Tenerife – A Magical Island

Summer 2015 has finally began with a family holiday in Tenerife, Spain. As many of you might know, unlike other ‘normal’ British holidaymakers, Spain was never a top destination on my list and by this, I don’t mean any insult to the country itself (it is a rather beautiful place actually.* emphasis added*)

From above, soon after the captain’s safety announcement for landing. I was captured by the amazing landscape of the island and its stunning coastlines. On our way to the hotel, I cannot help but to admire my surroundings in the back of the taxi, especially those gigantic palm trees along side of the road, the green shaded leaves contrasting the red roof of that typical Spanish houses. So tropical and picture perfect.

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Tenerife is a wonderful island with plenty interesting sights perfect for all types of holiday makers. My family, especially my dad who loves visiting different sights, had once again, decided to rent a car to see the entire island. Although I am aware that most holidaymakers prefer chilling by the pool and making the most of their ‘all inclusive package deals’. ( I don’t blame you!). For me, I felt that the opportunity to visit various parts of the island was too good to miss. While there are excursions that you can book directly from the hotel, I would recommend hire a car for its convenience and that the map/road signs around the island were fairly straight forward.

El Teide 

One of the sites highly recommended by the locals, the lady at the hotel reception could not stress enough for us to visit. According to Wikipedia: Mount Teide is a volcano on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Its 3,718-metre summit is the highest point in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic. Although I do admit that the drive around the mountains were pretty scary and narrow, at one point it certainly felt the road to the El Teide National Park was endless and kept reminding myself not to look down. But I promise, once you reach the destination, the view was magnificent!

By the foot of El Teide, you may take a cable car which takes you to the summit. By this point, I had almost forgotten how high we climbed in the car and was curious enough to purchase a ticket to see view from El Teide. Unfortunately, me being my usual self and not wearing the appropriate footwear and clothing, being the only one wearing ballet flats and a dress amongst a bunch of hiking fanatics in their fancy hiking gears. I couldn’t do any actual climbing so I rested by the entrance area near the rocky patch and enjoyed myself there.

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El Drago

the thousand year old dragon tree, it was another hidde  treasure of the island. Located far away in a little town called Icod de los vinos. You may find great wine and lots of souvenirs at a much cheaper price compared to other parts of the island .

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possibly another breathtaking view of the cliffside near the west side of the island. By the time we reached there was at sunset and the view was magnificent! I certainly fell in love with everything on the island.
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Discover the beautiful Cancun and the Mayan treasures

At last, my parents got back from their holiday in Cancun yesterday! I was eager to look at the pictures they took and I must admit I nearly died in envy!

Continue reading Discover the beautiful Cancun and the Mayan treasures

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!

I Love My Life

So I had a brilliant day with mum, we went shopping together and found a pair of beautiful heels. Going to team it up with my floral dress for future events at University during freshers. Promise there will be lot’s of photos coming up! Stay tuned! Oh and let’s not forget the new notebook I bought today, it says ” I Love My Life” on the cover! With university coming up where I will be making so much new friends in the lovely of Cardiff, yup, I do love my life ♡

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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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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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