Page 7 of lmh Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Yunnan » Baishui Tai January 29th 2013

After breakfast with Glynnis and Seamus in Shangri La we said our farewells to them and caught a taxi (10 yuan)to the bus station where we purchased bus tickets (cheap 24 yuan each). I think there were only two buses a day and ours didn't leave until 2.30 that afternoon. As it was only 10.30 in the morning and having no desire to spend the next four hours at the grimy bus station we reloaded our bags back into another taxi and went back to the old town to fill in the time. After leaving our bags at the hotel we spent the time checking out the shops and people watching in the square. The time soon passed and we were on our way to Baishui Tai having no idea of really what to expect. It ... read more
Leaving Shangri La - icy streams
Women in a village near where we stayed
Jerry enjoying a patch of sun at the guest house

Asia » China January 27th 2013

Up early in Shaxi as we had a hired mini bus (50 yuan couple) waiting to take us to Janchaun to catch a connecting bus to Shangri La. We nearly didn't make it to the waiting taxi on time as we found that we were locked in our courtyard hotel and after getting no response from the owners after banging on their door managed to find a lesser outside door unlocked - all this done by the light of a head torch as it was still dark and very cold! Glynnis and Seamus were waiting and the taxi left as soon as we boarded for the 45 minutes to Jinchaun. Soon we were all aboard a small bus and off to Shangri La (still known by it's original name of Zhongdian) which is situated on a ... read more
House decoration
Monastery wall
Monastery door

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shaxi January 24th 2013

Our bus trip (33 yuan each) from Dali was eventful. We passed by many weddings - at one stage the bride and groom tried to catch the bus but we were already over loaded. Another wedding we passed had a rather inebriated groom, half undressed staggering down the road, surrounded by other drunken men and trailed by his poor bride and her friends. The sad part was that they were all very young. We came close to having a collision - the bus braked suddenly and we were all thrown violently forward. We felt very vulnerable for the rest of the trip whenever we came close to other vehicles. The last bit of excitement was a drunk or drugged man, covered in blood, standing in the middle of the road attacking vehicles as they went past. ... read more
Another view of the theatre
Statue at Shibaoshan Mountain
The peaceful village square

Asia » China » Yunnan » Dali January 20th 2013

Leaving Weishan by minibus (23 Yunnan each), we arrived on the outskirts of Xiaguan (new city, 18 kilometres south of the old Dali) an hour later. We passed many small workshops making the stone pieces for use as tomb entrances. It would have been a major task carrying the twenty or so pieces of grey stone to where ever they were needed as they looked extremely heavy! The bus dropped us off on the highway at the edge of the city where we caught a moto taxi (5 yuan) to the train station where we knew we would be able to find transport to Dali. You feel quite vulnerable in those tiny little motorbike taxi amidst the traffic, particularly when surrounded by larger buses on both sides! We were really shocked at how the city had ... read more
Crammed into the tuktuk
Food display outside restaurant
Fisherman on Er Hai Lake

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

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