January 2019 – Travelling to Nepal to see out the winter before heading south once again towards equatorial Asia. Please tune in to my random jottings as I venture across Southeast Asia.

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Welcome to Another Random Jotting from Backpacker Paul!

China – The Forth Random Jotting from Yangshuo

Yangshuo, Guilin, China, April 2019: there’s no denying the fact that this is a holiday hotspot for the Chinese domestic tourist along with a handful of internationals. The character of this town definitely overshadowed with all the tack one finds in a tourist town. Endless souviner shops, ticket touts and candy stores. I’m sure the Chinese welcome such synthetic additions to their historic settlements but the real draw of Yangshuo is the natural history of it’s surrounds, sadly plagued with mist, low clouds and rain most of the time.

One aspect of this so called tackiness is quite useful though – the KFC. Coffee, WiFi and contemplation is the way to spend time as the mist swirls around the hilltop’s.

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China – The Third Random Jotting From Yangshuo

Yangshuo, Guilin, China April 2019: A lucky break on Tuesday as a patch of blue sky widened to allow a brief glimpse of some Chinese sunshine. Determined yo make the most of a lull in the rain I hired a cycle and pedalled down to the Youlong river, said to be the most scenic area closest to Yangshuo. Blue sky, more sunshine and yes, the most wonderful scenery you could ever imagine. Since then it’s back to rain!

Slightly better news on thettransport front in that my next train ride departs from Guilin downtown station, not from the far away Guilin North. This means I’m less likely to miss the train next Monday.

Here’s a quick phone photo. When I’m out of China I’ll write and upload the real deal as it were 🙂

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China – The Second Random Jotting from Yangshuo

Yangshuo, Guilin, China April 2019: cold and wet, yes still raining here in Yangshuo. Not totally unexpected since a feature of this country in the spring is it’s persistent rain. Is it to much to ask for a lucky break, just for the next week, probably.

Turns out the bus and train information I relied upon in England for planning my transport onwards is erroneous potentially disrupting my diligently made plans and adding cost. Trouble is alternative options with other trains at this late stage are rather limited.

Not for the fist time I’ve considered turning around and heading straight back to Hong Kong, but I shall apply a perseverance mentality.

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China – The First Random Jotting from Yangshuo

Yangshuo, Guilin, China April 2019:  Never have I been so glad to leave a place – Shenzhen was beginning to ware me down. A degree of paranoia was creeping in as everyone looked on with suspicion. Perhaps wandering around here with a camera wasn’t the wisest thing to do!

Catching this mornings train to Yangshuo went surprisingly well. After following advice to collect my prepaid ticket in advance, the whole process was smooth as silk – I even go off at the correct station!

What a difference this place is compared to Shenzhen, yes even in the rain. The feel here is definitely more relaxed, friendly faces abound. So now to rest a little before taking in the sights sounds and smells of Yangshuo.

Note to Mother: all is well xxxx. Looks like communication will have to be via here for the foreseeable future. Please pass on to Simon and Lisa all is well, and ask Simon to pass It on the dad.

China – The third random jotting from Shenzhen

Shenzhen, China, April 2019: At least it’s stopped raining, but the sky is still dark with drizzle in the breeze. The locals here are Without emotion, especially the elders. As the only foreigner around here perhaps their DNA suggests be on guard, who knows?

on the move shortly to Shenzhen North and a place within walking distance of the station necessitated by an early departure to Yangshuo, Guilin tomorrow morning.

note to Mother – all is well. Write out 100 times there is an 8 hour time difference ahead of England 🙂

 

China – The Second Jotting from Shenzhen

Shenzhen, China, April 2019: A hot and steamy day yesterday culminated with a big storm last night. Today is much cooler, I need to wear a fleece! Anyway, it’s raining now which I understand does so most of the time in China. Shenzhen on the whole is for those who like to hangout in glitzy malls so needless to say I’m ready to move swiftly on. On the plus side the price of food is very cheap, much cheaper than in Hong Kong. I’m starting to find ways around the Google problem, and it may be possible for to have a phone conversation via WiFi using Facebook messenger via an incoming call. I just can’t call message out!

So all is well for now, @11.15am China time  @4.15 am UK time. Xxx

China – A Random Jotting From Shenzhen

Shenzhen, China April 2019: For now at least this appears to be my only communication with the outside world. As expected, Facebook and any associations with Google such as Gmail are rendered useless. I purchased a China Unicom SIM card from the station at Futian, for about £20. They told me I could call international but of course that’s not true! My plan to communicate through WeChat has backfired miserably as no one that I know in England can actually get the thing to function. Further, all the English to Chinese translation apps have failed to make any impact, in fact failed completely.

Thank heavens for Apple and their safari browser then! I’m having to write this on an IPad so no real editing or mass uploading of photos until I leave China in 29 days time. In the meantime I’ll endeavour to upload some notes as and when Wifi is available.

As this appears to be my only platform I’ll also be leaving a few family messages

mother – everything’s fine, eating plenty of noodles and loosing some weight after all the good food in Hong Kong! Xxx

 

Nepal – Daily Snapshot, Saturday, Farewell Pokhara

Pokhara, Nepal, March 2019: So, as I prepare to leave Pokhara, here’s a photographic summary – a selection of my favourite images depicting life in and around Lakeside since January. Despite this being my 6th visit, there’s always something new to photograph! This visit has been exceptionally good in therms of weather. Even the locals admit this season has seen some of the best mountain views ever…

NEXT: A transit stop in Bangkok before heading up to Hong Kong to collect a visa for China! So, until we meet again Pokhara, Ciao.

Nepal – Daily Snapshot, Friday

Pokhara, Nepal, March 2019:  When a storm hits, it can be pretty harsh here in sub-tropical Pokhara (Video for Facebook users). As the warm tropical air from the south integrates with the cool Himalayan flow from the North then unsurprisingly there are frequent storms. Such a storm recently left us trapped for an hour in the little bamboo shack beside Fewa Lake. Rain and hail pelting the tin roof while strong winds swirled around the structure, the bamboo pillars creaking and tarpaulin sheets flapping violently. The good news is a storm like this will often clear the air for a couple of days giving one some great mountain viewing opportunities! The storm passed, the temperature dropped a few degrees and the next day was stunningly clear of that spring haze Pokhara gets this time of the year.

Annapurnas after a storm…

 

Nepal – Daily Snapshot, Thursday

Pokhara, Nepal, March 2019:  Its worth getting up early to experience the tranquil settings around Pokhara’s Fewa Lake – but not to early! Yes, its worth dragging oneself out of slumber and hike down to the lake front at around 6.45 before the crowds begin to descend upon the boat stations. As the sun rises higher so the mountain peaks come to life, the birds stir from roosts and then by about 7.30 the peace is shattered with natives queuing up for boat rides across to the Barahi Temple, situated on an Island in the middle of the lake.

Early morning Fewa Lake, Pokhara…

Travel Pokhara Nepal

Travel Pokhara Nepal