Vancouver to Beijing - 8, 536km…Toto, we're a long way from Kansas!
Here are some selected photos from what has been a challenging and very interesting journey. I had an amazing 3 weeks here and looking forward to returning in the future. Jenn, I hope that I have been able to capture some of the essence of your country! Will post photos/stories when I get around to them - lots to do over the next while. My sleep patterns have been awful from jetlag:( So 21 photos from my 21 days in China…a preview of more to come…enjoy!
Beijing, early morning…off to the market
Bird's Nest, Beijing
I highly recommend that you see this in the evening as the sun sets, the lights illuminating the stadium are beautiful. An absolutely lovely design by Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with Ai Weiwei
798 Space, Beijing
Very pleased that I have finally made my way here!
Yvonne and Ray, really happy that Yvonne's grandparents were able to witness your reception in Beijing.
Badaling section of Great Wall (about 70km outside Beijing)
Tiananmen Square, Beijing
Apparently the Germans were in town
Jenn, I hope that Emma will have a chance to visit your hometown when she is old enough. I really liked it here, even though it was a short visit for me and I didn't have time to visit any of your recommendations. AND, I will have to come back b/c I didn't have a chance to have the crispy dough twists you told me about (ma hua)! I did have the best lamb kebabs here though, flavoured with chili and cumin…delicious!
Beijing, a little alleyway close to the Beijing South Train Station (while I was waiting for my night train to Nanjing)
I've often been met with open hostility when photographing on the streets, so it's never a huge surprise. But it was certainly the most uncomfortable here with a large number of people shouting simultaneously. One person yelling and ranting is usually tolerable. Get a whole bunch of angry people yelling and heading in your direction, means that it's time to pack it up and move onto something else.
Nanjing, early morning as people head off to work
I was wandering around snacking on breakfast after my train got into Nanjing at 6AM, and I had stopped to people watch. This particular spot was incredibly busy with shops, traffic and people whizzing by on their bikes. This woman stopped right in front of me to answer a phone call. And it gave me just enough time to figure out how I wanted to capture this. In many ways it reminds me of my views of China - frantic, super crowded, noisy and dominated by bikes and scooters. One of my favourite images from my entire trip.
Memorial Hall for the Nanjing Massacre
Tunxi, Anhui Province
This was my most loved area in my entire trip. I found so much kindness, humour and warmth from the residents in Tunxi and I hope that I'm fortunate enough to return here. The food was also just outstanding! This was the day before climbing Huang Shan and I was crossing one of the bridges over Xin'an River. I really wanted to photograph the chaotic crossing of pedestrians, scooters and bikes, but it was difficult not only from the constant traffic but all the staring. So this image was shot from the hip on a prayer that I would capture something interesting. Not perfect, but I still really like the end result!
Huang Shan, Anhui Province
Without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous hikes I've ever done. I will have to come back here and spend a bit more time, the next trip. This was truly one of the best parts of this journey and I hope that my photos will be able to do some justice to an absolutely stunning area.
Shanghai, around Dongtai Road Antique Market
Another one shot from the hip - I had spotted him a little ways off as I crossed the road. So this just ended up being a lucky shot that I captured as he passed by.
I have little love for Shanghai, but there were a few saving graces. One of them being M50, Shanghai's equivalent to 798 Space in Beijing. This was AWESOME! The art here was really amazing and the studios are in renovated warehouses. Highly recommended!
Somewhere along the way from Shanghai to Guangzhou on my 20hr train ride.
I really, really love overnight train rides b/c I can actually fall asleep on these. With little else to do in 20 hours, I read, slept, watched the rice patties zip by and daydreamed.
Shamian Island, Guangzhou
Of all the places I have ever visited, Guangzhou is the ugliest city I have ever been to. Really. But I would go back in a heartbeat to two restaurants that make some of THE best food I've ever had. Both have been around for quite some time. One specializes in congee and steamed rice-flour rolls, both of which are some of the best comfort foods that I've grown up on. The other place is a very traditional dim sum restaurant. I think I've ruined myself for life for having gone to these places b/c this type of food will never be the same for me again. There is fantastic Cantonese food to be found in Vancouver, but nothing of this quality!
Mong Kok, Hong Kong
Oh my…half a day in the Mong Kok area was enough for me. Hong Kong remains as chaotic, crowded and humid as I had remembered as a child. The constant shoppers were about to drive me mental, so I really limited my time here. If you're in Hong Kong to shop, you've really got it made b/c there is plenty of this. But if you take some time to explore, it can be a very like-able city.
Largo do Senado, Macau
I really enjoyed Macau, once I got past all the casinos and the hordes of tourists. There are beautiful little side streets and alleyways to discover, which still have small vegetable, fruit and barber shops. In many ways, it reminded me of walking through some of the little streets in Lisbon, which I love, very much. Did I mention the food is absolutely amazing?
Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island
A 30 minute boat ride can take you an entire world away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. Trust me, it's well worth it for your sanity and it is one lovely little place. The fresh seafood is fantastic!
Hong Kong Convention Centre
Looking out into Central on a rainy day, my last in Hong Kong
Beijing International Airport
Homeward bound from Hong Kong to Beijing to Vancouver