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An Asian Extravaganza

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Apologies for the recent absence of any new blog pieces. We have a range of excuses for your reading pleasure including, but not limited to: No WordPress access in China; unreliable internet in other parts of Asia; constant jetlag, tummy trouble and other ailments; and too many fun things to do besides update our blog.

The time has come, however, for us to share with you some of the finest moments from our 6 week Asian expedition, as we have now arrived in Australia and are about to embark on Phase 2 of our round-the-world trip.

For anyone who hasn’t been avidly tracking our every move (i.e. everyone except my Mum), this is where Phase 1 has taken us:

1. Beijing (5 days)

2. Seoul, Busan and Jeju Island, South Korea (2 weeks)

3. Shanghai (6 days)

4. Nanjing (4 days)

5. Hangzhou (3 days)

6. Hong Kong (6 days)

7. Singapore (2 days)

8. Bintan Island, Indonesia (3 days)

Here are some of our most memorable experiences:

  • Walking the Great Wall of China, as discussed in a previous blog post.
  • Making the good people of Beijing collapse in hysterical laughter by driving a funky yellow car around the park.
Only for kids? Not if you're British!

Only for kids? Not if you're British!

  • Having a Korean barbeque with our friend Goeun in Seoul. She taught us the Korean phrase for ‘thank you’ (‘kamsahamnida’) which came in handy for the rest of our time in this wonderful country, which is full of people who are happy to help you without wanting anything in return.

    Adrian with Goeun in Seoul

    Adrian with Goeun in Seoul

  • Drinking soju with the self-titled ‘Beetle Circle’ (i.e. a group of trekkers) whilst climbing Mt Halla, South Korea’s highest mountain.
  • Riding the wonderfully tacky Bund Sightseeing Tunnel with cousins Philip and Cathy who happened, in a bizarre twist of fate, to be visiting Shanghai at the same time as us.

    With Philip and Cathy in Shanghai

    With Philip and Cathy in Shanghai

  • Spending 7 hours wandering around the incredibly romantic West Lake in Hangzhou, China.
  • Eating ‘delicacies’ like bullfrog, chicken livers and duck hearts due to our lack of Mandarin language skill.
  • Alternatively laughing and crying at our windowless cell in Hong Kong, which cost us more than double the price of our luxury four poster king size bed the week before in Nanjing.

    Call that a double bed?

    Call that a double bed?

  • Spending Halloween in Hong Kong. Ady had recently received his Masters results – high distinction, if you’re interested 🙂 – so I treated him to Halloween at Ocean Park (a big theme park). As well as the usual rides, there were 8 specially constructed ghost houses ranging from a laser quest ‘shoot the zombie’ game to an otherworldly paper doll party house. The evening was rounded off with a delicious four course dinner in a restaurant overlooking the famous Victoria Harbour.
  • Accompanying our friend and professional anthropologist Nick Long as he carried out fieldwork in TanjungPinang, Indonesia, affording us a glimpse of the country that few tourists are able to see, including a visit to a local school where the children were very excited to see us, and a fantastic meal of stingray and rice at a local restaurant.
  • Shopping for just about everything we need for the rest of our trip during our brief time in Singapore, including some 32 GB USB memory sticks – for which Ady bargained hard – that are enabling us to store and upload our ever-growing collection of photos.

We hope this gives you a flavour of what we’ve been up to in the last few weeks. If time and internet access permits, we will upload more detailed pieces of some of our more entertaining stories from the Asian phase of our trip. In the meantime, we’ll be heading off on our Australian road trip: Cairns to Brisbane in 10 days! As they say in showbiz, don’t go away, we’ll be right back …

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Written by Emily

November 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

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