Yanshuo - Yulong River - Shanghai - Hong Kong
After a really good nights sleep me and Kay risen from our rooms and checked out a little bit later then planned, still after our last two days up early and walking through the rice fields it was more then warranted. We made are way to the train station to hopefully book our next two onward trains and board the bus to Yangshuo. Thanks to the helpful staff at our hostel we had the instructions of our two trains written in Chinese, so nothing should go wrong. Once at the station window we booked are train for the following Saturday, from Guilin to Shanghai with no problems at all. We then tried to book are next train from Shanghai to Hong Kong, this caused some confusion as you can only book trains 10 days in advance, are Hong Kong train was 12 days away. We knew this already but still thought it was worth a shot, little did we know the mess we would cause. By now there was quite a que behind us and they seemed to be getting more and more angry the more we were at the window. Luckily a local Chinese girl came to the rescue and cleared the confusion up, in the process taking an absolute verbal bashing from the other women in the que. Me and Kay appreciated her efforts and the fact she took such a telling off that we went and bought her a chocalate bar to say thanks. We could not think of anything else to get at the train shop, it would have been too weird to have opted for the chicken feet, so we went with a Galaxy bar safe in the knowledge that all women love chocolate! The Chinese girl was very appreciative and wished us a good trip. With the time around 12ish we were eager to get on the bus and move on to Yangshuo, luckily we caught one just as it was leaving. We arrived at Yangshuo about 1.5 hours later and made are way via the short 10 minute walk to our pre-booked hostel, Monkey Janes. With a 75% rating on Hostel Bookers and under a fiver I assumed we had got ourselves a bargain. I am building my case slightly as I now know what we found ourselves in at Monkey Janes and what Kayleigh will write about are stay there in the next few blog days! Ha As far as I was concerned we had landed on our feet! Once at Monkey Janes and checked in we soon realised that this was not the case, I had chosen to take us to a damp, dirty, smelly pit, not room, but pit as Kay describes it. I still to this day and im writing now a good few days since we have left Yangshuo insist that under a fiver, you can not complain. It is through decisions like this that we are now well under budget! (Still trying to build that case! Ha) Once bags were strategically placed in our room avoiding all dirt and damp patches we quickly escaped to the streets of Yangshuo to see what the place was all about. We made our way to the nearby park where the peaks there were meant to resemble a man kneeling to greet a woman, me and Kay stared and stared, but we could not see this one bit. Still we both agreed that the peaks at the park and all around Yangshuo were both strange, but amazing sights. There are so many of these paeaks all around this area that just rise up from the ground, it looks like it must be man made. As it so hard to imagine that nature could have created this. Once we had passed through the park we made are way towards the harbour side that greets the Li River, as right from the beginning of planning are trip to China we have been looking forward to Yangshuo and the Li River. On our way there we managed to befriend yet another Chinese man called Charlie. This time though he was not a tout but an English teacher from a local High School. Which both Kay and myself found slightly odd and perhaps not believeable as his English was not the best and why would a teacher want to choose to spend the next couple of hours following us. As he continued to follow us through Yangshuo and along the Li River he asked me many questions, some strange, some obvious about England, me , Kay and my relationship with Kay. He wanted to know everything, even the amount of children I wanted to have, which I must admit I did feel strange for a bloke to be asking another bloke that question. (Not the sort of thing we have interest in talking about.) He also confessed that he does not like being single but that he is too small to find a girlfriend. I tried to assure him not to worry as incase he has not noticed, all Chinese are small! Ha - Best I could come up with! With the rain starting to fall and getting more and more heavy me and Kay saw this as are oppourtunity to loose Charlie (mean I know) but we could see he was not going to leave on his own accord. We made are way back to Monkey Janes, took shelter from the rain and Charlie before making are way back outside in search of somewhere to go for food. After walking through West Stree, the main street of Yangshuo which is filled with bars, restaraunts and stalls. And through the many other streets we soon realised that the nearby Music bar was by far the cheapest and best variation of food on offer. We had some western inspired Chinese food with us opting to have sweet & sour vegetables, curry vegetables, rice and some delicious spring rolls. After plenty of walking again today, we pollished are food off fairly quick. Once stomachs satisfied we made are away around the main streets of Yangshuo taking in everything that was going on, it was a Saturday night and for the first time on this trip it actually felt like one. All the bars along West Street were blaring with music, mostly bass filled Hip Hop, there seemed a lot of young about aswell. I was even conteplating joining them at one point, still I knew just how tired we both were and one beer would have surely put us to sleep no matter how loud and heavy the base would have been! Ha. Instead as the party animals that we are, we decided to call it a night. Armed with a cream and chocolate filled sponge cake bought from a street stall we made are way back to the pit for a hopefully good, deep nights sleep, unconsicence and unaware of the damp and smells that surrounded us!
Checked out of our damp smelly pit after no sleep at all last night - too worried to move in bed - desperate to not touch any more damp surfaces!! Gross!!! Managed to swap to a different room here - bigger - air con works - so bit better - it will do for one more night - will have to just hang on in there!! It had been raining REALLY heavily all morning - after sorting out the room - it unfortunutly hadn’t stopped. We headed for food in the rooftop restaurant - again GROSS - you would never want to eat here - but it was raining so hard we didn’t really have a choice - in all fairness - the breakfast we had was really good!! By this point the rain had stopped - so we decided that we needed to get out of the hostel - ASAP - and continued with our plans of walking the supposedly most scenice route of the Li river. We caught a bus to Yangdi, which took about an hour, passing the most beautiful scenery - farming land with people and animals hard at work - with huge peaks rising above them!!!! Everything is so green!! Really is stunning. We got off the bus at the edge of the river and attempted to find out where we needed to go. (The only directions we had was that we needed to get to Xing Ping by walking, crossing the river 3 times). It turned out that we needed to get a bamboo raft across to the other side of the river already - with storm clouds circling overhead - the raft man would not take us to the otherside, he wanted to take us further down the river for a higher fee. Refusing to do this - we eventually found 2 women who were also planning to walk, and together they man eventually agreed to take us to the other side, for a fee of 10 yuen each. As soon as we boarded the raft - down it came - boy did it rain!!! It was raining so hard - me & Ollie sat next to each other - but we could hardly hear each other speak! The raft gave up on waiting for the rain to ease up and just took us to the other side - where we got out - already in our coats - to start our trip. Perhaps today was not the best day to choose to do the walk. We let the other two walk infront and happily followed their lead, allowing us not to have to worry where we were walking - as long as we managed to miss the lake like puddles that had now formed across any sort of path. We were drentched through - but as soon as you are that we - there is no point worrying about it anymore - which was quite nice as we ended up just enjoying the views (well, what we could see throught the fast rain & heavy missed - it was not that much - but we could still see we were in a very beautiful place!) and carlessly striding through any puddle that tried to stop us. We walked past a field where men were still out picking the oranges - I hoped they would offer us one as I bet they would have tasted good - but unfortunutely they didn’t!! We rached the next crossing point of the river - the man who crossed us on our first point, had kindly waited for us at the second point - we paid our fee - and headed out on the second part of the trip. The masses of rain, yet still warm weather had brought out all the wildlife - but luckily no more exotic that frogs & small spiders (thank god!) - which was cute to stop and have a good look at. As we were walking along this part, looking back along where we had just walked - the mist seemed to have set lower in the peaks - felt like we were in jurrasic park or somthing - almost edging on an eerie feel to them. The rain upped its efforts one more time - hammering down harder than ever - Ollie was carrying the bag including both cameras inside his jacket (but in typical Ollie style he broke the coat trying to tighten it enough to keep it dry! Ha!) but with the water running down our necks we were still soacked through - and he was getting more and more worried about them gettin gruined. As the rain hit harder Ollie decided enough was enough - we couldn’t risk braking the cameras - so we jumped on a bamboo raft nearby - and haggled from 200yued down to 60yuen for both of us! Bargain!! As soon as we got settle on the raft - the rain stopped! Ha! typical!!! But - we were still happy with the decision as it meant that we got to take a raft that we had previous written off as too expensive - at a fraction of the price!! We relaxed after our hard slippery walk - joking about how the women jumped in to help me across a wobbly wodden plank bridge while Ollie just stood there and watched! Ha! Soon enough the rain started again - reassured that we had made the right decision we enjoyed being protected by the little roof onboard. We eventually reached “XingPing" according to the raft man - but I didn’t believe him as no other rafts had stopped here - so Ollie stayed onboard so he could not leave while I ran around trying to find out if we were in the right place (worried that the cheap price we had paid meant we were chucked off any old place). There was nothing around - some locals pointed me towards Xing Ping - but I couldn’t work out if it was close or not. I gave up and went back to Ollie - I shouted across to other rafts - one of which actually ended up pulling over next to us - the Chinese men on here spoke a little English and confirmed this was XIng Ping. After holding the poor raftsman up for so long - bless him - we thanked him and got off of his boat that we had been holding hostage. It turned out the Chinese man was also walking to the bus station, 7km away - so we just followed him. Again the rain set in - but by now we hoped our things would be OK. We enjoyed the walk back through the villages - again - more lovely scenery - so sad that it has been raining too hard all day to be able to actually get the cameras out to be abl;e to capture any of it. After a long walk - we reached XingPing, crossing the bridge to look out onto the exact point of scenery that they print on the 20Yuen note - managed to snap a pic of this - althought the view on the other side of the brige actually looks better so not sure why China didn’t choose to use that one instead!? Ha! We hoped on our bus - soaking wet - rightly being made to sit on the back seat so that we didn’t ruin the others - and rested for our 45min journey back to the pit, aka our hostel! When we reached Yangshou, we decided decided to book our train to Hong Kong as it would now be available - we went to the ticket office we had spoken to the other day - but the English speaking guy was not there. After a very long time, and uncluear conversation with another man, we hoped that we had managed to make ourselves understood - and booked our ticket to Hong Kong with him (despite reservations as to if we should come back another day - hopefully it won’t be proved that we should have done this! Ha!) agreeing to collect on our way back from Yulong River in a couple of days time. After freshening up with a shower - we headed out for food, again to the nice western restaurant that serves great chinese food at a fraction of the price from anywhere elses, and enjoyed our meal, just as delicious as before - along with a few games of cards.
