Page 3 of looking for my zihuatanejo Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Sichuan » Emei Shan October 13th 2009

Day 469: Sunday 11th October - Over the border into Sichuan We arrive in Chongqing at 3am. I know because the ship sounds its horn, collides into the dock with some force and there is a lot of shouting outside. I go back to sleep and wake up at 6am as we have to get off the boat at 6:30am. Riley is staying in Chongqing for a few days but I can find nothing of interest in my travel literature which could persuade me to do the same. It sounds like just another drab Chinese city, and in my brief time there it looks as it sounds. It is famous for its hotpot but I’m sure I can try that in neighbouring Sichuan province. It is also incorrectly quoted in some sources as being the largest ... read more
1. Jin at the start of the climb on Emei Shan
8. A foggy first day on Emei Shan
10. Clouds rolling in over Emei Shan

Asia » China » Hubei » Three Gorges Dam October 11th 2009

Day 465: Wednesday 7th October - A journey with an uncertain ending I don’t know why I do it to myself but if I’m honest journeys like this are actually one of the fun things about backpacking in a strange way. What am I talking about? Well a journey where you have a destination in mind but don’t know if you will be able to reach it and one where you have no accommodation pre-booked. I’m sure 99% of the population would consider what I’m doing today a definite ‘no way I’m doing that’ but I belong to the 1% of crazy people. I have a bus ticket to get to Wuhan, which lies on the Yangtze River and is the capital of Hubei province. The bus leaves Tunxi at just before 8am. I get a ... read more
1. Three Gorges Dam, near Yichang
2. A model of The Three Gorges Dam as the pictures don't show it too clearly!!
3. Three Gorges Dam, near Yichang

Asia » China » Anhui » Huangshan October 6th 2009

Day 463: Monday 5th October - Another day, another province Not too much to say about today. My bus leaves Hangzhou for Tunxi in neighbouring Anhui province at 11:20am. This should give me plenty of time to get up and get ready at my own pace. However, I was of course forgetting that this is China and the bus station is over 10 kilometres from my hostel! The verdict on reception is that a bus would take an hour to do the journey due to it being busy because of the holiday period so I opt for a taxi instead as I don’t have much more than an hour by the time I check out. It takes about three and a half hours from Hangzhou to Tunxi which is the city closest to Huang Shan (translates ... read more
1. Huangshan before the steps!
2. Huangshan
3. Huangshan

Asia » China » Hangzhou October 4th 2009

Day 461: Saturday 3rd October - Celebrating mid-autumn day with my new Chinese family Walking down East Nanjing Road on my way to take the metro to the train station is a very different experience to those of the past few days. The normally frantic commercial street is fairly quiet and in the main occupied by early morning risers practicing Tai Chi (not an uncommon site as you walk around Chinese cities) or playing badminton. Remember this is the equivalent of Oxford Street in London so it is a bit strange to see. Setting off early I miss the worst of Shanghai’s rush hour on the metro which is a good thing with all my luggage. The train journey to Hangzhou is two and a half hours. This is my third train journey in China but ... read more
1. West Lake, Hangzhou
2. West Lake, Hangzhou
3. West Lake, Hangzhou

Asia » China » Shanghai October 1st 2009

This is the hardest blog I have written in some respects but since I write my blog primarily as a diary of my travels so I tell it with honesty. There is no other way. Let the story begin...... Day 455: Sunday 27th September - A warm welcome to Shanghai I’ve travelled to many different places over the past 15 months but I can’t remember being as excited about arriving at a new place for a long time. There is nothing especially about Shanghai the city that excites me although I am intrigued to see this most modern of Chinese cities with a multi-national history as a trading port. Rather, it is seeing XueLan again, my Chinese friend who I met in Japan. I have arranged to pick her up from work at the end of ... read more
3. The world's biggest shipping port, Shanghai
4. Pudong's skyline, Shanghai
5. The Bund looking very grey, Shanghai

