Into Tibet – The Train from Chengdu to Lhasa

The Chengdu – Lhasa Express. The highest train in the world.

“So where can I get Panda to eat?” After the initial shock leaves his face, Tony manages to stammer, “You..you…you cant eat Panda…it’s illegal.” He looks to the middle aged chinese couple for support and the man, James, nods sternly. Which is

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The Monkey’s Epiphany

Calm monkey action.

I suppose you’re wondering where I got the picture of the monkey at the top of the page there. More to the point, the more dedicated observer would notice there are three monkeys that change places each time you come to this website to read stories. Well, the truth is they

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The Chinese Character Part Three: Work, Family and Country

So the next installment is to talk about the Chinese family and work ethics and then the difference between China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in these troubled modern times. These answers can all be summarized fairly quickly, so here goes. You must listen to and look after your family at all costs. This especially means

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The Chinese Character Part Two: Good Health

Since before the mighty Qin emperor united China into one nation for the first time, the people have quested to find one thing above all others from the natural world; the secret to immortality. Qin Shi Huangdi himself is likely to have died from eating mercury tablets given to him as immortality pills. The stories,

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The Chinese Character Part One: Good Fortune

So a number of people have asked me about what the Chinese people are like and later asked what’s the difference between people from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. So I’m going to write a few entries now to give my definitive answer after long hours of consideration. It can, however, be condensed into

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The Three Kingdoms Tour of China: Part Two

Sun Quan and Sun Ce

So let’s meet the Wus. Actually Wu is just the name of the kingdom that they form in the southern part of the Han empire. The real surname to watch is Sun (pronounced Soon, but quickly). Sun Ce (pronounced Tser) is the ruler of the area when the book

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The Three Kingdoms Tour of China: Part One

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is one of the four masterpieces of chinese classic literature. Written in the 14th Century by Luo Guanzhong, it is shakespearian in style; telling a story based on real events. It covers the period of time from 169AD to 280AD where the

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There’s Always a Shop Somewhere

Xi'an by winter night

The sharp, cold air bites into my face as I walk slowly, scanning the buildings around me. It’s three in the morning and I’m looking for water and beer. The amazing conversation with another Australian guy who’s been living and travelling in China for five years finished one beer early.

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Shanghai Models and the Nanjing Exit

Looking towards Pudong

This room is one of the most astounding things I’ve ever seen. They have spent a lot of time and money creating the ultimate urban planning dream; a complete architectural scale model of the middle of Shanghai city. All the buildings are there placed individually along the streets and by the

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Chinaland

Small suburban temple near Tainan

I’m staring at the temple with a new mix of emotions. Amazement, wonder, disappointment, disbelief and finally anger. I’m in Jiufen in northeastern Taiwan and this temple is like nothing I’ve seen in five months of travel across China. The entranceway pillars are carved from

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The Sichuan Dining Experience

There’s nothing quite like it. The outright assault of flavour sensations that refuse to step back for a moment. Chongqing hotpot is the hottest, craziest version of Sichuan dining. It’s an oil and water bath filled with a dastardly combination of spices to create a sensual eating explosion. The hotpot container itself is set into

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I’ll have another, please.

“We’re stopped here anyway, just ask her to open the door!”, he pleads emphatically. “But this is a public bus, it can’t just stop anywhere.” “Let me put this another way; if she doesn’t open that door in the next minute I’m going to be pissing all over it.” It’s not a threat, it’s a

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The Shanghai Eclipse

So close..and yet so far away…

I look out the window at the clouds and feel sure I wont see the Total eclipse today. Last night the hotel we’re staying in experienced a mad roaming party as more than fifty couchsurfers from more than fifteen different countries setup parties in

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Chinese Impressionism

I just don’t know how to react, so laughter is the only answer. There are a group of rather beautiful Chinese girls gathered in a neat semi-circle around our table. They are all dressed in the same sexy outfits and they’re singing ‘I’m a little teapot’ – including choreographed dance movements. This can only mean

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Who am I?

“You need to get some business cards mate.” I look across the room in his office and raise an eyebrow at Ray. “You know I’m not working for quite a while yet.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah…. But everyone has them here, personal ones and then one for every business they’re involved in.” “Yeah right”, I nod,

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No problem, this is China

We stop in traffic and I glance out the window. I’m soon transfixed by the crazy moment I’ve just joined. There is a young chinese man sitting on top of a makeshift wooden ladder – it appears to have been his last project. He is intently focused on cutting the top off a metal lamppost

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