China Travelogue -- A pictorial

Hi All,

Here is the slide show of all the pictures of our trip through China. It was a great and wonderful experience and I look forward to going back sometime soon again.

For full size images, please follow the link below:

You can view our videos here:

Thank you for reading all our posts and thank you for your friendship and love. A the table of contents for the travelog is below with easy links to each entry:

  1. China Travelogue 1: Shenzhen to Yangshuo
  2. China Travelogue 2: Yangshuo to Kunming
  3. China Travelogue 3: Kunming to Lijiang
  4. China Travelogue 4: Lijiang to Chengdu
  5. China Travelogue 5: Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou
  6. China Travelogue 6: Jiuzhaigou to Langmusi
  7. China Travelogue 7: Langmusi to Lanzhou
  8. China Travelogue 8: Lanzhou to Beijing
  9. China Travelogue 9: Beijing to Taipei
Hope you enjoy

Paul and Queenie


China Travelogue 9: Beijing to Taipei

This Post: Beijing --> Nanking --> Shenzhen --> Hong Kong --> Taipei

(The road ended in Hong Kong. Queenie, Paul, Annie and Dennis at a pub on the beach in Sheko, Hong Kong)

Dear All,

It is been more than a week since the last update. Since then we have left Beijing, travelled to Nanking, journeyed back to Shenzhen, visited Hong Kong and returned home to Taipei. The week was long but the road easy and the journey fun. The good news is that being back in Taipei it is conceivable that we may soon be able to post some pictures online (but don't hold your breath as it might take a while). Unfortunately all our pictures from Lingxia to Shenzhen had been destroyed so we cannot show you those.

Anyway, we left Beijing last week Sunday to travel to Nanking. Nanking is a city with a lot of history and a place that I had wanted to visit for a while. Another motivating factor for visiting the area was one of our ex-colleagues, Ling Yan, is from Nanking and we got to spend a significant amount of time with her.

On the Sunday after our arrival we had VIP treatment for the first time: Ling Yan greeted us at the airport and the hotel had been arranged and our life was easy. After checking into the hotel we went for a walk and had a late lunch. After that Ling Yan had to return home. We decided to go out for dinner later in the evening and this is when I got the impression that Nanking never really liked me that much. It seemed as if there was a "malign presence" (I borrow the phrase from the documentary Touching the Void) out to disrupt my time in Nanking.

Firstly, the restaurant we ate in, although homely and quaint, had the worst service in China. Afrer waiting an hour for my food and watching Queenie eat her dinner I just gave up and decided to go hungry for the night. After that we went for a walk through Nanking where we found the revolving restaurant at the top of the highest building in Nanking. I managed to get some food there and had a beer or two but then, when we decided to go back to the hotel, the taxi driver went completely the wrong way and refused to listen to me.

After getting back to the hotel and trying to get to sleep a car alarm started to go off outside our Hotel room. We called the reception but they said there was nothing they could do about it. I was forced to go down to the reception in my pyjamas and persuade them to persuade the customer to come down from the room and turn it off. Eventually the nightguard went to the room but the guest refused to come down saying the alarm was broken and there was nothing he could do about it. The reception staff seemed to be very afraid and offered to change my room at 2:30am in the morning. I got stubborn and insisted that they tell the guy to turn off the alarm. Eventually I was forced to go to the guys room myself. After I knocked on the door I was greeted with a 5 foot man in his underwear with a prostitute hiding under the blankets. The guy also had a weird tattoo of the Buddha covering his back. I realized he was probably with some organized crime group but I still insisted that he turn off the alarm. He never did!

The next day, Monday 12, we went to the Nanking Massacre Memorial. For those of you who do not know, on December 13, 1937, Japanese troops occupied Nanking, the then capital of China, after the Nationalist government had fled to Chongqing. What followed was 6-weeks of madness in which some estimate that over 300,000 people were massacred and over 20,000 woman (of all ages) raped. The memorial itself is built on a mass grave and there is an archeological excavation that tourists can view that shows the skeletons of some of the victims. It is probably the most macabre museum I have ever seen. The only one that comes anywhere near it is the American War Crimes Museum in Ho Chih Minh city, Vietnam. The photographic museum itself made for some fairly grim viewing but many of the pictures in the museum I (Paul) had already seen in the late Iris Chang's popular work, "The Nanking Massacre". The museum was too heart wrenching for Queenie and she was unable to stay there for too long a time. On December 13, the following day, sirens went off periodically throughout the day in rememberance of those who had fallen during the massacre. It was a moving time to be in Nanking.

