Beijing existed in my mind as an abstract painting, fragments taken from my late father’s many tales of arriving in this mysterious land. Visions of tranquil ancient penzai gardens danced with the buzz of a post-modern metropolis. The city was all these things at once and still somehow more; a breathing, gyrating, living contrast to itself.
Welcome to China
Disembarking from our carriage out into the heart of one of China’s oldest cities, the beginning of the Silk Road, and home to the Terracotta Warriors, I realised Xi’an was already everything I’d hoped to find in China.
As ancient Chinese legend would have it, here in the Sichuan region of Southwest China there was a fierce dragon lurking in the Minjian River.
A 735-kilometer-long tributary of the famed Yangtze River that we were visiting from nearby Chengdu.
In my travels, I have yet to experience anything quite as post-apocalyptic sci-fi as the unusual tunnel land that was to greet us in Chengdu. The tunnels of Chengdu are not like anything I was prepared for.
Despite many years of working in the airline industry, the unique and often baffling rules of Chinese airlines still managed to surprise me. On arrival into Bangkok airport we were told , in no uncertain terms, that we were to pay another five thousand baht in overweight baggage fees to this small Chinese airline I had previously never heard of.