China – Planning and Preparation, Frustrating!

Pokhara, Nepal February 2019: Planning my next move, a tour of China and With just 4 weeks left in Nepal, Id better get a shift on!

As I undertake endless hours of research, the prospect of a 30 day trip to China becomes ever more daunting! As one creates an itinerary, an initial wish-list of places to visit that stretches the entire page of an A4 note book, it soon becomes apparent that this is going to take some precise planning given the distances involved. On a 30 day tourist visa there is little room for error in a country the size of the Peoples Republic of China. There’s is a danger here that I could overstretch my ambitions and end up a stressed bag of nerves!

The first frustrationVisa. According to research I can get my China 30 day tourist visa in Hong Kong within 4 working days. Great, but the application requires an itinerary of my intentions. Proof of my movements throughout the 30 days, where I’m residing complete with the properties phone number and proof of my exit. This of course means first spending loads of money on transport and accommodation in an effort to satisfy the authorities. I’ve no reason to suspect refusal of entry into the PRC, but with The USA creating political waves at every turn right now one just never knows I guess – I might just loose a whole lot of cash!

The Next Frustration – Itinerary. From the mass of reading thus far one can deduce that my initial itinerary plans are somewhat ambitious for the proposed 30 day visit – achievable if one is prepared to spend big money on domestic flights, airport transfers taxi’s and tour-guides, but with a risk travel burnout halfway through – not me! So, as I agonise over the rather large itinerary one has to set some guidelines and priorities – generally speaking scenery and culture are in, shopping malls, skyscrapers are out.

After some mindful deliberation then, here’s an itinerary that I hope strikes just about the right balance for a taste of China, April 2019:

  1.  Shenzhen – Since I will be collecting my visa from Hong Kong it makes sense to start with a few days just across the border. Here I can collect train tickets, reserve bus seats, get some hard cash and probably a phone SIM card also.
  2. Yangshuo – A town situated on the Li River and famed for its surrounding scenery.
  3. Zhangjaijie – Another town close to scenery and the famous glass bridge spanning a mountain top and a short bus ride to the Avatar Mountains.
  4. Fenghuang – Traditional, laid back scenic town with access to the Southern Great Wall.
  5. Lijiang – A town with preserved old style architecture in the shadows of mountains near to Shangri-La.
Travel China Itinerary

Travel China Itinerary

From my initial list of places to visit, dropped is Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and Chengdu – there simply isn’t time and I’m not the kind of traveller to spend 1 day here and 1 day there!

Next time.. I’l write about Air BNB in China, transport and the frustrations of too much conflicting information.


Nepal – Daily Snapshot, Happy Faces, Thursday

Pokhara, Nepal, February 2019:  Happy faces, yes, in a country beset with economic woes where most of its inhabitants earn less than $3 per day, there are happy smiling faces to be seen. Some images captured of locals off guard and going about their daily lives.

Nepal – Daily Snapshot, Wednesday

Pokhara, Nepal, February 2019:  Nepal is home to a wide and varied bird population. Serious bird watchers will need to head up into the Himalayan foot hills to bag the really colourful species. For casual spotters like me there’s still plenty of variety at ground level. Brids of prey such as kites and Egyptian Vultures are easily photographed by the lake here in Pokhara as are the more common types like the Drongo and Shrike. Parrots are tricky to capture as they tend to hang around high in tree tops, so the below photo was just a lucky break!

Nepal – Daily Snapshot, Tuesday

Pokhara, Nepal February 2019: While the Himalayan panoramas are an awesome sight, personally I like to zoom in too. Its actually pretty hard to comprehend the scale of it all without some object for comparison. Its impossible to spot the trekkers over there, so its left to snap the odd helicopter as its rumbles past on a sightseeing flight. Wouldn’t you agree that’s its still pretty awesome!

The views from Sarangkot, Nepal…


Nepal – Daily Snapshot, Monday

Pokhara, Nepal February 2019: The Himalayan hills, capped with snow, makes for some pretty nice scenic panoramas. This years February weather has been colder and more precipitous than one would normally expect thus snow has fallen to lower levels.

The view from Pokhara looking West towards Panchase and into Mustang.