Now what is interesting to both Queenie and I is that the people in Nanking are fairly accepting of the Japanese. There is no pervading hatred for what happened in the past. This is really strange as they did bear the brunt of the assault of the Japanese. Yet, people in places that did not experience so much devastation from the Japanese imperial forces have a great hatred for the Japanese for what they did in World War 2. In fact, I knew a Chinese teacher in Shenzhen who refused to teach any Japanese people. The Nanking people are different: they are welcoming to the Japanese and have assigned these grim actions to the history books as it should be.

In the afternoon we met with Ling Yan and went to the old government building where the nationalist government was formed and where much of China's early 20th century political history transpired. The building itself was interesting and seeing the places where Chiang Kai Shek and Sun Yat Sen worked was fairly interesting. Needless to say that building and house was another excellent example of Chinese housing and gardens. In the evening we went for a walk to see the Yangtze River. One of the most important rivers in China. What is there to say about it? It is big, and it looks like a river, but that is about it.

After that we had the tremendous privilege of meeting with Ling Yan's parents who took us out for a fantastic meal at a wonderful restaurant. We had met her mother in Shenzhen but it was the first time we met her father and it was great.

On Day 3 in Nanking we went with Ling Yan to visit some Ming Dynasty tombs, Sun Yat Sen's mausoleum and a famous pagoda. The mausoleum was the most impressive. It is on a mountain and Dr. Sun's statue looks out over a beautiful evergreen forest with the city of Nanking in the background. The whole development and design of the mausoleum had a fascinating history itself. One Chinese person told us that although Sun Yat Sen had opposed the Emperors, he himself was buried and is revered as one.

After leaving the pagoda we went to the older part of Nanking city where they had a wonderful market and a lot of original architecture. It was a quaint part of the town where mostly young people go to strike up bargains and by cheap clothes. In the evening we took Ling Yan to the revolving restaurant, as she had never been, and had a wonderful dinner while watching Nanking at night.

On Wednesday morning we decided to visit the Chinese Department at the Nanking University. In the library we bumped into Josh, a young Canadian from Vancouver, who has a degree in Classical Chinese Literature, works as a translator for a local Nanking opera house and is endowed with a vast knowledge about China and things Chinese. His perspectives on the state of China were most interesting and his knowledge of the dialects and the different opera's that permeated China throughout its long history was immense. For us though was the most interesting was his perspectives on repression in China. From his own understanding the Chinese government is not interested in "oppression for the sake of oppression" but rather fears any organized group that can threaten its existence.

He also told us that Nanking opera used to be the most popular opera in China but that it is preeminent position has been taken over by Beijing opera. Apparently, Nanking opera predates that of Beijing but does not receive much exposure. Unfortunately, due to the murder of a critical mass of the Nanking population in 1937, Nanking culture has been diluted with an influx of outsiders into the city of Nanking. Josh also said that many of the local operas e.g. those in Soochow and other places are facing extinction because they require that the performers speak the dialect from childhood. It seems that this modus operandi of recruiting opera singers will surely guarantee its demise. The other day on a culture program on China's official English channel I saw a Chinese opera singer saying that when she first started to sing French opera she never understood a word of French. Surely other operas, in order to survive, should be willing to employ others to learn the language and perform?

We finally left Nanking on Wednesday afternoon and said our final farewell to our dear friend Ling Yan. We arrived in Shenzhen and spent a good few days there meeting with our friends and ex-colleagues from the language center we used to run. It was a wonderful few days of reestablishing and reaffirming relationships with those whom we have grown to love as dear friends over the last year.

On Saturday we left for Hong Kong. On the ferry to Hong Kong we heard the sad news that Queenie's grandmother had passed away. It was a disappointing end to the journey through China.

In the afternoon we went for a walk through the WTO protests stands in Victoria park and hooked up with a camera man from the South African Broadcasting Company (SABC). He commented on how well the police were managing the protests. Little did we all realize the madness and mayhem that was going to take place in the evening. The direct consequence of the WTO meeting was an immediate hike in hotel prices and also a lack in available rooms.

