A Travellerspoint blog

food snobs listen up!

rant number 1

food snobs listen up. we tried, we really tried. we sought the finest (legendary) peking duck restaurant in beijing (therefore the world!):

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we ate off the streets:

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and you know what? after 24 hours on the can the first thing i did was head straight to the nearest mc d's... and believe me it was AMAZZZZZINNNGG!!!!

so there!

Posted by rea-neill 00:22 Comments (0)

go go gobi!

crossing the gobi desert..

back once again like the renegade master...er not quite. contrary to a few queries we are in fact very much still alive. so it's blog overload time (well until we get bored..).

finally getting around to some internet time in downtown shanghai. we're feeling the effects of typhoon krosa here, so both soaked to the bone as we type. not much else to do right now, so here goes..

caught mtb train from ulaan bataar to beijing, and spent a few days travelling through this:

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only saw one fekkin camel! btw, if you can access the hi-res pics from this blog check out the dunes in the distance. awesome! also witnessed a beaut sunset over the gobi, again my crapola digi-cam might not do it justice:

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apparently we passed sections of the great chinese wall on way down from north, but woke up to late to check 'em out...aarrrggghhhh (damn you genghis khan vodka!). but at least the scenery had changed to this:

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made it into beijing a week ago. unfortunately we didn't realise the 1st october national chinese day (followed by a weeks holiday)! 15 million people in this city and it felt like every single one of 'em was on the streets! thank fek for the tuk-tuk drivers around the city! you may take your life in your hands, but you get places cheap. heres me and sarah on the back of one, travelling downtown:

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broke outta the city and headed for the great wall (simatai- less touristy). actually started to regret asking guide to take us to less accessable parts, we only found out halfway through we had to walk ONLY 11 FEKKIN KM!!! of this:

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well worth the pain though. unforgettable sights. man that sounds like such a cliche..i apologise! tea-house we visited afterwards:

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where we met this little guy:

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one of the funniest/quirkiest little things we've seen yet in this country. get this, if the water to make the tea isn't hot enough and you pour it on t'baby, nowt happens. if it's just right guess what, yes, the little bugger pees everywhere! including over us. good luck apparently...

then ladies and gentlemen, it t'was dinner time. think we've got lucky and managed to avoid a few of the joints paul merton visited (donkeys penis anyone?), but still, i always enjoy hand picking my eels and turtles before dinner:

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although i had a little fracas with the lady trying to point out they were, in fact, terrapins. i digress. pigeonhead starter?

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mmm...

all joking aside, beijing (with the benefit of hindsight) was albsolutely blinding! you think london is big, then you hit moscow. you think moscow is big, then you hit beijing. you think beijing is big then...hang on a minute this place is HUUUUGE! if you can get your ass around this city during the national holidays you can get around anywhere. we experienced some real cool bars, hung with our fellow travellers/locals, eat in the finest restaurants. well cool. also checked out the olympic venues - swimming and main arenas pretty cool.

starting to get bored here (i mean typing this right now, not beijing), so we ditched beijing for xi'an (again by train) to see these guys:

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then left for shanghai (again by train ffs!) were we are now. cold wet and in a city that seemingly is a culture vacuum! the next hawker to try and hardsell a copied dvd gonna get the kiss that don't miss!

right, ramble over, not even sure what we just wrote there, but more drivel to follow, sometime soon, god knows where. until then, keep 'er country.

s & s

x

Posted by rea-neill 23:25 Comments (2)

lets go mongo!

lets go mongo!

where do we start here?! just crossed 5 time zones by train and spent 5 nights on this bad boy:

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still feeling the motion on 'dry land' now ffs! (btw, pic above is during the russian border crossing into mongolia. took around 7 hours, and straight outta 70's bond flick). you soon learn to like borst, vodka and looking at this:

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thats lake baikal btw. deepest lake in the world, & one of the biggest in world (spent 6 hours chugging alongside it and still no end in site!).

but was well worth it to get to our new home:

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oh yesss, its a traditional mongolian nomadic ger tent. just outside that shot is the traditional nomadic bar, and the traditional nomadic western bathroom with a fekkin shower better than our accomodation in moscow ffs! seriously though, words cannot describe the beauty of this place. last great unspoilt part of asia (according to lonely planet anyways). stand still and you cannt hear a thing, i mean not-a-fekkin-thing! and loadsa little marmots running about. ahhh...

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climbed a manageable peak and took above shot. the night shots are a bit poor from my point and shoot digi cam, but the place takes on a sci-fi flick mars base kinda vibe after dark. full moon, stars close enough to touch etc etc. (spent last night on a vodka fuelled marmot hunt. not good in t-shirt and -4 degrees c...he he!).

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...and finally the piece de la resistance (mmm...how do you spell that anyways?!). yes people, that is indeed a picture of sarah riding a horse! through a river no less! seriously though, was an awesome day trekking through mongolian countryside.

right, we're offski. dont know what we expected from mongolia, but it has been so incredibely good we're definitely coming back here in the future. the desert/countryside so awesome, the people so friendly (4 days in mongolia restored my faith in humanity after 11 days of russian sour bakes..he he!). ulaan bataar itself is like a downmarket costa del sol resort (unbelievable i know!). internet cafes, bars, club bars, karaoke bars...and the prices are through the floor cheap! fekkin love this place!

anyways, off to a karaoke bar later actually, so we'l upload the mayhem in beijing (2/3 days time).

see y'all later.

s & s

Posted by rea-neill 00:43 Comments (6)

our trans-mongolian train comrades

our trans-mongolian train comrades

one final thing before we leave behind any chance of net access for a few weeks, here is a quick pic of our trans-mongolian train comrades, group ''vodka train''! next stop the gobi desert! bring it on!...

see ya all on the flip side..woo-haa!!

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..btw, thats us in red square, moscow (outside st. basil's for all you cultured types who may actually notice..lol!).

Posted by rea-neill 06:35 Comments (0)

GREETINGS COMRADES!

GREETINGS COMRADES!

-17 °C

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GREETINGS COMRADES!

..in moscow right now. arrived monday on overnight sleeper from st. petersberg after 5 days there. russia awesome! though the cyrillic alphabet seems impenetrable! trans-mongolian train leaves tomorrow! okay, gotta keep this brief, sharing a pc in a hostel, central moscow, so no pic uploads (too many people over my shoulder right now wanting to check email etc.). in fact, probably no updates until we leave mongolia (week or 2 away!). anyway, a couple of things we've learned about russia-

1/ beer is a soft drink
2/ smiling marks you out as a tourist

..and don't forget to carry your passport at all times, or the fuzz will have ya big time if stopped (already happened once..lol!).

..thats all for now, so until the next time,

from russia with love!

steve & sarah.

Posted by rea-neill 08:20 Comments (2)

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