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…

Xī’ān: Muslim Quarter, Terracotta Army and the City Walls

Laura and I both agree that the best thing about travelling is the people we meet along the way. I’m writing this on board the overnight train to Chengdu from Xī’ān after 4 days exploring Xī’ān and the surrounding area. We’ve just spent a good hour chatting to Yuon and Whin, a recently married couple…

The Great Wall of China!

In the words of a wise and wonderful friend, “The Great Wall of China isn’t just great… it’s absolutely fantastic!”Katie Holmes, 03/10/13 At 10am on Wednesday 2nd October, in the entrance hall of the clean and comfortable Downtown Backpacker’s Youth Hostel, Katie and I sat excitedly waiting. We were accompanied by our two rucksacks stuffed…

Beijing: Summer Palace and The Forbidden City

China introduced a one child per family policy in 1979 in a bid to keep the population to 1 billion by the year 2000. Over the years this has lead to China having the biggest gender imbalance in the world, with 117 boys born for every 100 girls. Traditional Chinese culture favours boys; when I…