Foto Friday – Forbidden Palace

In 2009 I found myself travelling around China on a whistle-stop tour visiting the countries great cities and landmarks. Somewhere that I had always wanted to visit was The Forbidden City in the former capital of Peking a city now renamed Beijing.

It lived up to all expectations when I finally got there. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in what is now the middle of Beijing and houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.

The architecture is amazing, the scale mindblowing and its history resonates from every corner ofpalace the complex.

Foto Friday – The Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

The Great Wall, Mutianyu Huairou County

Located in Huairou County about 45 miles from Beijing, the Mutianyu Great Wall enjoys a long history and is part of the glorious culture of China.Here the wall winds for 1.4 miles through lofty mountains and high ridges, many sections of which are made of granite.

Watchtowers are very densely placed along this section of the Wall with 22 in total along this small stretch alone.The unique structure makes the wall almost indestructible. It measures 23 to 26 feet high and four to five yards wide.

Amazingly we had the wall almost to ourselves to wander along which as anyone who has visited China will know is almost unheard of!

Indochina Adventure

For the next three weeks I will be travelling around what was once referred to in days gone by as Indochina! During the trip I will be employing many fantastical modes of transport including: planes, trains, automobiles, boats, bicycles, sampans and rickety old rickshaws. My travel adventure will take me to Old Saigon, Imperial Hue, Ancient Hoi An, and the Enigmatic Angkor Wat amongst many other exotic and mystical destinations.

Do please come along for the ride!



Chinese Takeaway!

As an adolescent and still living at home I would often sit at the family breakfast table and stare at the giveaway calendar from the local Chinese Takeaway hanging on the wall. The mornings were usually a typical British blend of dark and cold looking skies outside with the constant tip-tapping of rain on the window as I would sit there eating my breakfast before having to venture out into the bleakness on my bicycle and cycle my mundane paper round.

The picture on the calendar showed a small red pagoda perched high on a mountainside with a spectacular view out over the most amazing cityscape imaginable, all crazily built higgledy-piggledy skyscrapers around a large strikingly blue harbour. The longer I looked and stared at that picture the more the image of Hong Kong ingrained itself on my memory banks. I did not know it back then but the seeds for discovering and exploring this exotic destination were already being sown in my young and youthful mind.

The simple red pagoda at the peak

Fast forward some twenty seven odd years and here I was at Mumbai airport awaiting a connecting flight that would whisk me to Hong Kong. Later that very day I would possibly be standing looking out from that small red pagoda that I once stared so longingly at on that small wall calendar in my parents breakfast room. Continue reading “Chinese Takeaway!”