Hong Kong 3

After a filling breakfast I headed towards Stanley street for shopping.

Nothing to see in the early morning.

I then took the bus to Repulse bay – at this point, it started to pour with rain.

At Repulse bay, I had lunch, whilst waiting for the thunderstorm warning to go so that I could go sailing.

It didn’t so I went kayaking instead (no pictures as I didn’t take my phone with me). We docked near Middle Bay beach and swam to the beach.

In the evening, I visited the McDonald’s in Admiralty,

Which has a long list of different food options

Overall I had for 52.5 HK $, so it felt cheaper than China.

(I also chose the table serving option at no extra cost)

Bank of China skyscraper:

Between the skyscrapers is a small garden, displaying different types of trees.

Protestors stand in front of the Court of Final Appeal:

HSBC building:

St John’s cathedral:

(Ticking the starred items on LP off the list)

I then wandered into Hong Kong park,

Before heading back to my new home by tramway.

Catch a tram, catch a smile

At my new home I watched a movie before falling asleep.

Lantau island

Today I planned a day trip to Lantau, the largest island in Hong Kong (also where Hong Kong Disneyland is).

First, I took the cable car to Ngong Ping village.

(The weather forecast for this entire week is rain)

The crystal cabin has a glass floor:

The other option is a long hike up the mountain.

At the top is Tian tan Buddha, the largest bronze Buddha in the world.

Before climbing up to the Buddha, I visited Po Lin monastery.

Hope I didn’t offend any gods.

Tian tan buddha:

After seeing the Buddha, I walked towards wisdom path.

Wisdom path:

The wisdom path wooden planks form a ♾

It was a long and tiring walk up to Lantau peak, Hong Kong’s second highest peak.

After reaching bird’s rock at the top of mountain, the path was lost in the clouds.

At the top was a stunning view of a white cloud.

(If not for the weather, I’m sure the view would be quite impressive)

After a quick walk back down, I passed through the 12 guards.

They each represent a time of day and a Chinese calendar animal, each with their own weapon. This one is ox.

At Ngong Ping, I took the bus to Tai O, Hong Kong’s oldest fishing village.

Most shops sell dried flatfish here.

Some websites call Tai O the “Venice of Hong Kong”. It felt like a pretty ordinary fishing village, not worth the visit if that’s all you’re seeing in Lantau.

Locals live mostly in huts and stilted homes.

Tai O has a long history of smuggling and acted as a point of entry for illegal immigrants from mainland China during British occupation of Hong Kong.

After a bus and MTR trip back to my new home, it was time for a homemade Chinese dinner:

Sesame seed pudding:
It tastes better than it looks.

Hong Kong day 1

This morning I was greeted by a very excited little fellow.

I head off early with my new travel companions to Clearwater bay

There I had lunch

(Western food) and played tennis

Before jumping into the pool.

They have a very nice golf course here.

I then went to Temple street to go souvenir shopping.

And dined in central Hong Kong at the Peking duck.


A chef displayed his noodle making skills:

Pekin duck:

Worth waiting all this time for – it’s a lot for 1 person


Date pancake and rice balls flavoured with osmanthus in liquor soup.

Another border crossing

In the morning I searched for a nice place to have breakfast but as most places are closed, I ended up in McDonald’s.

Asian sourdough and soybean milk (you can order the normal McMuffin)

McDonald’s is surprisingly quite expensive (16 yuan).

As I walked to the bus stop, the clouds finally decided to let the sun through – shame it had to be the day I left.

I arrived early for my bus to Shenzhen (a long 8.5 hour busride). Unfortunately the bus didn’t do the same, arriving 20 minutes late (causing me to go round the bus station multiple times, asking each member of staff about my bus).

Anyways… on the bus I had lunch:

(Despite its name, its really just underbaked dough with beans in it).

When you think you’ve gone through every toilet experience imaginable…

This toilet break spot also had some food drowning in a soup

The bus eventually arrived at 21:40 and then I took the bus towards Huanggang border

before switching for a taxi.

After crossing Huangang border control, I took the shuttle bus to Lok Ma Chau border control.

