Beyond Kyrgyzstan and the 3,752 metre high Torugart Pass is China, a country where everything – and I do mean everything – is completely different from what most travellers are accustomed.
Laura and I are so-called “permanent overlanders”. We’ve been non-stop on the road now for many decades; our most recent venture a six-year motorcycle journey from Europe to Australia. And like so many other road-warriors who cross Asia with their own vehicle, we encountered a couple of hurdles along the way.
The greatest logistical challenge, by far, was obtaining legal permission to ride through China without a guide. Very, very few overlanders have managed to achieve this. We may have even been amongst the first, who knows?
But we certainly weren’t the last. A handful of vagabonds on wheels have transited China independently since our crossing in 2014/2015.
This is the story of how we did it …read more
Gambling is one of the oldest leisure activities in human history; dating back to the Paleolithic period, before written history.
It was first invented in Mesopotamia, a historical region of Western Asia, where the Chinese invented a game of chance using tiles. This was back in 3,000 BC, though some 5,000 years later, Asia’s gambling game has stayed strong.
Whether it’s the thrill of the tumbling dice, the suspense of the spinning wheel, or the charm of how the cards might turn, gambling has become one of the most popular pastimes in Asia for both locals and tourists alike.
There’s no better place to experience the thrill of the casino than in the region that gambling was first invented, and for travelers interested in rolling the dice, you’ll be pleased to learn that the three biggest casinos in Asia are all in Macau. They don’t call it the ‘Las Vegas of Asia’ for nothing!read more
Traveling on the Beijing to shanghai train is the quickest and most cost-efficient way to get between these two iconic mega-cities. Because China’s high-speed trains operate at a speed of 350 km/hr, you can travel 819 miles within 4.5 hours.
While this is of course longer than the time it takes to fly (2 hours), there are many perks to train travel, including easier security, the convenient location of stations, comfort of travel, and cheaper cost of ticket.
And, when you consider getting to the airport at least an hour before your flight, and the time it takes you to disembark, collect your bags, and then catch a taxi, train travel actually ends up being around the same amount of time.
So, you’ve decided the book the train between Beijing and Shanghai. What else do you need to know?read more
It’s one of the biggest countries in the world, home to the largest population on the planet, heck- the landmass covers five entire time zones (errr, even though there’s only one).
There are no two ways about it: traveling in China is next some next level nomad business.
Anyone who’s ever spent time in the big Zhongguo can tell you that China’s diversity of language, culture, and landscape is enormous. Sometimes just traveling from province to province feels like you’re crossing international borders; it’s that different.
For the adventurous among us, this can actually be the most exciting thing about traveling in China- you can have a lifetime worth of crazy experiences, all within the borders of a single country.
From teetering over the edge of a sky-high mountain to skimming your surfboard down the lip of a wave, here’s our pick of the craziest, kookiest, and downright coolest outdoor activities you can do while traveling in China.read more
Beijing is one of those rare cities that offers something special for every kind of traveller. Browse a never ending supply of world-class museums, sample the finest in authentic Chinese cuisine, marvel at innovative architectural wonders of old and new, and be introduced to the nation’s top artists, musicians, and writers.
The only hardship Beijing presents is finding enough time to experience all the city has to offer. When it comes to such a large city as Beijing, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
To that end, the following are things to do in Beijing for every interest – great ideas for your itinerary no matter what your interests!read more
It’s one thing to see pictures of incredible wildlife online, but getting up close and personal with them is another matter entirely.
From meeting pandas in their natural environment, and snow monkeys in Japan to ethical experiences with elephants in Thailand, here are six amazing travel ideas for animal lovers.read more
Experiencing underwater life never ceases to inspire and amaze. Offering an entirely different pace, human beings have long been enchanted by the blue silence, surrounded by marine life.
It is true that some of the coolest places on the planet are under water. There are hotels, shipwrecks, temples, museums, restaurants and other underwater sites around the world that are worth diving and snorkeling for.
While the list of exceptional underwater experiences seems as endless as the great depths of the sea, we’ve put together our favorites; some the top sites to don a full face snorkel mask and explore underwater life.read more
If you’ve ever heard of the Silk Road, this refers to an ancient network of Eurasian trade routes that once connected the East to the West. These were routes that emerged across both land and sea, along which silk and many other goods were imported and exported.
For many years, this was the primary source of cultural crossover between Europe and Asia. And while the Silk Road stretched all across Europe and the Middle East, it is the Asian stops of the Silk Road that are most worth the trip today.
This is where the Silk Road originated, when China opened up to trade in the first and second centuries B.C. But while goods were obviously traded, imported, and exported in and out of Asia, it has a much greater cultural significance. The constant movement and mixing of populations also brought about the transmission of knowledge, ideas, cultures and beliefs, which had a profound impact on the history and civilizations of the Eurasian peoples.
For those with an interest in history and cultural heritage, the Silk Road is a great path to follow when travelling in China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries. Here are 3 must-see destinations you shouldn’t miss.read more
Thanks to appearances in countless Hollywood movies, Las Vegas has been widely regarded as the gambling capital of the world, with the bright lights of Sin City drawing visitors from around the globe for many decades.
However, the famous Nevada city can no longer claim to be the king of casino culture, and, in truth, hasn’t been for just over a decade now.
Rising to park itself firmly on that particular throne is Macau, which has transformed itself remarkably from what was once a sleepy fishing port to a booming Asian tourist destination at the top of many ‘must visit’ lists. Move over Las Vegas, because Macau is where the action is!read more
Shanghai has long been the gateway to China. Located on the Yangtze River delta, it is known as the city above the sea, the Paris of the East.
It is the largest economic and trade center in China, and one of the country’s biggest cultural centers. Though despite the ancient cultures we find in Beijing and Xi’an, Shanghai is a relatively young city, with a unique fusion of Eastern and Western cultures.
As China’s largest and richest city, Shanghai is a mega-metropolis which oozes an atmosphere on par with New York and Paris in terms of modernity; a bustling international hub with something for everyone.
Whether you’re in Shanghai for architecture, cuisine, history, shopping, or entertainment, this is a town that’s tailored just for you. The following are things to do in Shanghai for every interest – great ideas for your itinerary no matter what you like to do!read more