As for the protests, in the afternoon they seemed pretty lame. What was surprising were the slogans that they were using. They had the most foul language. I guess if they do want to be taken seriously they should engage people in a different way. What was also surprising was that most of the protestors came from abroad. Hong Kong people are used to corporate competition. As one of my HK friends told me "competition is a way of life in HK." When he was young he and his family had a factory assembly line on their dining room table and this was common in those days. As a result of the intense commercial competitiveness that exists in HK, most HK people seemed to be curious specatators watching a weird circus that came to town. What was surprising was the compassion and understanding the HK citizens had for the protestors. One taxi driver told me that if he was in the position of a South Korean farmer he would do the same thing. He said this after the violent protests that put the conference center under seige.

On Saturday evening our great friend Annie and her fiancee drove us out to Shek-O, a small town on Hong Kong island where we had a fantastic hot-pot. After dinner we landed up at a "secret" pub on the beach. Although it was cold, there was a fire to warm us and cold beer to keep us chilled. What a great place to end the China journey. We could see stars in the clear night sky and for the first time in an eon hear the crashing of the waves as we sipped our drinks. It was another precious evening that will live long in our memories.

On Sunday afternoon we went back to Taipei where we met my mother and had a long awaited reunion. On Monday we went South to Chiayi to attend Queenie's grandmother's funeral. The funeral was a wonderful celebration of her life. As a Christian she apparently never missed Church and shared the love of Christ with all she met. She was so caring that she also always bought the pastor lunch on Sundays. She was a wonderful woman and it was a great privilege to have known her. Her loss will be felt deeply by many.

Well, the journey is over. We are back in Taipei and getting ready to get back to our normal lives. (whatever that means).

God Bless All,


China Travelogue 8: Lanzhou to Beijing

This Post: Lanzhou --> Beijing

Hi All,

I don't suppose any of you missed me very much...grin...all those long emails jamming up your accounts (heh heh heh)...okay okay...the journey is nearly over. Queenie and I are now in Nanking and have had a wonderful time in Beijing. Before we get to Beijing though there were two things I forgot to mention in the last post.

The first was when we were in Xiahe, at the Labrang monastry, a young, 16-y/o Tibetan Buddhist monk asked Queenie where she is from. Now in China this is a loaded question because soon as she says Taiwan then there is usually a long detailed telling of why Queenie is actually Chinese and to not raise the ire of others we usually have to just be silent and accept what they say or settle down for a long argument that gets nowhere. Anyway, the young guy asked where in China Queenie came from she said that she came from Taipei he immediately said that she is not Chinese but Taiwanese. We nearly fell over with shock! I then asked him if Tibetans are Chinese and his emphatic response was "NO" they are Tibetans! It was a really refreshing point of view.

The second point that is worth mentioning happened in Lanzhou on last week Saturday morning. When we went to be on the Friday evening it was a clear sky but when we woke up in the morning the city was covered in a beautiful blanket of snow. We were on one of the higher floors in the building so we had a really good view of the snow falling down and the snow covered rooftops and streets. What a pleasant and magical vision! Lanzhou is a dirty city but the snow seemed to make it as pure a place as any.

Okay, so onto Beijing! On the morning we left for the Lanzhou airport we met a really interesting driver who was only too interested to describe to us the thinking of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. The guy though that politically Mao was one hundered percent spot on but economically he was 30% wrong (the wrong cost 30 - 40 million lives in the great leap forward). He told us that in the hearts of the Chinese Mao the most revered leader of all time. In fact, our driver who took us to the great wall on Wednesday, told us that the Chinese think of Mao as a God, but more of that conversation later!

We flew into Beijing on last week Sunday afternoon and we have spent one of the coldest but wonderful weeks of my whole life. When we landed the temperature was about -5C! After arriving at the hotel, we decided to go to Tianamen square but we thought we would walk! BIG MISTAKE. The first part of the walk was bearable but then we turned onto the mainroad that leads past Tianamen square and a huge wind hit us. We immediately froze! Coupled with the wind and the cold, Queenie wasn't feeling well! Despite all adversities we soldiered on until we finally got oppostie the square where some young are students invited us into a gallery to view their artwork and to try abd sell some of it! We immediately went in and started to feel our noses and ears again! We never bought any paintings and we never got into Tianamen square on that day! Too bad, we thought we would try again the next day! We also later learned that the temperature had actually dropped to -9C!