And then a taxi to Yuen Long, where I met my friend and her family.

Looking back, this seemed simple but involved hours on the bus figuring out which border to cross and hoping that everything went as I hoped as I had no HK dollars. (Lots of stress)

Xingping and the Li river

Early in the morning, I went for a stroll in Yangshuo.

A lot of weird art here:

For those who don’t like flowers, florists now sell teddy bear bouquets.

Foreigners waiting for starbucks to open.

Breakfast today was egg custard tarts…

And a yakult-like drink that made its way down the drain.

On the way to the bus for Xingping..

I need a dog as well trained as this one.

Xingping Ancient town:

Moscow nights was playing as I strolled down the path.

After a long and painful queue…

I made it on the boat to Xingping fishing village ⛵

(I was the only teddy bear here, which was a little disconcerting)

The li river was a little underwhelming compared to other places I’ve been to in China.

This is meant to be the nicest part of the river.

It could also be that it wasn’t as nice because of the weather. The scenery is nicely portrayed on the 20 yuan banknote:

After taking a break at the hotel, I went to West street in search of food:

First stop was Roujiamo:

I bought a jar of chilli paste on the way.

Next was spicy roasted potatoes:

Delicious !

If you cross the bridge, you see a show being played right by West street, hidden by water sprinklers and bright lights.

I then discovered another food market with some more adventurous flavours:

Unfortunately, I was full at that point.

Making a present for Chinese lover’s day 💝

Chinese lover’s day, also known as Qixi festival, is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month of the Chinese calendar.


Due to indecisiveness, I didn’t take the river cruise to Yangshao. Instead I took a bus to Guilin South bus station before taking another bus to Yangshao.

At Yangshao, I optimistically expected to come up with some great ideas as to how to enjoy the Li river but as half the day was already gone, a lot of those options were no longer viable.

I settled on visiting Fuli, a small town known for its Chinese painted fans.

I failed to find the bus that went there and so ended up on a small red vehicle truck/car thing.

It was a very bumpy ride.

Essentially there is only 1 street that lives up to its nickname as the hometown of painted fans, which is the town’s Ancient street.

As I wandered around, I stumbled upon an art studio, which provides “make your own fan” sessions – mainly for Western tourists. (Chinese tourists hover around the Western tourists painting with their phone camera in action)

So I had a go. This may not be an “authentic” experience but it was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

The teachers help you practice and give advice before actually painting on the fan.

Once it’s done, they prepare the fan for you:

Finished result !! (Almost)

(They also wrote my name and some other stuff, which I didn’t understand)

I took the bus back to Yangshuo, preciously keeping my fan close to me (They put it in a box, you have to wait for the glue to stick)

Also bought myself some food on the way:

(The brioche with bacon thing tasted good)

Back at the hotel, I took a break with an iced coffee. 😎

I also found a clue as to how it got the reviews it did.

(The hotel isn’t that bad, just not that good either)

I then took a shuttle bus to the San LiuJei light show.

(Sorry, my phone camera isn’t great in night mode)

The show is 1 hour long. Reviews are fairly mixed on it, there’s no story but it was pretty. My favourite review was one where the person said that no matter how much they shushed the audience, people kept talking. This gives quite a funny mental picture of 1 foreigner trying to shush 3000 Chinese tourists. 😂

I liked the show but it is probably best enjoyed by families with relatively young kids.

On the way out, I tried to go souvenir shopping again and bought myself some street food tofu. These are sold everywhere and taste good but are a little spicy.

Found a shop selling live painted turtles…

It started to pour with rain so I went back to the hotel, grabbing a dragon egg-looking pastry on the way.
I have no idea what it was, bought it at a bakery nearby.


I left Dazhai, pouring in the rain and took the first shuttle bus to Guilin.

The road was very narrow, making it somewhat nerve wracking whenever we came across another bus.

At Guilin, it was a short 3km walk to the hotel.

Guilin was overflowing with motorcyclists, who just barely held back from running over people.

At the hotel, I relaxed a bit while doing laundry, desperate to get rid of the sweat.

Today was a rainy day but I still headed off for a quick wall around.

