The Manta Ray glides above us, then circles around. We can almost touch it as it gently lifts its wing and drifts into the void of the Andaman Sea. Its our third sighting in two dives. These waters are teeming with life, from the giant Manta Rays to small boxer shrimps and sea horses. All this has been made possible by a diving accident that dispelled Michi to the deck of the Somboon 4.
After an interesting week in Beijing (met Bill Gates in the revolving door of our hotel, Westin Financial Street), we took the chance to visit Yvonne and Miguel and spend a day with them biking around the city. Sunday afternoon was rainy but good enough to visit the Summer Palace without the large crowds. Continue reading “Mobiking in Beijing”
Its time again for a trip to the suburbs. This time, we can kill two birds with one stone and visit Zhoujiajiao water town and add Thames Town to our list of Shanghai replica cities.
Our sled glides over enless snow-covered rivers underneath the wide Mongolian sky. The only sound is the panting of our 12 sled dogs. The high sun lets the thermometer climb to -20°C. Suddenly, with a bang, the ice gives away and our sled tumbling into the river below. We get back on our feet in the shallow riverbed and quickly climb out of the water. Within seconds, our drenched clothes freeze solid. Luck for us, as not only is the ice a good insulator but also the next Ger with a warm fire is an hour ride by dogsled and Russian army jeep away. Finally, we reach the Ger and painfully defrost our toes. Continue reading “Winter in Mongolia – a dog sledding adventure”
5.35am, at 28m under water. Two dark shadows are circling overhead. Sharks! Thresher Sharks. They drift by gracefully with their long tail fin (also they have a slightly retarded look in their face). The water temperature is 27°C, even at this depth. Continue reading “Under the Sea – Diving in Malapascua”
Fujian Province was still a white spot on our China Map. With the cold and wet season approaching in Shanghai, we decided on a weekend trip to warmer regions; to Xiamen.
Huangshan may be China’s most iconic and most famously painted mountain range. It is said to be enough to visit this mountain in China (a statement I certainly disagree with as there are many beautiful areas in China). Huangshan is sometimes called the “mountain of people” (“people mountain, people sea”). Why that is becomes visible after we exit the cable car. Streams of people move along the walkways. Sometimes we even have to wait in line to move. But we are rewarded with the most stunning views, esp. as we caught one of the rare sunny days in the mountains. Continue reading “Huangshan – The misty mountains”
We are standing at 6.000m above sea level. Our view wanders 2.800m upward to the 3rd pole, the higest point in the world. We have been hiking the North Side of Mount Everest towards the Advanced Base Camp. The air is thin, the wind is strong. During the day the sun burns down on us mercylessly, while during the cold night, we huddle in our sleeping bags and listend to the wind barrel down on our tents. Here, Mallory, Irvin and their expedition had already made their way from the Bay of Bangalore, when they discovered the small valley, which paves the way towards the summit. Continue reading “Top of the World – A tour to the North Side of Mt. Everest”
Kolyma Highway – The Road of Bones. I have an eerie feeling driving down this infamous highway, built by Gulag prisoners, many of whose final resting place is right under this very gravel. We have embarked on a five day road trip – a journey – through the very heart of abandoned Russia. Continue reading “Road trip on the Road of Bones – Kolyma Highway”
The area around Guilin is regarded as one of the most beautiful sceneries in China, including the Li River with its Karst mountains is immortalized on the 20RMB bill and the Lonji rice terraces.
Continue reading “Guilin – Most beautiful scenery”