Yangshuo Karst Landscape, Guangxi, China

Moving on from the Middle Kingdom

The evolution of my life over the past 18 months since moving on from China has been both difficult and easy at times, but always interesting.   It has played such a huge role in my life over the past decade and I realise now that I definitely chose to leave at the right time with…

Putuo Zongcheng Temple, China

Chengde, China

Although Chengde was always at the end of a long tour its gorgeous temples and wonderful Imperial Resort were a great reward for making the 3-4 hour journey north from Beijing. Back in the Qing dynasty Chengde was developed as a summer getaway for the emperors, with a key part of the landscape the temples…

Glimpse into Wutaishan

Wonderful Wutaishan, China

With a name that translates to literally mean “five plateau mountain” Wutaishan is one of the 4 sacred Buddhist peaks in China.   Home to more than 50 temples and monasteries, Wutaishan was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. With some of the temples dating back to the Yuan dynasty and a few of…

Tibetan Festival in Langmusi

Tibetan Nomad Festival, Langmusi

How awesome was this Tibetan nomad festival in Langmusi, China on International Children’s Day, 2002. I was incredibly fortunate to experience this event with one of my groups and it was definitely worth arriving after 2am in the morning for.  We had broken down on the grasslands in the middle of Sichuan the previous day…

On the streets of Yan'an, China.

On the Streets of Yan’an, China

Yan’an in China’s northwest gains its fame for being near to the end point for Mao Zedong’s Long March, with the town serving as the Communist capital in the revolution. For me it was definitely one of the more interesting stops on the tours I led in China, resulting in what was generally a very…

Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigou National Park, China

Jiuzhaigou is scenically one of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever seen, however I have realised I need to qualify this a little.  I grew up in an area that was very flat and dry, so in a way I find mountains, snow and the whole alpine scenery thing to be all quite exotic….

In the village of Langmusi, China in 2001.

Lovely Langmusi

Straddling the Sichuan / Gansu border is the simply wonderful little village of Langmusi. The first time I visited this remote outpost was back in 1997.   The location is simply stunning, located up on the sweeping grasslands of the Tibetan plateau. There have been big changes since I first visited, apparently the roads in town…


Fantastic 2012 Calendars

enigmatic china calendar – Images by Jillian Mitchell I have recently released some gorgeous new calendars featuring images that showcase the spectacular beauty of the lily and the magnificent magnolia. A3 in size and printed on 200gsm high quality satin art paper the calendars come bound with white wire and are ready to hang. The…

man riding on the roof of a truck in fengjie - a town set for destruction

Fengjie Before Destruction 2002

An ancient town with a history of some 2000 years sitting at the entrance of the stunning Qutang Gorge on the northern banks of the Yangzte River, China, Fengjie was one of the first to be destroyed to make way for the Three Gorges Dam project. This series of images was taken in July 2002…


Dim Sum in Melbourne

If there is one thing you may have noticed about me and food is that I love Dim Sum!  Of course there are so many fantastic Chinese dishes that I miss now that I am back in Melbourne for a while but I can say without a doubt that the Shark Fin House has sensational…


Holding on to the Past in Yangmei, China

Surrounded by river on 3 sides this seemingly lost ancient hamlet ensconced amongst lush fields of sugar cane and banana plantations just 30 kilometres from Nanning is packed with mementos of a colourful past. Founded in the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD) Yangmei slowly developed over hundreds of years finally transitioning into a prosperous…


Fools Paradise – An evolving cultural masterpiece

Branded a fool over his decision some 13 years ago to create a large scale art park amongst the ethereal landscape of Guilin, Rhy Chang Tsao’s pet project, affectionately named “Fools Paradise”, now boasts more than 200 magnificently sculptured artworks that dot manicured grounds like rare species of flowers. Whilst it may be somewhat difficult…


Koi Feeding Frenzy, Qingxiu Mountain, Nanning, China

Nanning is a vibrant, dynamic modern city with some 40% of its land mass dedicated to green spaces thus earning its reputation as China’s premier “green city”.   Getting a genuine taste of this relaxed and friendly destination is simply a matter of venturing into one of the many parks or gardens. Qingxiu Mountain is affectionately…


Guangxi Medicinal Herb Botanical Garden, Nanning, China

Imagine strolling through a verdant, well maintained garden and being wowed by the range of uses each plant has in traditional healing methods.   The meticulously maintained Guangxi Medicinal Herb Botanical Garden is the largest facility of its type in Asia and is the place to see around 4,000 varieties of plants.   The garden is…


Huashan Rock Paintings, Guangxi, China

Shrouded in mystery the ancient rock paintings of Huashan were created some 2,000 years ago by the Luoyue people, ancestors of the modern day Zhuang minority. Accessible by boat, the journey along the Ming River is a scenic amble that allows you to take in the sights of rural life along the way.    Locals glide…


Lion Dance at the Wong Fei Hung Memorial, Guangzhou

A lion appeared at the opposite end of the courtyard.  Standing for a few moments then dramatically jumping up onto the first set of poles which looked to be around a metre high.  Within moments he had bounded a further two or three times in perfect unison to the beating drum.    This initial burst of…


Hualin Temple, Guangzhou

You don’t often find many “special” temples in the more populated cities of China anymore.   Most are over-touristed and lack any authentic atmosphere.   The Hualin temple in Guangzhou’s old Liwan district definitely managed to impress me.  To be more accurate, the 500 Arhat Hall was the standout for this entire ancient complex. Walking inside the…


Latest Article Published

My latest published article has just been released in the June 2011 issue of Qatar Airways inflight magazine – Oryx. It is a short introduction to one of my favorite areas in Guangzhou. To read the full piece, My Favourite Street, Guangzhou – click here.



Having been in China for quite some time now I think I might have become almost immune to the unexpected or unusual sights.   One afternoon recently when strolling across a bridge over the Pearl River, duly accompanied by cars and buses whizzing past I saw this guy pushing his fully laden bicycle along the far…


Exploring Liwan district in Guangzhou

Recently I was asked to share my favourite part of Guangzhou and without doubt it has to be the old Liwan area.  The sheer diversity and extremes remind me of why I love to travel as well as really being in many ways a great glimpse into the old and new China. As soon as…


Magical Afternoon of Cantonese Opera & Delicious Dim Sum

I have written about dim sum on this site a few times now and actually, if I haven’t mentioned it already – I love dim sum!!! So the opportunity to sit around eating dim sum and drinking tea in the city that spawned these tasty little morsels was just too much to resist.  Especially, since…


Guangzhou’s Architecture Favorites

I have literally passed through Guangzhou dozens of times but have been yet to discover any real charm amongst its mammoth sized urban sprawl. This all changed when I stumbled upon a few classic streets in the city’s old quarter which have thoroughly revived my interest.   The stunning qilou that line the peaceful En Ning…


Guangzhou’s New TV Tower

Stretching some 450 metres into the sky on the banks of the Pearl River is Guangzhou’s newest icon.   Nicknamed the “Supermodel”, the tower is said to mimic the body of a sexy woman. The elevator to the top is a special ride that brings dizzying but intermittent views across the city as you whizz your…