I got to have a Cormorant on my arm!!!

Cormorant Fishing in Yangshuo

For more than 1000 years fishermen in Yangshuo have used trained cormorants to fish in the rivers. Going out on the Li River at night to watch these fishermen at work is one of the most popular activities of Yanshuo’s nightlife. This way of fishing has existed in china for generations and over the years, it has become a way to earn money and attract the tourist.  … Continue reading Cormorant Fishing in Yangshuo

Chinese cooking class

Attending a local cooking class in China was a highlight!

One of my most memorable experiences in China was getting to attend a Chinese cooking class with my mom. We got to make 3 different Chinese dishes, of which, only 2 of ours were actually edible. Our first dish, some kind of egg plant and veggie dish was so oily that neither one of us could stomach it. We definitely learnt the hard way that … Continue reading Attending a local cooking class in China was a highlight!

Chinese Opera

The Screeching of Chinese Opera

You don’t need to understand Cantonese or be familiar with the stories of Chinese history and mythology from which the dramas of Chinese opera are written to enjoy it. The performance alone is entertainment enough, with their spectacle of colourful costumes and extravagant sets. Before attending the Chinese Opera in Beijing I had heard a lot about the famously unique style of singing used in … Continue reading The Screeching of Chinese Opera

The old town with all its canals

China’s “Small Venice” or ‘Garden of Clear Ripples’ at the Summer Palace

The Summer Palace in Beijing started out life as the ‘Garden of Clear Ripples’  in 1750. It served as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Cixi, who diverted 30 million taels of silver, originally designated for the Chinese navy, into the reconstruction and enlargement of the Summer Palace. Personally I think it was money well spent for this is such a beautiful part of this palace structure. … Continue reading China’s “Small Venice” or ‘Garden of Clear Ripples’ at the Summer Palace

Yellow Mountain

Hiking the famous Yellow mountain of China was breathtakingly fabulous but physically torturous!!

Our long awaited hike of China’s Yellow or Huangshan Mountain was the last item on our huge China Odyssey tour and definitely worth the wait. Huangshan is a mountain range in South East China. The range is composed of material that was uplifted from an ancient sea during the Mesozoic era, 100 million years ago. The mountains themselves were carved by glaciers during the Quaternary. The area is well known for its scenery, peculiarly shaped granite peaks, Huangshan … Continue reading Hiking the famous Yellow mountain of China was breathtakingly fabulous but physically torturous!!

Mom and I infront of the Cloud-Dispelling Hall

The Fabulous Summer Palace and its Amazing Gardens in Beijing

Walking through the Summer Palace where once only Royalty could enter was very high on my Beijing wish list. Our China Odyssey group took taxis to the Summer Palace and unfortunately the taxi drivers dropped us off at different entrances so we were split up for the day. This ended up not being a huge problem as we had all arranged to meet again later that day … Continue reading The Fabulous Summer Palace and its Amazing Gardens in Beijing

Wanhua Chamber,

Yu yuan the famous and beautiful classical garden of Shanghai

China is definitely filled with beautiful temples and fabulously manicured gardens. Walking through these tranquil gardens on these hot summer days is such a peaceful experience. We spent the morning walking through this beautiful gardens enjoying the sunny weather and the cool the shade provides. Yu yuan Garden was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. Yu … Continue reading Yu yuan the famous and beautiful classical garden of Shanghai

Small cafe across from our hotel

Super fresh handmade pasta in Suzhou, China

One of my most tasty noodle dishes was having fresh rice noodles with vegetables at a small local cafe in Suzhou. This small local place was situated across the street from our hotel where we were spending the night. After spending the day exploring Suzhou by braving the Typhoon we were chilled to the bone and didn’t want to venture too far for dinner. With … Continue reading Super fresh handmade pasta in Suzhou, China

A unique feature this garden is the 700 m covered walk which connects the different sections.

Walking Through Chinese Gardens and Parks during a Typhoon

During our month long China Odyssey we had hot and humid weather but as we arrived in Suzhou it was raining and the wind was blowing. We actually arrived smack in the middle of a typhoon hitting Suzhou. Normally people would stay indoors during a Typhoon and only venture out if it was really necessary. But unfortunately we only had one full day to explore … Continue reading Walking Through Chinese Gardens and Parks during a Typhoon

The Temple of Heaven

Exploring China’s Temple of Heaven where they Performed Sacrifices for Good Harvests

During our fabulous China Odyssey tour we got to visit a couple of different temples and shrines but the Temple of Heaven ended up being my favourite. The Temple of Heaven, literally translated as the Altar of is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. The complex was … Continue reading Exploring China’s Temple of Heaven where they Performed Sacrifices for Good Harvests

The Great Wall of China

Standing and Walking on The Great Wall of China!!

