Kangding : the gateway to Tibet

Snaking down the west side of Sichuan province in southern China is the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. This, if described in simpler terms, could also be called the Tibetan plateau. The biggest draw for me when I discovered such a…

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Teaching English at First Leap China

I’ve contemplated writing something like this for a while, and now I have successfully completed my one year contract with First Leap China, I feel it is the perfect time. Recently I started up a blog for the recruitment agency…

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Inner mongolia, da zhao temple (3)

An intimate afternoon at a Buddhist Lamasery

There I was, staring at a beautiful Buddhist Lamasery in Inner Mogolia. I had to squint mind you; it was that time of day when the sun seems desperate for your attention. Whichever way I looked was aesthetically pleasing.  Being…

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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall (33)

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall, 2 day trek

When I originally decided to trek from Jiankou to Mutianyu, I was looking for a strenuous climb. You know, just to make sure my legs could still handle a big day out in the mountains. As it turns out, this…

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Inner Mongolia, Xilamuren grasslands (20)

Sunday Snap : Aobao

This is an Aobao formation. When nomads were moving across the grasslands, they would use them for navigation. Nowadays, they have become somewhat of a prayer platform. Here is my guide, Rose, bowing and praying to the Aobao three times,…

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Sunday Snap : Olympic Park, Beijing

Olympic Park, Beijing was home to the 2008 Olympics. Now, unlike most other parks in Beijing, it is free for the public to roam. By day, explore the Bird’s Nest stadium or check out the view from the tower. By…

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Sunday Snap : Lotus flowers

Summer time in China is the perfect time to go in search of Lotus flowers. Once they have finished beautifully decorating the parks, locals will harvest the flower seeds – a delicious snack found on street stalls for a few…

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798 Art District, Beijing

This district is named after one of the state-owned factories – factory 798 – which, built in the 1950’s, originally produced electronics. “Bringing together contemporary art, architecture, and culture with a historically interesting location and an urban lifestyle, “798” has…

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flight of the pigeon

Book review : Last Flight of the Pigeon (2016)

The Last Flight of the Pigeon sees a naive Brit venturing off on a classic Chinese bike to hit the open road – all 5000km of it – from Beijing to Xinjiang. It was, as Simon describes it, “… taken out…

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Feasting on organic honey

The bitter taste of hypocrisy

As I sat there supporting a petition to stop the approaching dog meat festival in China, whilst simultaneously chomping my way through a plate of juicy lamb dumplings, my tooth well and truly chipped (hypothetically speaking). It suddenly dawned on me; this…

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bee keeping

Sunday Snap : Bee keeping, China

Stumbling upon this honey bee farm in Dalian, Liaoning province was one of the most interesting experiences I have had. This chap had no fear, brushing away the bees with bare hands before placing the comb in a silver cylinder…

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Wanquanyu Great Wall camping (8)

Camping on the (wild) Great Wall of China

I’d heard it was possible to camp on the Great Wall, in fact, one of my friends had photographic proof of this possibility. But did I ever expect to hear the words “are you free this weekend to help guide…

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Plant in the sky

Mount Hua 华山 : Plank road in the Sky

When an opportunity arises to put your life in danger, by walking precariously along two planks of wood some 2000m above sea level, it’s impossible to say no. At least, it was for me, a few friends and some other 50…

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