Sunday, July 29, 2007


Well after about 9 weeks overseas we're comming home, mainly having to do with me being pretty much constantly sick for 5 weeks, a test at a Hospital in Kunming then not being able to hold down much food in Tibet (not holding down water was the deciding factor yesterday morning). So after what turned into about a 12 hour trip from Lhasa, we're back in smelly smoggy Chengdu and should be home soon - from where we are planning a road trip either north or south (or maybe west) of Sydney - even east to New Zealand might not be out of the question (jetstar are you reading this???? time for another sale???).

Our time in Tibet was well worth it even though we didn't leave Lhasa and I was sick the whole time. the Potala Place is quite amazing - so is the stupid ticketing system where you line up at 6am so you can buy a ticket at noon for entry the next day... so we didn't get to go inside. The debating monks at the Sera(?) monastery was definately a highlight and we only caught the last 10min or so - I'd love to post some pictures but once again... no USB.

See you soon

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


We Arrived in Tibet today after sitting on the tarmac at Chengdu Airport (At least we were breathing Plane air and not Chengdu air - that has to be the smoggiest city I've ever been to - and I've been to LA... I don't know how the Pandas survie but they are quite cute - we missed out on patting on by a whisker (they dress you up in plastic anyway).

So what else do you do in a dirty smoggy city with no internet cafes - buy a DVD player of course (and maybe a spoon to dig the tar out of your lungs) - I'll post a picture if I can be bothered taking one - it's not that exciting - just looks like a CD player - we should have bought one ages ago when it was bucketing with rain in Kunming rather than try and watch movies in chinese on TV. I took a shot of the rain in Kunming, you could only see about a block or two - it was worse in Chengdu - but it wasn't raining.

Tibet so far is much better than anywhere else in China so far, although the poverty is probably slightly worse, the traffic, air and scenery is so far much better, we haven't ventured far yet but could be here until next friday - thats the only flight to Xi'an we could find online.

The Giant Buddha in Leshan

Pandas are very cute

Temple in Chengdu

Turtles in Chengdu

Street cleaner in the rain - Kunming

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another rainy day in Kunming

I got 8 DVD's for $8 - not bad - might even get a DVD player ($30) and watch them, it's bucketing with rain and from our hotel room on the 14th floor you can only see about 4 blocks down the street (previously the entire city)...

Another thing i've realised is that I can't read anyones comments as they are all in chinese, so if anyone has left any - thanks and sorry I can't respond to them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hotel names

When we first arrived in Kunming we were going to stay at the "Jin Tai hotel", it sounded nice but no cab drivers seem to know where it is. Last night we booked into the "Hydro Majestic" - previously known as the "Jin Tai" (still on the stationary and lift), the "Ma Jia Shi" (internet)? or "King Town" like it says on the towels in the bathroom?

No wonder nobody knows where it is...

Sunday, July 15, 2007


After a 5 hour bus ride (with a stop at some toilets that can only be described as a "cultural experience") we have arrived in Dali - actually we've been here for a few days now without really doing a whole lot - I've eaten something abit wrong somewhere along the way (probably Lisa's cafe in Yangshuo if I was to narrow it down... don't ever eat there - even the Heineken Beer was off (to the point that the top had left rust around the rim of the bottle).

Dali its self is a bit of a contradiction, it's still got alittle of the "old town feel" but at the same time you have to venture out of the "old town" to find it. The old town has been mostly turned into shops and restaurants, and some really crap ones at that - especially the Tang Dynasty music cafe - hopefully the music is better than the food and service it's almost like everyone wants to come here but the people who are here, or at least work here, don't want to be here (or smoke too much local herb).

Our next stop is Chengdu where we'll see the Pandas and then fly to Tibet. But tomorrow we go to the markets in a town north of here and maybe a trip around the lake - although it's 10pm and we haven't booked it yet... might do that now.

Contradictions are everywhere

These nice minority group women seem to think I'll change my mind about buying their pot and ask every 5 minutes - must have had too much product...

one of the three Pagodas thats Dali is famous for

Don't know what it says but interesting anyway

Battered street sign near our hostel

A nice cloud shot

I think it's a huge bunch of carrots?

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Kunming seems to have changed a fair bit in the last two years - although it was snowing last time we were here, the weather is a nice 24 degrees or so and apart from the fact that it just started bucketing with rain it's been a nice change from the heat of Hongkong and Yangshuo, the pancakes were still the same - it's good that the important things don't change...

A puppy guards two phones

Street scene in Kunming

Off to Dali tomorrow (hopefully - it's really pouring now)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

once again

Street food in Yangshuo

Nancy on our two seat bike in Yangshuo :)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

We went on a bamboo raft down a river today - Very nice scenery

One for Dad

Friday, July 6, 2007

Some Shots from Yangshuo

Yangshuo has been ok - after a good look around there really isn't anything left of what our (10year old) lonely planet book describes. Last night we went out on the river to see the comorant fishing - it started at 7... in theory, the boat eventually left the pier just after 8pm - so it was pitch black - never good for photography (meanwhile we missed a very nice sunset). This morning we got up at about 5:30 for a river cruise, unfortunately it was quite cloudy and the sun only popped through a few times, the area is beautiful but I'm yet to see anything that I would describe as legendary - the first shot below is the best landscape I've managed to shoot here (assuming they are all in order - I'm using this site in Chinese)

One of my favorite shots so far - Nancy and the comorants on the boat cruise this morning

Old guy with a water buffalo

An old guy with two birds

Comorant fisherman at night

me with one of the fishermans comorants

A back lane in Yangshuo

YumCha on the street at night

At night in Yangshuo

Nancy in Lantau during a brief pause in the rain

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


In an attempt to escape hongkong we are now in Yangshuo - north west of HongKong - it's still VERY hot (like the hottest day I can remember in Sydney and going into a sauna - a steamy one - it's a very sticky heat). Yangshuo is meant to be one of the most beautiful places in China, it's where those mountains that feature in so much of the artwork are - as well as the comerant fishermen - as it cools down abit this afternoon (wishful thinking...?) we'll head into the touristy part of town and see what it's really like. The bus we caught here let us off early and we're actually staying just out of town... I thought our hotel seemed suspiciously quiet.

And (finally) we've found a computer with a USB port - so here are some photos, mainly from macau.

This beer cost me 90cents - for 640ml thats not bad - Blue Ice seems to be the best beer in HongKong though - the shot of the cheap beer was taken with a camera and lens combination worth 2500 times as much - thats why i'm going to send some camera stuff home - it's making me nervous and drawing attention.

The giant bronze Buddha on Lantau

the view from our hotel in Macau (it's a harbour view room)

One of the new Casinos in Macau - still under constrcution the top is probably the tallest building in the city and looks like a flower (well it will whem they finish it)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Hong Kong

They seem to have this wonderful new virus prevention method here - it's called - don't let anybody use the USB ports... it's very annoying because I want to share photos with you but can not.

It's still bucketing with rain here in Hong Kong, we managed to miss the only Blue sky in days by sleeping in - it was worth it. We had Yum Cha at 3pm - only $22 and i'm still full.

The hotel we're staying in is nice but they seem to turn the aircon up and wear warm looking suits - so wearing shorts around inside is abit chilly - it must be about 17 degrees in here and about 35 outside.

We're off to Guilin tomorrow, probably for about a week or so then maybe up to Kunming or Chendu where it's meant to be alittle cooler - mind you last time we were there the "land of eternal spring" as they call it was -10 and snowing.

stay tunned - they can't hide their USB ports for ever...