zephyrbc

zephyrbc

zephyrbc

We both love exploring the world together and learning about other cultures, history and food. This blog started as a way to keep our families up to date whilst we were travelling, but has turned into a record of all the fabulous experiences we've shared together whilst travelling.

We live and work in Melbourne, Australia but try to travel as much as our jobs (and cats) will let us. Happy reading 😊



Asia » Hong Kong September 29th 2018

The journey to Hong Kong unfortunately began at about midnight for me; I woke up with violent case of food poisoning. I spent a about four hours feeling incredibly sorry for myself before I managed to get a couple of hours sleep prior to our alarm going off. Fortunately we'd decided to get a taxi to the Yangshuo train station rather than take the bus. I collapsed into the back seat feeling sorry for myself while we settled in for the one hour drive to the station. Despite the name the Yangshuo train station is no where near the town of Yangshuo. We waited at the station for about 40 minutes before boarding the fast train to Hong Kong. I napped for most of the three hour trip to Shenzhen. At Shenzhen North train station we ... read more
Sham Shui Po
Sham Shui Po
Sham Shui Po

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo September 24th 2018

To avoid the shuttle bus - bus - taxi - bus - taxi - shuttle bus combination required to get from Ping'an to Yangshuo (required due to a national park being declared on the direct route between the two places apparently), we splurged on a taxi which would cut the commute down from about 6 hours to 3. We were picked up from our hotel in Ping'an just before 2pm. Our driver was quite friendly and spoke reasonably good English. We made our way down through the mountains and then onto a highway. Midway through the trip he pulled over at a service station to have a power nap and get some coffee before continuing on towards Yangshuo. As we got closer to Yangshuo we were surrounded by the beautiful but strange karst scenery the region ... read more
Yangshuo
Yangshuo
Fuli Bridge

Asia » China » Guangxi » Longji Rice Terraces September 22nd 2018

We arrived in Guilin after a 1.5 hour flight from Lijiang. After collecting our bags we met a very giggly Chinese lady who was our driver for the 2.5 hour trip to Ping'an. The trip was beautiful but very slow (and included a stop to refuel and get the car washed); our driver didn't do much for certain stereotypes which exist about her gender or race... On arrival at the gate to enter Ping'an we said farewell to our driver and avoided the women offering to carry our bags in baskets on their backs (Scott's bag has wheels and mine is a backpack so we're not sure why we needed someone to put our bags into a basket and then carry them...nor would we have felt comfortable watching a grandma lug our bags up the hill..). ... read more
View from our balcony
Sunrise from our balcony
The trail

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang September 19th 2018

We arrived in Shuhe, which is one of the three old towns which make up the Old Town of Lijiang, about 2 hours after leaving Tiger Leaping Gorge. The Old Town of Lijian is located at an elevation of 2400m. The Old Town of Lijiang was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1997 in recognition of the towns role as the intersection between the Silk Road and the Tea Horse Road; the architecture (including housing influenced by Han, Bai, Tibetan and Naxi) which is well preserved and urban planning and landscaping (including impressive water distribution system which conveys water throughout the town in a series of engineered channels among other things. The Old Town of Lijiang is one of the most popular tourist attractions in China. Apparently 80 million tourists visited last year. At times the ... read more
Danyan Old Town
Danyan Old Town
Central Square, Danyan Old Town

Asia » China September 18th 2018

We started the journey south from Shangri-La towards Tiger Leaping Gorge the following morning. The route was on very windy and narrow roads. We passed many landslides / rock falls. We stopped in a tiny village after about an hour and a half to give our driver a rest. The local people from the village seemed intrigued (/ disgusted) by my white legs. About 2.5 hours after we left Shangri-La we arrived at Baishuitai water terraces. The water terraces are the birthplace of the Donghba religion of the Naxi minority. Apparently the Donghba shaman still regularly hold ceremonies on the terraces. From the car we had a short walk up the hill before we reached the terraces. Along the way we walked past some tacky new ticket office building and concrete replicas of the terraces which ... read more
Baishuitai water terraces
Baishuitai water terraces
Baishuitai water terraces