The Great Wall of China is one of the Architectural Wonders of the Middle Ages and getting to see and stand on it has been one of the highlights of my travel adventures up to date. The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese against intrusions. The Great Wall, … Continue reading Standing and Walking on The Great Wall of China!!

West Lake or Xī Hú

A peaceful afternoon spent on the tranquil Hangzhou, West Lake of China

It took us a while to get used to our China Odyssey tour guide’s sense of distance and time. Our guides quick 15 walk from the hotel to the lake turned into a 40 minute hike! Our group might have been a tad more unfit than he thought so this could have been why his time estimate was way off. We walked across the TwistBridge … Continue reading A peaceful afternoon spent on the tranquil Hangzhou, West Lake of China

Standing on the Royal Walkway!!!

Stepping foot into China’s Forbidden City in Beijing

Walking through the Forbidden City of Beijing has always been very high on my wishlist and getting to walk through this Chinese imperial palace while on our China Odyssey was a dream come true. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political … Continue reading Stepping foot into China’s Forbidden City in Beijing

The Lujiazui skyline of Shanghai

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shanghai Horizon

Horizon. The space or line where the sky meets the earth. So many places where the sky meets the earth around the world, and millions of interactions between two elements. Here is one of the most beautiful city skylines I came across during our exploration of the concrete forest that is Shanghai. Shanghai is the largest city by population in China, with a total population of over … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Shanghai Horizon

The granite Monument to the People's Heroes

Walking across Beijing’s Tiananmen Square

I think that after traveling through China and riding on so many over-night trains I now know exactly what to expect and what to bring along for the ride. Armed with pot noodles and cans of ice-coffee and ice-tea we made the 17 hour train journey from Xian to Beijing. Arrived early morning in Beijing we only had time to leave our bags at the … Continue reading Walking across Beijing’s Tiananmen Square

The Giant Buddha, mom and me!

The Worlds largest Buddha and the Leshan Dafo Temple on China’s Mount Emei

The hot and humid July weather of China was something I just couldn’t get used to while on our fabulous China Odyssey. So I was quite glad that we started most days early, before it got too hot to even breath properly and I still had the energy to walk up countless of stairs. We climbed up the 300 steps that lead to the top … Continue reading The Worlds largest Buddha and the Leshan Dafo Temple on China’s Mount Emei

The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

Water and lights show at the Goose Pagoda in Xian.

While exploring Xian on our China Odyssey we visited the Wild Goose Pagoda where there was a great water and lights show on that evening.  The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi’an, built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty. We were lucky enough to arrive at just the right time to get ourselves good standing places to watch this show. There were the usual large … Continue reading Water and lights show at the Goose Pagoda in Xian.

The Great Mosque

The Great Mosque of Xi’an is completely Chinese in style

After spending the morning exploring the famous XianCity wall we all headed to the Muslim quarter of this beautiful city. Here we got to explore the huge market and shop filled streets. As the starting point of the famous Silk Road, Xi’an attracted traders from the West since the 1st century BC. During the 8th century AD, Xi’an was the largest city in the world … Continue reading The Great Mosque of Xi’an is completely Chinese in style

What a beautiful sight having the deserted wall stretch out in front of us.

Exploring the mist shrouded Xian City Wall the “easy” way

We arrived in Xian after a 17 hour train ride from Chengdu. This super long train ride was not as bad as I expected as we played some card games and I actually had a chance to catch up on my travel writing. Sleeping on the bumpy ride was a bit difficult though, so by the time we arrived in Xian at 5 am we … Continue reading Exploring the mist shrouded Xian City Wall the “easy” way

Im in Jinli Steet!!!!