In fact, according to the weather report on the TV the weather had dropped all around the country because of a Siberian cold front that came in from the north. Those cold fronts are no friends of mine!

On Monday morning, after a MacDonalds breakfast, the first fast food in an eon, we dared to get to the square again. Well, we decided to do it by Taxi this time! WE MADE IT! Now the square itself I thought was fairly unimpressive but the weight of its history was upon our shoulders (as wall as the arctic wind) so it was a fairly moving experience to be standing in the square with Mao's mausaleum in the back and his portrait in the front. But, after standing in the square for about 15-minutes we dashed into the nearest restaurant (another MacDonalds) to get warm. After that we thought, "to hell with the weather," and went to one of the premier shopping malls in Beijing, the oriental plaza, and spent the day there where we watched two movies (Harry Potter, again, and Perhaps Love, a new Chinese film).

The following day, Tuesday, we went over to the Studio Classroom offices in Beijing (who used to supply me with English learning materials for the school I used to run) and met Bruce and Sarah, who are both absolutely fantastic people. In the evening we went to the English training of the Beijing Olympic Games Orginizing Committee and that too was a fantastic experience. Afterwards we met with Sarah and her husband who have similar worldviews to me and had a fantastic discussion about their bigger family in China, it was an excellent evening!

On Wednesday we also hooked up with the Taipei Language Institute (TLI) (who provided the Mandarin programs for the school we ran in Shenzhen) and had a great time meeting with them too. We even got invited to their Christmas party on Friday night which was a lot of fun.
Over the next few days we visited a bunch of the historical sites in Beijing: the Hutongs (old traditional Beijing houses), the Forbidden City, The Great Wall (which should not be climbed too fast), Beihai park, the Ming Dynasty Tombs and the old residence of Mei Song Ling (Sun Yat Sen's wife). The one thing that impacted me walking in Beijing was the full weight of history this city has. This is a city of emperors and empresses, of uprisings and some of the center of some of the greatest turmoil and strife of the 20th Century. The history in this city is amazing and we never did get to see all the sites! Unfortunately many of the places were partially closed so we couldn't see a lot, but we saw enough to satisfy.

The Hutongs are something that I found immensley interesting. These residences (or perhaps types of residences) have been in existence for over 700 years and the government, in an attempt to modernize the city for the 2008 Olympic games, are destroying about 10,000 homes a year. They are paying the residents compensation but despite this there seems to be a lot of nostalgic regret about the loss of these homes. I found this really surprising! Sure the Hutongs have a developed a subculture within them but according to our cyclo rider they do not come with central heating or bathrooms and 15 families will live in the smallest of places. No bathroom or shower! Imagine that it is -9C in the middle of the night and you really have to go? Who wants to run out to the public bathroom! Also, because they do not have showers in the home the residents have to use public showers to keep clean and apparently, according to our guide, this is not done very often. Now, I know I am an outsider and probably understand very little, but putting these people in different, modern homes will surely help their quality of life improve! Who am I to speak? The government does intend to keep a 5KM2 area open for tourists to visit and so the old Hutongs will not be forgotten!

Speaking of the cyclo driver, the poor guy is 70 years old and still riding people around on his bike because he has no retirement fund! He said he used to be an architect but that stopped a long time ago. His parents belonged to the Kuominngtang and they were both executed during the cultural revolution! Our driver to the great wall also told us that his uncle was excecuted during the cultural revolution and that his parents were forced to go work on farms in the country. In fact, our driver to the great wall used to be in the secret police. He was driver and his job was to tail suspects in Beijing! He was not allowed to lose the target so he really new how to drive well. He lost his job in 1989 as part of the fallout of the student protests in Tianamen square! When I asked him about the cultural revolution he said that it was no Mao's fault and that it was the result of a power struggle amongst the people. This guy was also full of insights into Chinese History and culture and had a really good understanding of modern China. It was really surprising and interesting!

On Wednesday Queenie and I went to the Forbidden City were I saw a copy of "From Emperor to Citizen" the autobiography of Pu Yi, the last emperor in China. The rhetoric in the book was really amazing: my favorite passage was the one that described China as a democratic-dictatorship. What does that mean! If you are interested you would have to pick up the book yourself but I really did feel sorry for this person who was a victim of history and lineage! But there are many like him I suppose.