Had another fry up at the hostel this morning - after finding out if was good value and tasty yesterday. Checked out of our pit too - WAHOO - thank god!!! In all fairness - last nights room was much better than the first one - but still - there is an overwhelming sense of uncleanliness here - which feels so much worse as it sticks out like a sore tumb in China. I know we have to come back here in a few days as the rooms are cheap - but I am not looking forward to it - to say the least! WHen checking out we met a German couple who were also going to the Giggling Tree Hotel, same as us, so we shared a taxi with them. After half an hour we arrived at the hotel, which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere - right out in the sticks - perfect - exactly what we were hoping for!!! We checked in and discovered that they didn’t have any of their cheaper 180 rooms, only 210Yuen. Now 180 was a painful push for us as it was - 210 was well out of our budget - but with nowhere else to stay - but knowing we have been looking forward to being in this area for the whole of China - we just had to suck it up & do it. All checked in to the beautiful rooms (it is a converted farmhouse, ran by a Dutch couple) we checked out some bikes (only the crappy ones left as later in the day now) and headed back to Yangshou - we had forgotten to withdraw cash before we left - DOH!!! Ha!! I was a bit annoyed as the bike I had was so crap it was really hard to ride along the potholed road so I couldn’t be bothered to go all the way back to where we had just come from (it turns out my bike wad a flat tyre so I had good reason to be fed up riding it - and ending up walking it most of the way! Ha!) It turned out to be good having to go back by bike as the trip took us along a beautiful way - we found an ATM & shops before Yongshou so we got money & some supplies (as the room is so expensive we decided to try and save some money by eating pot noodles for tea 2night) & headed back to the hotel, which took twice as long as it should have as we stopped every 2mins to get pictures of the AMAZING countryside - ah this is the life!!! Everytime I take a deep breath in here, whilst stopping to take in my surroundings, my body is filled with a sense of such satisfaction, this is it - this is what we are here for!!! On the way back we found another hostel which is in the middle of being finished, but they had one room finished enough for us to stay in - at the bargain price of 80Yuen a night. I say bargain price, as not only is it much cheaper than the other place, I wouold say it is much better - the room had a whole glass wall & a balcony which allows you to look out over even better views - SOLD! We told them that we would be back tomorrow to check in. We finally got back and dropped the shopping off (& swapped by broken bike for another one - ah much easier now!) - and headed off for another bike ride to Moon Hill, as it was only meant to be 45mins away - it was only 4pm so we had plenty of time, or so we thought. We cycled along the river - by far the most impressive stretch that we have come across anywhere so far - STUNNING - we stopped for way too many photos of the hills - aware of this, but unable to stop ourselves from taking more!!! (It is good to be in remote places - but it can also be a shame as there is nobody around to take a picture of us together - shame as it could make a nice pic - one I’m sure you would give a thumbs up to Mum! Ha!!) We got to the end of the road - concious that it had got pretty late as we had taken up so much time with taking pictures, and decided not to go further to Moon Hill today, but to head back as it was going to be all uphill & I was not sure if I was going to make it all the way on my bike! Ha! Luckily the way back seemed to be much quicker than on the way - we jumped into our room - and I enjoyed they luxury of a nice long shower and a hair wash!!! We enjoyed our pot noodle & other snacks for tea, along with a cuppa tea & biscuits. I frightened myself to death by reading the hotel manual which warned of huge spiders in the rooms, but not to worry as they are not poisenous!!! Great not going to sleep now!!! We got in our mozzie net (our first one!!) and hoped for a good nights sleep - to be undisturbed by spiders in real life & in our dreams! Ha!
Checked out of Giggle Tree and into Eco Farm this morning - met Pan (the guy who seems to run the place) & his family, and he showed us to our room, which was amazing - a whole wall of glass looking out onto the river, with a balcony!!! Very nice!!! The hotel hasn’t been completed yet - for example - we didn’t have a sink - but that was fine by us - for 80Yuen a night we had a bargain!!! We were able to use the bikes they had here for free (saving us another 40yuen from GT!! Wahoo!) so we hopped on a tandem bike and after a few wobbles getting used to it, we headed off for dragon bridge. It was meant to be pretty easy to find - just one straight road almost - but us being ultra sure, checked with a passer by that we were heading in the right direction. He replied telling us that we needed to go the opposite way, pointing towards a supposed path that leads right along the river. We followed his advice, making it clear that we did not want to cross the river, but as we got closer we realised he was just telling us to go that way as he wanted to sell a bamboo raft crossing to us. Even though we would still need to cross the river at the end of our trip, meaning that we could just do the trail backwards as we were here, we refused to get on out of principle, and saw the opportunity as a good chance to just get some nice fresh fruit to start our daytrip. Back on the bike, we headed back where we came from and continued on our way. We passed through all of the lovely countryside, stopping to soak it all in - sinking on our bike as we cycled along - I taught Ollie the “Daisy Daisy, give me your answer do..." song we always used to sing with Gran & Gdad on daytrip - seemed very appropriate!! Ha! We stopped for some lunch just before Dragons Bridge, enjoying some vegetables & rice whilst sat on a large bamboo raft floating on the river - a beautiful place to enjoy rest. Food was really good - alot of Chinese were eating here - we watched as a couple ordered a fish dish, and the man jumped into the river, caught their lunch, ensuring they were happy with it, and then took it off to the kitchen, with it arriving on a plate just a few minutes later - that’s fresh food for you!! Ha! We continued on our journey once our food had gone down, crossed the Dragon Bridge and headed back down the other side. On the way, we passed through a few villages, which was nice to see how the locals daily life panned out, but this side seemed to be less busy, more farmland than anything else. We wandered off the track a little - through their crop fields (we were very careful not to damage anything - not sure if we were even meant to be walking through them but hey ho!) and found a really beautiful tree at the edge of the river, where we stoppe din its shade. The view here was lovely, and we sat and watched all the huge butterflys & dragonflys dance around the water (the insects here are superhuman size - never seen anything like it). A women walked down to the waters edge several times collecting water in huge buckets, feeling embarrassed by being sat there doing nothing but watch her, we left shortly after - not being able to take watching her lift such a weight for another time! Tried to contine through the fields, but the path wasn’t as good now making it difficult with the tandem bike, so we tried to head back out to a road. Finding a road we continued on it for quite some time. You know how it always seems that wherever you are going, it always seems to be quicker on the way back - well I applied this rule to our return journey and said to Ollie that I think we had gone the wrong way. He agreed - but we had come so far we couldn’t turn back - we continued on and hoped for the best. A road sign up ahead said 2km to a nearby town, which was way off where we needed to be - we found ourselves stuck on the wrong side of the karst peaks - unable to cross them again to get back by the river. Cycling further & further we finally found a gap in the mountains, but still feeling very lost having no idea if we were heading in the correct direction - we were very relieved to hear the running water of the river half an hour later. Finding our way to the rivers edge, with a very conveniently placed bridge for us to cross, we got our bearings and realised we were not too far away at all, and continued back to the hotel after a long days cycling - perhaps the tandem was not such a good idea today, they are not the easiest to ride at the best of times, let alone with the off road mountain biking we found ourselves doing! Ha! Got back withthe bike still in one piece and had food at the Eco hotel, very delicious!!! Same old, beer & cards and an early night!
