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Posts from the ‘Asia’ Category

China 8: A glimpse of old Peking

The area south of Tiananmen Square is a good place to get a flavour of commercial Peking/Beijing from Ming dynasty days. The modernised shopping streets carry a heritage vibe though beyond them are the best bits – old, far more original neighbourhoods. Read more

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China 7: Beijing city wall ruins

One of Beijing’s most fascinating historical aspects for me are its fortifications. Most of these have been obliterated from existence but among the few remains is a section of the old inner city wall. Read more

China 6: Of exercise and heavenly temples

On our third day we spent an incredibly interesting couple of hours at the Temple of Heaven park watching morning exercise and recreation rituals and, as you might guess, seeing temple-y things. Read more

China 5: Wangfujing Snack Street (deep-fried scorpions anyone?)

Eating adventurous food in China was not on my to-do list; I’m too much of a girlie wuss. But I wanted to see some and this was easily done. Read more

China 4: The Forbidden City

From Tiananmen Square it was a natural progression north into the Forbidden City. Again due to my own lack of research prior to the trip, I was a bit unprepared for the absolutely stunning scale and architecture of the place. Read more

China 3: Tiananmen Square

The first priority on our first morning on Chinese soil was to go to one of the most well-known and controversial places in Beijing. We went back the following night and there would have been a third visit as well had that attempt not bombed. Read more

China 2: City lakes and lights

It was our first afternoon in Beijing and I trotted along after Mike, who seemed to know where he was going, and we duly arrived at another renovated hutong with nice shops and whatnot. At the other end were three lakes collectively known as Shichahai and an area known for its nightlife. Read more

China 1: Arriving in the hutongs

Earlier this month a taxi let us out at the side of a busy road in Beijing, the driver gesturing the direction we needed to head in. Forcing alertness from foggy brains, we crossed the road and trundled up the historic hutong on the hunt for our hotel. Read more

Vietnam last hurrah: Seeing to unfinished business

I was left conflicted after an experience at the start of my trip. One of my reasons for visiting Vietnam was to see where dad had been based during his tour of duty between 1967-68 with one of the New Zealand rifle companies. I organised a private day trip from Saigon out to Phuoc Tuy Province and did manage to see everything I wanted to… except the site of the 1st Australian Task Force camp, the place where up to 5,000 Aussies and Kiwis had been based. (Aerial photo) Read more

Vietnam: 26~Da Nang on two wheels

I didn’t know much about Da Nang, and the scant knowledge I did have was down to war related associations portrayed on televisions shows when I was growing up. Before the trip a light bit of research indicated it would be worth a brief stop-off. The usual see, snap and run.

My uninspiring but cheap hotel was about 10km away from the beachfront. After arriving off the train I went to investigate the other side of the Han River and for the first time during the trip I was aware of locals eyeing me like the unusual sight I guess I was. The riverfront area was quite appealing and beyond it I found local neighbourhoods well off the beaten path for the majority of tourists. Read more

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