Latest posts

Hong Kong terminus

After Shanghai we decamped to Hong Kong for a day or two before we caught our various planes home. I really like Hong Kong, firstly because it's great for travellers (you can check in for your flight at the central train station and not head out to the airport yourself until hours later, by which time your bags have already been sent through), because I like being able to get the recently-released cameras and gear you actually want (and more affordably too), thirdly because I like how close you are to all sorts of different stuff – thick forest buts up against residential blocks and the expensive boring areas of town are only a couple of subway stops away from the anything-goes parts of the city.

Posted Sat 31 December 2011 17:03 (+1300)

Shanghai and leaving mainland China

I find it pretty strange when I tell someone that I've been to China and they ask “oh – where, Beijing and Shanghai?”. I really struggle to see why you would bother going to China and yet choose to spend your time there in Shanghai, sometimes described as the Paris of the east but perhaps better described as like all the shopping-mall-infested rich-people's cities in the west. Sure, the girls loved going shopping for clothes there, but I couldn't help feeling that you can do that in any big city and in comparison to the unique things we saw in the rest of China – we'd just come from Huangshan and Hongcun just seemed, well, boring.

Posted Tue 27 December 2011 14:54 (+1300)


Near Huangshan there are two ancient villages on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Xidi and Hongcun, and I'd arranged for us to see Hongcun before we took the train to Shanghai. Hongcun was 880 years old when we visited which when your own country is only 171 years old seems like a long long time.

Posted Mon 26 December 2011 23:51 (+1300)

Leave behind your virtue in Huangshan

After Beijing and the daytrip to visit the Great Wall we flew south to Tunxi, which is effectively the service town for the epic Huangshan (‘Yellow Mountain’) with its striking granite peaks, pine trees, and amusingly mistranslated signs.

Posted Sun 04 December 2011 18:33 (+1300)

Walking the Great Wall at Jinshanling

We were in Beijing in the middle of summer and on the 11th of August it was expected to reach 34ÂșC. So our group decided to go hiking up and down the Great Wall for a few hours in the middle of the day :).

Posted Mon 07 November 2011 00:15 (+1300)

Beijing sights and food

Another sleeper train from Xi'an to Beijing. The beds are hard, you might get an insect bite or two, but they're otherwise kinda fun. Everyone takes a big cup noodle from the store and they have a hot-water heater that you fill up from. They always seem to wake you up an hour before you get there though (to make sure you don't go past your stop) so I was always tired when we got in and pretty damn keen for a shower.

Posted Sat 01 October 2011 14:32 (+1300)

Xi'an - warriors and pollution

We took the sleeper train up from Yichang after the Yangtze cruise to Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province. Xi'an was crowded and very, very badly polluted and there's only one reason tourists go there – to see the terracotta warriors.

Posted Sat 01 October 2011 00:12 (+1300)

Down the Yangtze

I was pretty sick after Huanglong and Jiuzhaigou – probably thanks to the water cooler in the hotel room – and when we flew on to Chongqing I basically crawled into bed on the cruise ship and went to sleep. After two weeks of wood-like Chinese beds it was pretty much the best thing ever to have a comfortable mattress and a comfy duvet in a quiet place and I slept like a very stationary log which has had a hard week at the office.

Posted Wed 28 September 2011 00:36 (+1300)

Huanglong and Jiuzhaigou

After travelling around Chengdu area we flew on to what is described as a Tibetan area – but still in Sichuan, not in Tibet on the map. In the scenic Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture there are – or were as of 2000 – a narrow majority of ethnic Tibetans in the area.

Posted Tue 27 September 2011 21:28 (+1300)

Chengdu, Bifengxia, and Leshan

After Guilin and Yangshuo we flew to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan – home of delicious, tasty food, giant pandas, and giant sculptures.

Posted Sun 25 September 2011 23:24 (+1300)

Recent photos

Hong Kong at night, from Victoria Peak
An IFC monolith
Lucky Dessert neon
Hong Kong sign overload near Mong Kok
Sunset from Hong Kong Island
One of the stalls making Mong Kok overpoweringly smelly
Making the most of the land you've got
Cool arch up Nong Ping

About me

I'm a Wellington, New Zealand-based software consultant. In my spare time I enjoying cooking, traveling, geocaching, progressive house, and fixin stuff.

Need to get in touch? Try me at my public email address.