Lost in Translation, Dazed & Confused both film names spring to mind when it comes to getting to grips with Japanese Culture, it is not weird as some sites say it is just totally different and it takes some time to get used to, even for seasoned travellers. However some tips on what to expect and how to make the experience easier will I hope be welcome. There are however a few conundrums that I have to mention.
It was great to be back in Hong Kong especially after a twenty hour overnight sleeper journey from Shanghai, the deluxe soft sleepers are very good but soft is not really the word that should be used for the bunks. The journey however was excellent although there was less on offer in the way of snack trolleys than on the Xi’an to Shanghai sleeper but we had our own Shanghai picnic. Read more
We were visiting Xian for one major reason, the same one as most of the other visitors, to see the Terracotta Warriors. Having done my research before the trip I realised that Xian was a large city but I had not realised how large. We arrived from Beijing on the high speed train at Xian north station and took a cab to our hotel within the city walls, the journey was over 13km but the fare was the equivalent of £3.50. Checking later on the size of the city it has a population of similar size to London. Read more
Arriving at Shanghai main railway station on an overnight sleeper train from Xian it was good to see easy access to the main concourse and directions to the well organised taxi stands that were simple to follow, after spending time in a few Chinese railway stations over the past weeks we knew this was not always the case. Read more
Nothing can prepare you for the vastness of Beijing, the sheer size of the city and the number of people is staggering, but it is also a city of huge varieties. In the middle of some of the main shopping areas with all the designer names such as Chanel and Prada and more high end watch shops than you can count there are still small lanes of grey brick houses called hutongs where families live and little eating places and local shops thrive. Read more
This was our third visit to Istanbul and this time it had a different focus, the food and wine and in particular trying some of the highly rated “ Modern Turkish” restaurants that I had been reading about.