Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

  The distinctive spiral incense of Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong are an alluring sight for any photographer.   The curves, the repetition and the light tinged with smoke from the constantly burning incense interplay wonderfully at this popular sight in the heart of Hong Kong.    Burning for up to 3-4 weeks at a…

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Another Golden Week is Upon Us!

The build-up to the National Day Holiday this year has all been a little feverish with rumors abounding that many hotels have been fully booked weeks in advance, making for the busiest week ever!   Of course, the town does get very busy however accommodation capacity in Yangshuo is pretty huge these days with an…

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Getting around Kuala Lumpur

    Perhaps one of the most convenient forms of transport in KL for the visitor is the monorail.   Most of the “big” things to see are not too far from the conveniently located stations.  It’s cheap, fast, convenient and very easy to navigate.     Perhaps the only problem you will have is actually finding…

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Chan See Shu Yuen, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Another very impressive temple in KL is the home of the Chan See Shu Yuen Clan Association. Their fastidiously maintained, traditional temple building has some wonderful, intricate scenes carved high on its outside walls. These friezes are said to depict important events in China’s history as well as legends and well known historical figures. Exuding…

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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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Yangshuo Specialties – Osmanthus

  The Guilin region is very well known for an abundance of Osmanthus.   The city also derives its name from these evergreen trees.  (guilin = osmanthus forest)   Renowned for its many health benefits, the sweetly scented flowers feature in a range of specialty products such as Osmanthus wine, Osmanthus tea, Osmanthus candies and Osmanthus…

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Yangshuo Specialties – Pomelo

  One of my lasting memories of the journey between Guilin and Yangshuo were the villages that seem to specialize in just one thing.   There is the village that makes cane/bamboo furniture, with chairs being the most popular item on display.   Then there was what I called “pomelo town”, clusters of pomelo pyramids neatly arranged…

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Yangshuo Specialties – Li River Stuffed Snails

  The abundance of waterways in the local area results in a good supply of snails which have long been a food source in the Yangshuo region.     The fleshy insides of the snails are scooped out, mixed with pork, chilli and green vegetables, then stuffed back inside the shell before being cooked.  Boiled, stir fried…

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Yangshuo Specialities – Beer Fish

  One of the most famous dishes in Yangshuo is Beer Fish (pijiu yu 啤酒鱼) and mustn’t be missed if you are into sampling the local cuisine.   Braised in beer, tomato, peppers, garlic, ginger and oyster sauce the dish is delightfully fragrant with the fish usually ending up deliciously tender pieces of flesh that…

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Yangshuo Specialities – Guilin Mifen

  A very popular local dish, “Mifen (米粉)” means rice noodles.   The noodles are quickly boiled and served with a few slivers of cooked pork either with or without soup/stock depending on the restaurant.   Various condiments and a basic “soup” or stock can be added according to your own taste.   Condiments usually include fried…

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Pure Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, Yangshuo

  After spending a bit of time in Yangshuo you might notice that although there are many places to eat, often the dishes end up being quite similar.   One of my personal favorites is Pure Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, next door to Magnolia Hotel in Diecui Road, Yangshuo.   Their menu is full of highlights…

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Gongcheng: Wen & Wu Temples

  Yangshuo is known for its wonderful scenery and abundant outdoor activities however there are a few lesser known cultural sights within easy distance of town.   The Wu and Wen temples in nearby Gongcheng are excellent examples.   Wen Temple   Wen Temple is also known as the Confucius Temple.   Built in 1410 AD…

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Icons of Hong Kong

  Public transport in Hong Kong is fantastic.      The efficient MTR subway system has never failed me, buses are cheap and easy to navigate and now I am also a confirmed fan of the tram.   Trams on Hong Kong island run along Des Veoux Road and only cost HK$2 (US 0.25c).   It’s a…

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The Peak, Hong Kong

  Visiting the peak in Hong Kong is one of those “must do” activities.    It has been quite a few years since I ventured up the hill however the purchase of a new camera lens had me braving the crowds to capture my own little piece of stunning HK skyline.   Things have changed. …

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West Street – Avoiding the Tourist Masses in Yangshuo

  West Street is a tourist magnet.    Everyone who comes to Yangshuo visits at least once and travelers often hang out in the cafes and bars in and around West street.    It is also the prime place for shopping in town for all tourists.  The result of all this – people.   West Street is…

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Cycling in the Countryside – Avoiding the Tourist Masses in Yangshuo

  On the road that goes past my house I see packs of bike riders cruising by.   Even more so on weekends and public holidays.   It is a beautiful ride on a paved road that doesn’t get too much traffic – it is popular for good reason.   However you will find that the packs start…

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Places to Stay – Avoiding the Tourist Masses in Yangshuo

  Stay outside of town.   There is a fantastic range of guesthouses and hotels just outside Yangshuo.   Most are within a 5 kilometer radius so you are out of the hustle and bustle, but close enough to visit and enjoy if you want.     Each one has a great location as well as its own…

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When to Go? – Avoiding the Tourist Masses in Yangshuo

  Pick your time.     Weekends are busy in Yangshuo with Chinese tourists, so visiting mid week should help.   Visit outside peak season.   Everyone of course wants the best weather but if you have an extreme aversion to other tourists then don’t visit during this time.     Same also goes for the peak Chinese…

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