Road trip to Hainan Island

It's nearly time for Chinese New Year, and in keeping with habit over recent years, we plan to briefly swap the ubiquitous cold and overcast skies for warmer climes in the far south of China. Last year, we drove to Xishuangbanna in southern Yunnan Province, close to the Lao border, taking in the sights of … Continue reading Road trip to Hainan Island

Chongqing Migratory Birds

Once a remote land for banishment in ancient times, the topical island that is Hainan Province海南省 has long been a destination of choice for mainlanders keen to escape the depths of winter, with Chongqing no exception. While spared of the harsh wintry conditions up in the far north, the months of cold, drizzle, fog, and … Continue reading Chongqing Migratory Birds

Scooters and Mango Bikes

A reader asked me whether it's feasible to explore the reaches of Chongqing by scooter, to which I replied it won't happen past your neighourhood limits. Ever since that message, I have awaited the chance to share the vicissitudes of two wheeled transport in Mountain City, from early days to present. In the first decade … Continue reading Scooters and Mango Bikes

Tour Group Experiences

I have always been a keen proponent of independent travel throughout my years in China, the reasons for which are two-fold. On a personal level, I love the freedom to choose my own route, schedule, mode of transport, accommodation, where to explore, or whether to simply kick back and relax. From a pragmatic viewpoint, there … Continue reading Tour Group Experiences

Curiosities of Yangjiaping

The sun rose on day five of the National Holiday, and familial duty led me to spend most of my time amongst the rather mundane surroundings of Yangjiaping杨家坪, the pedestrianised centre of Jiulongpo District九龙坡区. Not to worry, though, as there are still keen points of interest to keep the reader interested. On a side note, … Continue reading Curiosities of Yangjiaping

Cruising the Jialing River

Mention river cruises in Chongqing and most will tell you either of these two, the Three Gorges cruise ships that leave from Chaotianmen Docks, or the boats that sail passengers up and down both rivers for two hours each night from the same place. In this post today, I want to introduce a third option … Continue reading Cruising the Jialing River

Yangshuo Adventure

The famous Chinese saying goes 'Guilin shanshui jia tianxia 桂林山水甲天下,' the scenery of Guilin is unmatched beneath the heavens. Perhaps, that is, except for Yangshuo, an hour's drive further south. Tomorrow, we shall embark on a 5 hour bullet train journey direct to Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, a distance of around 780 kilometres. There, we will … Continue reading Yangshuo Adventure

China Powerboat League – Pengshui

Out of the blue one day last week, a young lady from Dalian added me as a contact on QQ through a Chongqing foreigners' group, and asked if I would be interested in taking part in an amateur jet ski race, an addition to the professional China Powerboat League. Since all the other racers are … Continue reading China Powerboat League – Pengshui

The Yangtze River Cableway 重庆长江索道

For many years following its official unveiling in 1987, locals depended on this means of transport across the Yangtze River as a matter of necessity. With few bridges connecting the Yuzhong Peninsula to surrounding districts in the past, offering an extremely circuitous and time consuming journey simply to reach the opposite bank. In the late … Continue reading The Yangtze River Cableway 重庆长江索道

Lianglukou Huangguan Escalator

Spring is notoriously short in Chongqing. Once the sun breaks through the stubborn blanket of winter cloud around late March, temperatures can blast from single digits right through to the high twenties in a matter of two or three weeks. Today is such a day, and it just happens there's an excuse to go out … Continue reading Lianglukou Huangguan Escalator

Palm Springs C-7-3-16-1?

I'm going to offer you a crash course in understanding Chinese addresses, with a few examples based in Chongqing. The first principle you should know is that Chinese addresses are typically written on a single line left to right, in order of general to specific. In my example, the apartment complex is real, but the … Continue reading Palm Springs C-7-3-16-1?

The Two Faces of Chongqing North Railway Station 奇葩的重庆北站

Study these two photos a moment and answer me one question. Are the two buildings the same place? If your answer is something like 'Of course not! Are you blind?' then you are mistaken, my friend. Vaguely reminiscent of the way Professor Quirrell is possessed by Lord Voldemort in the finale of The Philospher's Stone, … Continue reading The Two Faces of Chongqing North Railway Station 奇葩的重庆北站