Up this morning and decided we needed a rest from the bikes, so we decided to walk to Moon Hill for the day. We tried to avoid buying breakfast at the hotel in an effort to save money - but our bodies said otherwise as soon as we started walking so we stopped at another hotel along the river, which again had river side seats, and we enjoyed a salad & bacon & egg sarnie - which was delicious, and pretty cheap considering it looked like an expensive hotel. Full of energy we continued on our way...... which turned out to be a very very long way compared to what we had expected!! Ha! The map was not to scale, so it turned out to be a 10mile trip!! We passed a few sightseeing things on the way (Buyuan Tree, Water & Mud Caves etc) but decided not to go in as they weren’t worth the entrance fee - it’s nice enough just walking around this place for free!!! We eventually made it to Moon Hill, and headed for Moon Hill Cafe, again not wanting to pay the entrance fee to be able to climb the hill, we decided to save this money and splash some of it on a chocolate milkshake to share instead as we sat in the cafe with the perfect view of the hill. Enjoying the rest, and the view, we snapped a few shots of us with the hill in the background, and headed on our long walk back, wondering just how the hill managed to get it’s shape - doesn’t seem that any sort of natural erosion could have caused it!? On the walk back, we stopped by the bridge, about half way home, and enjoyed an ice cream while we watched all the bamboo rafts carrying chinese tourists sail down river to reach the end of their ride. There were a few very large rafts which held groups of people who must have been on some sort of organised tour - they seemed to be having a great time, which was fun to watch, tables full with empty beers, they were squirting each other with water guns, joining in with the onboard singing entertainment etc. We finished our walk back - which was almost all uphill so we were struggling at the end. We had decided on a pot noodle for tea tonight (35p each) to try and save money - but after we still hungy so had to share a vegetable fried rice too! Glad we did as Pans fired rice was delicious!! I then quickly changed my clothes as we had planned to go night fishing with Pan and his family - he had invited us earlier that morning - (after making sure I didn’t have to go on the back of a motorbike) we jumped at the chance!! Now that I had covered every inch of my skin possible - to avoid further mosquito attacks - I was ready to go - and so were they. Another group of people who had eaten in the restaurant that night had decided to join us also, it turned out that they were from Bristol!! We all headed out following the family into the nearby waterlogged fields, using fire torches to.... wel I don’t know what they were for actually - but I still waved it round all the same trying to fit it the others! Pan had already told us that morning that some local photographers would be joiuning us also to take pics of us all, as part of a national competition for Rural China - this turned into a bit of a circus and it was soon clear that the photo opportunity over the fishing - but we didn’t care at all - we were having a great time - sludging through the mud & water - none of us having a clue what we were meant to do - but as soon as Pan would shout “FISH" we would run over waving our fire wands around!!! The fishing came to and end, and the 3 fish that our group had managed to catch were all going to be released back into the river, which I was very pleased about as I had quite a conscience about doing this fishing business in the first place. I had the honour of releasing them back into the wild - granting them their freedom (not before posing for more photos first of course! Ha!). I gently tipped the bucket filled with water and fish back into the river, the water flowed out, but now fish, and then finally right as the bucket was upside down the fish floped out - much harder than I had meant them to!!! Ooops!!!! Two of the fish swam away as quickly as they could - but the other just led there!! Oh no - he has gone belly up!!! I wanted to save the poor little thing - but I’ve ended up killing him!!!! Horrified at much actions - I looked to Ollie for some reasurrance that I hadn’t killed it!! Nothing!!!! Everyone else tried to make me feel better that he was still alive - Pan picked it up and showe dme he was still breathing, just taking his time before he swam off - he put it back in the water - it did swim a little - but it definately didn’t swim off!!! Now that I had well and truely ruind the beautiful moment - we all headed back to the hotel - with offers from Pan for group tea. Ollie decided it would be funny to be the ghost of Fred the Fish and haunt me all the way back!! We enjoyed tea, well I say tea it was more like some sort of bitter soup that you added puffed rice, nuts, croutons & spring onion to - and I say enjoyed - the soup was not to our taste - but we had a good time chatting to the new people we had met. After our tea/soup the others left, Pan invited us to join him & his family for beers, we thanked him, but retired for a few hours extra sleep instead.
Today was are last day at the Eco Farmhouse and along the Yulong River. We had decided to head off in the morning to the Farmers Market and hopefully get back in time to pick up a taxi to Yangshuo, with later weather permitting heading to the Lights Show. Pan the guesthouse manager cooked us up an omlette before we headed off on our bikes towards the hours cycle to a nearby town where the market was being held. As we left the weather was looking pretty bleak so we decided today was not the day for a tandem, instead opting for quicker, slicker bikes. As Pan did not have any of those, Kay was forced to have an old lady’s bike equipped with wicker basket and I had an old Chinese classic as Pan sold it to me. Sure enough once out on the pot holed roads the heavens opened up and it absolutely poured down, so much so we were forced to take refuge at a nearby shop. Whilst there we got talking to an American couple who were off to the water caves, they were on a similiar trip to us heading to Vietnam next and then Thialand but in a much shorter time span. Once the rain had decided to ease a little Kay and myself decided as we did not have much time to go back out and brave it again. About an hour and good few thunder storms later we arrived at the town where the market was being held, luckily the market was the first turning left of the town, so there was not too much trouble in finding it. The beginning of the market was the traditional fruit & veg, nothing strange about that. Then we came to the usual brick and brack stalls followed by a white goods section, selling anything from washing machines to microwaves. You would not have thought this was a Chinese market apart from the man selling baby chicks from a basket that had hundreds of them in, sandwhiched right between the brick and brack stalls and the white goods shop! As we continued we came to the meat section, though it seemed that we must have arrived a little bit too late, as there was not too much there. Though there were still the customary chicken feet, pigs trotters, half a pigs face, eyeball included not sure if you pay extra for that and full ducks bodies. We were warned before that you may see skinned dogs bodies here, but so far there were no signs of that here, or most likely that meat had already been sold. As we continued through we came to the live stock, it was only chickens in cages, still the cages were tiny and there were a fair few chickens in there, so not the best conditions. As we came to the end of the basket full of chickens we came to a lady selling a basket full of puppies. Now due to what we were warned previously about these markets and with the fact that they were in the same section as the caged chickens, we were not sure if the dogs were for meat, as pets or to buy as guard dogs to later protect the livestock. I tried to ask the lady selling the pupppies but she did not speak any English and just proceeded in trying to sell them to me, placing them on the back of my bike and even putting them in Kays old lady wicker basket! Not knowing what they were being sold for Kay and myself moved on to the rest of the market. As we continued the time was now getting on and we needed to get back for our taxi that had been booked for 2.30pm, along with the time getting on as was the weather getting worse. Me and Kay had no choice but to cycle back as fast as we could with both the rain and wind strong in our faces. Luckily we still managed to get back in good time, said are farewells to Pan and took the taxi back to Yangshuo. Whilst saying are good byes to Pan I managed to quiz him on those puppies we had seen back at the market, Pan assured us that those puppies would have been sold for pets not meat. So you can now stop worrying mum. Once back in Yangshuo we made are way back to Kays favourite place Monkey Janes, stopping off along the way to enquire at two other hostels, but they were more expensive then good old Janes. So reluctantly we checked back in, this time staying in the main building but still facing the prospect of two nights in yet another damp, smelly, dirty pit. Whilst checking in we bought two tickets for that evenings light show, which may I just add was at the cheapest price we have found, all thanks to Monkey Janes! Ha We had a couple of hours before we had to get back to take the bus to the show so we decided to go collect are train tickets to Hong Kong from the shop we had ordered them through earlier in the week. When we bought these tickets we had a few worries as to whether they would get it right or not, sure enough there was a problem. Though it was not there fault, unfortunatly all the tickets for that train had been sold. Luckily the manager was there who spoke good English, he was really helpful in booking us another train for the same day. Only differnce would be that this train stops in Shenzhen just before the border, we will need to get off the train and walk over the border. Whilst the manager was ordering are tickets we got talking to an English guy who just came into the shop. He had just arrived in China from Vietnam, are destination in just over a week. Now all the weather reports that we had been getting from Vietnam were thunderstorms after thunderstorms, much to Kays and mine aswell dissapointment. After 5 weeks in India and what will be 7 weeks in China we are both, Kay especually looking forward to a few days in the sun on a beach to relax. So the first question I asked was what was the weather like in Hanoi, Scorching, 40 degrees and sun! At this point Kay was speaking to the manager of the shop but I could see a smile still come to her face as she heard the good news. - Lets just hope it stays that way! We then spent a fair bit of time both him and us sharing what we had learnt from each country, he has warned us of the people of North Vietnam and the taxi drivers in particular, not being the friendliest. After noting such information we then made are way to the good old, western , Music Bar for some quick food as we did not have much time before the lights show pick up. Still, we managed to put away about 5 plates worth of food between us. Bellies full we wadled back to the hostel to pick up are bus, still finding time and room in our stomachs for are favourite treats, Chocolate filled sponge cakes! They are really good! Once on the minibus to the lights show we were given little stickers to show the tour group we were in, we had now crossed to the Dark Side!! We were part of a Chinese tour group!!!! Ha! Luckily there were two very good English speaking Chinese ladies who translated everything the tour guide was saying, managed to get our tickets for us and even showed us to our seats. Throughout the day the rain had poured down, leaving Kay and myself to question if it was worth going to the show, or if it would even be on. However as soon as we took to our seats, covered from top to toe in are plastic rain macks we knew we had made the right choice. The show had began! The lights lit up the peaks in the background and shot across the river, it looked amazing! It seemed fake, you could not believe this was the actuall river and Yangshuo peaks in front of you. It felt as if we were at a theatre looking onto a stage with a very extravagent set behind it. By now the rain had stopped, leaving the mist to cross the peaks creating an even more spectacular, mystical sight. The show was amazing, if far surpassed anything I was expecting! The person who puts on this show, put on the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and you could see why, it really was that good. The show has over 600 actors involved, most of them local fisherman on their bamboo rafts, there was authentic Chinses singing and music throughout, but the most spectacular part of the show was the use of lights against the river and the peaks. The show lasted an hour and both Kay and myself left wanting more, I suppose thats the best way to leave. Once back on the bus the tour guide gave a quick head count and we made are way back to our hostel, still excited by what we had just seen and still discussing are many favourite parts. Excitement and joy soon turned to realisation and down right depression the minute we entered back into our pit of a room! Ha - Now was the time to try and attempt to sleep! As anticipated we did not enjoy a good nights sleep, with the most difficult time being Kayleigh absolutely loosing it and declaring she could not believe I had made us stay there again. I chose to remain silent and change are smelly quilt to a less smelly quilt from the other bed in the hope of calming the beast in the pit, I mean Kayleigh! Ha - Even if I had a case to put back to her which I didnt, I would not have. Now was not the time to argue with her!Ha Luckily the slighltly less damp, smelly quilt seemed to work and much like St George I slayed the dragon and Kayleigh returned! Ha - Looking back on it we can now laugh, though everytime I now book a hostel that has a less then 75% on Hostel Bookers, I begin to worry.
