One of my favourite places so far is the ancient town of Fenghuang, away from anywhere else of tourist interest in China. Being small enough to not have a train station is quite an achievement in China to begin with resulting in an eventful journey however you travel. I chose to arrive via Huaihua which has hotels by the station or taxi drivers ever at the ready or a standard Chinese town which looks upon a white face with interest and friendliness.
When mentioning Fenghuang to any of the Chinese people we met they would always attempt to discourage our journey, saying it was extremely touristy and that we wouldn’t like it. It was indeed very touristy but mainly among Chinese students with not another white face in sight. I like to compare Fenghuang to somewhere like Newquay for English people. The old town area was sizeable and completely unique to anywhere else I had been. Street sellers all had different goods, there were people selling communist memorabilia and there wasn’t a sit toilet to be found. Read More »
In the ten months of travel I recently completed there was only one place which I would skip in hindsight. There are hundreds of extra places and different places I would go, including Myanmar, but Huangshan was the only place that was an ill informed choice for our budget and time constraint.
Our general time constraint was quite liberal but more specifically we needed to get to Hong Kong due to having a dual entry Chinese visa and the first half nearly being used up. We had intended to stay five days in Huangshan, or Tunxi as the actual area was called and in this time we ended up doing very little. One thing to be aware of is that the only train to Shenzen comes from Shanghai and so is a very busy route in which you are unlikely to be able to get a bed as they prioritise people doing the entire route and only open the leftover a couple of days before, if there are any. In a town with no English spoken we managed to get around the ‘No’ situation at the train station by getting a quieter train to Guangzhou which then has regular bullets to Shenzen. After doing a few hard seat journeys already I didn’t fancy one for 20 hours. Read More »
Travel is amazing at the time but I can’t help but think the come down of it is disproportionately difficult, but maybe that is only so in the case of being confused about your future and having very little monies to your name. Basically when your only option is to knuckle right down and forego any luxury.
I’m working back in my previous customer service job. It’s not bad, the staff are the best part, the lack of ability to use your mind is the worst. I’ve realised recently that a lot of people don’t seem to have goals of any sort, no ambition and no aims. If you consider what their life will be in five years time quite a few people would be content to be doing the exact same thing but with a few more wrinkles. But these same people are the ones who get frustrated at the job, at the management and at the customers but make no effort to change. Read More »
In the thralls of unemployment and getting used to being back in England I am making an effort to see any nearby places that are nice to visit for the day. To be honest, most of them near me are natural places and that really is unfortunate considering this disgraceful spring weather we have been having.
When you are used to British weather you realise you can’t really use the usual tactic of staying in on the rainy day and then making the most of the next, this doesn’t work because every day is a rainy day. The only option is to put your hood up and get a good umbrella that won’t fold back on itself in a gust of wind. A good cosy winter coat will become your best friend. Read More »
I often hear friends ranting about equality and feminism and all those very important things that we ignore on a daily basis but Miss Travel reminded me of something I often think. It often seems to be perceived that sexual inequality is something created solely by these big powerful, sleazy men with no respect for women, who believe they are nothing more than objects and act like ‘Hey girl, wash my dishes’. But in reality I think that women are probably as big a hindrance to sexual equality as men are.
Some women seem to be little more than objects, they literally will do anything for the man knowing a shiny shone will be the reward. Of course none of the women I know are like this but the steeply inclined slope to equality is being littered with obstacles just as much by our own kind and this often gets looked over. Many feminists will comment on the shallowness of gossip magazines and the pressures on women to look perfect and the ‘ring of truth/ring of fat’ that circles nasty body parts in a trashy magazine. It is most definitely trashy and degrading but, unfortunately, is probably made by women and women LOVE to read it and go ‘look at the weight on her elbow’ because women love to gossip. And that is generally all women and not just the shallow diamond loving kind. Read More »
Before setting off on my travels I did lots of research into every little detail. Most of the information I found was pretty helpful, some was too paranoid and some was just ridiculous. When I started looking into shoes it was a bit of a minefield. There were so many specific recommendations about make, type etc. everyone insisted on specific hiking shoes or those weird strappy sandal things that Europeans seem to love to wear ( as well as bum bags, I have never yet found a time when I have wished I had a bum bag/ fanny pack as our American friends call them).
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Back in August I was feeling a little homesick and wrote a list of the five things I was missing most about England. Now I’m back and feeling a little travel sick. Seeing England again with fresh eyes has made me consider the things I enjoyed about being in a different society.
I didn’t watch television for nine months and so it seems really weird to see people spending four or five hours a day glued to the screen. Often not particularly watching anything but it just being on as if there is a fear of silence within the house. Of course there are some pretty good shows on TV in the UK and the BBC is a world leader but as soon as the good show ends the TV should be switched off. Instead it is left to continue to the next and the next show. The amount of sitting down that happens is really quite worrying.
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In my nine months of travel returning home and reintegrating was the single hardest thing I’ve done. It’s not something you expect to be so tough, everyone says about a culture shock but I don’t really understand that because of course I know what England is like, I’ve lived there for 24 years so the culture doesn’t shock me it’s just the mentality and habits of a day to day basis, which I suppose could be considered culture but on the same ways I visited cities abroad I could see the charm in places here. England was, basically, exactly how I had left it. The only problem was that I wasn’t.
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With food poisoning still in our system and a general weariness, when it came to choosing our accommodation on Pulao Tioman we were easily persuaded when we were told ABC beach would be very busy and noisy. We plumbed for the next ferry stop which was Panuba bay, a jetty with just the one resort and a nice little beach. We didn’t want any stress and with our last island experience being in Thailand we thought when somebody says an area is loud and busy then that would be to the extent of nightclubs running at all hours and you not being able to sleep until six in the morning. Read More »
International events are always enjoyable, whether they are music, sport or even gardening there is always a special atmosphere that everybody has gathered for something they’re excited about. After being a Formula one fan since about the age of ten, living in England there was no realistic way to get first-hand experience. Just for the Sunday ticket you will be paying roughly £150 to be in the field area. Secondly the track is in the middle of nowhere and I don’t own a car so would have to pay for extortionate public transport. Thirdly it will probably be cold and rainy. Read More »