A Photoessay of Vindication

My Mum is the biggest fan of this blog, and she is unfailingly positive about the stories I write here. But last time I visited Singapore, I wrote a post about the little patches of colour that crop up all over the city, that aren’t part of the steel and glass skyline that many people … Read more

Hong Kong skyline from Star Ferry

Checking out the sights of Hong Kong

Our day in Macau left us all wishing we had opted to spend more time there instead of Hong Kong, but we nonetheless managed to find a few things to do to keep us entertained for the other three days of our stay. When we first arrived in Hong Kong, after having breakfast, we wandered … Read more

Alexander Theatre, Helsinki

A Helsinki stopover

When I booked my cruise ticket from St Petersburg to Stockholm, I didn’t realise it was a real cruise. As in, when we stopped at a port I could get off and look around. I thought it was a ferry that made a stop in Helsinki to pick up and let off passengers before continuing … Read more

Side temple, Chojin Lama, Ulaanbaatar

Living it up in the Mongolian capital

The Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar is home to over a million people – nearly half of the country’s entire population – so after four days (and two 17-hour bus rides) in the wilderness, it’s a thriving metropolis, buzzing with people, and things to do. There is traffic and department stores; cafes, restaurants, museums, and statues. … Read more

Open air Buddha - Yunang Caves, Datong, China

Yunang Caves, Datong

Along with a new wall, Datong was also doing some significant refurbishment to their major tourist attraction, the Yunang Caves. Built in the 5th and 6th Centuries AD, there are more than 50,000 statues in the grottoes, which are contained in over 250 caves, but the day I was there (and probably for several months … Read more

Sunrise on Tai Shan - Shandong Province

Stairway to Heaven

Sacred mountains are a dime a dozen in China, but in the end the one that matters most is Tai Shan. – Lonely Planet Now I’m not much of a climber. More of a couch potato, in fact. But the siren call of the holiest mountain in China was too much, even for me, to … Read more

Prayers to Confucius

生日快乐孔子

AKA Happy Birthday, Confucius! At least I hope Google Translate isn’t messing with me… Some time during my days of TV watching in Qingdao, I also managed to exert myself enough to flick through a Lonely Planet for Shandong province and discovered that Confucius’ birthday was coming up and would be celebrated in his home … Read more

Waterside pagoda in Shukkeien garden, Hiroshima, Japan

Relics of ancient Japan

Japan has a recorded history that is nearly 2,000 years old. That’s a long time to develop a unique culture with its own styles of architecture, clothing, food, horticulture, religion and daily life. Unfortunately, Japan is also firmly situated on the Ring of Fire, making it home to a number of active volcanoes and shifting … Read more

Shinkansen in Tokyo

I’ve got a golden ticket

Sadly, not a Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory tour golden ticket, but the Japan Rail Pass is still pretty awesome. Our JR Passes came with a pretty hefty price tag, but once they were in our hot little hands, we could travel all over the country, whenever we wanted, on almost any train (the fastest class … Read more

Masjid Kepitan Keling, George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Historic George Town

George Town, the main city on the island of Penang (which is served by the train station Butterworth – confusing, I know), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed for its “unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia”. I only had one and a half days to explore the … Read more