Yunnan: Ye Olde Lijiang

(Apologies for the lack of posts lately - real life has got in the way!) I've heard pretty scathing indictments of long haul bus travel across Yunnan and of course trains are my favourite way to cruise anyway so it made sense to take one of the many trains from Kunming to the mountainous town … Continue reading Yunnan: Ye Olde Lijiang

Yunnan: Shilin Stone Forest

Kunming's main attraction is perhaps not the city itself (charming though it is) but its proximity to amazing sights across Yunnan province. One such wonder is the Shilin Stone Forest located about 2 hours outside of the city. Formed over millions of years through tectonic activity and now a UNESCO heritage site, the Stone Forest … Continue reading Yunnan: Shilin Stone Forest

Yunnan: Holidays are Kunming…

Kunming is one of the cheapest destinations to reach by air from Hong Kong and yet also provides a springboard to one of China's most incredible provinces. I had originally booked to visit this area last Spring and, after that fell through, Yunnan province became an itch I really needed to scratch. I never thought … Continue reading Yunnan: Holidays are Kunming…

Kazakhstan: Astana & the World Expo

After a surprisingly enjoyable 24 hour train journey, I emerged at Astana's train station to warm sunshine and a clear blue sky, even at 7am. There are buses that run to the centre from just outside the train station and I jumped on one which stopped just 5 minutes from my hostel, Nomads4x4. Buses in … Continue reading Kazakhstan: Astana & the World Expo

Kazakhstan: Shymkent – Astana

It was an early start for me in order to catch the 6.55am train from Shymkent to Astana. As Shymkent's railway station isn't centrally located, the lovely Nina from House Hostel arranged for a taxi to pick me up and take me to the station for 500 tenge. There I was greeted with just one … Continue reading Kazakhstan: Shymkent – Astana

Japan: Kagodreamer

Considering it's not a city that gets a lot of publicity, certainly in the west anyway, Kagoshima is remarkably well geared for tourism. The small airport is laden with English leaflets and brochures promoting the city's many tourist attractions - and there's certainly plenty. Even without the gigantic active volcano on its doorstep, Kagoshima has … Continue reading Japan: Kagodreamer

Japan: The Deep South

Perhaps more than any other country I've visited, it was incredibly satisfying to finally touch down in Japan. A mere 3 or so hours away from Hong Kong, for locals and expats alike, visiting Japan is much like popping for a week away in Germany or Italy or Hungary. It seemed as if everyone I … Continue reading Japan: The Deep South

Bishkek to Shymkent… the Long Way Round

I was a bit apprehensive about my return to Kazakhstan from Kyrgyzstan. Since I wanted to explore the south-west region of Kazakhstan, close to the Uzbek border, I opted not to go back to Kazakhstan through Almaty, instead heading west from Bishkek through Talas to Taraz and then onto Shymkent, Kazakhstan's third city. My issue … Continue reading Bishkek to Shymkent… the Long Way Round

Kyrgyzstan: Yurt Camp & Chill

With my trip so far being pretty active, I fancied a few days chilling somewhere peaceful and Kyrgyzstan's huge Issyk-Kul lake seemed the perfect place to do that. The lake is essentially split in two where tourism is concerned. The northern shore is filled with beach resorts and holidaying Russians whilst the southern shore is … Continue reading Kyrgyzstan: Yurt Camp & Chill

Kyrgyzstan: Cracking Karakol

One of Kyrgyzstan's premier hiking bases is the city of Karakol to the east of Issyk-Kul lake. Whilst it sits around the lake, it isn't a lakeside spot, instead popular for its accessible trekking routes and stunning scenery. It was easy to get a marshrutka from Bishkek's Western bus station. Karakol in Cyrillic is very … Continue reading Kyrgyzstan: Cracking Karakol