Tiger Leaping Gorge

Ears rotated, listening intently, a soft breeze rippled through long whiskers. The first rays of the morning sunpeeked above Jade Dragon mountain. Two huge pupils reflected these rays, a tiger’s, deathly still: she sensed danger. Many metres below her, the fierce waters of the Jinsha river smashed relentlessly into the gorge. But this river was…

Parcels, flashers and the art of sarcasm…

I looked down at the delicate glass candle holder* wrapped carefully in newspaper and wondered why it was causing the woman behind the Post Office counter to scream and gesticulate quite so wildly. I’d given her the note that I’d had translated into Chinese saying, ‘Please post to England.’ What could the problem be? I…

A series of unfortunate events…

While you've been going about your day-to-day lives, unsuspecting of anything untoward, we have been a woman down out here… I repeat: A WOMAN DOWN. It finally happened. China… all good fun until somebody eats a mouldy egg. Now that I have recovered, I can reflect on a difficult few days in Xingping. Katie will…

The Little Things

It’s amazing how much little things can make a big difference to our happiness when travelling. This week has been full of lots of little things, that together have made our week a happy and healthy(ish!) one. Little thing number 1: A brilliant hostel The Wada hostel in Guìlín was much more to us than…

Travelling by Train in China: a Survival Guide

“Please” said the man sitting next to Laura, offering her a bag of unidentifiable brown meat. “Please” he said again, Laura looked hesitant but he was insistent. She gingerly extracted a piece of meat and put it in her mouth. “Duck neck” said the man. Laura turned pale. It was our fourth long train journey…

The Giant Pandas of Chéngdū

Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Chéngdū No sooner had we entered the panda sanctuary than Katie started coughing and sputtering and pointing rapidly to a group of people with cameras. Unable to formulate any kind of coherent sentence and rapidly getting redder in the face, I realised that Katie must have been stung by some…

Chéngdū: Biscuit to Buddha

Our time in Chéngdū was hugely influenced by nothing more than a slightly melted, and somewhat broken, chocolate biscuit. It all began on the overly crowded, smelly, 15 hour train from Xī'ān, I offered the people on the bunks above us, Wen and Yang, a biscuit and before long we were friends! The next morning…