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La September 17th 2018

The following morning we had vegetable noodle soup for breakfast at a local restaurant before hopping into the car and driving to Tacheng National Park. Once we arrived at the park we hopped into the over sized golf buggy and made our way up the hill. Tacheng National Park is home to a reasonable sized population (approximately 360) of the Yunnan snub nosed monkey (sometimes called golden monkeys). The monkeys are endangered, as a result of habitat loss, with only about 1700 remaining in the wild. They live at altitudes above 3000m. After walking uphill for about 45 minutes we came across a group of about 16 monkeys who were probably wondering why so many humans were watching them eat the last of their breakfast, groom each other and play. Fortunately the monkeys were not brave ... read more
Yunnan snub nosed monkey, Tacheng National Park
Yunnan snub nosed monkey, Tacheng National Park
Yunnan snub nosed monkey, Tacheng National Park

Asia » China » Yunnan » Liming September 14th 2018

We left Shaxi the following morning and continued our trip north towards Laojan Shan National Park. After almost two hours of driving through nice scenery we stopped in at Shiguzhen. Shiguzhen is a fairly unremarkable town but just happens to be positioned at a point where the Yangtze river does an almost 180 degree turn and runs almost parallel to itself for a few kilometers. We walked through the town until we reached a museum dedicated to the long march (which passed through the town). William talked us through the history of the long march and filled us in on the local context in Shiguzhen as well. After checking out the museum we admired the view of the 180 degree bend in the Yangtze. We then made our way back down the hill and to the ... read more
First bend of the Yangtze viewed from the long march museum, Shiguzhen
Shiguzhen
Musicians, Shiguzhen

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shaxi September 13th 2018

For the next part of our holiday we had prearranged a tour (including driver and guide) to take us around Yunnan. The main reason for doing this was that last time we were in China we found it quite difficult to get around by ourselves. We figured the tour would make it easier to get around and would also allow us to visit some national parks which aren't particularly accessible with public transport, particularly if you don't speak the language. Our guide, William, met us at our hotel in Dali the morning after we finished our food tour. We hopped into the car and set off in the direction of Shaxi which is a small town about 2 hours north of Dali. Along the way we stopped at Shibao Mountain. After purchasing tickets we hopped on ... read more
Shibao Mountain
Shibao Mountain
Shizhong Temple

Asia » China » Yunnan » Dali September 12th 2018

Our trip to China began with a 9.5 hour flight from Melbourne to Guangzhou. After clearing immigration and collecting our bags we headed to the departures area again to check in for our next flight to Kunming. We struggled to find the check in counter and eventually realised this is because there is a second terminal at Gungzhou airport. We caught the bus to the second terminal and queued up at the service counter to see whether we could be transferred to an earlier flight. Queued is a somewhat generous term as it seems that word doesn't exist in China (how did we forget that?!). I eventually embraced the local etiquette glared / strategically positioned myself so others couldn't cut in and spoke to a lady who didn't seem to understand me that well so dismissively ... read more
Green Lake, Kunming
Green Lake, Kunming
Green Lake, Kunming

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris May 19th 2017

We landed in Paris at about 4pm which was about an hour later than expected as our departure from Marrakech was delayed while we waited for our plane to turn up. Immigration was nice and quick and our bags popped out onto the carousel just as we arrived at the baggage carousel. We caught the Orly bus from the airport to Denfert Rochereau metro station and then caught the metro to Strasburg Saint Denis. After about a 5 minute walk we arrived at our AirBNB in the 2nd arrondissement. After checking into our AirBNB we set out towards Rue Montorgueil which was about a 5 minute walk away. Rue Montorgueil is a walking street which is lined with restaurants, bakeries, patisseries, cheese shops, wine shops and so on. We had planned to walk around for a ... read more
The Louvre
IMG_1718
View along the Seine




Tot: 0.06s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 15; qc: 56; dbt: 0.0147s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb