Category: China

My Failed Tibet Trip: Permits, Solo Travel, Getting Stuck in Xining, and the Amdo Route from Xining To Chengdu

Cold, tired, and hungry, I finally dropped my bags and plonked myself down on the bed; all I had to do now was go out for food and then shower & sleep, before getting up next day to take the

Posted in China, Overland travel, Tibet

Life in Beijing: Airpocalypse Now

One night while living in Beijing I coughed and hacked and spluttered all night long, with an itching and burning in my throat that nothing would alleviate. I didn’t sleep much that night, and when I finally did wake up

Posted in Beijing, China

(How NOT to) Go to Guizhou: the Hidden Beauty of China

“Go to Guizhou, the Hidden Beauty of China,” the TV advised me. “No thanks mate – I already did, and it was kinda shit,” I replied. I was sat in my Airbnb in Taipei, doing some work with the TV

Posted in China, Overland travel

A Stroll in Chongqing: City of Bridges and Spices, Phlegm and Trash

Why are you even here? This wasn’t the plan at all. You were supposed to be in Tibet. Crossing the road, you tuck in behind the old bloke bent under the weight of an enormous load of empty plastic bottles

Posted in China, Chongqing

Overland Routes from China to Southeast Asia

If you’re looking to travel overland from China to SE Asia (or vice versa) you have four main route options: Guangxi province to Vietnam, Yunnan province to Vietnam, Yunnan to Laos (and Thailand), and Yunnan to Myanmar. There also used

Posted in China, Overland travel, Southeast Asia

Leshan: Big Brawl at the Big Buddha

The Giant Buddha of Leshan in China‘s Sichuan province is one of the largest statues in the world, 71 metres tall, and the largest stone Buddha. It can easily be visited as a day-trip from the nearby city of Chengdu,

Posted in Chengdu, China

The Great Firewall of China, and why you need a VPN

If you’re visiting China, the Great Wall is likely to be somewhere near the top of your list of priorities; but the Great Wall of China isn’t the only wall you’re going to come across – you’re also going to

Posted in China

How to Visit the Great Wall of China from Beijing

“You know, you can see it for miles. It goes on for miles over the hills and everything; but so does the M6. D’you know what I mean? You can see that for miles… and you go, “great,” and that

Posted in Beijing, China

Beijing to Chengdu in the autumn holiday: 27 hours in a tin of sardines!

Obviously, the train was packed. It was the autumn holidays, when the whole of China travels home to see family, and the only tickets available had been for the hard seat carriages – these carriages do have numbered individual seats

Posted in Beijing, Chengdu, China, Overland travel

A useful backdoor route from Chengdu to Yunnan (Panzhihua to Lijiang bus)

If you’re in China and planning to go from Chengdu to Yunnan overland (but don’t plan on doing the awesome-looking but quite involved backdoor route through the Tibetan Kham region), there’s a handy little shortcut you can take off the main

Posted in Chengdu, China, Overland travel

Down the Yangtze by hydrofoil through the Three Gorges

“The man made scenery of the Yangtze is spectacularly grim.” – Michael Palin, Full Circle, 1997 “Marco Polo must’ve been pissed off by this point. It’s ‘orrible; it’s horrible. It’s a place to visit in a submarine this, this river.

Posted in China, Chongqing, Overland travel

Hotpot Carnage in Chongqing

We got off the bus at some shithole bus station in a grim city that felt about two decades behind Beijing, under a smothering blanket of dirty brown smog so thick we couldn’t even see the tops of the faceless

Posted in China, Chongqing, Food

An action-packed first overland run through China

I’d been to Hong Kong & Macau the year before, but when we arrived in Beijing at the end of our Trans-Siberian journey, it was my first time in mainland China (and for my two companions too). Mike and Ross

Posted in Beijing, Chengdu, China, Chongqing, Overland travel

A Beijing Bender

Beijing’s a city I’ve been to a whole bunch of times, including a spell living there for a few months in autumn / winter of 2013, so I’ve come to know the place pretty well and have plenty of memories there.

Posted in Beijing, China, Food

The Beijing Teahouse Scam (trolling the trolls)

Introducing the Beijing Teahouse Scam: “So, how about going for tea?” she suggested. “Sounds good,” I replied, “but actually, I think I’d prefer a coffee right now.” “Oh… but, coffee is too strong for us Chinese, we can’t drink it,”

Posted in Beijing, China