Page 7 of mikesrtw Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Gansu » Langmusi July 1st 2015

Langmusi, another little place we added at the last minute. Only a 3 hour bus ride away from Xiahe. Langmusi is a sleepy border town, between the Gansu and Sichuan provinces. Its actually much quieter than Xiahe; less cars, less traffic, less people. How refreshing for China. Believe us when we say we barely saw this in China. I would actually as far as saying this was the smallest 'town' we encountered altogether in China. Everywhere here is within walking distance. The restaurants, hostels and shop wooden fronts look like they've recently been revamped but still hold that small town vibe. A lot of development is going on here at the moment which may bring a lot of change to the town. We just hope its not for the worse as we loved the slow pace ... read more
2 elderly pilgrims on their way around the monastery
Amazing scenery of Langmusi

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe June 29th 2015

Oh Xiahe. A place in China that had so much character and proved to be one of our favourite places in China despite it being the least Chinese place we had visited. Thats not saying much about China is it? On the contrary we really enjoyed our time spent in China. This was just one of our favourites. Writing this as we leave the Gansu province makes us feel a little sad as we sure will miss this place and do hope to return one day. Pronounced Shaarr-huh, the 'huh' part said with a real american football player sound, almost from the depths of your stomach. We found this place when looking for places in China off the beaten track when reading about China in Hong Kong. We came across a blog written by a girl ... read more
The sandy colours of the monastery
Atmospheric lanes within the monastery

Asia » China » Gansu » Dunhuang June 27th 2015

Dunhuang was never on our original itinerary, infact we had never even heard of it before arriving in China. We only heard or rather seen pictures of it from our Korean dorm mate back in Xingping. As he swiped through pictures of this desert - A desert. In China!! - clear blue skies, standing on a mountain of sand with what looked like an oasis in the background. We were in awe, China's diverse scenery never fails to amaze. We said to ourselves "maybe we could squeeze this in our itinerary somehow" We couldn't believe our luck, looking at the map of China it actually seemed possible. A reroute here, take a day off there, we were going to the desert. Roll on the 23 hour train ride. Side note: 23 hours on a train is ... read more
The impressive Magao caves
Camels in the desert
Climbing the sandy ridge

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an June 24th 2015

This was one of the main places in China that fascinated us long before considering a world trip or even a trip to China. The famed Terracota warriors - a long forgotten tomb housing a stone army with around 8000 life size soldiers each with their own distinguishable features, discovered in Xi'an in 1974. It was no longer forgotten or hidden as intended. Added to this amazing site, Xi'an also has well preserved city walls surrounding its 'ancient city'. There was nothing more to it, it was added firmly on our list, we had to go. Getting to Xi'an from Zhangjiajie was a 2 part journey. First was a fairly comfortable hard sleeper overnight train (cheapest option) to the town of Nanyang where we sat sleepy eyed at the station for 2 hours until our next ... read more
scaling the wall on bikes for 90 minutes
The famous warriors
Traditional chinese style builds

Asia » China » Hunan » Zhangjiajie June 21st 2015

When carrying out our research on China, we stumbled across a place called Zhangjiajie (pronounced Jang-Jyaar-Jyeh but said quickly). We were lucky to have came across it as many westerners do not really come here (call it luck or maybe it was down to our excitement in researching every last corner of China). Across this whole site you are therefore unlikely to see another western face. When you realise this, it can be very rewarding in knowing that you are one of the few that take a plunge and succeed in doing so. Having watched some youtube videos just to whet our appetite a little before we came out, we were sold. We didn't care how long it took us, we were going. We had to witness this amazing scenery with our own eyes. To give ... read more
Mystical valley
Out of this world

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin June 20th 2015

After looking up the best way to get to our next stop; Zhangjiajie from Yangshuo, the plan was to catch a bus to Guilin where we would board our 4 hour bullet train to Changsha (the bullet train would shave hours off our journey!!) then catch the subway and walk a little before catching another 4hr bus from Changsha West bus station to Zhangjiajie. Easy...once we got our head around it. We imagined the whole journey would actually be pretty straight forward looking at our trains and connections. Oh how wrong we were... Having been told the train stations are like airports in China with long queues for various things like having to collect tickets, putting your bags through x-ray scanners etc we decided we ought to get there an hour early. However what was meant ... read more
We never knew China had a desert!
One of the most frightening days of our lives
Not China as we know.

Asia » China » Guangxi » Xingping June 17th 2015

Xingping: The quieter and more quainter version of the commercialised Yangshuo, with less tourists and more of an authentic town feel. Made up of quaint narrow streets, with brick and wooden shop exteriors all lined together in long terraced rows, it almost looked untouched from a distant past. If that was not enough reason to visit, the small town was beautifully built at the foot of huge karst mountains overlooking the Li River. On our arrival (via 40min bus from Yangshuo) we walked through the small streets in search of our hostel. Passing under cloth canopies strung between shops and illuminated lanterns, we heard the faint sound of traditional music being played. As we got closer there was a small group of locals; some smoking, some playing instruments whilst others played cards. Then out of nowhere ... read more
Atmospheric streets of Xingping
Watching sunset over Xingping
P feeling on top of the world

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo June 15th 2015

China!!! This is one place from the get go we were really excited about. The language barrier, the culture difference and the sites we had read about. Who wouldn't want to see the Terracotta Warriors, climb The Great Wall of China or see Pandora from Avatar in real life? Plus with the scale of China (with it being bigger than the whole of Europe put together) we could not begin to imagine the diverse scenery and culture we would encounter. Bearing this in mind, it surprised us that western tourism was relatively low. Not that we complained but it just sounded like a great country so we thought more people would feel the same too. Don't get us wrong, we did have some reservations; we had heard about the loud noisy journeys, some unsanitary habits and ... read more
Admiring the views of the Li river.
Bamboo rafts on the Li river.
Cycling amongst the rocky karsts.

Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon June 13th 2015

One thing that immediately caught our attention in Hong Kong was where we were staying. We mentioned that we were staying in a budget hotel (with that ignorant man) but this hotel was actually located on the 16th floor in the 2nd block of the building. There were 5 blocks altogether. The place we refer to is the notorious Chungking Mansions. When reading reviews on the place we had booked, we stumbled across a comment that said the whole building was overrun by Indians and Africans and was "unsafe". We thought such comment was judgemental in the "over-run" bit but also unquantified by the "unsafe" part as they failed to justify this. One thing they were right about was the mix of races and nationalities here and it had us fascinated. Its true there were many ... read more
Hong Kong by day
Buddha on Lantau island
Wooden columns with the heart sutra inscribed

Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon June 11th 2015

Stepping outside into the streets of Hong Kong, huge smiles formed across our faces. We were hit by the bright neon signs and tried to take in the tall buildings that surrounded us. The many pedestrian shoppers, cars and the brightly coloured cabs that created a functioning but chaotic scene on the wide streets. Everything moved; people, traffic, shop sellers, shoppers, people going to and from work. Everything. Everything had a purpose, a direction and we stood there completely out of place trying to take in our surrounds. Wow! We liked the feel of it. The city was alive and it only grew as the day drew into night... ...Before that moment however we arrived in Hong Kong at stupid o'clock in the morning (due to our cheaply booked 2am flight) we quickly exited the huge ... read more
Big city bright lights
A junk boat sailing through Kowloon peninsular
Hong Kong's busy metro station

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