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka October 1st 2009

Day 451: Wednesday 23rd September - Rolling back the years I’m very ready to move on from Kyoto. Too many temples, too many shrines, too many gardens and too many tourists are not good for the health!! I’m done with sightseeing, I’m done with my guidebook and I just need to get away from it all. Thankfully I’m on my way to Osaka to meet up with an old university friend, Paul, who I haven’t seen for 10 years. I’m really looking forward to seeing him after a gap of a decade and catching up and meeting his family. First, I have to get there but Osaka is only a half hour train ride away. Kyoto runs into Osaka which in turn runs into Kobe, three cities indistinguishable from each other, with a combined population of ... read more
2. Singing karaoke, Osaka
3. Paul singing karaoke with pint in hand!, Osaka
7. Eleanor starting to feel slightly less nervous of the strange man in her house, Osaka

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto September 20th 2009

Day 445: Thursday 17th September - Himeji Castle and a stay in a traditional Japanese Inn It’s back on the Shinkansen this morning for Himeji. I share the hour-long journey with Matt who was staying in my dorm in Hiroshima. He’s heading on to Nara. Himeji is a small city (well small for Japan still = half a million people!) situated on the Shinkansen train line between Hiroshima and Kyoto, my next destination. It is home to what is considered to be Japan’s most impressive castle: Himeji-jo. It is situated on a hill-top in the middle of the city and along with Matsuyama which I visited yesterday is one of only three surviving hill-top castles in Japan. From first sight walking up through the city this is one impressive castle. It dates back to 1609 and ... read more
5. Himeji Castle
20. Koko-en gardens, Himeji
22. Koko-en gardens, Himeji

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima September 16th 2009

Day 443: Tuesday 15th September - Riding the Shinkansen to the low point in Japan’s history After 9 days in and around the capital it is time to leave Tokyo behind and explore more of Japan’s main island, Honshu. My next destination is Hiroshima, known primarily as the first city in history to have a nuclear bomb dropped on it. Hiroshima is 900 kilometres (400+ miles) to the west of Tokyo and by normal standards that would be a full day spent travelling. This though is Japan, and it is blessed with probably the best railway network in the world. With my JR rail pass in hand I board a Shinkansen (bullet train) for Hiroshima. In the 5 hours (including one hour required to change) it takes to cover the journey it doesn’t feel like ... read more
6. Hiroshima before the atomic bomb
7. Hiroshima after the atomic bomb
8. A photograph of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped

Asia » Japan » Tokyo September 12th 2009

Day 434: Sunday 6th September - A new country, but no excitement Today is a potential turning point in my journey. The day itself is a long day and a long journey from Hong Kong to Tokyo via the Philippines, but it is more for my change in emotional state that I will remember the day. The day starts at 8am with an hour long journey through Hong Kong to the airport, which includes an exorbitant charge of 60 Hong Kong Dollars (£5) for the last section of about 10 minutes on the underground. It is an anomaly as for the rest of Hong Kong’s underground the fares are around a pound. I even check with the station attendant that the ticket machine isn’t having a laugh at my isn’t! My flight is not until ... read more
44. One of the many food displays outside Tokyo's restaurants
52. Goth Lolita, Jingu -bashi, Tokyo
53. Goth guy, Jingu-bashi, Tokyo

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island September 5th 2009

Day 431: Wednesday 3rd September - The crazy ‘underworld’ of Chungking mansions How do you describe Chungking mansions to someone who has never experienced it? The Dorset girls tried to describe it to me whilst they explained why I should stay there. They sowed the seed but they couldn’t quite portray what it was all about. I don’t think you can, you need to experience it. Situated to the harbour end of Nathan Road on Kowloon peninsula it is where a number of cheap guesthouses are situated, hence its popularity amongst the backpacker fraternity. The upper floors of the tower block may be the domain of cheap guesthouses where 13 of your best English pounds gets you a room you’d be lucky to swing a cat in. The ground floor however is full of mobile ... read more
3. Hong Kong Skyline from Kowloon
4. Hong Kong Skyline from Kowloon
7. The Star Ferry crossing Hong Kong Harbour with Kowloon  in the background

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