Tag Archives: china

Wuyishan paths through crevasses and… tea plantations.

Privet boys and girls!

I know it was only a few weeks ago when I finished my travelogue-mini-series on our China-2018 trip, but I just know some of you are already missing my daily updates of the red, rocky and rainy landscapes of the various Danxia landforms. Well, just for you, herewith – yet more of all that red-rocky-rainy-ness! But it’s not all good news today. The bad news is that there’ll be just one installment – this one – for I really have, finally, run out of pics. I eventually managed to finish editing my last China-2018 gigabytes, and this is the result…

On today’s menu – Wuyishan, or the Wuyi Mountains (武夷山), in the Fujian province. Remarkably, the non-Chinese internet knows about the place, which is surely a good sign that it may be even better than all the other rocky tourist attractions in this part of the country. Let’s see…

Read on…

A turtle, a camel, and more – all in rock.

Hi folks!

Not tired of my tales and pics from our China-2018 trip yet? Or are you used to them already? Then get more of the popcorn in, for here comes another installment of words plus 100+ photos – this time on the tortoise-resembling Guifeng (龟峰), just 60km from the previous day’s Longhu. The www outside China appears to know practically nothing of this tourist attraction; the only thing I could find in English was this. Accordingly, if you do want to find out more about this place, take those two Chinese hieroglyphics, enter them into Baidu or something, then get the net to translate what you get.

If such an operation looks too burdensome for you, there’s an easier option: read on!…

Introducing – the Danxia landform ‘Guifeng’:

Read on…

Longhu – by day and by night.

Hi folks!

All righty. Next up on our China-2018 mountain walking trip – Mount Longhu / 龙虎山, which literally means ‘Dragon Tiger Mountain’.

But there’s more to this place than just the mountain. There’s also the river that runs past it; there’s a traditional Chinese village that’s must-see; there’s rafting down said river; there are assorted entertainments in the nearby park; oh, and most importantly – the mountain happens to be one of the birthplaces of Taoism, with the respective thousands of years of heritage and history. As an intro to this marvelous mountain and environs, first – some pics:

Read on…

A plan to scan (a fog-less) Huangshan.

I’ve said this many times before, but I’ll just have to say it again: China has just so many unique natural places of off-the-scale beauty. Mountains, multicolored rocks, brightly-colored lakes. So much beauty that a trip to China is fast becoming a yearly tradition for me.

Ok, so here I was – back in China for this year’s portion of picturesqueness. First up this time: Huangshan, aka and literally meaning Yellow Mountain. We were here last year, but that didn’t count as we saw hardly anything of the place due to a thick fog. That’s why we made a beeline for it this year given the clement weather upon arrival. We wanted to finally see what all the fuss is about re this place – so many folks on the internet say how out-of-this-world stunning it is…

Well what can I say? I can say the internet doesn’t (always:) lie. This place is just oh-my-gobsmackingly gorgeous! A jagged-ragged mountain range, granite rock (the stone has a slightly yellow hue to it, therefore the name (黄山)), jutting rock columns with sheer cliff faces and pine trees on the thin peaks. But why am I trying to describe it in words? They will always be lacking no matter how descriptive. Just check out the pics instead:

Read on…

China trip-2018: warm-up.

Hi folks!

As you can no doubt tell by these pics, I was recently in China. In fact, a trip to China is becoming a bit of an autumn tradition already, timed perfectly to catch the lull after National Day Golden Week holidays (in honor of the founding of the People’s Republic), during which practically the whole country takes the full week off work. It’s a bit like the first week of every year in Russia: the whole country comes to a stop. Don’t even try getting anything done – work-wise (no ones’ working) or tourism-wise (the locals are doing the home-grown tourism thing so the lines you have to wait in are just silly).

Apparently, some 700,000,000 Chinese (!) were on the move during this this year’s Golden Week. Yes folks, you did read that right: a full eight zeroes there! So as I say, best to keep away during Golden Week. The week after though: knock yourself out! All the parks, cities… in fact any tourist attractions are practically empty – for a good two weeks.

