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Panoramas of China

Posted on 3 Aug 2013 | 6 comments

Be happy, very happy that we still can’t share smells over the internet… As China definitely has some of the worst toilet smells we have ever come across! The French roadside toilets from the 70’s and 80’s, the Indian toilets, none come even close to the Chinese… just take our word for it.

What we can share though are some of the amazing sights of China we have seen, and once Jon has finished some of the videos about China we’ll hopefully also be able to share some sounds of China with you. For now, these are our favourite panoramas of China. Hope you like ‘m too.

Yuanyang rice terraces

Yuanyang rice terraces

A very impressive sight, all terraces are planted by hand, a tradition lasting thousands of years. The lady on the right is carrying manure to the terraces in her buckets.

Yuanyang rice terraces

Yuanyang rice terraces

Planting underway, with rice ready to harvest in 3-4 months. In some parts there are over 100 terraces up the mountain.

Buddhist temple in Jianshui

Buddhist temple in Jianshui

We saw many temples and monasteries and loved the colourfull interiors, friendliness and relaxed atmosphere.

Shilin Stone Forest near Kunming

Shilin Stone Forest near Kunming

A fantastic place for a rogaine, it is the shear size of the place that makes it truly an amazing spot. Stunning!

Restaurant in Kunming

Restaurant in Kunming

Kunming, our first taste of big city China. It took us an age to find a laundry, because everyone now has a washing machine. This was a local eatery popular with 20-somethings who socialized over ‘steamboat’ – you cook yourself in a big bowl of steaming broth. Nobody spoke English… Kids playing on the street were bewildered by Jude’s hair.

Dinosaurs near Lufeng

Dinosaurs near Lufeng

Probably the most prolific dinosaur quarry ever discovered, and they are still excavating. If you are interested in dinosaurs, this is the place to visit.

Market near Dali

Market near Dali

A lovely colourful market on the shores of Erhai Lake. This weekly market was frequented by the Yi minority group, Yunnan was full of colourful minority tribes who still proudly wear their traditional clothes.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Jude on a wet and windy afternoon at Tiger Leaping Gorge. Here the Yangtze River threads its way through one of the world’s deepest river gorges. Legend has it a tiger jumped over the river via the rock you can see in the picture, giving the gorge its name.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge

We completed a stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge high trail. This hike clings to the cliffs far above the river and used to be the only way through the gorge before the determined Chinese bulldozed and blasted a lower road for tourist buses.

Main square in Zongdian (Shangri-La)

Main square in Zongdian (Shangri-La)

This is the last town in China before Tibet, and has been labeled Shangri-La by the Chinese, the fictional location of the 1933 novel ‘Lost Horizon’, by James Hilton. However loose the connection, it is a stunning location.

Monastery near Zongdian (Shangri-La)

Monastery near Zongdian (Shangri-La)

As this is so closely linked to Tibet you see the colourful flags everywhere. Here they are draped around a stupa with prayer wheels at its base. You walk around clockwise and spin each prayer wheel also in a clockwise direction.

Yak Meadow near Lijiang

Yak Meadow near Lijiang

We went for another walk near Lijiang to Yak Meadow. Again we had to find our own way to the trail as the Chinese want you to go up the hill with the cable car. At the top we saw a warning sign for bears. Real or to stop tourists wandering down the trail on their own we don’t know…

Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake

Probably our best campsite in China. Right on the shores of Lugu Lake, one of the only matriarchal societies left in the world. We kayaked around the lake and had a swim in the cold lake too.

Terracotta Warriors near Xi'an

Terracotta Warriors near Xi’an

This is what you see the second you walk into pit 1 of the Terracotta Warriors, the biggest of the 3 pits. An amazing sight with so many warriors and they are still excavating!

Mount Huashan - East Peak

Mount Huashan – East Peak

View from East Peak on Mount Huashan. Hardly anybody goes to East Peak as it is the one furthest away from the 2 cable cars dropping people off at the top. We enjoyed our first break after we started our hike up here.

Mount Huashan - plank road

Mount Huashan – plank road

Very proud of Jon who overcame his fear of heights (again) and walked out onto this tiny wooden walkway attached to a sheer cliff on Mount Huashan. The reward: a view of the little cave at the other end, I don’t think he saw anything of the view whilst on the walkway.

Great Wall at Datong

Great Wall at Datong

Our first meeting with the Great Wall of China is probably slightly different to most. A rammed earth section of wall near Datong where you can still see remnants of the moat that used to be there too. The tunnels are still there and so are the garrison walls near the Great Wall.

Great Wall at Badaling

Great Wall at Badaling

The Great Wall as most people see it, a beautifully restored section at Badaling, very impressive how it snakes over the ridges in the far distance.

Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing

Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing

The picture that nearly got us arrested… we stopped on the road in between Tainanmen Square and the entrance to the Forbidden City (in the background) to take this photo and the police didn’t like that! Luckily after 5 minutes they had exhausted their English vocabulary and we were sent on our way again.

Bird's Nest in Beijing

Bird’s Nest in Beijing

You can barely see it through the smog which was pretty bad that day, but this is the Olympic Stadium from 2008 in Beijing. To the left of it you can just make out the Qube (the swimming stadium) if you look carefully.

Great Wall at Jinshanling

Great Wall at Jinshanling

Beautiful sunset after the massive thunderstorm on the Great Wall that made us run for cover in the next watch tower. We enjoyed dark chocolate and Amaretto whilst watching the sun go down.

Great Wall at Jinshanling

Great Wall at Jinshanling

The Great Wall at Jinshanling – our favourite section of the Great Wall. We camped overnight in one of the watch towers and loved seeing a less restored section of wall. You could see the wall for miles all around you going over all the hill tops and ridges. It’s certainly an impressive sight and piece of engineering.

Great Wall at Jinshanling

Great Wall at Jinshanling

6 Comments

  1. Hmmmm.
    Pictures not showing up for me again. Shame. Especially since others are obviously amazed by the pictures.
    Sounds like Lara is all fixed up again and working fine.

    • Oh no! Not sure why not this time! Try CTRL + F5 and see if that helps?
      Lara is doing well and we love being on the road (tracks) again. Campsites are so amazing in Mongolia, simply stunning.

  2. Great pictures, interesting – but it seems like you had some free time from your guide, did he not go every where with you?

    • Hi Peter, the guide is more a minder and must stay with the convoy at all times when driving in between towns. Once at a town / location you are free to go where you want and the guide doesn’t stay with you. This means you can drive around within the town on your own too if you’re happy to find your own way. Some preferred to have the guide with them when they went shopping for example, we preferred freedom and finding out things ourselves.

  3. Hoi Jude en Jon,wat een reis.En wat een mooi reis verslag,ik geniet er elke keer weer vannde panorama fotos van China waren harstikke mooi.Met mij gaat alles goed met Ria wat minder,ze is weer aan der rug geopereerd.Hoe gaat verder met jullie,gezondheid nog allemaal goed?kijk al weer uit naar het het volgende verslag.
    Met lieve groetjes van Ria en Mij

    • Hi Flip & Ria, leuk dat jullie ervan genieten, wij vinden het heerlijk om ze te beleven en er over te schrijven 🙂
      Alles prima hier, ook qua gezondheid. Hopelijk knapt Ria snel op van de operatie!! Beterschap!!! En de volgende komt eraan over een paar dagen!! Liefs, jx

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