After finally managing to get to sleep in this filth ridden, poor excuse of a hostel - it had finally made it to morning - meaning that we could get up and out of our room - hooray!! Did’nt have much on the agenda today, except for getting in a bit of food shopping for the train ride, which we did - we have gotten far too carried away with the amount we take to snack on I think - we are going to end up being cut off board!! But hey - when you have 24hour trains with nothing to do - eating for a majority of those 24hours seems a good idea at the time!!! Carrying what would last us a month at home (Ha!) we strolled back, passing a hairdressers along the way - advertising a “foreigners cut”. Now Ollie spends more time in the bathroom than me as it is getting ready - let alone now his hair has gotten a tiny bit longer - regular huffing and puffing comes flying out of the bathroom with exclaimations that he “just can’t do anything with my hair!”. We went in to ask how much a cut would be - with much confusion from the language barrier - we think we finally managed to work our that it was 20Yuen for a cut... perhaps!? Being unable to get them to understand our “How much” I would have definately left the hair cut idea and walked out there and then - but Ollie didn’t - he decided to brave it!! Ha!! I found it hilarious from start to finish - all the male hairdressers had VERY funky styles, not somthing that Ollie would have been happy walking out with. Ollie sat in the chair and another guy came over with a pair of scissors and started snipping away - this guy didn’t look like the others - he looked more like a computer geek. Ollie sat in the chair as stiff as a board - tensing up more and more with every clump of hair he saw fall to the floor!! I sat in the chair next to him - laughing all the was - doing nothing to settle his nerves, but enjoyed the opportunity to wind him up more - despite being able to see that the guy was actually doing a pretty good job - despite how un-natural he looked snipping away. 10minutes later he was finished and Ollie could finally relax - seeing that the 20Yuen was a bargain - he did a good job!! Ollie strutted out of the shop unable to hide his sheer relief that it had turned out OK. Whilst sat in there, the hairdressers asked me if I would like my hair washed - despite being slightly offended, but understanding exactly why they had offered this service - my hair is dirty but I refuse to spend any longer in the bathroom than necessary in the pit - I declined, deeming it an luxury we couldn’t really afford - but wishing we could! Ha! I am looking like a true traveller today! We then dropped off our shopping a spent the day sat in a Greek restaurant we had walked past earlier - unable to resist the opportunity of a different cuisine. Totally blowing our budget (but feeling better about doing so after we saw another traveller order the exact same dishes for himself - that me & Ollier shared between 2 of us), we enjoyed first of all falafel with pitta & hummus & salad - DELICIOUS - and later a chicken pitta with salad, hummus etc - DELICIOUS!!! All of which was washed down with a couple of beers too - the cheapest beers we have found in CHina so far - 6 Yuen!! We enjoyed a day of treating ourselves, sitting people watching, chatting, playing cards, whilst also getting our photos uploaded. Luckily as we were sat there Mum & Dad popped up on Skype - so enjoyed a really good chat which was lovely as I haven’t managed to speak to them for a while now - and have missed having a good chat!! Please to hear everything is good at home & relieved to see Mum looking so well - skin looking fab which is brilliant news!!! We ended up leaving the bar early evening and quickly went back to get changed and tried to go out for a couple of beers that night, as all the bars round here seem so lively, blaring hip hop music - thought they could be worth a try. After eyeing up which one I felt comfortable walking into - we opted for a place called Marco Polo, which is listed in our LP book so thought there may be other Westeners in there. We ordered 2 small beers which were a fiver!!!! SO expensive - and realised we would have to make these last for a while - so we sat ourselves in a corner booth to have a good view of how the chinese party. As soon as we got settled - the good music stopped and a band came on stage - which, aren’t exactly to our taste - but everyone else seemed to be enjoying it so it was fine. They place started to fill up pretty quickly - and we were asked to leave the booth we were in as a big group wanted to sit there - which was fair enough - so we moved to the side. The band finally finished, thank god, and it went back to hip hop music, which was OK for us to listen to - but just didn’t seem to fit with the crowd in here - who all seemed to be in their 30s 40s - and they demonstrated it didn’t exactly suit them when a man got up on stage and attempted to dance to him!! Bless him - 10/10 for effort - but his moves would not be found on an MTV video! Ha! Another act was announced onto the stage - oh no we thought - more singing - but no not this time - a stripper instead!!!! Ha! Well not quite a stripper - but she did everything a stripper does without actually stripping! Ha! So random - but the crowd loved it - all cheering and clapping - which they never seem to do here!! Ollie was very good, his mum will be pleased to know, ha, and he did a good job of ignoring the situation - and then it was pretty quickly all over - with the next out singing again!?!? This place is so strange!! This type of bar is called a KTV bar - we have heard about these so far, and knew that it had this sort of tone to the bar, but couldn’t remember exactly what - and I suppose expected those parts of it to be in a back room or somthing - not right out in street view! Ha! More people had arrived, and a waitress saw that we had just finished our beer - so she told us to get up out of our seats. Me & Ollie were waiting to see what was on stage next to decide if we were going to order another drink - so Ollie told me to wait there and he walked to the bar. Minutes later he waved me over to leave - FUMING - he had to walk out as the waitress had been so rude to him and just basically told us to get out and then ignored him after that - he said that we were not spending anymore money in there no matter what!! We left & on the walk home Ollie finally managed to let go of his annoyance - which is hard to do when the language barrier means you have no way of getting your point across to the other person. We decided to go upstairs to our hostel bar, as it is meant to be pretty lively & see what it is like - it seemed OK so we had a beer & some chips to cheer Ollie up & then headed back to bed hoping that they few beers that day would send us off to sleep as quickly as possible - reducing the amount of concious time spent in the hole.
Today was going to be a nothing type of a day as we were heading to Shanghai, first by bus from Yangshuo to Guilin and later on to Shanghai by train. We were up fairly early to pack and go have a breakfast on the rooftop bar. After finishing off our breakfast we made are way back down and checked out of Monkey Janes for the last ever time!! An ecstatic Kayleigh and myself made are way to the bus station, first stopping off at a shop to pick up some more supplies for the later train ride. Once at the bus station we luckily picked up a bus to Guilin that was just leaving. We arrived at Guilin at around 1pm, are train to Shanghai was not until 7, so we had a good 5 hours before we would have to make are way to the train station. Not wanting to spend too much money, but still needing a restaraunt or bars Wifi sevice to upload some photos we made are way to the same Irish bar we had frequently used during are last stay in Guilin. As neither Kay or myself were hungry we chose to share a coke, making that one coke last for 4 hours as we uploaded everything we needed to. We did feel a little bad using their Wifi service like that, but the food there is a bit expensive and we had eaten there a few times before. So conscience eased slightly we made are to the train station, I picked up a Macdonalds on the way, that in the recent places we have stayed in, is by far the cheaper option. And Kay picked up some even more cheaper corn on the cob. With enough food supplies in hand to feed us for a week we boarded are train, looking for the bottom bunk bed we believed we had booked. Once at are seats we quickly realised that in fact we were once again both on the top bunks. Which we found a little annoying, as this was going to be one of our longest train rides yet, 20 hours. With most of that time spent during the day, so it would have been good to have been able to sit upright, legs out, next to each other for that time. Instead we faced the prospect of sitting on those tiny seats that occupied the walkways, being knocked every 2 seconds by passer by’s. Made even worse by the fact that are booth was right by the toilettes! Great! Ha Still with only 3 hours until lights out at least we would not have to worry about that too much until the morning. Those 3 hours did pass pretty quickly and Kay and myself soon found ourselves making that steep climb up to our top bunks, both looking forward to a good nights sleep! Unfortunately we had the worlds loudest snorer beneath us, accompanied by 2nd & 3rd place! We tried to use are ipods to no avail! We were going to just have to try and block it out! So with the lovely stench of the toilettes next to us and the snoring triplets below us, we were in for a long night!
Arrived in Shanghai at 3pm today - the morning on the train didn’t go too badly at all - we actually ended up with a lower bunk for the morning as others had got off earlier than us, leaving them free - so we got the bottom bunk afterall, without paying for it!! Wahoo!! Arriving at the train station, we made our way to the connected metro & headed for our hostel, having prebooked & taken directions how to reach them. We followed the directions without much trouble, switching lines, and taking a short 5min walk from the metro. We checked in at reception & headed for our room - I hoped that keeping my fingers crossed for the entire train journey for a nice room in Shanghai had paid off..... Yes it had!!!! Wahoo!! The room was nice and clean - and better still the bathroom was good too - meaning that I could rid myself of Monkey Janes once and for all - but before I could shower, we had to eat - we were starving!!! We headed out, deciding to eat close to the hostel as we needed to be back early to make Skype calls to home. We walked for a while (along the stinkiest road in the world - not sure what it was - perhaps drains!? We just hoped the whole of Shanghai didn’t smell like this! Me & Ollie rated it the 2nd worst smell we have come across in China! Ha! - After rotting corpse smell along a road in Kunming) and all we could find food wise was a food section of a shopping mall. We considered a chinese grill restaurant which looked nice, but not necessarily filling - but when it came down to it our stomachs couldn’t resist the lure of a Subway - so we gave in to it!! A delicious foot long sub EACH later!!! (My 1st foot long sub ever!!) we were suitably stuffed, and enjoyed the stoll back to let our food go down. Reaching the hostel - I headed straight for the shower. Ollie knowing how gross I had been feeling the past couple of days could tell I was going to be in there a while, so he he left me to it & headed downstairs to catch up on sports news on the internet. One very good scrub, leg shave & hair wash later (using 4 sachets of shampoo!!) I emerged suitably pruned and feeling like the old Kayleigh again (those of you who know me will be aware that I can quite happily skip a shower or two - I’m like a pig in shit - I actually like feeling dirty somtimes - this will tell you just how gross Monkey Janes was!!!). Ollie came back to get me & we enjoyed a cuppa tea & snickers before we headed back downstairs to make our Skype calls. We spoke to Ollie Mum first, really good to see how happy she is and that everything is good with her at home. Next Ollies Gran, Grandad & Kev, again nice to have the same old chats we enjoying having at their house when we pop round for our cup of tea & cake. Kev wasn’t feeling too well - so HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER SOON KEV!!! Next we spoke to my Gran, Gdad & Mum - so nice to speak to them - and to be able to see them as I have missed them - going from seeing them almost every Sunday - enjoying spending the whole day with them & then not having been able to speak to them since we have been out here!!! Nice to speak to them on a Sunday too - with them all sat round in their usual routine, if felt like we were in the room with them! We probably annoyed everyone sat in the communal reception area as we were shouting and laughing chatting with everyone all night, but we didn’t care. Buzzing off the calls from home - we headed for bed about midnight - concious we needed a good nights sleep for a busy time of sightseeing ahead of us - in very good moods - we can’t wait to get up and see Shanghai tomorrow!!!
