China unexpectedly grabbed both Laura and me. There was a time early on, when we were staying at the disgustingly smelly three legged frog in Beijing, that we couldn't imagine ever enjoying this mental country. But it slowly warmed on us, the month we had planned turned into 7 weeks; even then we were sad to say goodbye. China tested our ability to travel and we made it through, with a lot of fun along the way.
Aside from the amazing scenery, the rich history and the warm people, it's the culture of China that has fascinated us the most. Although I don't necessarily agree with the politics of the country, I quite admire its stubbornness. It seems to me that the people of China will happily look to the west for advice, but in the end will do what they want to anyway…
So what if I cough up my guts and spit on the street? So what if I like to eat chicken's feet? So what if I like to go around in tour groups taking photos of absolutely everything? So what if I let my children pee in the street? What are you going to do about it?!
After 10,298 miles travelled so far, with heavy hearts we boarded the night bus from China to Laos. Below is a summary of the best bits of China for us, including a record of where we've stayed and how we rated it.
Laura: Yunnan province
Katie: Also Yunnan province, alhough Hong Kong was pretty cool for hiking
Laura: Melon on a stick and mini mandarins
Katie: Stir fried lotus root and firm tofu
Laura: Wada, Guilin
Katie: Has to be the Wada too!
Best outdoor adventure:
Laura: The Great Wall
Katie: Tiger Leaping Gorge trek
Best experience overall:
Laura: Experiencing the generosity of the Chinese people
Katie: Watching the sunrise over the Great Wall of China
China in one word:
If you put all our blogs about China into wordle, this is the result:
…I'm surprised the words “chicken's” and “feet” are not much bigger!
Places we've stayed, when we were there, how much it cost per person per night and our rating out of 5!
- Yessin Fortress Hill, Hong Kong. 21-22/09/13, £20 ***
- Yessin Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. 23-25/09/13, £15 *****
- Sleeper train from Hong Kong to Beijing. 26/09/13, £47
- Three Legged Frog, Beijing. 27-30/09/13, £7 *
- Downtown Backpackers, Beijing. 01&04/10/13, £9.50 *****
- Great Wall of China 02/10/13 (camping trip)
- Peking International Youth Hostel, Beijing. 03/10/13, £12.50****
- Hang Tang International Youth Hostel, Xi'an. 05-08/10/13, £5.50*****
- Sleeper train from Xi'an to Chengdu. 09/10/13, £21
- Hello Chengdu international youth hostel, Chengdu 10-12/10/13, £3.50 **
- Sleeper train from Chengdu to Guilin 13/10/13 £31.50
- Wada, Guilin. 14-16 & 20-21/10/13 £3.50 ****** (Extra star for being the best hostel ever!)
- This Old Place, Xingping. 17-19/10/13 £3 dorm, £6.50 twin ***
- Sleeper train from Guilin to Kunming. 22/10/13, £45 (only soft sleeper available)
- Upland Youth Hostel, Kunming. 23-24/10/13 and 4-5/11/13 £3.50 ***
- Garden Inn, Lianjang. 25/10/13, £3.50 **
- Jane's Tibetan Guesthouse, Tiger Leaping Gorge. 26/10/13, £3 *
- Halfway House, Tiger Leaping Gorge. 27/10/13, £4 ****
- Mama Naxi's, Lijiang. 28/10/13, £3.60 ***
- Jade Emu, Dali. 29/10/13-03/11/13 £3.50 ***.5 (Laura thought it was worth 3, I thought 4!)
It's been epic, bring on Laos!
Love to all,