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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Chen Family Ancestral Temple

A Qing dynasty relic of Lingnan culture which seems to have survived the cultural revolution relatively unscathed now houses the Guangdong Museum of Folk Art in a few of its many halls. Elaborately carved Chaozhou styled wooden doors depict classic Chinese scenes while mythological characters feature in the colourful, intricate lime sculptures that grace the…

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Yangshuo: a threatened wonder?

Being Popular in the World’s Most Populous Nation Brings its Challenges.   An article in Wanderlust magazine discusses the “Threatened Wonders 2010”, which sees Yangshuo as number 2 on the list.   Needless to say I found some of the comments quite interesting and thought I might toss my opinion out there.   Most of China’s…

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Jingshan Park, Beijing

Jingshan Park located across from the North Gate of the Forbidden City is somewhere which should be included on your “things to do in Beijing” list.   The Wan Chunting pagoda offers 360 degree panoramic views of Beijing including amazing vistas back across the Forbidden City which help to put in perspective the size, scope and former…

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Nanning – China’s Green City

Most of the guidebooks don’t have so much to say for Nanning however I found it to be one of China’s more likeable cities.   Green spaces and a population that is incredibly relaxed and happy.     Dancing is a past time that you can see happening most early mornings and evenings all around China however…

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Antiques in Hong Kong

If you only get to Hong Kong rather than the mainland and still want to get your own kitsch piece of “Mao Memorabilia” then head to the antique market area at Upper Lascar Row in Central (just off Hollywood Road).   This small, street market area has a great range of Mao items – little…

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Mid Autumn Festival

Considered to be the second most important festival for the Chinese, mid-autumn festival (Zhong Qiu Jie 中秋解 )  is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar calendar.   It is believed at this time the moon is at its fullest and brightest.   Dating back some 3000 years this harvest festival celebrates…

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Thean Hou Temple

  Perched high on Robson Hill in the south of KL is Thean Hou Temple.     Dedicated to the Heavenly Mother (Thean Hou, Tian Hou, Tin Hau) was the goddess and protector of the seas.   The temple has an interesting mix of elements that include Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.   Being a popular tourist destination…

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Crowds Descend on Yangshuo

It is like Yangshuo has been slipped a couple of steroid pills with the arrival of May holiday crowds.   Transformed from a sometimes busy tourist town into a thronging beast that is nearly bursting at the seams.   Town is buzzing chaotically. Traffic diversions attempt to control the vehicles as the masses wander the streets…

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Golden Week

In the natural world thousands of animal and bird species migrate each year, heading for greener pastures, warmer weather, etc .  Here in China there are mass migrations of people 3 times a year, more commonly these are referred to as “Golden Weeks”.    By far the biggest migration is during Spring Festival (Chinese New…

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