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 »
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 »
There’s no two ways about it, food poisoning is really awful, much worse than flu and to get it on the road makes it five times worse. I’m not talking about an inconvenient bout of travellers’ diarrhoea but the sort of illness that knocks you off your feet and into bed for at least five days.
With Malaysia as my final destination my time there was limited to 20 days, even shorter if I considered having to be back in KL for the Grand Prix. Our flight in from Kolkata arrived in the early hours and due to Air Asia charging for everything we grabbed a MacDonald’s as we waited for our shuttle bus to the city. We finally checked in at roughly 3 am. Read More »
After two weeks of being in India I was a little stressed out. I had heard before travelling that Pushkar was like a haven in the madness with a backpacker scene in a holy town in the mountains. It had been likened to an Indian version of Pai (Thailand) which is one of my favourite places so far. Any locals who had asked where we were going next had said that Pushkar was really peaceful and spiritual. I was really looking forward to it.
In reality it was pretty awful with some of the worst tout pressurising I’ve seen so far that make Agra look laid back. Either everyone is on a very different wavelength to me or Pushkar has taken a drastic turn for the worst in recent years. Whilst driving to the town the scenery is quite lovely rolling hillside with a spattering of Langkor monkeys by the roadside showing off their shimmering white fur. On entering the town it looks pretty much like any other city in Rajasthan with cows and street food and litter lining the streets. Walking along the main town road which loops the lake is also very similar to other places except for an abundance of souvenir shops boasting many hippie clothes in 60’s style printed fabric. Also a large selection of leather notebooks which confused me in a meet free town until it was clarified to me that it’s not about killing the animal but keeping the human body clean from the consumption. Read More »
Rajasthan is an interesting state with many beautiful things to see, because of this it is also a place with a significant tourist trail which results in people seeing tourists and seeing them as a walking wallet. Rajasthan is known for being bad at this and as the first place I saw in India it made me very disheartened about the people but now I know it is really just a downside to going to places with big attractions. Of the places I visited in India Rajasthan is my least favourite because of it being so touristy and expensive, but there is always a reason why tourist trails exist and I am the anomaly for liking places without attractions. Here is an overview of my Rajasthan tour, which, I think, covered most of what it had to offer in 20 days. Read More »
I ended up with five days to spare and not wanting to spend them in Bangkok, just because the accommodation is expensive and it would mean being there nine days. Looking at the map Phetchaburi (Phetburi) was close and read reasonably interestingly so after much ado with arsehole Tuk-Tuk drivers I found myself sat on a train heading in that direction. Read More »
After having never been to Thailand before I entered through the North and spend my first three weeks in this area. With never being any further south than Udon Thani I think I’ve seen a very different side of the country to the regular tourist. The South is, of course, yet to come and I’m sure it will be a completely different experience, for one there will be no need for a hoodie morning and night. I really like what I’ve seen of the country so far and its all been really well priced, I’ve not done much in the way of tourist attractions, rather, just hanging out and I’m getting by on less than £10 a day, which is what some people told me I’d be paying for the room alone. Read More »
Laos never initially took my liking and I was planning on skipping it all together until I was faced with not really liking Cambodia and having to spend 30 days there to time my Thai visa correctly. So the only solution was to pop up into Laos and find out what that has to offer. I was pleasantly surprised, I expected something that would be almost identical to Cambodia and feared the worst.
The first destination in Laos was Don Det which was a really chilled out backpacker haven, until now I’ve not been to many places where the whole community are backpackers and its definitely strange. Read More »