So what is there to say about Beijing? A lot I suppose, the city is very clean and it is a place in which I could live. Queenie and I enjoyed the parks, culture and history associated with the city. One can live a fantastic life here and, if there were ever an opportunity to work here, I would seriously consider it. There are certain things I would not like e.g. the weather, the traffic and the lack of certain freedoms (but this is endemic accross China).

So last night was our last night in the Capital and went out to buy some late night snacks where I was approached by some prostitutes. They spent about 10-minutes telling me their story and their journey to Beijing from the far reaches of the country and how, if they could, they would like to find a new job. They earn about RMB3000 a month and are forced to give half their earnings over to their pimp. It is really a sad life for them I really wished I could help them but there was nothing much I could do, so, after a while, I said my goodbyes and went back to the hotel to eat. It was kind of a low note to end this part of the trip on but it was still enlightening to discuss the strife and the troubles of a very marginalized community in China!

Anyway, we are now in Nanking and our next stop will be Shenzhen on Wednesday where the journey ends (sniff sniff sniff)....until the next posting, stay well everyone!

God Bless


China Travelogue 7: Langmusi to Lanzhou

This Post: Langmusi --> [Hezou] --> Xiahe --> Linxia --> Lanzhou

(A proud Tibetan in Xiahe)

Hi All,

So when I left off the last time we were about to board the bus from Langmusi to Hezou and then head to Xiahe. The ride from Langmusi was excellent! For the first time in a while we had an excellent bus and the road was brilliant! I also had the front seat which meant great legroom (heh heh heh). Anyway, the scenery outside the bus was still quintessentially what we had seen on the road to Langmusi with the exception being no dangerous mountain roads.

Arriving in Hezuo brought us back to our feet. On the bus there we thought the rough rides were over. Think again! The bus dropped us off at one bus stop and to get to the next one we (Queenie, myself and Trevor who we hadn't lost again) hopped onto a motortricycle with all our bags. Well, as you can imagine there was not much breathing space.

After we got to the second bus station we duly boarded the bus and the for the first time were obliged to store our bags on the roof, a decision we would regret later when we discovered that we would be travelling on another dirt road! Of course, after we retrieved our bags they were all mucky and dirty!

At the second bus station in Hezuo things started to get exciting. We saw two poor people arguing over the garbage! They obviously collect the bottles and tin cans and then hand them in for a few mao (cents). They nearly came to blows and had to be forcibly separated by the station authorities. The one guy actually grabbed a wooden stool and wanted to hit the other person on the head with it. It was a really saddenning event to witness.

Well anyway, after a while we were on the bus and ready to go and, as it turned out, this was to be one of the most eventful bus rides of them all! Just before the bus was leaving a drunk guy got on board with two bottles of beer! He opened one with his teeth (a particularly painful thing to do) and continued with his binge. He was, in the beginning, really friendly. He told us a lot of stories and he also said he was a famous singer. We then asked him to sing a song and he noticed Trevors guitar. We duly gave him the guitar and for about half an hour he strummed it quite happily (while I dutifully held his beer).

After he was finished he gave the guitar back and he was fairly peaceful but then we hit the dirt road with all of its bumps and of course the beer went frothing and flying all over the show! It was actually quite funny. After a while this guy seemed to get bored again and he turned around in his seat and started grabbing my hands and twisting them around. After that he pretended to try to hit me but being drunk and on a bumpy road he nearly hit poor Queenie. As a result I was forced to subdue the poor guy. Okay, I never hurt him but he got my message and was fairly grumpy for the last hour of the trip!

We actually found out his sad story a little later from an English speaking tour guide who came from the same town. This guy came from a good family and was quite a good guy until about 28 when he started to drink. He had apparently, through drinking, made his parents quite poor and as a result his father died last year because they had no money to take him to hospital. His sister still provides him with some money but this guys wife divorced him, remarried and opened a business in Lhasa. I felt sorry for the guy, especially after having done what I did but Trevor said that I probably had no choice and that I was really gentle with him.

Arriving in Xiahe 3-hours later, covered in dust and beer, we were a little disappointed. The town wasn't at all what we imagined. It was a little cold and of course there was no hotwater! The second day we dutifully went for a walk around the Labrang monastry! This monastry has over a thousand prayer wheels around it and people come on pilgrimage to kowtow and to spin the wheels. We joined the pilgrims and walked around the entire monastry. It is quite a far walk!

