I’m home

Via a train to Beijing, two nights in a charming hostel in a hutong, and a flight fuelled by G and T. More to follow

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Potty or Squatty?

Not that you will often get a choice. It’s just a digression, feel free to skip if you are easily offended by scatological detail. I will refrain from posting photos. Anywhere that gets a lot of North American tourists will be aware of two things at least (well, yes, more than two but this is […]

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The East is Red

Sesame oil, cabbage hearts, Wanna eat string beans, break off the tips, Get really lovesick if I don’t see you for three days, Hu-er-hai-yo, Oh dear, Third Brother mine. There, that’s not what you expected, is it? But it’s actually the original version. That’s what you get for browsing late at night. Here is what […]

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The Buddha in the rock

And how to not get a taxi. The Datong caves are not very famous. But then neither is St. Savin.They should be. I was gobsmacked. Not just the scale, but the quality of the carving and the ambience. They are a little way out of Datong, but there is a direct bus from the station […]

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The night train to Datong

I left this behind, nice lady owner, warm weather and cheap beer. Off to the old station in town for the slow train. Nothing wrong with hard sleeper. I’d hate to be one of the people with just a seat, though.It’s not that long a journey to Datong from Pingyao but there isn’t yet a […]

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Tao Hell and the City Gods

Further on the images may be disturbing. Dante may have been here, or possibly the Spanish Inquisition. Scroll down a bit More Some nasty little demons enjoying their work. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. All these in a pleasant setting of little pavilions and grass. There is one temple very much in use for […]

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On drinking tea and coffee.

This is not an expensive country outside the major cities. The Chinese yen, usually written as CNY at the banks, runs at a bit under eight to the euro. A decent lunch costs between twenty and fifty yen, my ensuite room in a simple guesthouse is 88 yen a night. Which makes a cup of […]

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A truly ancient city

Pingyao is the real thing. Pingyao ancient city station is “ahem” the station not very close at all to the ancient city. But there is a bus. Pingyao station is close, but that’s the station for the slow trains. Confused? It’s just because it was there first. Moving on. There is a fair bit of […]

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Not an airport

Even though it looks like one Xi’an Bei (North) railway station. About as far away as the airport would be if they had one, last stop on metro line 2. Bag through the scanner, wanded, to get into the Metro. I don’t know if there’s a way to the station without leaving the secure area […]

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Squid onna stick

C. M. O. T. Dibbler eat your heart out. It’s better than it looks, and actually takes a moment to prepare. Cooked on a griddle with a significant amount of seasoning, definitely on the chewy side. Now I know why the yoghurt stand is next door, for putting out the fire if required. I didn’t […]

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