Up and out early to tackle are first full day in Shanghai, after a good nights sleep we were both eager and excited to see what Shanghai had to offer. We first made are way to the French Concession, this was an expensive area to live in Shanghai, compared to Londons Kensington,full of grand mansions all inspired by the French. As Shanghai was the place to be in the 1920‘s, this was the place to live. After checking with our hostel reception as to which metro stop to get off, we made are way there and began are walk through that part of town. The streets were all tree lined with each mansion rising up in its own unique French inspired way, the roads ran on and on with these grand buildings, some now had been turned into fancy apartment blocks still looking as pricey as ever. Kay and myself walked for a good couple of hours only stopping the once to pick up some noodles from a street stall for the price of 6 Yuan (60p) bargain! Once we had finished are walk through the French Concession we came to one of Shanghai’s many parks. We enjoyed a nice gentle stoll around the lake taking in all its surroundings, stopping now and again to do a good bit of people watching. There were many people there, some young who I assume were on their lunch breaks and some old who were enjoying a good old Siesta! Ha Along one line of park benches just in front of the lake I think me and Kay lost count of the amount of old couples that had fallen asleep there, still hand in hand with their heads tilted back, mouths wide open! Ha We both agreed how sweet they looked! There was also a group of men in the centre of the park green enjoying their afternoon, running around trying to get their Kite’s to take off and stay in the air. As there was no real wind about, there kites would not stay up for too long, it looked like a scene from 'The Last of Summer Wine!’ Ha! Still we enjoyed their efforts. Along from the park we managed to stumble across a real brick&brack type of shop, that suprisingly sold the elusive gold waving cat, much to Kay’s and now my delight. We have searched China high and low for this good luck souviner that is meant to bring you good fortune, with Shanghai are last hope! So to finally find it was great! 18Yuan and it was in the bag, so £1.80 for are tacky souviner that we have wanted for ages, yet another bargain! Must be working already! Ha We duly named him Alf, after Kay’s childhood cat! We then made are way to Xintiandi, a complex of traditional Chinese buildings housing expensive, designer shops and restaraunts. This certainly was an expensive part of town, going by the prices on the menus and the Ferrari and Porsche garages opposite! We passed through the little lanes that ran by the shops, looking at all the expensive clothes in the windows, with each window that we passed Kay telling herself that travelling was definately the right choice! Ha By Xintiandi was the site of the 1st National Congress of the CCP, this was where everything kicked off and shaped Chinese politics and culture for ever. This building is Chinese Communisms holiest shrine, the building where Mao and his fellow believers held the first ever Chinese Communsit Party meeting. As a bit of a geek I was really interested in this, on are long train rides I have read the Chinese history section in our Lonely Planet a fair few times to try and understand how everything unfolded in the last 100 years (20 hour train rides force you!Ha) So the chance to visit the building and go inside to the museum to add to what I had already read was great. Once inside to add to my geekiness, Kayleigh forced me to pose in front of the Communist flag with my fist in the air like all the other Chinese tourists, much to my embarassment and the Chinese amusement. After posing like a fellow believer in Mr Marx we made are way up the marble stairs to the main part of the museum. The display did prove interesting and both Kay and myself enjoyed looking and reading through the different relics on display. As expected the display showed the CCP and Communism in a much greater light then the rest of us would care to agree, but that was exactly what I wanted from the exibition, a nice bit of Communist propaganda! After spending a good hour we made are way from the museum to Shanghai’s old street, this was in fact a series of different streets lined with traditional Chinese buildings selling food and souviners. Once we had walked through checking all the prices for the waving cats and ensuring we had got the better deal earlier in the day we made are way to the Bund. The Bund is a row of buildings along the Shanghai harbourside, that were once one of the most important financial places in the World. Now the buildings are full of fancy shops and restaraunts, still the look of the buildings are very grand and impressive. Across from the Bund and on the other side of the Harbour is the Pudong area, this is now the Bunds replacement. Equally impressive are these sky scrapers, with the Shanghai World Financial Centre being the 3rd tallest building in the World and the Oriental Pearl Tower being the most standout attractions. Both Kay and myself were really impressed with the views along the harbourside and spent a good few hours there taking far too many pictures, both of us seeking that perfect picture! Ha - we’ve really got into our photography since travelling! Ha By about 8‘o’clock we thought it was about time we made are way back, first passing through West Nanjing Road to take in the busy shopping areas night time lights. There we took are metro back to our hostel, though not before some slight confusion. Now may I just make a point before I go on, that I am looking after her Jack, Des, Dave and Julie, but on this rare occasion of a momentary lapse I left Kay on the platform on her own with no money as I took the train back to the hostel. It sounds bad, but the train was rather full and we had to rush, I jumped on, looked back at Kay to see her struggling to force her way on to the train. Before I could jump back off, the doors had closed, leaving poor Kay behind with that lost childs expression on her face! Ha - Luckily a train arrived shortly after and Kay boarded that one, we were soon reunited at are hostels station where we had a short embrace! Ha - Well not really, I think after spending every minute of the day together since we left for Mumbai all those weeks ago, we probably enjoyed the time apart! Ha Drama over we made are way back to our hostel, had our nice cheap Noodles before hitting the sack! - Both in agreement that we have had a great day! Shanghai is a really cool place!
Set our alarms to be up and out early this morning, well we ended up getting out at 9.30 in the end - but that was good enough for us as we had saved time by having breakfast in the room as usual. We had planned to go to the Shaghai Museum today - not being museum buffs ourselves we haven’t gone to any museums so far on our trip, but the LP marked it as one not to be missed, so we thought after enjoying the National Congress so much yesterday - we thought we would give it a go. We jumped on the tube and after a hungry Ollie sidetracking us to McDs in search of a McMuffin Bfast - being bitterly disappointed that he had just missed it - he settled for a bakery baguette & donut instead - we found our way to the museum, passing the Shanghai Art Museum & the Shanghai Grand Theatre on the way, which was a really cool looking building. We found the Museum, not hard to miss again very distinctive architecture - and not too far away from the other culture centres - all set within Peoples Square. We went inside - another freebie offered by China!! Wahoo! The straincase housed inside was just as impressive as the exterior - and could even beat the one in Beauty & the Beast.!!! We entered the exhibition rooms, roughly 2 rooms set off the main hall for each of the 4 floors. We looked around all of the rooms exhibiting the ancient cultural history of China, starting with their bronze work, sculpture, ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, seals, jade, furniture, currency, ending with ethnic clothing. We enjoyed the first couple of rooms, reading every bit of information trying to understand and piece all the history together, further to our lack of background knowledge. I enjoyed reading this level of information, but they was ALOT to read, and by the time I had reached the calligraphy room I had given up on trying to understand EVERYTHING and just enjoyed wandering round, looking at all the different articles on display - picking up odd bits of interesting facts (Ollie had given up and adopted this method during the sculptures!! Ha!). Aswell as there being interesting parts - there were also less interesting parts - the calligraphy room was just full of scrolls with chinese writing - not being able to read any Chinese - it was a bit of a waste of time as we couldn’t appreciate or understand the importance of it! After a good couple of hours walking round we decided it was time to move one, one because we were freezing cold in there & two because we were hungry!! We shared some street food on the way towards Nanjing Rd, the bussling shopping area - still hungry our noses found us a kebab stand which was really tasty & Ollie went back for seconds! We sat looking at a shop window as we ate, a window which was the front of a HUGE fish take containing mini sharks & turtles - I wouldn’t go and stand outside it and look as it was mean - but I could see that a man got in the tank in scuba gear for feeding time - poor animals. Also by us while we sat was an add for Madam Teusauds here - this was easily spotted by the many Chinese that would excitedly run up for photos with the waxwork - I was just glad it wasn’t me for a change! Ha! We walked on - having a look around the famous No.1 Department Store & No.1 Food Store - the departments store was pretty standard to be honest, the food store was hectic, apparently the locals actually do their grocery shopping in here! We contined on - cooling ourselves from the humidity (it felt really hot today!) with a MacDs ice cream - yumm! - stopping along the bund again to enjoy the infamous view for the last time! At about 4pm ish we decided to head back towards the hostel, as we had a bit to do before the end of the day. We planned to get some bakery food - but were inticed in by a chinese food chain which offered a tasty looking hot pot. As we were not too hungry - we shared the beef hot pot with rice, along with some spring rolls & green vegetables. The food was DELICIOUS - so tasty - a shame we have not come across the chain before as it would have definately been one we would go back to - it tasted so good & it was cheap meaning that we would have been able to go out for a meal and have a dish each without feeling guilty! Ha! We enjoyed the food - Ollie was determined to finish one meal using chopsticks, but after realising how good it tasted he gave in straight away and opted for the chinese spoon, just wanting to enjoy the meal - despite his little face lighting up as he manged to pick up a few objects that were on the table in his practise run before the food arrived. We got the tube back to our end of town - doing our shopping for train snacks on the way back - getting different items in different shops that we passed - which we had previously checked to compare prices. Back in the hostel, we sat in reception to “quickly” book our Hong Kong hostel - but this ended up taking and hour as the prices there are just so expensive. We finally settled on one in budget & in LP book and headed for bed as we needed to be up & out early in the morning ready for our train to Hong Kong!
