Summer 2014, you are wonderful.

Summer 2014 has been wonderful so far, I’ve been on various trips which can be counted as some of the amazing experiences of my life so far. Besides all the travelling, I hope to receive my driving license before I move back to uni, as I found myself preoccupied with a fairly intensive driving course and having passed my driving theory test not so long ago! PHEW. so fingers crossed.

In my spare time, as you probably know I hopped on the train and commuted frequently to Cardiff. HOW I MISS THAT CITY. As I am trying to find out the perfect place for afternoon tea, Pettigrew Tea Rooms is located in the beautiful Bute Park at the city center by the Cardiff Castle (some pictures of the park can be found HERE). It has been rated the top tearoom in Cardiff, so being a foodie like myself couldn’t resist the temptation. Last week I also discovered an organic food/bar called Milgi. Being a huge fan of healthy and organic products, I stopped by on a Friday night which was surprisingly busy for a bar of its size on City road. What I loved about the place is that not only it has the eco-feel reflected in its interior design as well as the mugs/cups of the drinks it serves but also it’s a relatively quiet place to enjoy drinks between friends and family as opposed to the main stream pubs/clubs which are pretty rowdy on weekend. Places like these are hard to find these days.20140724_161608_副本IMG_20140801_215043_副本

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Student Lock In, one crazy shopping night

What a night! I’ve been so busy reading around my course this couple of days only for this night! Because usually I find it easier to focus at night so I do night readings alot at university. But any excuse for shopping right!? The student lock in is a special shopping night for students where shopping malls will offer 25% discounts across all stores!

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As you can imagine, with the student budget. Yes we are on a budget. But it’s shopping and the beauty of student loans/grants! They are there awaiting to be spent! We queued for 20 mintues at different collection point for a discounted wristband which identifies you as student taking part in the event. Then once we were being let in the shopping mall, it felt like freedom; not in the sense that as if the goods did not cost anything! But it was such a crazy time, many shops had special DJs, topless male models, it was a crazy party but designated to shopping! Who’s idea was this I wonder haha! Being abig opportunist, of course I undertook research in shops beforehand so I knew exactly what I needed and where I could find them! I finally got myself a really nice coat which I desperately needed ( will post later with pictures of it).

A Visit To The World’s First Long Hair Village

Is Rapunzel real then?… ”No, don’t be silly” might be a common reply! Hey, but I’m going to ask you think of your answer again this time… because I saw plenty of ”Rapunzel” this summer and even with longer hair!
Continue reading A Visit To The World’s First Long Hair Village

Yang Shuo County – A Must Visit Place In China

It’s been a while since I did travel related post on here, for a moment I thought I ran out of ideas to write. But I realised I haven’t told you guys enough about Yang Shuo County ( where I stayed this summer for one week and perhaps, the most memorable experience of my nearly two months holiday in China!)

Here’s some geographic information about Yang Shuo; it is a county under the jurisdiction of Guilin City( South of China quite close to Vietnam), surrounded by peaks and bordered one side by the Li River. Thus, making the town popular to foreign backpackers as well as rock climbing fanatics!

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For someone like me who lived in North Eastern China for ten years, my journey to the South of China was a real eye opener. The most obvious one – a contrast in environment: the North is very industrial, big sky scrapers everywhere, very modernised. Here in Yangshuo Guilin, people’s lives are more primitive, they simply live off the land by growing rice and various crops. So, sounds a bit like time travel doesn’t it?

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Oh there are no traffic lights !!! I know it sounds pretty crazy, but surprisingly, I haven’t witnessed any traffic accidents or traffic jam at all! In Yang Shuo, most people travel by motor cycle or scooters. For tourists, it’s pretty handy to walk around if you intend to explore Yang Shuo town. Of course, there are sights worth to see outside Yang Shuo County, you can choose either to rent a bike or just do what I did, by going along with a tour ( tours can be booked in the hotel front desk). But to be fair, a lot of Westerner prefer to cycle and there is an english speaking bike rental agency in the high street called Bike Asia. SAM_5217