Which is just as well, for China – being as massive as it is – has a lot of phenomenal natural beauty that needs checking out. I mean, the country is number two in the world on the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites (after Italy). Formidable rock formations, voluptuous valleys overgrown with gorgeous greenery, lovely brightly-colored lakes, and more – ensuring China has a full 10 entries on my list of the Top-100 Most Beautiful Places in the World (+ six bonus tracks:). And this list of mine I occasionally edit as and when new places need adding. And they need adding in China more than in most other countries. See for yourself:

Read on: a bit about the route …

Stairway to heaven.

Hi folks!

If you recall, in August I returned from Kamchatka with a broken leg. The fracture was a real pain in the… leg, since I was in plaster for six weeks. But finally, they removed said plaster; hurray!

I’d been advised by the doctor so take it easy with my mended leg – to build up the muscle and strengthen the bone steadily by getting plenty of easy exercise done – especially walking. Well, if it’s walking the doctor ordered, walking it’ll be. So off I (flew and) walked…

To warm up I headed first to Germany – for some steady-paced walking around a museum. The next day I upped the tempo at Oktoberfest. After that came strolling around Rome and another exhibition, followed by more walking (and lots of standing and crouching and leaning over!) on Santorini, Greece.

Despite my efforts, the leg still wasn’t fully recovered: I found I still needed my crutches. So what was I to do? Then I remembered what the doc said: in addition to just plain walking I should add walking up and down stairs. So it was time to stop taking the elevator, and generally to seek out stairs for my rehabilitation exercises. But much better would be steps not up a hotel or office building but up, say, a mountainside surrounded by natural beauty; there’d also be the bonuses of fresh air, pleasant aromas, a contemplative atmosphere and birds merrily singing – if I chose my mountainside carefully. So it was time to choose a mountainside carefully…

Turned out it was mountainsides – plural, which were opted for. I’ll be telling you where they were and details of our walks up and down them in upcoming posts. For now though I just want to give you some pics of what turned out to be an ‘exotic stairway experience’!

Now, I love paths. But I think I prefer steps, as then there are normally mountains involved, which I love too. But here, well, it’s a veritable ‘stairway to heaven’. Just look at these pics! Oh my gradient!

So it was up and down, up and down, up and across, and more up and down for us for days – perfect rehabilitation exercise. And the views – the pics speak for themselves.

Many of the stairways were deceptive – you’d think you were reaching the top, when they turn a corner and there above you opens up another zillion steps! Most of the time the steps were of the appropriate heights and depths, but sometimes they were really low and short, with your foot not being able to fit fully thereupon. On these we sometimes had to get on all fours so as to avoid losing our footing.

In all we were here for 10 days, and some of our smartphones reckoned we’d trekked more than 100 kilometers, and ascended and descended around 5000 meters (along the vertical) while doing so (that’s 300-600 meters up and down per day!).

So we had ourselves some excellent exotic and adventurous active tourism, as you’ll guess from the pics. Oh, and my leg? It’s almost fully recuperated already – doesn’t ache, and I’m walking now practically limp-less. And the crutches? Launched! Hurray!

All righty. Pics time. The steps and stairs:

Read on…

Non-stop country-swap; wooing in Wuzhen.

Hi folks!

Herewith, more on my time-warping theme, and on assorted tourisms – or their absence.

Sometimes I forget just how much city-hopping on planes I do in a month. It’s only when I look back over the month – usually by going through the photos I’ve taken during it – that I realize the actual numbers of cities visited are in double figures…

So, November 2017 for me went like this:

Like? I didn’t really. That was a tough November. I changed country (admittedly, twice three times – Germany, the UK and Russia) 11 times. I think that might be a record for a month – unless December beats it!…

Next up this month: Wuzhen, China.

Read on: City hop till drop; Wuzhen fusion…