Goodbye Shanghai - thank you for having us!! I have loved it here - really cool city - first city in China I have enjoyed - stomach still turning at the thought of the Pudong view!!
Up this morning at 8am - planning to be out early - but as always with us we didn’t actually end up leaving until 9.30 - but this was fine as we decided to take our backpacks with us and just checkout straight away instead of coming back, so we could afford this time. We headed to subway - we had decided that again we could afford a treat of taking a subway with us for the traininstead of having 2 potnoodles that day - especially as they were offering a deal on their Ham Sub that was too good to refuse! We got completed our packed lunch and headed off for the bank across the road next - needing to change our outstanding RMB into HKD before we leave (we had alot more than we would have planned, 1 due to us only spending £20 after paying for our room in Shanghai - MEGA saving as it is an expensive city & 2. Because we withdrew our Hong Kong budget forgetting that they use different curreny! Doh! Ha!). We had already checked the day before that the bank could do this for us - but we had no idea how long they would take. After Ollie filled out form after form - we finally got our money changed up and an hour after we left the hostel we were ready to head towards the train station. When changing the money up, because of the conversion, we ended up having £6 of RMB that they could not change - so before getting the metro to the train station - Ollie ran back and got us ANOTHER foot long sub - told you the deal was too good! Ha! Ollie was back with the sub in a flash and we got on our tube. We sat down relaxing on our final journey of Shanghai - when Ollie realised - the train station was not on this line!? We had definately got on the right platform - I by the looks of the map it seems 2 lines run from 1 platform perhaps!? Damn it - as soon as we realised we jumped off - as soon as we got off we realised we had gone the wrong way - we knew where we needed to be and ensured we got on the tube to take us back 2 stops before the line split off. On the tube, desperate to get back - as without realising the time seemed to have ran away - and it was now 11.20am!! Our train is 12.07 & the train station seemed to be HUGE when we arrived here & in China you have to go through security checks which have HUGE queues!!! Now on the right tube - but it was stopped at the platform for AGES, with no idea why, just hoping it hadn’t broken down or somthing - we were relieved when it finally left - but still anxious that we were pushing it for time - REALLY pushing it!! We got to our stop and then ran as fast as we could to the correct line - we got to the platform & a train had just arrived - we asked if this was for the South Shanghai train station - as there were no signs - no we had the wrong side, this was heading in the opposite direction - the one we needed had just left!!! Damn it!!! We ran tot he other side - hoping the next one would arrive as regularly as ever - no such luck - the one time you need it is the one time it is delayed!!! It finally arrived at 11.30pm - we were pretty sure at this point we were going to miss our train - oh no!!! This seems to always be the way with us - we get around no problem at all - easy peasy - and then the one time we actually need to be somewhere it all goes horribly wrong! A nervous tube ride for a few stops - we were up ready for the doors to open - beackpacks strapped to us ready to run for it - and run for it we did!!! Passers by could see our distress & everyone helpfully pointed us in the right direction as we ran past them - we went through security which luckily didn’t have a queue for once - and managed to find out where our train was leaving from through speaking to helpful workers. Still running we rushed past everyone and found our gate - displaying a sign which said check in closed 5mins before departure - I don’t know how we made it - or if we were before this - but they let us through - we ran down to the train & foun our carridge (Ollie still managed to find time to stop & buy some snacks for the train before we jumped on so that we didn’t waste the RMB - good use of time as waited for to catch up with the tickets! Ha!) We jumped on just in time and crashed on our seats gasping for breath!! How lucky were we!!! So glad that we had made it!!! Nightmare if not!!! We enjoyed our masses of food at set times throughout the day - its good to set points to look forward to, to pass the time. The sub at 1pm & 4pm were both delicious. Considering this was a full day on the train (with our paid for lower bunk this time) the time passed really quickly as we took it in turns to update blog etc - enjoying many food breaks!! (The only downfall to the trip is that we seemed to have land ourselves in the carridge that you don’t want to be in - AGAIN!! We always seem to get the snorers & farters in our cabin - this time they all seemed pretty young so we thought that we might get a peaceful, smell-free sleep for once. As soon as the train started the upper bunk regularly showered Ollie with monkey nut shells & wafted the smelliest feet in the world under his nose - which we have ranked as joint 3rd smelliest thing in China, joint with smelly bed sheet at Tiger Leaping Gorge! Ha! Lets just hope he keeps the rest of his disgusting ways to himself for the rest of the night! Ha!
Well the cabin mates continued to be just as gross for the rest of the journey - but it didn’t disturb us - the journey was much better than we expected it to be considering we were on the train ALL day - definately worth paying a couple of quid extra for 1 bottom bunk.
We arrived at Shenzhen at 7am (after we annoyingly got up at 5.30am as it was meant to arrive at 6am! Damn it!!). We walked over the border to Hong Kong which was all really easy - luckily at that time of the morning - and got the train (which was really expensive - £7 for 30min journey!) at the other side to Kowloon which is the area we were staying in. Arriving at Kowloon we came out of the tube station exactly where we needed to be and walked 2mins to our pre-booked hostel. Well we found it straight away - as per the address, Yan Yan Guest House, Chungking Mansions - but we were not sure we had got it right initially - we walked into what looked like Crawford Market (or Stapleton Rd for those of you at home!) - there was nobody in sight but Indian men running various stores including food, mobile phones, etc. After being pounced on by many passers by trying to get you to stay in their guest house, we finally manged to find one of the many lift shafts within the building, listing our hostel as being on the 8th floor. Ollie was gutted. He was happy at having survived the India trip & now just when he has been getting to the stages where he is desperate to relax and get into holiday mode, he is back in India - ready on guard again! I did feel sorry for him! I didn’t mind - I actually quite liked walking through the hussle & bussle, smelling nothing but curry & spices - reminded me of the beginning of our adventure all over again!! We reached the 8th floor, noticing the cameras that covered every inch of the place including the lift, which many people had pointed out to display its safety - which only rasied questions in our head as to why they need them!?!?! We entered the guest house to be greeted by a rude lady. We eventually got to see our room - oh no - it was a tiny box no bigger than the bed, which had not been cleaned yet - and the bathroom was worse, 1metre square at most!!! We had to pay £20 per night for this!!! Couldn’t believe it!! We were told that the room would not be ready for another hour, so we headed out and tried to use this time productively, checking out other hostels to see if we could find better value for our money. We managed to find one that was no bigger - but brighter and cleaner so we checked our reservation to ensure we wouldn’t be penalised if we didn’t check into the pre-booked one. Unfortuntely it said that we could be charged the full amount - we headed back to the pre booked hostel in the hope of them agreeing not to charge us as we were not happy to stay there - but when we got back we asked to look at another room, it was no better, we looked at our room again - and now that it had been cleaned it didn’t look fractionally better - to avoid the hassle I said to Ollie I think we should just bite the bullet and stay here - so we did. We quickly got showered and out - we headed for the Star Ferry which was a very cheap 2 HKD 7min ride across the harbour to Hong Kong island, which was a brilliant way to see the sky scraper buildings. On Hong Kong island we headed for the Bank of China Tower, a huge building that has a free observation desk on the 43rd floor. To avoid going the wrong way I asked the reception desk if it was OK for us to go on up - and they told us they needed our passports to let us go up there - which we didn’t have on us - so we couldn’t go!! I was so annoyed with myself - I should have just been brave and walked on up instead of checking and it would have been fine!! Oh well, done now! We were feeling really tired and hadn’t read up on Hong Kong much to know how much we needed to cram into our time here - Ollie gave me a break and said that we could just take it easy today - so we decided to enjoy taking the tram up Victoria Peak today. On the way to the peak we walked through Kong Kong park, which was lovely, enjoyed watching the turtles in the pond sunning themselves on a rocks, and the happy newly weds posing for photos after just getting married in the registry office in the park (however I found it strange that they were posing in the concrete slab sports stadium section rather than the beautiful lush green park & waterfalls!?). Reaching the entrance to the tram, we opted for the more expensive option including entry to the Sky Terrace, even though it was 65 HKD each (about £10 for both of us). We got onto the tram and enjoyed the ride up to the top of the peak, it was great to see the skyline from different levels. We reached the top of the peak and headed to the top of the sky terrace (an iconic building in Hong Kong featured on the bank notes) to take in the view from the highest point while it was still daylight - it was a clear day today which is unusual for Hong Kong so a good time for the views. We got to the top, passing many many VERY expensive restaurants on the way (at the bottom of the peak we decided we were going to blow some cash and treat ourselves to a meal - but when the reality of the menus and potential bill became more real - we just couldn’t do it! Ha!) and stood on the rooftop - the view was brilliant!!! We stood and enjoyed for quite some time - and then decided to go for a little walk around - passing more restaurants - but still none of them cheap enough for our budget. After our short stroll we sat with an ice-cream - it was getting later now and then sun was going down so we walked round to sit in the last bit of sun. Getting a taste for food - I decided to treat us to some NY french fries with mexican topping - they were a fiver but boy were they good!! Yum Yum!!! It had got dark so we headed up to the sky terrace again, the views looked totally different!! It looked brilliant - the lights of the city looked beautiful. Again, we stood and enjoyed for quite a while - it looked so peaceful below - different to Shanghai which were more imposing. We headed back down the peak via the tram, after having to queue for a while we fought our way on board (I miss English queues! Ha!) and took our seats to enjoy the view on the way back down. I only just managed to concentrate on the view - as the tram sped back down the hill so fast - it was really scary - it’s shockingly steep and to decend at that speed - all I could think was please let the brakes work!!! Ha! At the bottom, we found our way back to the ferry and enjoyed the ride back to Kowloon - rushing through Crawford Market we got into our room and distracted ourselves from our surroundings with a few episodes of Gavin & Stacey via U-Tube (which we haven’t been able to use until now) - the room now suddenly felt a little bit more like home!!