We also went inside some of the temples where we saw people kowtowing on the steps and rubbing their heads on the door handles and the pillars outside the temple. 95% of the people were elderly and to see them doing this and giving their money to this was really sad. As soon as we left some of the temples, some of the worshippers came running up to me and actually grabbed me asking for money. That was quite a shocking experience to me. I have never had beggars physically restrain me and demand money from me! And I never expected it from people worshipping at a temple.

Anyway, we continued around the monastry and saw people kowtowing on the ground! Apparently their goal is to kowtow around the whole monastry in a day. Like those we saw on the road to Ruoergai they walk three steps and kowtow, walk three steps and kowtow etc. It is in the dust and the muck! Queenie said that this religion is too hard for her. I have to agree. All this kowtowing in the sand is just too much for us.

There was also a structure on the outskiurts of the monastry around which many of the pilgrims walked. We stood there for about ten minutes watching them. Some walked around it only a few times. Some people were still walking around it when we left. It is part of their religious devotion.

After walking around the monastry we went in to another temple. The main door was closed but there were two small boys on either side of the door. They told us that they were around 8-years old and that they were meant to be kowtowing, but they were just shooting the breeze. All of a sudden the abbot appeared from nowhere and these guys were diving into the ground as if their lives depended on it. Is this the way to raise a kid! Apparently their parents are happy to send them to the monastry at a young age! I guess it is one less mouth to feed. It kind of reminds me of medieval Europe where similar things used to happen.

We then walked into another temple where we saw boots scattered all over the courtyard and heard booming sounds from the interior of the temple. I went up to have a look and there must have been a few hundred monks meditating while some played musical instruments. It was a really eerie experience. We then watched how they ate lunch all huddled up on the floor. Some people would run out grab a big container of rice and meat and then charge back in and fill up the bowls of those sitting! It was really fascinating.

Queenie's observation was that these were the true communists! They all dress the same, eat the same and live in the same quarters. They are all perfectly equal! It is ironic how the "communists" tried to destroy these true communists during the cultural revolution.

After lunch time we met with a 16 year old monk from Mongolia whose government had sent him to study at the monastry. He had been there for ten years and at the age of 20 he would return home and become a teacher. He took us to watch some monks playing basketball and, I must say, after soccer, this must be the worlds most popular sport! We asked the monk if we could take a picture with him but he said it would be against the rules. He eventually conceded as long as no one saw us do it!

That night we found Trevor again and hung out and had a barbecue with him. It was an interesting evening as he is a Jehova's Witness (JW) and explained their theology to me. It is the first time I have ever had a theological discussion with a JW. All in all it was a great evening. It was also the last time we will probably see Trevor on this trip!

Anyway, on Thursday we headed off to Lingxia, a Uighar Muslim town. I thought it would be interesting to see the contrast in the cultures. The closer we got to Lingxia the more desolate and barren the land became. I knew we were close to the region when we started to see the traditional domed shaped Mosques on the horizon. On Friday, before we came to Lanzhou, we were woken up by the Muslim call to prayer. I felt like I was back in Turkey!

We found a small restaurant for breakfast. We spoke to the Han Chinese owners who told us that there were some tensions between the Han Chinese and the Muslims but that they had a peaceful coexistence. On the road in Lingxia we saw sheep being slaughtered and bled on the roadside. This was a little close to home, but I suppose that is where the lamb noodles comes from.

After breakfast we went to two of the older and bigger Mosques in the town and they were amazing. When we arrived I was expecting a dome shaped mosque with spires on the outside but these actually looked like Buddhist temples with people burning incense. The architects of these Mosques had synthesized Chinese architecture with Islamic themes to create something rather special. The one mosque we went into was apparently a thousand years old and had been completely destroyed during the cultural revolution and has only recently been rebuilt.

After the tour of the Mosques we dutifully boarded our bus and headed for Lanzhou, where we are now. The closer we got to Lanzhou the more desolate the land became. I guess you know that you are heading into the desert! Arriving in Lanzhou, the world's most polluted city according to the Lonely Planet, was a shock to the system. After travelling in the country for the last two weeks and arriving in the city and learning how to kick and scream and shout your way through the crowds was quite startling. I can imagine how people from the country must feel when they first arrive.