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What I loved about Yang Shuo is that almost every one – from market stall ladies to staffs in local shops; despite a high level of illiteracy in Southern China, however, everyone seems to be able to speak basic English. What a surprise that was, yet another contrast to the trip I took to Beijing. It is no wonder that I saw more Westerners in Yang Shuo than the North, so much more convenient being able to communicate! Oh and just another example of how Yang Shuo is loved by so many Western travellers, the high street is named Western Street; very quiet in the day ( due to the heat perhaps?) but it comes ALIVE at night, every few meters there’s a pizza place, night clubs, pubs and I kid you not there’s also German / Spanish restaurants & a London Tavern! Some of these restaurants have western managers; such as the one I’ve talked about in my previous posts – The Minority Cafe, offers English/ American styled breakfast then Chinese or Western cuisines throughout the day! It’s a really popular spot for western residents of Yangshuo or travellers to socialise.

So you might ask why is it a must visit in China? Well, personally, I think it’s an eye opener to the original lifestyle of Chinese people or may I say the Western view of China and Asia in general; living their life on land. Sadly, even though Beijing or Shanghai are the most well-known cities in the West, but personally I don’t think they are the best portrayals of China because there are hardly any natural scenery, unless of course, you are happy to visit somewhere modern for a city break. Yang Shuo as a typical old Chinese town in the South, is capable to offer both scenery and night life yet it is a friendly place for western travellers to experience China without the worries of language barriers!

There are so many near by sights worth to see:

Longji Rice Field & Long Hair Village, Bamboo rafting, Boat Ride in the Li River and Silver Caves Resort. (I will write about these events soon! stay tuned!) Of course, there is rock climbing option for those who fancy it and many more!

A Glimpse Of North Korea

A trip to the North Korean border was a bonus day trip this summer while I was on vacation in China! My boyfriend was so excited when I told him the news, yes, we all read the book called Nothing To Envy: Real Lives In North Korea. ( If you haven’t then I would seriously recommend it!).

Living in the democratic West, the most oppressive country like North Korea seems so far away, very hard to imagine. There I was arriving in Dandong which is the Sino-North Korean Border and North Korea is only across the Yalu River. It’s unbelievable at first and straight away you will see the contrast! Dandong is in fact a small holiday city for Chinese people, as shown in the picture below, big buildings, lots and lots of shops/restaurants; a relatively happy place I would say. On the side of North Korea however, there’s nothing except for a few small flats,quite a few old rusty abandoned fishing boats and some fair ground wheel that stopped functioning.

As I stood on the Sino-Korea Friendship bridge, I saw some disturbing things through the binoculars; an old man washing himself in the river, his face was gaunt and grey and had an extremely thin frame, yet again providing another contrast to his Chinese counterpart. Behind him there was a group of people just sitting, presumably the Government wanted to portray a positive image of the relaxing lifestyle in the village of North Korea. That’s the problem in North Korea, the Government only wants you to see what they want you to see. So I still have a sense of doubt about everything I saw on that day, whether it’s real or not?? It’s hard to believe isn’t it, almost like fate that seperated people on the two sides, in this case only by a Yalu River.  

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Goodbye China, hello university life!

Spent my final day in China today, all packed and ready for my 13 hours flight tomorrow! Going to miss this place and my family of course, I shall be finding out my A-levels results the day after I land too! So so nervous 😦 wish me luck guys 😀

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Summer 2013 – Best Summer Ever.

It’s been so long since I last blogged, my internet connection has been down recently. Here I am finally home getting hold of a computer and proxying through the Chinese Great Fire Wall onto WordPress. If anyone is wondering which VPN I use, I recommend Pandapow!  🙂 I’ve been having such a hectic lifestyle lately; yes, I only have 5 days left in China, therefore I need to see everyone again.

I must admit 2013 summer has been the best one so far!  First, I get to see the good and the bad of Beijing ( our ”lovely” capital city haha! 😉 …to read more about my trip to Beijing, click here )  Then, perhaps the most memorable trip of my holiday got to be my 7 days in Guilin, I loved it there, especially about its great nightlife and scenery!  Recently I travelled to Dandong which is a city in China bordering North Korea, (I plan to write about that soon. ) Oh and not to mention the endless drive to Inner Mongolia that too me a week to get back home.  Overall what can I say?! I would love to do this all over again, sunshine, exploring different culture with the people I love. What more can I ask for? 😉

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