Page 5 of lmh Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Yunnan » Xiding March 7th 2013

We met our driver, Mr Jong, in the dark at 7am outside our hotel. We were going to Xiding Markets, a two and half hours drive away thus requiring an early start. Markets are always busiest earlier - by lunchtime often traders are starting to close down stalls and people are heading off for the long haul home. Xiding market, held every Thursday, is one of the largest in the province. As the sky lightened we were aware of workers, hoes over their shoulders, heading into the fields. It was very foggy but as the sun rose higher the fog began to lift. The road was lined with large flat rice paddy fields - the workers were in the process of clearing the fields of the previous seasons rice harvest waste. Eventually we started climbing into ... read more
Smiles from Xiding market
Monk's class room - temple verandah, Jingzhen Pavilion
Xiding market

Asia » China » Yunnan » Jinghong March 4th 2013

Bus trips in China are often confusing - the bus stations move, drivers tend to drop their passengers outside of the terminals (often streets away) or you end up at a totally different bus station than the one that your guide book mentioned. And that is after you have had the challenge of actually purchasing the ticket! That is Jerry's job - I'm more than content to look after the luggage whilst he battles the queues and language difficulties. Upon our arrival in the busy traffic of Chengdu two and half hours later our bus stopped and everybody got off - it was not the bus station we had left from previously and should have returned to but a city street. We had no idea where we were... After being deserted by all the other passengers ... read more
The view when we opened our curtains first morning in Jinghong
It was hot.....
Heat induced snooze...

Asia » China » Sichuan » Emei Shan March 2nd 2013

The holy mountain of Emei Shan is a sacred site, and has been for the last two thousand years, of the Buddhist people. Though it was originally a Taoist retreat in the sixth century a famous Buddhist pilgrim, who was accompanied by a six tusked elephant, visited the mountain where after all the Taoist temples were converted to Buddhism. Today it is also a very popular tourist destination as the mountain is situated in a very picturesque area. For many years the mountain has been a magnet for western tourists, and more recently young Chinese backpackers, who choose to take the long and very difficult trek to the summit. And it is a gruelling trek - the long route up sixty kilometres of steps whilst the short route is a mere forty kilometres of steps! Emei ... read more
The monks rushed up to us with their cameras and wanted to take our photos!
Burning candles before they circuited the Golden Summit
Jerry after spreading David's ashes.

Asia » China » Sichuan » Leshan March 1st 2013

We spent ages in a traffic jam in our taxi (15 yuan) as we headed to the bus station enroute to Baoguo, the small town at the foot of Emei Shan. If we had only realised that we were two minutes walk from the bus station we would have deserted the taxi and arrived there twenty minutes earlier... The bus station, unusually situated very close to the main city centre, was as crazy as the traffic outside. No wonder the taxi had trouble getting to the station - dozens of buses were lined up outside trying to get in to or leave the area. I'm surprised the taxi driver didn't try for a better fare when we told him we wanted to go there... We were pleased to be leaving the chaos of Chengdu for what ... read more
Incense and oil burners

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu February 24th 2013

We didn't get lost in the maze of airport construction in Guiyang and after an hour of flying we arrived at Chengdu airport. Chengdu, the capitol of Sichuan Province, with a population of over 14 million, is the fourth largest city in China and the size of the airport alone was astounding. It was enormous - we arrived at gate 65 but there were signs pointing to gate 135! We had trouble finding the shuttle bus into the city because what we thought were actually local buses - there were many routes shown on the signboard - was actually the shuttle buses we had been looking for. I had prebooked a hotel months before so we caught the shuttle (10 yuan each) which went closest to it and then a taxi from there to the hotel. ... read more
Tibetan family
Large silk lanterns and reflections
Shadow puppet in museum - made from buffalo hide

Asia » China » Guizhou » Kaili February 23rd 2013

Day 4 Kaili Our final day out with Mr Wee was to be shorter then the previous two - mainly because we had to travel two hours by local bus late that afternoon to the capitol city of Guizhou Province, Guiyang, in order to overnight there as we had a very early flight from Guiyang to Chengdu the next day. Our first stop was in the village of Matang, home to the minority group the Geija, famed for their bright orange embroideries and fine batik prints. The Chinese Government consider the Geija people part of the Miao culture - they however consider themselves to be an independent minority and are fighting to be recognised as a separate and culturally rich group. The village was similar to most that we had visited as in the houses were ... read more
Traditional headwear from Matang
Fine batiks from the village of Matang
Window in house in Matang

Asia » China » Guizhou » Kaili February 22nd 2013

Day Three in Kaili. On our third day out with Mr Wee we were heading to the Shidong markets, one of the largest markets in the Kaili region. The market is held in a small riverside town on the riverside shingle, under the span of the long bridge. We left early and an hour later we arrived in the traffic jam of minibuses and motorbikes around Shidong. As we were getting closer to the town we stopped to watch a wedding party. Again all the men were waiting outside a group of houses, the yard full of low round tables covered with the soon to be consumed feast. The bride and all the female members of her family were walking down the road towards the group of men. That day all the women, including the bride, ... read more
Traditional indigo embroidered tunic
Yet another costume
Countryside on the way to Shidong

Asia » China » Guizhou » Kaili February 21st 2013

Day 2 in Kaili It had rained heavily during the night but day two of our trip around the Kaili dawned clear but it was very cold as we headed out to meet Mr Wee. Today we were driving to the remote village of Fanpai - over two hours drive from Kaili. For the first forty minutes or so we were never far away from the huge highway towering above us until eventually we moved further inland passing tiny villages tucked into valleys before we stopped in a very muddy street in a small town full of newly built cement block, white tile covered buildings where Mr Wee suggested that we stocked up on something for lunch as there would be no food available in Fanpai. Thankfully we had already done so the previous evening as ... read more
Lovely face
Wedding party
Terraces on the drive to Fanpai

Asia » China February 19th 2013

The bus station in Congjiang was conveniently across the road from our hotel so, for once, moving onto our next destination was a breeze. Jerry had purchased express bus tickets to Kaili the previous day so we didn't even have to brave the queue at the ticket counter when we left. However once on the bus things got a little nasty as the bus had been overbooked somehow and when some people were asked to leave tempers flared quickly and there was a lot of shouting and finger stabbing going on. At one stage half of the seated passengers joined in - the Chinese people don't loose their cool easily but when they do it's not pleasant to around! Eventually we did leave - our last view of the irate passengers was them being handed wads ... read more
Housewife in Qingman
Serious stuff
Family shrine 1

Asia » China » Guizhou » Basha February 18th 2013

Leaving Zhoaxing was as challenging as arriving in the village. We had checked with the hotel owner re a bus onwards to Congjiang and he advised us that one left every morning at 7.30 and we just needed to hale it as it drove past. When we went to leave the hotel next morning we had to wake the owner who in his fetching fluffy dressing-gown and slippers unlocked not one, but two, doors to let us out. In most hotels in Asia you are locked in at night - something we try not to think about as it is a hazard re fires. He locked up behind us and presumably went back to bed. Usually there is somebody sleeping on a couch right beside the door, but not always. We were greeted on the street ... read more
Choose your ingredients..
The sun was shining - shoe washing day...
Baby holder

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