A Travellerspoint blog

Guilty Pleasures...

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Hong Kong – 12th November

I am laid by the pool at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Hong Kong. It is a pleasant 28 degrees Celsius and I am tempted to jump in the pool to cool off. The guy stood over us all is there in case we should need anything, new towel, a drink perhaps, though I'm tempted to ask him to splash the woman laid next to me with some anti-deodoriser, she is a crimped old hag who stinks of expensive perfume, and that’s probably not a fake Gucci watch she is wearing, the smelly old badger.

But instead of cooling off in the pool I end up talking to a doctor laid by the other side of me that has flown out especially to see his patient who has taken ill while in China.

I'm piggy in the middle of these fancy goers, and I daren’t mention that I'm a dole waller, and from Middlesbrough as well, preferring to suggest that I am of the North Yorkshire heritage instead of the council town that North Yorkshire rejected.

I'm looking up at the clear sky which has been hard to see for the while I was travelling around China. I was able to recover a bit of weight in Yangshuo, before losing it all again with a heroic 12 hour intimate session with the toilet and basin, but my mental wellbeing had recovered a little and I was able to recollect those times in China with a little less hostility.

Whilst I laid there lapping up this absolute indulgence I couldn’t help thinking about the hotel I stayed at in Wudang Shan. The family who wanted so desperately for me to stay at their hotel, the guy who’s face lit up when I agreed to stay, the 7 year old daughter who checked me in speaking good English, and the same guy who ran out in his bright red long johns on that early morning to help me check out.

I couldn’t help feeling so guilty. Guilty that I had negotiated a £2 discount on his hotel room which I'm sure would have made quite a bit of difference for him and his family, and yet all I stood to gain was the pleasure of knowing that I had ‘knocked him down’. I didn’t need £2. I had paid £8 for that room, and now I was staying at some fanciful place which the extortionate prices couldn’t be negotiated.

I felt guilty as hell….

But then I jumped into the pool and I forgot all about it.

from this....
and this....
To this....

Article By David Beattie of Rounton Coffee

Posted by beatski 23:18 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (2)

Im a Smoggy, Get me out of here....

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Chongquing to Guilin 5th November

I have had to cheat, my ambition was to get all the way to Hong Kong from Middlesbrough Train station and to do it completely overland before I took my first flight to Japan.

That was my objective, but I failed. China has crippled me in every sense of the word and I need to get to a place where I could relax, where I could fatten up (I had lost another 2 kilos at this point, weighing in at an all-time low of 78kgs). I had tried to book train tickets but they only had hard seating which would have been a heroic achievement had I been able to stand 23 hours of it. No, I was ruined and decided that all I could do was to catch a plane that would take me straight to Guilin. I just needed to get out and into some civilisation pretty damn quickly.

So i booked a plane to take me from Chongquin City in South West China, to Guilin, South China.

Guilin and Yangshuo was to be my retreat for a week, and on a plane I could get there in one hour.

So i got from here...
To here overland.....

I think it works out about 10,000kms, which is good, but i feel as i have ran almost a full marathon and had to be carried across the finish line by some old fogey in a jump suit.


Article By David Beattie of Rounton Coffee

Posted by beatski 04:34 Archived in China Comments (0)

Yangtzee River Cruise

overcast 16 °C
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Yangtze River Cruise – 1st-5th November

I am on a foreign cruise on the Yangtze sailing from Yi Chang to Chongquing city. I opted for the foreign ship as I had had enough of the Chinese and wanted to get back inside the tourist bubble just to find a bit of relief.

Only what I find is that the only thing that makes this ship ‘Foreign’ is the fact that it has some signs in English, has an English speaking person on board, and costs you another £80 than normal. Once again, I am the only non-Chinese about, once again, I am one of the main features that the Chinese can take pictures of, I have just had an old lady stood outside my bedroom window looking right at me and in my room, as blazon as you like stood there for a good while as well, the rest of them take pictures and try to video record me covertly, weird. Well nobody said that this trip was going to be easy and I never thought that China would be a walk in the park.

Never the less, the Yangtze cruise is a chilled 3 day trip passing through Chinas must see gorges, some remote fishing and farming villages and the impressive Three Gorges Dam which is really quite impressive. The building of this Dam raised the water level upstream from Yi Chang by almost 175 meters flooding cities and villages and displacing 1.3 million people into purpose built cities. The dam is capable of 18,200MW and supplies China with 1/10th of its power. What it has also done of course is make the river upstream of Yi Chang more of a lake, perhaps a septic tank would be a better way to describe the stagnant water which is topped up from the crap being pumped into it from all the unregulated factories. I heard that 100 cracks were recently found in the dam and if it were to burst, the entire population of Yi Chang would be dead within one hour. What a thought, mind you it would help the population problem that China have gotten themselves into. Might be a brief power outage mind.

So what do the Chinese do on a 4* (which it clearly isn’t) cruise liner on the Yangtze, well they play a lot of Mahjong. They like the Karaoke, which is hilarious. At feeding time the Neanderthals wolf down their food in fine primitive fashion leaving mess everywhere as they gnaw through the food enthusiastically spraying the area with food. Throat clearing and spitting doesn’t stop for meal times. Dining with the Chinese generally will last 5-10 minutes. They stick me on a table in the corner and give me a knife and fork.

What a loser!!!!

There is a Chinese Crew Show Party on tonight, I'm trying to picture Aga-do Butlins style with a bunch of uninterested throat clearing Chinese cavemen. I'm looking forward to that one, and to help the journey along a little bit I had to top my fridge up with some of my favourite Chinese beverages.

If your stuck on a boat with a load of Chinese, load up on beer....
3 gorges damn ship lock...
Ship lock at night...
some of the nicer sights...
Chinese Boat....

Article By David Beattie of Rounton Coffee

Posted by beatski 04:20 Archived in China Tagged river yangtzee Comments (0)

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