Sabaideee!

Everywhere we go we are greeted by squeals of delight and laughter, and calls of ‘Sabaidee’ or ‘Hello!’ I can’t keep the grin off my face as we cycle through these incredibly friendly villages and towns.   These two troublemakers took off their shoes to chase after us through their village. They didn’t seem to…

Dusty Road

Possibly the dustiest so far… …but luckily there was a river nearby to wash it off.

Hmong New Year

The Hmong people are thought to originate in northern Tibet and Mongolia. From 2000BC many migrated south, to the area of China along the Yangtze River, keeping their colourful culture. In the 1800s, faced with persecution in China, many uprooted again, settling in Northern Laos. Hmong New Year takes place over three days, it’s a…

A White Christmas

We didn’t know where we would be for Christmas, as we rarely plan more than a day ahead on the road. On the morning of the Eve, we spotted a lake on the map 10km out of Oudomxay, so thought we’d check it out. We had no idea what this lake would be like before…

Christmas Quiz – The Answers

In which country have we… 1) …found the best cycle lanes? Germany, with its amazing cycle network through forests and along rivers. The Netherlands were good too. 2) …found the drivers to be the most courteous? China, where they give you loads of space on the road. The least courteous drivers were in Georgia 3)…

A Recipe for Tropical Christmas Pudding

For this recipe you will need: 150g of ‘flour’ (corn starch will do), 3 eggs, 150g of sugar, 100ml of ‘brandy’, a fistful of chopped red dates, a handful of raisins, a small handful of cashew nuts, an even smaller handful of pine nuts, some dried mango. For the sauce: 50ml of ‘brandy’, half a…

A Christmas Quiz

We’ve thought up a few questions to get you guessing. In which country have we… 1) …found the best cycle lanes? 2) …found the drivers to be the most courteous? 3) …had the most free tea? 4) …encountered the most hospitality? 5) …met the most cycle tourers? 6) …got the most lost? 7) How many…

Dear Zhong Guo

I’m just writing to let you know that it’s over. It was good while it lasted, but it’s time for us both to move on. I’d heard so much about you, long before we met, and I was looking forward to getting to know you. But, Zhong Guo, you’ve let me down. With your ephemeral…

Whoosh!

Whoosh! The cool, damp air rushes past my ears as I pick up speed. Winding my way through tall towering trees, shards of sun pierce the canopy. My shadow darts across the dappled light. I stop to take a photo, my glasses steaming up in an instant, but clear again by the breeze as I…

Xishuangbanna

As we headed south towards Laos, through the deepest south of China, it felt like we had already crossed a border into a different country. The roads were lined with coffee and banana plantations; the air was humid, the forests more tropical, and there were even wild elephants… …but it was more than that. The…

Erhai Lake

As we approached Dali, we flipped a coin to decide which road to follow, and ended up going the long way round Erhai Lake. We’re glad we did, even if it did take an extra day. We cycled through little fishing villages where locals waded out into the water or took cormorants out on fishing…

Visa extension in Lijiang

Information for anyone planning on extending their visas in Lijiang. This information was correct on 3 December. It is very easy to extend your Chinese visa in Lijiang. Processing time is less than 2 working days, and very little paperwork is required. Step 1: Register with the Lijiang Old Town Police Station. We couldn’t register…