Category Archives: China

A Spider so big, it deserves a post of its own!

30th July 2014

I can’t believe I forgot to include this monstrosity in my Guilin post, but then that’s because it probably warrants a post of its own!

So, I’m sitting at the huge dining table of the lovely house in Langshi that I was staying at, and Sergio, from his room, shouts out that there is a big spider in there.  Mark came out and promptly said it was fake, so I went in there and took a look for myself….

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The Lovely Guilin

29th July – 2nd August

My train to Guilin was like a spaceship!

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And went pretty fast too…

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On arrival in Guilin my taxi driver picked me up, and we had to get to the Li River in Yangdi before nightfall, where the bamboo boat driver would be waiting for me, to take me to the remote rural village of Langshi.  It became apparent as the night drew in, that we would not make it to the river before it got dark.  As the taxi driver spoke no English, and I no Chinese, I was unsure what this would mean, would I have to find somewhere to stay in Yangdi? Would i stay with the taxi driver? I had no idea!  When we arrived in the pitch black it was evident that the boat ride would still go ahead, as the boat driver was waiting on the pier for me.  Once afloat, he used a torch to check how close we were to the edges of the riverbanks, one side being sheer cliff faces of the karst mountains that fill this area.  I was a little concerned to say the least, especially as I was told the journey could not be done at nightfall, and here we were doing it!  It was also less than pleasant due to a hideous number of mosquitoes slamming into my face as I interrupted their night on the water!  There were a few other bamboo boats also still on the water in the dark, it was quite scary trying to work out if there was a boat heading straight for us or not!

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The Houhai Lake area of Beijing

28th July 2014

After the Great Wall walk and a much needed shower, not wanting to waste my last evening (after deciding I could have easily spent another four nights in Beijing, I really liked it here) I headed out again to find food and explore a little more.  Heading West of the hutongs I had visited the night before, I stumbled across another tourist hotspot, this time a plethora of brightly neon lit bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. 

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Beijing’s Forbidden City and a wander around the hutongs

27th July 2014

On the way to The Forbidden City I was approached by two over-friendly Chinese girls wearing identical summer dresses, wanting to walk with me to Tiananmen Square and saying ‘then we go for beer yes?’

I was like, Er………NO!

I had heard about several scams where you can get roped into going for tea parties and end up with a huge hundreds of dollars bill!  I’m guessing this ‘beer’ may have been heading that way, these two girls were just, too friendly.  Forcefully friendly, and I smelled a rat!

The Forbidden City was ok, but again I didn’t get the best of it because by 4pm some of the features were closed.  I saw the very old cypress trees, but never made it into the old courtyard or the Hall of Clocks or Treasury, as by then they were shooing people in the other direction.
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Being taken to a tasty duck restaurant in Beijing

26th July 2014

When I was in St Petersburg I met a lovely mother and daughter who were living in Beijing, Joanne and Stephanie, and they said to contact them when I got here and they would take me to a duck restaurant.  True to their word we went to the Beijing DaDong Roast Duck Restaurant.  Wow, the food was simply amazing, and it was extremely nice of them to take me out for one of the best meals I’d had in a long time! Continue reading Being taken to a tasty duck restaurant in Beijing

Beijing – a rooftop party and The Summer Palace

25th – 26th July 2014

My first impressions of Beijing – hot and hectic!  People.  Just people.  Everywhere! 

I stayed in a really lovely hostel, and met a guy called Thomas from the U.S.  He was heading out to a club that night, and asked if I wanted to go.  We managed to recruit another, a German girl called Marlis and we headed off into the hot humid night, still teeming with people.  We got a cycle rickshaw taxi (powered push bike version!) which was a great way to get there, the wind in my hair was a welcome breeze. Continue reading Beijing – a rooftop party and The Summer Palace