China: The road to Shangri-La

HAVE you noticed you never quite get to Shangri-La? I arrived in the pretty town of Lijiang at night and, although it is a Unesco World Heritage site, I was totally unprepared for its charms. Red lanterns lit up narrow cobbled streets lined with traditional Chinese wooden buildings and small stone bridges spanned an intricateContinue reading “China: The road to Shangri-La”

China: A Kunming plan

PERHAPS, if I could read it, the graffiti etched into the rocks of Kunming’s Stone Forest might seem less picturesque. For all I know, the beautiful calligraphy is the equivalent of ‘Kilroy was here’. However, for me, the Chinese script merely adds to the charm of this 400sq km ‘forest’ – actually an ancient seabedContinue reading “China: A Kunming plan”

Beijing: Thronging to see Zedong

THE QUEUE is four wide and stretches endlessly into the distance. We shuffle along at an efficient, if not quick, pace. I’m the only foreigner among the thousands of tourists around me – curious glances are sneaked, the odd stare. We’re waiting to see the embalmed body of China’s most famous son, Mao Zedong, theContinue reading “Beijing: Thronging to see Zedong”