out the markets near our hotel, ... read more
mike and the mini bike
photos with the locals

Asia » China » Henan » Anyang October 4th 2010

Today we said goodbye to Beijing and headed via train to the city of Anyang in Henan Province. The train station was sooo busy - like everything in Beijing. The train was good and without incident, except Jack wanted to punch some chinese wanker who was getting impatient with @#!* foreigners, apparently ! - we weren't worried he was some little squirt, we are all twice his size and we have two judo instructors with us. ot very nice. I don't think they get many foreigners in Anyang as people were really suprised, curious and super friendly to us (small city ?). We went and had another banquet / feast, had a lie down in out 4 star (ha ha) hotel then went to a historical museum. Anyand was one of three capitals during the Shang ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing October 3rd 2010

Today I got to go to my second chinese wedding, GAME OVER for Jack ! It was really great and a bit different from my previous weedi8ng experience. It started with the grooms party (including michael and I) going to the brides hotel room and bashing on the door demanding to be let in, we pass money under the door and they tease us and make us yell, scream and beg to let us in. This they eventually do and we have to find the brides shoes which are hidden in the room. It's all a bit of fun and everyone laughs and enjoys the tradition but it's a bit weird to think how this tradition came about - hmm. We all jump into a huge procession of Audis and head off to jacks fathers house ... read more
the happy couple

Asia » China » Beijing October 2nd 2010

POSTS A pub nearby was televising the AFL Grand Finals with a huge feed and drinks included so we decided to do the homesick ex-pat thing and go along. I wasn't really homesick but I thought it would be an interesting experience. It was pretty cool actually, Michael won two cases of VB, Collingwood thrashed the Saints and we had a good Aussie feed HOOPS Michael and I left after the half to go and shoot some hoops at a court near our hotel. It was a beautiful day with no smog and a nice breeze and the court was packed. After shooting around on the wacky practice rings some guiys invited us to some rotating 3 on 3 then 4 on 4. It was really fun and we played for about two hours. There were ... read more
at the park
olympic park

Asia » China » Beijing October 1st 2010

Today we headed out to do some shopping and see the city without our guide Jack. Today is the first day of National Holidays, a 7 day public holiday. The streets and subways were filled with even more people than usual but it's all just part of the fun. We went into Wangfujing shopping area and again Michael and I were approached by some girls wanting to chat in english and have a coffee. It seemed a bit sus so we declined. I have looked this up on google and I think it was a scam called the Beijing tea Scam, where they get you to a restaurant, order heaps at an extremely overpriced rate and muscle you up to pay. Even worse is the 'we don't have your size scam" - nothing sinister involved here ... read more
lama temple

Asia » China » Beijing » Great Wall of China September 30th 2010

Today we jumped in the van and braved the Beijing traffic to get out of the city to climb the Great Wall "Chang Cheng" The traffic actually was ok as we were leaving the city but we still spent ages trying to find a spot thanks to a crazy gps, boulders on the road we had to get out and move by hand and many many u turn ( but awesome job driver jack) We stopped at a small village where Jack and I climbed last year. We bought some water, food and fireworks which we set off. Jack bought 24 bungers in a launcher for about $3 au which were huge and he shot up in the sky, then we threw throw downs at each other till our supplies ran out - what a cool ... read more
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