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”
Cathay is an anglicism of the old word for China, Qidan. Cathay Room is the name of one of Shanghais best brunch places. Located on the 9th floor of the Fairmont Peace Hotel, the Cathay Room overlooks the Lujiazui Skyline. This morning, we are almost by ourselves; at the best table in the house. Continue reading “Best view in town – Cathay Room Brunch”
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.
Where do you look for typical hanseatic architecture and windmills? Of course, in Shanghai’s Waigaoqiao district, where else. On 20.11., we packed our cheese sandwiches (actually no, but would have been a good stereotype), borrowed a bike (actually yes) and rode around the deserted streets.
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”
The high pitched hammering sound grows louder as we walk down Baoyuan Lu. The area is an old town wedged between Baoshan Lu and the canal. At the end of the road, we find the legendary Cen brothers, the last of Shanghais Wok makers. We find Cen Liang Gen hammering away in the little outside area of the brothers’ small shop. Continue reading “The art of the Wok – Handmade woks in Shanghai”