Page 7 of lmh Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Yunnan » Weishan January 19th 2013

After reading the guide books we decided that Weishan sounded an interesting town to spend twenty four hours in and as it was enroute (albeit a different road) to Dali, the next spot on our itinerary, we decided to head there. Or at least we thought that by buying a ticket on a bus with destination 'Weishan' on the front would be a direct bus but three and half hours later the bus skirted the outskirts of Xiaguan (new city of Dali) before turning back and heading a further hour and half to Weishan. Upon arrival at the bus station on the edge of the new town and after catching a moto rickshaw (4 yuan) to a hotel in the old town we were pleasantly surprised to see that the town actually matched the guide book ... read more
Near our hotel in Weishan
Through the arch
City gate at night

Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming January 16th 2013

We had only planned to spend a short time in Kunming - mainly to visit the Stone Forrest nearby - before moving on but unfortunately I began to feel unwell and we had to stay longer. It is the capital city of Yunnan province and has a population of over seven million people. Enormous by Australian standards but average by Chinese figures. Kunming has developed rapidly in recent years under China's modernisation plan and that was very obvious to us as we had previously visited the city in mid 2005. To try and counteract traffic issues in large Chinese cities all the bus terminals are now situated on the edges of them eg traffic coming in from the west goes to the Western Terminals and so on. The bus from Jianshui took 3 hours and cost ... read more
The Stone Forrest
Kite flying in Cuihu Park
Linny flying a kite at Cuihu Park

Asia » China » Yunnan » Jianshui January 14th 2013

We left the terraces the same one we had arrived - dragging our cases through the heavy fog along the slippery paths and over the haystack in the car park to the waiting taxi. Costs this time were shared with another couple however. Our driver (the same one we had used for our market trip) left us with a hug at the bus station in Nansha where we purchased a ticket (60yuan) to Jianshui, 5 hours away. Another long day of travelling (with the over two hours just to arrive at the bus station in Nansha added on) saw us arrive in Jianshui late in the afternoon. The city was once a key trading point during the Qing dynasty and has now developed into a low key tourist town for the Chinese. The old town is ... read more
Shop front
Street scape

Asia » China » Yunnan » Yuanyang January 11th 2013

We had a long day as we left Vietnam and headed across the border into China where we were to spend a few days in the highlands amidst the rice terraces at Yuanyang. This area covers 2200 square kilometres and despite its astounding beauty, due to it's distant location, the region has not opened to mass tourism as yet. One crop of rice is grown a year and after the harvest in September the terraces are filled with water until planting in April. Most of the women in the region still wear their colourful traditional dress and the terraces were first cultivated over 1300 hundred years ago. It was an hour by minibus from Sapa to the border town of LaoCai where our driver dropped us off at immigration. No problem there and we were soon ... read more
Duoyishu, the village we stayed in
And again...
The view from our bedroom window at Jacky's guesthouse

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai January 9th 2013

We caught the overnight train (ET Pumpkin $35 each 4 berth soft sleeper) from Hanoi to Sapa. The train was comfortable enough though it was obvious that the advertising photo was out of date! Our fellow cabin mates were two lovely German women, both older than us, who had some wonderful tales of travel to share. The train was an express therefore didn't stop very often and we arrived on time in Lao Cai at 5.30am. It was dark and very cold and we were feeling slightly hungover from lack of sleep. The train got very hot and stuffy during the night and it's movement was jerky enough to prevent a good nights sleep. Most of the tourists on board had transport up to Sapa prearranged but Jerry and I boarded one of the waiting mini ... read more
BBQ buffet
BBQ for lunch
View! What view?

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi January 6th 2013

Back in Hanoi after three years to find that the city hasn't changed too much in that time - though the coloured lights bordering Hoan Kiem Lake are new additions to the colour of the city which I'm sure weren't there before! The mayhem of motorbikes, cars and pedestrians crowding the narrow streets of the old town is as crazy as ever - maybe even more so.... It was a challenge navigating the major intersections to cross the street. You can only cross your fingers and walk out into the traffic hoping it all manages to manoeuvre around instead of over you. However our first challenge was finding the mini bus to take us from the airport to our hotel. Approached by taxi drivers offering fares of $30+ for the trip (and knowing Hanoi has a ... read more
Lunch time
Sign outside hospital

Asia » Singapore January 5th 2013

We left Australia on our Emirates flight at 2.30 in the morning! It had already been a very long day. The flight took seven and a half hours and upon our arrival in Singapore (our second visit - the previous being 12 years before) we cleared the formalities in only a few minutes - pretty normal for the well organised Changi Airport. Though planning on catching the MRT the city our plans were thwarted by having no coins to feed the ticketing machine so we paid $9 each and caught the shuttle instead. Next time we'll be armed with the necessary coins or smaller denomination notes. We had booked accommodation at the Ibis on Bencoollen and it proved to be a great choice - immaculately clean though compact rooms and with a central location. And for ... read more
Beaded tablecloth
Bowl in the traditional Peranakan colours of pink and aqua.
Furniture detail

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago August 12th 2011

Our trip was sadly drawing to an end. We had been travelling for five and half months, and with only a fortnight left in South America before returning home, our holiday budget purse was almost empty! In fact we knew we would be raiding our savings just to get through the next two weeks. We were very excited though to be flying over the Andes to Santiago in Chile and were glad to board our flight after waiting for over three hours at the airport in Montevideo. However half an hour into the flight we wished that we were still on solid ground as the plane flew through a fierce thunderstorm. We were surrounded by flashes of lightning,the plane was bouncing around badly and we could hear ice crashing onto the skin of the plane. It ... read more
We decided to 'follow the road' from our  plane seats....
Stunning view from the plane

We arrived in the capital city of Uruguay, Montevideo, after a two hour bus trip travelling through flat unexciting scenery. Montevideo was founded in 1724 as a port city on the banks of the wide Rio de la Plata. Buenos Aries is on the opposite bank of the river. A taxi took us to our pre booked hotel, the Palacio, conveniently situated in an historical building very close to the main plaza in the old city(ciudad Vieja). We had a comfortable room reached by a lovely old fashioned brass cage lift. After settling in we left the hotel to explore. We were to discover the central city area was compact and very easy to explore on foot. The streets were lined with grand neo-classical buildings in various stages of decay. As it was Sunday the streets ... read more
Number plates...
The impressive Palacio Salvo, once the tallest building in South America.
The old reflected in the new

South America » Uruguay » West » Colonia del Sacramento August 4th 2011

A one hour ferry trip took us to the historic town of Colonia Del Sacramento, founded by the Portuguese in 1680 to smuggle contraband across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aries (which is on the opposite side of the river) into Uruguay. Today it is very much a tourist spot though we were visiting off season and the streets were near deserted on our arrival. Leaving the large terminal we eventually found a hotel on the edge of the old town - it was not a cheap place to stay - and the hotels within the historic area were double the price, despite the season. We only spent two nights in the town though we had planned to stay Saturday evening as well but the hotels prices increased again for the weekend! It was ... read more
Happy face!
Lighthouse and convent ruins of the 17th century Convent of San Francisco
Rio de la Plata

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