Sun and moon pagoda:

Elephant’s hill:

This is the view from its backside but it’s meant to look like an elephant drinking water.

A restaurant for Sponge Bob fans:

I ate lunch/dinner in a self service restaurant:

(Not sure what it is, the drink was weird but the beans were good)

I then bought some kind of dessert from sweetness cheese. It’s essentially brioche with a sweet butter layer on top. I took shelter from the rain in McDonald’s to eat it:

(Heart attack inducing food)

Robots are also taking over the role of elderly ladies:

The city lights up at night, making it much easier to tell which is the moon and which is the sun pagoda.

The main goal for today was to do souvenir shopping so I passed by the Guilin night market.

Unfortunately I didn’t find anything particularly interesting there. There are a lot of shop stands selling durian.

At 8.30pm, I made my way to the Lijiang waterfall hotel, which showcases an artificial waterfall:

Love from Guangxi 💚


Another nice hotel room view:

For breakfast I was served noodles with warm rice milk and an egg:

(I was quickly bought a fork without having to ask but this doesn’t really help much with noodles 😅)

I headed off, following the picture map of the hotel:

This led me onto the route for the golden Buddha viewing platform:

More stairs 😥

The views are beautiful and worth the effort:

View from Golden Buddha:

Flying eagle:

At this point, I descended the viewpoint and went exploring.

LP is right in that nothing is well signposted here, so exploring is a bit difficult. After a while I realised I could see the path to Ping’an LP mentioned on the offline map (Osmand) and decided to go down there.

I think this is music from paradise viewpoint:

This poor horse was carrying litres of water down the hill.

The path to Ping’an is very well disguised. I would never known there was a path, let alone that it was going to Ping’an, if it wasn’t for the offline map.

It’s not a particularly well defined road.

The path passes through ZhongLiu , which isn’t a particularly attractive village:

Along the way I met some Yao ladies who insisted on me paying to have a picture taken:

These ladies are famous for their long hair, which they wrap around their head.

After a painful 10-15km walk, I saw something resembling the exit.

The road actually goes quite a bit further on before reaching Ping’an.

At Ping’an, I took a taxi back to Dazhai (I would have walked but my flip flops were damaged – bad shoe choices today – I thought it’d be easier than Zhangjiajie)

For some reason the taxi didn’t have a front mirror, instead it had a screen showing a camera recording of the front of the car (rather than the back as I first thought).

The taxi left me at the ticket checking point at Dazhai, instead of to the hotel. On the way into town I noticed that the Yao ladies used their hair in a bonfire show.

This also explains why there is so much noise in the evening.

The path to finding the hotel was tricky. All the buildings around the Longji rice terraces are pretty much the same. It started to rain and I discovered pretty much every area in town.

At the hotel

I ate egg fried rice. I was also given as a token of what I think is rice wine and a unripe peach.

Good night!

P.S. If you do happen to go to see the Longji rice terraces, the best view was at the Golden Buddha. The path to Ping’an from Dazhai is only nice for the first 30 minutes and there were snakes crossing it.

Fenghuang -> Guilin

Good morning! 😊

Before leaving Fenghuang, I went for a quick stroll.

The remains of a Chinese chess game:

Also known as Xiangqi

As I checked out, the manager kindly gave me a packet of something (it was very sweet, seemed to have sesame or ginger in it).

Fenghuang is a town built in the 1700s, and its architecture is representative of the Qing dynasty. Its population consists of a range of ethnic minorities such as Miao, Tujia and Han.

This 5 jiao banknote (which is no longer in circulation since 1999) shows the Miao (left) and Zhuang (right) children.

A lady in traditional Miao costume posed for the camera:

In the bus, 2 Brits became acquainted, at which point I quickly learnt that the person behind me was a “remoaner”. Another fun bus trip.

After a 6 hour bus ride to Guilin, I bought a ticket for Heping, with a taxi expecting me there to take me to the hotel in Dazhai.

Not to bore anyone with the hiccups I experienced along the way, lets just say that I reached my hotel:

Not long after I got my pyjamas on, I heard a knock on the door and I was given a seat for the toilet.

I’ve never actually tried one of these before 🤔

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