A Day In Chengdu

Thought I'd put up some random photos to give an idea of day-to-day life in a Chinese city. Let's start with road traffic, which can best be described as anarchic. Stop lights are purely advisory and traffic can travel in both directions on the same side of the road. There are an awful lot of …

A Pagoda, A Train & A New City

We left Xi'An this afternoon, but first we visited the Small Goose Pagoda for a gentle stroll and a chance to search for inner peace and tranquility (Couldn't find it unfortunately - think I left mine on the bus). While we were there our Local Guide Jason ran some of our group through some basic …

Xi’An

Okay, another busy day today. The header picture for this page shows our local guide Jason and I taking five minutes relaxation together. Not something that happens that often.To start with we visited the terracotta army. Pictures below.The best is an amazing thing, which is that we got to watch a warrior being dug up …

Travel Day

Today was a travel day, from Bei Jing to Xi'An. Getting 44 people on and off trains and managing bags and hotel transfers is a fairly exhausting process so tonight I'm a little bit shattered. Today we made an early visit to a Bei Jing Hutong, a residential area in the oldest part fo the …

The Great Wall and Beijing is getting a bit weird

We made an early start today to drive out to see The Great Wall of China, one of the modern Wonders of the World. A cable car took us up to the top where the clients enjoyed a couple of hours of free time to explore before descending for lunch. God did us a favour …

Beijing

We arrived in Beijing yesterday. The group originated from many different places, with some flying with me from London, others coming in from the UK on different regional flights and of course we are joined by some Travel Marvel clients from Australia & New Zealand. I set up a Welcome Meeting in our hotel last …

China, Italy, China, Germany

That's the line up for the next few weeks. July and August have been quiet, with little work for TimOnTheTrain. That's actually quite normal. My clients tend to be a tiny bit older, and they don't do heat and they don't do kids - both of which are everywhere during the Summer months. This Thursday …

On our way home

Made it to Shanghai for a whistle stop tour. I'm now in Hong Kong and boarding the flight back to London. Here are some last few images from our China tour. Home to sleep now.

Rolling 2 days into one post

Busy time out here in China. Yesterday we left our Yangtze cruise ship. The porters unloaded our bags the old fashioned way. Some things in China don't change that much after all. We had a guided tour of the massive Three Gorges Dam and the associated 5 stage locks that raise and lower massive ships …

River Cruise

We're nearing the end of our Yangtze River cruise. I haven't been able to post recently because the internet is unstable when you're cruising through a Gorge on a ship, but we're near a big city now, so fingers crossed this goes! This is a fair example of the scenery en-route. On our second night …

Pandaring

Pandar {verb, intransitive} [past: pandared, participle: pandaring] To wake up early to visit the Panda sanctuary in Chengdu the act of photographing Pandas To make "ooh" and "aah" noises while viewing Pandas doing stuff The thing with Pandas is that you have to get up early to catch them moving. By about 10am they've just …

Tim On The Train

@GreatRailJourneys Well, I promised you a picture of a Chinese high-speed train, and so here it is. This morning we visited the Jade factory to see how this traditional Chinese stone is cut and polished. From there we moved on to see the pagoda in the centre of Xi'an, shown in the header picture above. …

Warriors, Dumplings & Illuminated Goldfish

@GreatRailJourneys Early start once more to beat the crowds but well worth it. We had them almost to ourselves (relatively speaking) for the first half hour. At 2,000 years old they impress me on every visit. Looking after us superbly was our Local Guide, Jason. A quiet afternoon after the drive back before a visit …

Travel Day

Travel days are always a bit frantic for both Tour Managers and clients and today was no exception. We started the day with a short excursion in rickshaws to visit a Chinese family in their house in the oldest district (or Hutong) in Beijing. The family have lived in their house there for many decades …

Beijing

@GreatRailJourneys First day proper of our Tour and we hit the ground rolling with a visit to Tian' anmen Square which is the largest public square in the world. It's about the size of Belgium. The weather was what I choose to cal "variable". The combined attractions of the square and the Chairman Mao mausoleum …

Mandarin Travels

It’s been a long Winter but the Summer Season is about to kick off at last. I’ve got a number of Tours lined up… a rather eclectic mix this year. We start with a return visit to China in a couple of days. and the Summer will also finish in the same way. The filling …

Shanghai at night

We finished off our tour with a cruise along the river at Shanghai watching the evening lights display of this remarkable city. 30 years ago this side of the river was an empty field. And here we have the headquarters of the HSBC bank, the bank of China and other buildings that are the legacy …

Maglev

The Maglev is the fastest train on the planet. It runs from Shanghai out to the airport at a speed of 430 km/h, so we thought we take a look, and see what it’s like. Because we are in adventurous bunch, we took the Metro to the maglev station. This has to be the only …

Counting to Ten in China

Tags @GreatRail #GrandTourOfChina Westerners may not realise it, but the Chinese routinely count from 1 to 10 on their fingers, but using only one hand instead of two. This leaves the other hand free for taking the money. Here’s how they do it as shown here by local guide Cathy. Count from 1 to 5 …

We made it!

Tags @GreatRail #GrandTourOfChina Well it's been a journey! We finally made. It into Shanghai after thousands of kilometres on the train and were rewarded with sunshine. Posing with local guide Cathy overlooking The Bund I'm still intrigued by the incredible number of electric scooters in China. Everybody uses them and their use is promoted by …