A Travellerspoint blog

The Pandas

On to Chongqing

View 2005 China Tour on greynomadm's travel map.

Tue 29 Early morning visit to Panda Breeding Centre, huge lunch at Wenshu Monastery, evening attended the local Culture Show - very clever comedy, puppets, traditional instruments, hand shadows, etc.

Wed 30 Express bus to Chongqing (300 Km SE). First sight of the Yangzi River, can't see the far bank due to overcast, fog and or smog. Dinner and a good night’s rest in a very fancy hotel.

Posted by greynomadm 15:00 Archived in China Comments (0)


Li River

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Fri 25 From Hong Kong we travelled by coach to the border and were checked through border control. Interestingly, it is here that the road rules change we switched from Right to Left Hand Drive. Back on the coach and on to Guangzhou (180 Km NE) where we boarded the train which arrived in Guilin next morning (800 Km NE).

Sat 26 In Guilin we transferred to a chartered minibus to Yangshuo (100 Km NW). It started to seriously rain and we all bought and donned ponchos. Wandered around in the rain most of the morning.

Sun 27 We are joined by “Happy” Helen a Chinese national who is to travel with us most of the way as Yolande shows her how to spoil the members of the tour!! Cruise on the Li river in the morning with limestone karsts all around. In the afternoon a visit to the food markets followed by a cooking school. After dark attended the Zhang Yi Mous sound and light show - fabulous.

Mon 28 Bike ride in the countryside, Jenny got knocked off her bike but managed to get back on for a while. Lunch cooked at a farmhouse and Jenny is ferried back to the hotel on a motorbike, her bike tied on the back. Minibus back to Guilin Airport, the 21:15 flight delayed by bad weather but we get to Chengdu (850 Km NW) before midnight.

Posted by greynomadm 15:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

In Hong Kong

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Wed 23 March was an extra day and we explored Hong Kong on our own. Star Ferry across to Central, then a bus to the cable tram that takes you up to Victoria Peak. On a nice day this would have been fantastic, it wasn’t a nice day.
We did however gain an impression of the place, all bustle and high-rise. Back to Kowloon and got drenched in a sudden downpour - bought some umbrellas.

Thu 24 March is the official start of the tour package but we’re free until 18:00. Caught a local train to Mong Kok and wandered the markets. What an amazing place, everyone had a bargain you just couldn’t refuse, we did most of the time anyway. In the evening we met the others on the tour, Yolande the Intrepid Tour Guide, John and Juanita from Canada and Beverly from Melbourne, so we are a party of six.

Posted by greynomadm 15:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Home to Hong Kong

View 2005 China Tour on greynomadm's travel map.

On Tue 22 March we drove from Moruya to Canberra to catch a flight to Sydney, the vehicle was left in the excellent care of our daughter - saved a heap on parking fees. The airfares to Hong Kong and return were redeemed Frequent Flyer Points. We travelled Cathay Pacific except for the short legs between Sydney and Canberra. Baggage was booked through from Canberra to Hong Kong. We were under some pressure from the start, the flight from Canberra left little time to make the connection in Sydney, we did but Cathay had already started boarding.

Service on Cathay and the flight generally was excellent. Arrival in Hong Kong presented us with a few dramas, the size of the place and the thousands of people. Add to that we hadn’t completed an “Entry Card” and the immigration official didn’t have a sense of humour - our fault but don’t you feel a dill?? After collecting the luggage we found our contact for the transfer to the hotel (arranged by Intrepid). The car and driver were immaculate and we were gaining a VERY GOOD impression about this tour. We were whisked to our hotel on Kimberley Rd in Kowloon and settled into our room just after midnight local time.

Posted by greynomadm 15:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

The Plan

This is not an attempt to provide a detailed description of China. My comments are based on my perception of the location at that time. There are no doubt a number of you who have gained a deeper insight to the country and its people. There is no doubt considerable variation depending on when and how you travelled. The locations may not make much sense without a detailed map of China, but here goes.

Planning for this adventure started back in November 2004 and after considering a number of options we settled for Intrepid Tours, a company based in Melbourne. One of the aspects that appealed to me was that they have a group limit of 12. They run tours at different levels of comfort, the more comfortable the more it costs. We chose their “Premium” tour and believe we received value for money. Anyway enough of all that.

Posted by greynomadm 15:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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