Monday, August 31, 2009

More Yangshuo photos

In Yangshuo

Sorry for the lack of posts, but internet access has been dicey. We have done a lot, went to Happy Valley Amusement park near Shanghai. We are now in Yangshuo, amid a sea of Karst (limestone) pinnacles. We are staying at the Mountain Retreat, a really nice hotel on the river. Yesterday we hiked up to the top of Moon Hill, a cool natural arch.

Here are pics from yesterday:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Photos continued

Had to break this into two, there is a size limit per post.

Photos from Beijing

Some pics from The Temple of Heaven, The Great Wall, the Summer Palace, and the Olympic Stadium. The weather yesterday afternoon turned nice and sunny with minimal smog, but the clouds and haze returned today.

Technical difficulties

A computer issue with a corrupted IPhoto library has forced me to re-process all of my photos from this trip, so all but a handful of pictures will have to wait until Friday night at the soonest.

Today was a great day, We got to the Wall early and beat the crowds, but it was still hazy. Took an alpine slide back down the mountain which was an unexpected treat. Had a great lunch of spicy mushrooms and fresh trout from the local river. Next was the Summer Palace- the sun appeared finally behind a cold front and a lot of the smog cleared out, making for some great photography.

We then went to the Olympic site and the Bird's nest, very impressive. Finally we had a Bejing (Peking) Duck dinner- quite tasty.

We hired an English-speaking driver for the day, he was extremely helpful and friendly.

Tomorrow the Forbidden City, a brewpub and then our overnight train to Shanghai.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 2

Was spent the day going to the Temple of Heaven complex and an amusement park. I am very tired, so longer posts and more pics will have to wait. Tomorrow we go to the Great Wall, the Summer palace and the Olympics site, then a Peking Duck dinner.

Time for bed,

Monday, August 24, 2009

First day in Beijing

A long but great day, We walked to Tiananmen Square, thought about visiting Mao's tomb but it was closed Mondays. Took a subway to the Lama Temple and also went to the nearby
Confucius Temple. Both were gorgeous. Then ate at a nearby restaurant which had good Dim Sum, especially the Sichuan Dumplings. Went to the night market, vendors on the street selling all sorts of very exotic foods on skewers- bugs larvae, scorpions, penises of various animals, sheep intestines etc. This did not really gross me out but some of the smells of this stuff cooking was disgusting to say the least.

Got our train tickets for Shanghai- we will be in an overnight sleeping compartment (we leave here Thursday).

Photos here

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The software works!

Will be able to post- we are at the hotel in Beijing, very nice. Too tired now, will post more in the coming days.

We made it, at least partway

Arrived without incident in Toyko, Marlon is now here also also after 24 hours in NW Airlines/Delta hell after his flight was canceled. This may be the last entry unless I am successful in circumventing the blocking software in China.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

No blogging in China, thanks to those damn Commies?

I just read that China blocks Blogger - but I downloaded some VPN software, so we will see if that works. If not, no posts (except maybe in Tokyo during our layover) until we get to Korea on the 6th of September. I am keeping my fingers crossed though.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The return of the blog!

I got very lazy and as you can see I have not posted anything on this blog for a long time. However, we are about to embark on an epic trip to China and Korea and for my friends that do not have Facebook (and for those who do as well) I will post some thoughts and pics here. We leave for the looong flight Saturday afternoon.

For a taste, here is a photo of one place we will be visiting:

More later!