Chinese Lanterns, Street Food and Crazy Tuc-Tuc drivers at China’s Jinli Steet

I think the best way to soak up the atmosphere and culture of a city or even a country is by walking through its streets, visiting the markets and just mingling with the people. While on our China Odyssey, Mom and I loved experiencing the Chinese culture and learning about all the little things that make it so different and interesting.  We spent 2 days … Continue reading Chinese Lanterns, Street Food and Crazy Tuc-Tuc drivers at China’s Jinli Steet

After a couple of minutes the flowers inside emerge as the centerpiece

Drinking Flowering Tea Inside Shanghai’s Oldest Teahouse

Huxinting Teahouse, the Oldest Teahouse of historic Shanghai is situated in the heart of the city across the Yuyuan Gardens. This old teahouse is a big pavilion in the middle of a small lake originally built in 1784 in the Qing Dynasty. It is situated in a very popular part of Shanghai filled with small shops and teahouses teeming with people. The Old Teahouse was … Continue reading Drinking Flowering Tea Inside Shanghai’s Oldest Teahouse

View from inside the Great Wall

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside the Great Wall

This week’s photo challenge is to share what you see on the inside. This is a view taken from  the inside of the Great Wall of China. Inside a watchtower of Mutianyu, a section of the Great Wall of China located 70 km northeast of central Beijing. IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO THAT SAYS INSIDE. New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside the Great Wall

Wuhou shrine with its fragrant incense

Walking through Wuhou Shrine and kissing a Sacred Lion.

The next stop on our big China Oddyssey was the beatiful city of Chengdu in Southwest China. Our speed train from Chongqing to Chengdu reached the speed of 199km per hour! This was definitely the fastest moving train that I have ever been on. The countryside zoomed past through the windows along with the countless new construction sights sprouting up all over China. When we … Continue reading Walking through Wuhou Shrine and kissing a Sacred Lion.

Nothing-To-Be-Done-Bridge

Exploring Ghost City where the souls of the dead go to enter the underworld.

Our cruise ship docked close to Fengdu where the famous “Ghost City” is found. This is where the Chinese believe the souls of the dead go. It is situated about 170 kilometers downstream from Chongqing on the north bank of the Yangtze River. Walking up those steps from the boat to the road I thought I might actually pass out from the heat. Already the sweat … Continue reading Exploring Ghost City where the souls of the dead go to enter the underworld.

Such an amazing view!

Floating down the Shennong Stream through the Gorges of the Yangtze River.

One of the highlights of our month long China Odyssey was definitely the 3 night cruise on the spectacular Yangtze River. The first morning our ship anchored and we boarded a small ferry that took us deep into the Lesser Gorges.  It was a very hot and humid day out but the breeze on the ferry made it bearable, unfortunately the haziness in the air … Continue reading Floating down the Shennong Stream through the Gorges of the Yangtze River.

The gangplank leading up to our Cruise ship

Cruising down the Magnificent Yangtze River of China

Cruising down the beautiful Yangtze River of China for 3 nights was definitely the most relaxing part of our China Odyssey. Arriving at the Ferry terminal early in the morning it was packed with people waiting to board the cruise boat. The sun was already beating down on us and sweat was pouring down my back by the time we got to the docks with … Continue reading Cruising down the Magnificent Yangtze River of China

fragrant incense

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Focus. This week’s challenge is inspired by Matthew George’s post on focus, in which he introduced us to the basics of depth of field and aperture.  In the first shot taken at the Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong the focus is on the fragrant incense with the foreground blurred, giving a bit more depth of field to the photo. In contrast, the focal point of the very … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

A rank of soldiers. One of the soldiers on the left is missing his head, a result of the statues being made in pieces and then assembled.

Xian Terracotta Warriors, the Most Significant Archeological Excavation of the 20th Century.

The Terracotta Army or the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses”, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavation of the … Continue reading Xian Terracotta Warriors, the Most Significant Archeological Excavation of the 20th Century.

Letting us all taste her home-made snake wine!

Visiting an Ancient Qing Dynasty house in Yangshuo countryside

If you are going to Yangshuo, you should definitely do a cycling tour through the breathtaking countryside. While on our cycling tour we all enjoyed the beautiful natural scenery and the fresh air. Its also the best way to learn about the life style of the local people and see what their residential houses look like.  The whole valley of the Dragon River is amazing. … Continue reading Visiting an Ancient Qing Dynasty house in Yangshuo countryside

Standing on Dragon Bridge

Cycling through the rice paddies and Karst Mountains of Yangshuo

Yangshuo is a popular place for cycling tours as the town is surrounded by karst mountains, winding rivers and beautiful scenery.I don’t know who was more scared of the day of cycling that lay ahead, me or my mom. We are both quite unfit when it comes to cycling but we were really looking forward to the bicycle ride through the Yangshuo countryside. Our group got … Continue reading Cycling through the rice paddies and Karst Mountains of Yangshuo