Observing Everyday Life in Suzhou China

Inside one of the gardens in Suzhou China

With just one day to visit, we only got a glimpse of life in Suzhou China. Sitting about 100km west of the big city of Shanghai, we could sense the more relaxed lifestyle the instant we got off the train. Life in Suzhou had an almost tranquil atmosphere despite being one of China’s most affluent cities. […]

Zig Zag Bridges in China ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Zig Zag Bridge in Suzhou, China. The bends stop the evil spirits from following.

Zig zag bridges are common in China, not because they are beautiful (although I think they are), but rather to keep away evil spirits who can only travel in a straight line.  They often lead to serene islands, symbolically taking followers from the chaos and bustle of a city to a peaceful spot. Possibly the […]

Platypus, Panda and a Pink Elephant ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Platypus in the Wild

Patience is the secret to seeing a platypus in the wild, mixed in with a bit of luck.  Plus some guidance from a local. Two hours later and we got our reward:   Panda were much easier for us to spot as they are not wild. Travel to the Panda Research Center in Chengdu China […]

Great Wall of China – A Walking Adventure ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Great Wall of China

We walked on the Great Wall of China! We chose the Mutianyu section as it’s a bit steeper and much less crowded than the more popular Badaling section. Have you walked on the Great Wall of China? Have you been to China? Are you participating in the AtoZ Challenge 2014? This post also submitted for […]

Photos: The Army of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an China

Terracotta Warriors

Seeing the Army of the Terracotta Warriors was one of the highlights of our visit to China. This army of almost 6000 warrior statues was created during the Qin Dynasty (2000 years ago) and was accidentally discovered in Xi’an by a farmer in 1974 and opened to the public a few years later. The photos don’t […]

Travel Tips on China – Know Before You Go

Panjiayuan Flea market photo

We loved China (most of the time), and have come up with a list of our best travel tips on China.  Vising this Asian nation was interesting, frustrating, exciting, dirty, crowded, historic,  loud, colorful, stinky, inexpensive, polluted, multi-cultural, modern and ancient all at the same time. If you are headed to Asia, here are. . […]

More Beijing Photos – Meeting Locals, Drumming, Olympics, Temples

drumming in hutongs

There is just so much to capture in Beijing photos that I just can’t do it justice in a reasonable amount of posts.  So hang on to your hat and get ready for a whirlwind photo tour of Beijing – the rest of our favorite sites (although I did save a few for tomorrows China […]

Our Questionable Visit to the Chinese Medicine Doctors

Chinese Foot Massage

We learned a bit about Chinese medicine today at the Beijing Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Preservation Research Center, or were we just ripped off. We will never know. First we were greeted with a cup of flower tea. While our feet soaked in a special tea bath, an English speaking doctor gave an overview of […]

OMG – Beijing Street Food from the Weird to the Bizarre

Beijing street food

Beijing Street Food was really beyond my imagination, even more bizarre than I had expected.  Right outside our Beijing apartment, on Wangfujing Street we can get the most interesting Street Food.  Simply select your favorite and they will boil, BBQ, fry or steam it right on the spot . . . Beijing Street Food There […]

We Climbed the Great Wall of China!

Mutianyu section of the Great Wall

This was a great day! We climbed the great wall of China, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world! We have been looking forward to this day for so long, and it far exceeded my expectations. It is just so massive and beautiful. Some say the wall reminds them of a massive dragon, […]

Photo Tour: Beijing’s Summer Palace

beijing summer palace marble boat

There is so much to see in Beijing.  Yesterday the Forbidden City, today we visited the Summer Palace, where the Emperor used to live from April until the weather turned cold. It’s bigger and I found it more striking than the Forbidden City. Actually, it is a lot bigger, covering an expanse of 2.9 square […]

Inside the Forbidden City, Beijing China

Forbidden City

Right in the center of Beijing, and walking distance from the apartment we are staying at, is the walled Forbidden City.  Aptly named as the Emperors and Empresses lived here for over 600 years and it was forbidden to commoners.  Obviously all that has changed, and now it is a beautiful museum in the center […]

Our Interesting and Amusing Flight from Chengdu to Beijing, China

chengdu to beijing

We had a 7.35pm flight from Chengdu to Beijing, so right on time at 7.15 they called for boarding. In what seems to be typical China fashion, all 300 passengers shoved their way to the gate.  Once through we went down the stairs, outside and onto a shockingly crowded stand up bus. While I am […]

Giant Buddha and an Ancient Town – Leshan and Haunglongxi, China

giant buddha leshan

Today we took a two hour drive, boarded a boat and went to see the world’s largest buddha carved in a mountain. We were really excited about the giant buddha, but I have to say it was rather a let down. Unlike most of the other things I have written about, in this case I […]

Sichuan Opera, Sichuan Food – More China Fun

Szechuan Opera

Sichuan (English spelling Szechuan) used to only conjure up images of food which was too hot and spicy food for me to eat. Last night that all changed as we went to a traditional Sichuan Opera. It’s a mix of styles, each act being completely different than the one before. There was drumming, comedy, acrobatics, […]

Baby Panda Climbs a Tree at Chengdu China’s Research Center

Baby Panda Climbs a Tree in Chengdu, China

Our timing is perfect. Mama panda is assisting baby panda as he tries to climb a tree as we approach the enclosure housing baby panda at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, China. Baby Panda Learns to Climb a Tree Our visit is about more than just lots of “awww” moments […]

Xi’an China: Army of the Terracotta Warriors and Other Key Sites

Terra-cotta Warriors

Another item ticked was off my bucket list today, when we saw the Army of the Terracotta Warriors. Although it did start out a bit early, the day was awesome. A quick travel lesson for us; while a 7.25am domestic flight may not sound so bad, it is. We had to get up at 4.30 […]

Shanghai: Yu Yuan Gardens and Dancing in Fuxing Park

Shanghai Dancing

Today was my favorite day so far, although it is still quite early in our travels.  We are still in Shanghai and we spent the day with Sunny, the guide we were with our first night here.  We had three main stops.  First was our request, the Jewish Refugee Museum. Next we went to the […]

World’s Fastest Train and Other First Day Sites in Shanghai China

nanjing road shanghai china

Shanghai, the world’s fastest growing city is also home to the world’s fastest train. The Maglev train runs from the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai China into the outskirts of town. Our arrival into Shanghai China in was easier than we had anticipated. ThePudong International Airport was easy to get around and we didn’t have to speak […]