HONG KONG

It’s a cliche’ that’s used for a lot of places, but in this case it’s undeniably true – Hong Kong is the ultimate city (or territory) of contrasts. A favourite maxim – ‘where East meets West’- highlights the region’s Chinese roots and the western cultural elements it gained from its time as a British colony.┬áThis […]

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BEIJING and the Great Wall

WHAT TO DO IN BEIJING: We pulled into Beijing after a 20-hour train journey from Zhangjiajie surprisingly refreshed, hopped in a taxi and made our way to the Doufuchi hutong where our guesthouse was. Hutongs are Beijing’s ancient and steadily vanishing residential areas, made up of narrow alleyways and traditional courtyard houses. STROLL THROUGH THE […]

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ZHANGJIAJIE

I’m tempted to just let the pictures speak for themselves. It’s difficult to describe this place in words. The most succinct thing I can say is that the views I saw from Zhangjiajie National Park in China were not just the best of our Asia trip, but the most spectacular natural views I’ve seen anywhere […]

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Yunnan

While most of our South East Asia trip was on the quintessential backpacker route, our next leg, through Yunnan, was decidedly not. In fact it was probably the first time on all my travels where we were the only western tourists for days on end, making us feel like intrepid explorers. Even in the most […]

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SAPA

We arrived at Sapa through Lao Cai on the overnight train from Hanoi. Bleary-eyed and slightly unnerved from having shared our otherwise lovely carriage with a very strange tourist, we were soon on a hair-raising bus journey through the twisting mountains into Sapa. At almost 5000 feet above sea level, Sapa town could be incredibly […]

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THE STREETS OF HANOI

I’m not sure that there are enough adjectives in the English dictionary to describe Hanoi. Hanoi is all the adjectives – it is an an absence of negative space. It has no time for the superfluous or irrelevant – it is constant energy and never-ending chaos. Yet the chaos is not random, it serves a […]

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A Laos diary

We travelled to Laos from Chiang Rai on the slow boat. ‘Slow’ boat, in this case, is not figurative; the trip takes two days with a one night stopover in the tiny town of Pakbeng. My expectation of the slow boat trip was of a romantic, languorous glide over the earthy waters of the Mekong […]

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