China – Guilin to Beijing

A month long tourist visa is barely enough to see even a fraction of Chinas many highlights. From its incredibly diverse cultures, amazing food, spectacular mountains and cities that sprawl seemingly endlessly in order to contain the world’s largest population as well as the second largest economy in the world, there’s a lot to enjoy. A fairly straight forward route when arriving from Vietnam can take you through the popular tourist region of Guilin, then onto some seriously stunning mountains and national parks, before heading to the modern Shanghai, the most populated city in the world, and then onward to the history and culture rich Beijing. From Beijing there is of course the mandatory trip out to the most iconic symbol of the country, the Great Wall.

Yunyang rice fields

Yunyang rice fields

Yangshuo town

Yangshuo town

Yangshuo lookout

Yangshuo lookout

Kid waving the Chinese flag at Tiananmen square

Kid waving the Chinese flag at Tiananmen square

Street games in Shanghai

Street games in Shanghai

Skyline in Shanghai

Skyline in Shanghai

The Shanghai Bund bull

The Shanghai Bund bull

Rickshaw driver in Beijing

Rickshaw driver in Beijing

Rickshaws in Beijing

Rickshaws in Beijing

Not quiet a pet shop...

For sale

Mt Lushan town

Mt Lushan town

Mt Lushan three step waterfall

Mt Lushan three step waterfall

Mt Lushan three step waterfall

Huangshan – “Yellow Mountain”

Huangshan "Yellow Mountain"

Huangshan “Yellow Mountain”

Huangshan "Yellow Mountain"

Huangshan “Yellow Mountain”

Huangshan "Yellow Mountain"

Huangshan “Yellow Mountain”

Huangshan "Yellow Mountain"

Huangshan “Yellow Mountain”

Great Wall of China under moonlight

Great Wall of China under moonlight

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Rafting past the Dragon bridge, Yulong river

Rafting past the Dragon bridge, Yulong river

Wedding business - Bejing

Wedding business – Bejing

Flag burning prevention - Tiananmen square

Flag burning prevention – Tiananmen square

Testing the boundaries - Tiananmen square, Beijing

Testing the boundaries – Tiananmen square, Beijing

Blind busker in Bejing

Blind busker in Bejing

Bamboo writting

Bamboo writting

Yangshou

Boating down the Yangshuo river

Vietnam – DnButterfly (Video Post)

To mix up the usual photo posts, here’s a video of some butterflies in Cuc Phuong National Park dancing to the unlikely sound of Drum ‘n Bass. A few minutes into the video you’ll see a slide show of some existing photos, with a few new ones thrown in as a hint of what’s to come. Enjoy.

Click HERE to watch in HD (720p)

Vietnam – North

While you may experience some lingering post war resentment as a westerner travelling through northern Vietnam, the countries raw beauty and established tourism industry help to put that all aside. Exploring the scenic karst formations by sea in Ha long bay or by land and river in Tam Coc, hiking through the mountains in the north such as the hill tribe regions around Sapa, or just cruising around the country by motorbike are great ways of experiencing the best of the countries landscapes as well as absorbing the various ways of Vietnamese life. Of course no visit to Vietnam is complete without indulging in the cheap bia hoi (draught beer) on street corners in the likable old quarter in the capital, Hanoi.

Tam coc - ninh binh

Smile! Tam Coc – Ninh Binh

Boating down Tam Coc in Ninh Binh

Boating down Tam Coc in Ninh Binh

Ninh Bin Tam Coc boatride

Boating down Tam Coc in Ninh Binh

Boating down Tam Coc in Ninh Binh

Boating down Tam Coc in Ninh Binh

Rice field, vietnam

Rice field in Tam Coc, Ninh Binh

Vietnam northern cat ba island, Ha Long Bay, boats

Cat Ba Island – Ha Long Bay

Sunset over Cat Ba island, Vietnam

Cat Ba Island – Ha Long Bay

Vietnam flags, Cat Ba island

Port at Cat Ba Island – Ha Long Bay

Women washing in boat, Vietnam Cat Ba

Cat Ba Island – Ha Long Bay

Vietnamese fisherman black and white

Fisherman in Ha Long Bay

Black and white monkeys

Ubiquitous south east asian monkeys on Monkey Island – Ha Long Bay

Protection from traffic fumes

Typical clothing for women on scooters, Ha Noi

Buildings in Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa Town

Vietnamese tribe women

Sapa hill tribe women

Vietnam school kids

School in Giang Ta Chai, Sapa

Vietnam-Sapa-red-zao

Red Zao women in Lao Chai

Dancing in sapa vietnam

Performance in Sapa Town

Boy Ta phin village

Local boy in Ta Phin village

Laos Chai fishing, sapa

Fishing In Laos Chai, Sapa

Duck duck goose

Ducks racing for food in Sapa

Cat Cat village, Sapa

Boy in Lao Chai village

Boy in Lao Chai village, Sapa

Laos – Pi Mai in Vientiane (New year celebration)

Laos new years from April 14-16 is a great time to visit the country, with its water festival that encourages a contagious mixture of cheerfulness and cheekiness, spurred on by the constant flow of water and endless supply of Beer Laos. Jumping on the back of a truck filled with a dozen locals dancing, shouting “Saibadee Pi Mai” (happy new year), and throwing buckets of water, is a trip highlight of many lucky enough to take part in the local celebrations. The festivities lasts a few days longer than the official three days, and is most intense in major cities such as Luang Prabang and the capital, Vientiane.

Laos Vientiane Pi Mai Celebrations, truck, water

Laos Vientiane Pi Mai Celebrations

Laos Vientiane Pi Mai Celebrations, beer laos, truck

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, waterpistol

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, water pistol

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, dancing

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, strange man

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, Monk puts wristband on girl

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, scooter, flour, water

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, girls dancing, crutch grab

Cheeky kids at the Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, water stuck in time

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, beauty pageant, temple

Parade at the Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, water festival, scared man

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos, group photo

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos

Pi Mai Celebrations in Vientiane, Laos