Lanzhou is not that interesting. We visited a night market and had a walk along the yellow river. Apart from that and shopping there is not much to do so we are a little disappointed. The one museum that we wanted to visit is still closed for renovations. Tomorrow we will be heading for Beijing and hopefully some more fun times. The hardest part of our journey is now over and we will be flying to save time so there will be no more exciting bus ride stories to share.
Before I end this travelog there is one news item I wish to comment on (close your eyes if you are not interested). Recently a video was taken in a Malaysian prison of a Female Chinese citizen being abused by the guards. This is tragic! The Chinese government has DEMANDED an immediate investigation into the abuse. But I am forced to wonder what types of abuse and barbarism we would witness if we were to get a camera into a Chinese prison? Yes, I am forced to wonder.

I will leave you with that thought. Stay well everyone.


"Trafalgar Square" (1) 798 District (1) Africa (1) Airport (1) Archive (1) Art (1) Asia Art Center (1) Aviary (1) bagpipes (1) Ban Nam Dee (1) Beihai Park (1) Beijing (5) Birds (1) Bitan (1) Boracay (2) Bozburun (1) Buddhism (1) Buddhist Temple (1) Bunny Chow (1) Cafe India (1) canopy tour (1) cat (1) China (15) Christmas (2) Colombo (3) COPE (1) curry (1) Cycling (28) Cycling in Taiwan (8) dance (3) Dog (1) Durban (3) East Rift Valley (1) Eco Lodge (1) Elephant (3) Elephant Ride (1) Ella (1) Family (6) Fire (1) Flower Market (3) Food (2) France (1) Friends (19) Fulong (1) Galle (2) Galle Face Hotel (1) Gokova (1) Guandu Nature Park (1) hiking (2) Hong Kong (5) Hot Springs (1) Hsin Tien (1) Hualien (1) Hutong (1) Ilan (2) Japan (3) Jing Shan Beach (1) Kandayan Dancers (1) Kandy (5) Kandy Lake (1) Kaohsiung (2) Karkloof (1) Kayak (1) Keelung (4) Khiva (1) kitten (1) Koh Samui (1) Laos (9) Laos COPE (1) Laos Puppies (1) Laos Travelogue (3) Leofoo Village Theme Park (2) Library (1) Lion Dance (1) Little England (1) London (13) Luang Prabang (3) Marmaris (3) Matara (3) Mimi (2) Miscellaneous (32) Monkeys (1) Moses Mabhida Stadium (1) Namtha (1) Namtha. Huay Xuay (1) New Zealand (11) Nuawara Eliya (1) Nuwara Eliya (2) Osaka (3) Our Stuff (11) Pettah Market (1) Philippines (2) Photowalk (1) Pinglin (2) Pinnawala (1) Pot Pie Cafe (1) Pudding (1) Puppies (1) Puppy (1) Restaurants (11) Shek O (2) Shihmen Reservoir (1) Singapore (1) Snake Charmer (1) Snow (1) South Africa (12) Sri Lanka (17) street performers (1) Sung River (1) Sunset (3) Ta An Park (2) Tad Sae Waterfall (1) Taipei (18) Taipei and Taiwan Travel Guide (6) Taipei Fine Arts Museum (1) Taipei Hsin-Beitou (1) Taipei Restaurant (1) Taipei Video (6) Taiwan (24) Taiwan Video (5) Tamsui (2) Tangalle (1) Tangelle (1) Temple (1) Temple Lunch (1) Tennoji (2) Thailand (1) Tissahane (1) Train (1) Travel (62) Travel Guide (1) Travelogues (7) tuk tuk (1) Turkey (11) Unawatuna (1) Unawatuna Beach (1) Urgut (1) Uzbekistan (8) Vang Vieng (4) Vang Vieng Eco Lodge (1) Victoria Park (1) Vientiane (3) Vientiane COPE (1) Wattay International Airport (1) Wedding (2) Weherahena Temple (1) Willesden Green (1) Worship Team (2) Xindian (1) Yala Nature Reserve (1) Yangmingshan (1) zip-line (2) 六福村 (2) 北京 (2) 北海公园 (1) 大安森林公園 (1) 建國花市 (1) 新店 (1) 石澳 (1) 石門水庫 (1) 碧潭 (1) 花東縱谷 (1) 衚衕 (1) 金山海灘 (1) 關渡自然公園 (1)

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