A VERY tired start to Hong Kong - we were both shattered today and lacking in energy - but really enjoyed the day.
AT LAST A BEACH!!....After feeling rather tired yesterday we made sure we had a good lie-in this morning, with not leaving are hostel until gone 12. Feeling refreshed and with the weather looking pretty good we decided to give one of Hong Kongs outer laying islands a go. After reading about the laid back Island of Lamma where no cars are permitted we thought this would be a good shout to get an alternative look on life in Hong Kong. Also whilst reading our Lonely Planet guide book it did mention that the island had two beaches, well once I informed Kay of this there was no other discussion on the matter, that was what we were doing. We had to take two ferries to get to Lamma Island, first across to Hong Kong Island and then on to Lamma Island. The ferry to Lamma Island took a very bumpy 30minutes, it felt like a rollercoaster! I was not aware I suffered from sea sickness, I now unfortunatly know! Walking in zig zags as we took to the shore from are still bumpy ship we could see how great Lamma looked! A typical little Island, fishing boats resting upon the tiny harbour lined with restaraunts, each displaying the latest catches for its onlooking customers to eat. The sun was out and there was not a cloud in the sky, a complete contrast to mainland and Hong Kong Island where the sky is always filled with this hazy impression. We walked along the small harbour and then through the tiny cobbled streets, passing local shops and small guesthouses. Why did we not stay here, if only we knew what else Hong Kong had to offer. We had not even seen the beach, yet the initial impression and feeling we got from Lamma Island was that this is what we are now ready for. A good few days relaxing on a chilled out island. I think that is what 5 weeks in India and 7 weeks in China does to you! Ha Our quest for Lamma Islands beach continued on past the tiny local shops through to the small path that made its way through a small forest, every now and again the trees leaving just enough gap to see the sea, we knew we were still close to that beach. As we walked further along we came to more shops, this time they were selling swimming shorts, bikini’s and wicker mats, we knew we were close now. Sure enough as we passed a couple of restaraunts the path opened up slightly and the golden stuff that we had craved for so long appeared! We were there, a BEACH at last! Ha It surpassed anything we had imagined, we had no idea Hong Kong offered such a pretty beach, it was really nice! A few rocks on one side and a huge green mountanous hill on the other side of a 100metre strip of golded sand that ran down to the clear light blue sea. Perfect! We stopped and sat on the beach and enjoyed are 2-4-1 salad we had earlier picked up, followed by a traditional ice cream. We spent a good 3-4 hours just chilling out on the beach, the only downside was that as we did not anticipate the beach or weather to be this good, we did not bring are swim shorts or bikini. Doh! Still we walked along the shore and parked ourselves on the rocks for a while to enjoy the view and take a few photos! We left the beach at around 6 to get are ferry back to Hong Kong island, this time the ferry was even more bumpy, much to my delight! Once back at our block of Hostels we were staying in (India the 2nd!) we decided to go for a curry (when in Rome and all that!) To be honest il never turn down a curry but it was even more great to go back and reminisce with a Channa Masala, Aloo curry, rice and a chapati! All at India prices, £2 for the lot, which is unheard of in Hong Kong! We then made are way up to the 8th floor in the tiny lift to our even smaller room, where we watched thanks to good old YouTube and Hong Kong allowing it, Jerry Maguire! Perfect end to a perfect day! -
Today was a great day that at last invloved that elusive beach, as we come to the end of China and Hong Kong and move on to Vietnam we can now appreciate everything we have experienced in China and look forward to yet more beaches. Coming from India I think we expected and hoped China would be a little bit easier, we expected the people to be the shy retiring type, always willing to help there Western celebrity guests, much like India viewed us. We also expected the language barrier to be at times difficult, but in the big cities like Beijing not a problem. Well arriving sick and being ripped off by those Chinese girls was not the best way to start! Chuck in the very much dog eat dog approach the cities have and the very few who can even speak broken English, well it was a huge crash to earth reality check for us! Ha - Still I have taken so much from China, the experiences and days that we have had, have been amazing! The scenery indescribable! The food they eat, even more indescribable for completetly different reasons! Ha The people have been a mix bag, coming from tiny old England we expect people to treat us a certain way, here they treat each other in a way that would not be tolerated back home. Yet this is exactly what I wanted to get from travelling to places like China and India, you want to experiene the people and their ways to learn about such different cultures. The people of China that we have come across seem to find it hard to think outside the box, things that we would just call common sense and good customer service they are unable to do as it breaks rules that we would never even consider. It is very much a head down, do what you do and dont question anything. Which can be frustrating at times. We have spoken to other travellers who too have come across this, I suppose that is as expected in a Communist country. Yet there is a real western and capatalist influence on China, maybe in years to come this will be even more apparent. I know both Kay and myslelf were suprised to see so many Paris Hilton look-a-like girls dressed as if they were on a night out as they made there way up to the 13th tower on the Great Wall! Ha We have come across some lovely, really helpfull Chinese people that are so happy we have come to their country. These people always seem to pop up just at the right time, not just when your lost looking at your map, but when your not feeling the best or feeling welcome, they will help and it makes you feel a bit better about the whole situation. Seeing the shere size of the cities has been astounding and there still rising up! Extravagant Sky scrapers everywhere, designer shops in every city we have visited! Even cities that are not considered as main parts of China would dwarf Bristol, their train stations are bigger then are airport. The impression I have of China is a huge, very powerful country that in the mean time will only get bigger. A Real Superpower! The Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Tiger Leaping Gorge and the whole of Yangshuo are real highlights of mine! Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong are cool places that I would like to spend more time there, especually if I had few extra pounds to spend! Chuck in the Panda’s and the beach at Hong Kong and I think we have covered everyhting! Overall with the amazing scenery, the walks and treks we have done, the history, the politics and the completely different sometimes mad people and the fact they will eat anything that stays still for long enough makes China for me - Amazing!! Bring on Nam! Ha
We headed out today to try and complete the failed mission of the first day in reaching the observation floor of the Bank of China Tower. Passports in hand we reached the bank and walked in - to be informed it was closed today!! Damn it!!! Ha! Given up on this idea now - we decided that we had seen the harbour from the best view on Victoria Peak anyway. Upon leaving the bank it had started to tip down with rain! We took refuge under a fly over road and waited it out. The Metro in Hong Kong means that they city is so well connected - you can literally walk to the exact point you need it on the underground - or via the interlinking covered walkways above ground. Unfortunutely we seemed to be in the one place in the city where there wasn’t a station in sight! We knew that rain was forcast for the day and we did consider going back and writing the day off - but the rain let off a little and instead we made a run for the mid-level escalators that I had wanted to go to - as they are the longest escalators in the world. We found them and I made Ollie ride them from start to finish (20mins) which I don’t think he was too happy about - he didn’t see why we needed to go right to the end - but determined to make it to the top we kept going - reached the top - turned straight around and walked back down again! Ha! He was right - it was silly really - but I don’t care, I wanted to! Ha! On the way back round we walked around the streets of Soho - trying to ignore the smells of the restaurants - it is such a shame we are on a budget - you could enjoy spending a bit of money here. Getting back to the bottom of the hill early evening, we walked under the city back to the ferry via the subway and headed home to take advantage of an evening snuggled inside out of the rain with a film!
Today we awoke to a thunderstorm - it didn’t sound like the weather was too great - we knew a storm had been forecast - so we decided to enjoy a lazy morning and write off going to Kowloon Park for the day - it wouldn’t have been much fun sitting in the rain. Ollie introduced me to a film called Willow - which was great - can’t believe I haven’t seen it before - right up my street! We felt a bit guilty for spending so much time in the room watching tele, and decided that we had better use the spare time to catch up on blog / uploading pics & videos too. After that we headed out in the afternoon to check in for our flight the following day (which it turns out we were unable to do) and print off our visa documentation. Once that was sorted, we stopped in the shop to get in some supplys - salads were 2 for 1 again so we treated ourselves to some more healthyness as lunch tomorrow at the airport. OOn the way back we stopped in the same place for a curry, a little nervous after it upsetting my tummy they other day - I ate cautiously - not quite being able to enjoy it as much as the first time round - but it was still good. Then back to the room for some more uploading of pics etc, and then later a film to fall asleep to.
