Pandas in Chengdu!

  Giant pandas and I go way back; or at least my one-sided love for them does.   ‘Panda’  was my fated companion from birth through childhood. He was a soft toy about the size of a one-year-old cub, gifted by my dad to my mum whilst they were still dating. After I was born, he…

Beijng’s Forbidden City

  A hundred years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to set foot in this place.  Only royalty, concubines and eunuchs could wander about the Forbidden City. It’s from here that China’s emperors ruled, set law, and lived for 500 years until the abdication of the last emperor, Puyi. He was forcefully evicted from his…

Guilin’s Reed Flute Cave

  I know nature is the world’s best artist, but sometimes I need a little reminder. Guilin had reminders dripping from the sky, and nowhere was this more literal than at its Reed Flute Cave. Formed over millions of years, the stalactites and stalagmites here could make Michelangelo green with envy, as they show off…

The Great Wall of China, all to ourselves!

  The air is heavy with the smell of spruce, as I hike my way through the Shuiguan mountains towards the Great Wall of China. I’m on a steep, solitary path that twists its way through larches, spruce, cherry blossom and other tree species. With my two travel partners ahead and behind me, and the…

Beijing’s Cherry Blossoms

  A man’s rice noodles dribble out of his mouth as I walk past. His mouth remains agape – my appearance has made him forget that he’s eating. He’s not the only one. A few metres away, a group of girls giggle and point in my direction. Two middle-aged women angle their mobiles to take…