Friday, September 29, 2006

Ha Noi

View from the new house....

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


The big difference between Hong Kong and China is all the signs that were accompanied by English translations suddenly disappear and you are left looking at characters that mean absolutley nothing. Then you realise that the few Cantonese words you picked up are also worthless as everybody now speaks Mandarin and very few speak English.

(The translations dont always appear to work.)


China's border town to Vietnam. A 3-wheeler takes you from the town to The Friendship Pass - the first/last thing you'll see of China.


Although it's another big, ultra modern Chinese city, there is a bit of character about Nanning and worth a quick visit.


A beautiful town on the Li River, Yangshou has long been exposed to tourism and over a million Chinese visitors pass through each year. However, it is easy to avoid the much touted West Street and mix with the locals.

The TV Tower

A two hour treck up a steep hill offers panoramic views over the town and river.

Moon Hill

Eight km SW of Yangshou is one of the areas main attractions - a karst peak which obtains its name from a large round hole in the middle of the mountain. Usually tackled as a day trip from town, the best way to see it is to stay in the local farming village and just cross the road at first light. The very relaxing, family run Moon Hill Resort offers a taste of local life and is a welcome break from the bright lights of the town.

Liu Sanjie

A spectacular light show at the confluence of the Li and Yu Long Rivers. Designed and directed by Zhang Yimao, who has been awarded to task of directing the opening ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it is a major production with a cast of 500 singers, dancers, bamboo boats and cormorants birds.

Fortunately met one of the cast over a bowl of street noodles the day before and got me in through the 'peformers village' to watch the show from backstage.


Public transport in China is very efficient, all the buses and trains are well staffed and are usually very comfortable. The 13 hour trip to Yangshou arrived just 8 minutes behind schedule and the 6 hour bus journey to Nanning was 2 minutes early.

My 2 hour coach trip to Heathrow was 40 minutes late and then the tube was delayed.


On the train from Hong Kong, a girl from Shanghai described Guangzhou as the "Armpit of China". Wasn't there long enough to justify this but what I did see was big and bland.

Perhaps this sign at the exit the railway station sums it up.

China Kids

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a incredible vertical city. Everything goes up - a long way.

Ocean Park

Ocean Park . Situated on the Southern side of Hong Kong Island, a cable car takes you to a variety of aquariums, rollercoasters and shows.


Unfortunately arrived here the same day as "Typhoon Lilly". The rain has been torrential and doesnt look like stopping for a while yet - visibility is very bad at best. The Typhoon reached "level 3" today - one more level and the city will literally shut down - no buses, no shops and the racing at "Happy Valley" has already been cancelled tonight.

The Peak

One of the best views is from Victoria Peak, overlooking both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The tphoon had died down by now although the light was still not good.

Night Lights

After "sunset" the whole city is illuminated - best seen from Kowloon Promenade (or The Peak if you have time).

Central Plaza

More views - from the 46th floor of Central Plaza - Wan Chai district.

And Finally....

There aren't many dogs walking around Hong Kong.

But if you have to clean up there are instructions on how to wash your hands afterwards.