Xuedou Temple 雪窦寺 near the town of Xikou in Zhejiang is one of the 10 most important Zen temples in the world. It is home to the impressively big, infectiously smiley copper Maitreya Buddha. At 56.74 metres high, he is the world’s largest version of his particular type of Buddha – “big smiling” – and his whole body […]
Lovely Lantau: secrets of Hong Kong’s biggest island
I’ve written before about how much I loved visiting Lantau, Hong Kong’s largest island. So much so, in fact, that we decided to visit for a second time and this time I wrote about its secrets for Lonely Planet. Do check out that article for more information on this most amazing of destinations!
A journey through China’s glorious Gansu province
I wrote this piece for the November edition of THE ADDRESS magazine, a digital ‘coffee table’ publication for luxury real estate, food and travel. Read the original article. Glorious Gansu – at the centre of it all The province of Gansu may geographically be considered the centre of China, but culturally and historically the Chinese have long […]
BEST DAY EVER – visiting Hobbiton in New Zealand!
I have had many amazing travel experiences that will forever live in my mind as among some of my most memorable days. But, few have meant so much to me on a personal level as visiting the Hobbiton film set in New Zealand earlier this year. Honestly, it probably trumps even my wedding day (sorry, […]
China’s most epic high-speed rail journeys
One of the things that I love most about living in China, apart from watching the dancing grannies, of course, is being able to use the country’s high-speed rail network. With its sexy, sleek trains, unbelievably punctual departure record (in almost five years, I’ve experienced three delayed trains) and reasonably priced tickets, it’s the best […]
I love China’s dancing grannies!
Over 110 million Chinese people are over 65 and retired, and many have taken to public square dancing: complete with boom boxes, routines, and noise complaints from grumpy hard-working people. I wrote about them for the website White Noise. Hip to be square – China’s dancing grannies It is evening in the city of Suzhou. […]
Writing this made me hungry for Chinese street food!
I wrote the Hangzhou entry for the World Atlas of Street food, published in September 2017 by Thames and Hudson Ltd. Hefang Street Market, Hangzhou Hangzhou’s scenic West Lake in eastern China may boast elegant bridges, picture-perfect pagodas and delicate weeping willow trees, but it also has a distinct lack of eating options. So, after […]
These are my travel essentials, what are yours?
It’s the end of an era here, as my faithful Crocs sandals have given up the ghost and snapped at the ankle. Although I can probably get away with wearing them still, they’re not as practical as they once were. I’ve had them almost since I moved to China four-and-a-half years ago and they have […]
Sleeping under yak hair: life with Gansu’s Tibetan nomads
I wrote about my experiences of living with Gansu’s nomads for Lonely Planet, remembering the sights, sounds and smells of the grasslands and the yaks the nomads rely upon. Even though I only spent a short amount of time with them, it was amazing getting to know how people in this area of Gansu live. […]
Great walls of China: the Middle Kingdom’s enduring city walls
I love me a Chinese wall! So much so, in fact, that I wrote about the greatest walls in the Middle Kingdom for Lonely Planet – there are more around the country than just the one near Beijing, you know! There’s something just so epic about an ancient wall, the idea of a city or […]