Bit of a somthing and nothing day - but hey in an 8month trip your bound to have em!
Up early today to get ourselves ready and out to the airport in plenty of time for our flight (the most recent frantic rush to our last train is still with us - we don’t want a repeat of that with our flight!!!) We got up and dressed whilst uploading the last few pictures to bring us up to date with Hong Kong. We polished off our last bit of cereals & foods to lighten our load to take with us, and threw out a few bits of clothes that we wouldn’t need going forward to lighten our bags enough to be able to take them on as hand luggage. (We weighed them in reception, 9kg each - don’t know how they are getting heavier but they are!?). We set off on our way about 30mins after we had planned to - but it still should have been in good time. We had decided to walk to the Airport Express Station which was about 45mins away, to save us a bit of money - we didn’t want to draw out any more HKD. A sweaty walk later, passing through what seemed to be an area going through major development to add to the infamous skyline - I bet this place would look totally different if we ever came here again - we reached Kowloon Station and got our ticket, which was cheaper than we had anticipated meaning that we didn’t have to withdraw any more money - wahoo! (140HKD for both of us). We jumped on the tube and enjoyed they rest all the way to the airport. Upon arrival, we checked in and were relieved to find that we could keep our bags as hand luggage - avoiding any possibility of it getting lost (although they didn’t even weigh the bags so I could have kept the clothes I threw out! Damn!). As we arrived 3hours early, we passed the time by checking our funds & ensuring they were all in order & then tucked into our lovely salads! Yummy! Time to board to se went through security - they took my nail scissors off of me - boo hoo - and waited a sort time in departures. After not long, we were called to board early and we found our seats on the plane. We were pleasantly surprised that we got a meal on the short 2hour flight, and by the time it had been served and eaten - it was time to land! These 22hour train rides are good for one thing - it will make our trips to Spain feel like a breeze! Ha! We landed in Vietnam (which I have been very excited about over the past few days - the though of a new country is exciting - it’s like starting a whole new trip all over again!! Can’t wait!!) and headed to get our visa. Not knowing what to expect - I thought it was going to be a lengthy and difficult process - but it wasn’t at all, we handed in our paperwork we had already completed & passports at one desk, and then a few mins later it was handed back to us stampd - SIMPLE! We left the airport after checking the currency desks for the conversion rate (£1 = 30,000 Dong - this rate is going to get some getting used to!!) and withdrawing some cash and jumped on a minibus to the Old Quarter of Hanoi for £1 each. We were crammed into the minibus, which took about an hour to reach the Old Quarter, but I sat back and enjoyed the ride - taking in the views of this new country. From first impressions - it seems to be a mix of India & China put together - a mad chaotic rush like the streets of India, some streets seeming quite run down & basic with food stalls everywhere - but with Chinese looking locals, butchering every meat you can think of in the street at these stalls just like the Chinese markets, with the greeness of the Chinese countryside, and some streets having more developed areas, including a skyscraper! The residential buildings here are all different - very very narrow - but very deep - built upwards rather than out - all different colours and shapes - I like them!! I have already decided I have a very good feeling for this place already - I like it - I think I like it because it reminds me of India too! We jumped off the mini bus, with no map (as we do not have a LP book for Vietnam yet, other than an old version with pages ripped out we found at Yan Yan) and no idea how to find the hostel. We were pointed in one direction, but we checked and found out this was not correct - after getting the right advice we found our way straight there, checking with locals along the way - whilst dodging the manic streets for a million hazards!! We walked down the road it was on, which seemed to get further and further away from the main road - turning the street into a fish and meat market (not good when you are tired & hungry!) - but we contined through (India had prepared us for walking into this place so well! Ha!) and arrived at our hostel. We checked in, and headed straight back for some shampoo (I haven’t washed my hair with proper shampoo for the whole of China - I have been looking forward to this luxury for 7weeks - I can’t wait! Ha!) and snacks to see us through until tomorrow. We found what we needed, but had to settle for a tiny shop but it was the biggest we could find - there donsn’t seem to be any supermarkets here - strange!? We did find chedder cheese that Ollie has been craving - so we got some crackets to go with - headed back before it got too dark, as still not familiar with the roads - I spent ages in the shower enjoying the bubbles of the shampoo & then we nibbled on our tasty treats whilst reading up on what we can do tomorrow & watching A Few Good Men on the TV in our room.
Kays Final Thoughts:
China - China - China!!! What can I say!?
It feels a bit difficult to sum up what I think of China. As you probably all gathered, I was not a China fan at the beginnng of our time here. I felt totally out of place, not welcome, in everyones way - and it just made me feel so uncomfortable all the time, that I could feel myself going further and further into my shell. But by the second half of the trip, when we had escaped the big cities and reached the countryside - well it’s probably one of my favourite places anywhere - cycling along Yulong river, in complete peace & quiet other than chickens clucking around, or the locals going about their day to day farming - with the sun warming your skin when it reveals itself from behind a karst peak - and then hides itself again.
Talk about extremes!!!
I remember worrying before coming out here about being around people that don’t smile - but I kind of forgot about it whilst dealing with India. Then, when India was over and it was time to start China, we kind of felt that if we can deal with the uncomfortable situations the indians can put you in (staring at you, not smiling back, a metre away from your face) we would be prepared for it here. We arrived - and I discovered I was wrong!
I think that it is a shame that I have not been able to temporarily let go of the importance that I hold to manners (please & thank you), a welcoming smile, conciousness to put others at ease - as these are not part of the Chinese day to day routine at all - it simply doesn’t exist. I understood this - but could not accept it - I hated it! I know that it is my issue & not anyone elses - they were just doing what they know! Its just I am the worst person in the world to put in that position. These situations were highlighted much more in the big cities - so I just couldn’t wait to get out of them. Shrinking into my shell, I felt so small in such a big place. I felt angry that I was being made to feel this way - and angry that we were travelling from one big city to the next, every road looking the same. I couldn’t help but feel - why are we here - this place has nothing new to offer!
Looking back at those first few cities (Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Kunming) I cannot muster up any feeling in my stomach over them as a place. I don’t hold anything to them. However - the best times I have had in China, and some of our whole trip - will be things I have done here (cuddle a baby panda, Beijing opera, climb the great wall, terracotta warriors etc). So it is pretty confusing!
The only place I think I could have really liked as a place is Beijing - I think it had so much to offer - but with us recovering from some sort of bug from India - we were just too ill to, and it meant that we missed out on a few things which I think we would have enjoyed and made me fall in love with the place. I can see that Beijing is a good place to be!
I have also been shocked by the scale of China, not putting much thought into it before I arrived, I naively expected ancient traditional China, with the exception of Beijing / Shanghai. Boy was I wrong! Ha! Places I have never heard of before coming here, and don’t seem particulaly significant places in China, are all huge wealthy places, with designer shops everywhere!!! Also, I expected them to be timid, shy people, greeting you with nervous smiles - again - Boy was I wrong!! Instead we were greeted by women that walk around in hotpants & stilettos - fully done up for every occasion (plastic China as Ollie likes to call it), who are very assertive / aggresive, confident of getting what they want!?
So strange to be so different - it took a while to adjust - am I’m not sure that I ever have, properly.
But I do remember the day it all changed. We had been spending time in Dali & went for a bike ride to a nearby village. Cycling through places I didn’t know if we were meant to be, I was feeling a little bit uncomfortable - until all the old locals & young children would be pleased to see us and say hello, giving us great big smiles, lighting up an old ladies walnut wrinkled, toothless face!! It felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders!! This was the China I had been hoping for! From then on as we travelled round the southern area I felt so much more relaxed. This coupled with the unbelievably beautiful scenery - it would be impossible not to fall in love with it here!! I don’t need to say anymore, I will never forget exactly how this place looked & how much I loved being here!!!
Continuing on, we enjoyed Shanghai - a very cool city which I loved & was so excited to see the famous sky scrapers!! Really interesting place to understand and learn about the political history too, loved our day out at the place of the 1st comunist party meeting.
Hong Kong was a very good but expensive place - and I think if you had the money, could be a brilliant place to live (but I still can’t help but love Shanghai all lit up at night!!)
I feel bad that here I have talked about my struggles here more than the good - but that really is because I mean it when I say - I LOVED the end of my time in China so much, the photos can easily let anyone else see why, and my memory will never let me forget just how beautiful it was here - and what a great time I have had. I don’t think there will be anywhere else like Southern China in the world - it really is a special place.
I have loved my time here - and loved the millions of brilliant experiences China has given me - all just as fantastic as India.
The only thing I wish I could have done for the first few weeks would have been to let go of my own expectations and accept the Chinese way - but hey, I have plenty of time to work on that.
So, China, China, China - I am so sorry we had such a rocky start - thank you so much for having me - giving me the chance to learn so much & most of all... for my birthday hug with Yao Ri!!! I have enjoyed fantastic experiences and I have loved my time in the South!
Vietnam next - come on beach!!!!
Kays Top 10:
2. Tiger Leaping Gorge
5. Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai
6. Hong Kong
Ollies Top 10:
2.Tiger Leaping Gorge
8. Hong Kong
Ironically it is China and not India that has produced the worst smells on this trip, so much so Kay & myslef have decided to keep a list of thoses evil odours! Hopefully unlike most lists this will not grow to a Top 10!!
1. The Korpse Of Kunming
2. That Night in Beijing
3. SSS - Shit Street Shanghai
4. Musty Monkey Janes
5. Funky Feet
6. Deadly Duvet Of Tiger Leaping Gorge