Mid week humour

It’s a slow week.

Just had to repost this one regardless of whether we get permission or not. Really recommend you click on the below link for some nice mid week humour. We especially liked numbers 8, 9 and 10. Number 15’s pretty good too…

Which ones did you like?

 

20 travel related jokes that will make you smile

via 20 Travel Related Jokes — Hardy Travel – Tips from around the world

West Lake (西湖) in Hangzhou

You’ve read about artsy water towns in East China in our previous article (here). Northern Italy has a plethora of beautiful lakes in addition to its large water town (heheh – Venice). How about China? Can it offer anything to rival Italy?

Perhaps not rival. Afterall no two places are the same. No?

The cities of Eastern China along the tributary rivers of the mighty Yangtze had always been blessed with having a good mix of fertile valleys fed by plenty of water. And so Hangzhou is no different. Set within the city is a lake that had inspired many a Chinese poet or painter. They were mesmerizd by the wondrous beauty that the lake supposedly exuded. So famous the lake was that even emperors came to visit.

Of course Hangzhou is more than just the lake. Afterall, it was the capital of the Southern Sung dynasty. An imperial capital for 150 years until it was taken by the Mongols resulting in regime change. Our stay though revolved around the lake and all that is to see here. And you should know we do not stay grounded in one location for too long when on our journeys. We spent almost 4 full days there. Do you wonder why did we were struck by the lake? Was it really so alluring? Read all about our poetic journey to Hangzhou’s famed lake.

Perhaps you might book yourself into one of the new luxury hotels there and enjoy the view? Would you be inspired to become a poet by the lake?

Final stop for Hong Kong’s ding ding?

With a title like that we expect a little more response from Hong Kongers or residents of the SAR. The article in question (here) seeks to elaborate how competition from other modes of transport may erode the lure of taking an iconic ride on the world famous trams of Hong Kong island.

Really?

Our first ride on the Ding ding was in the early 1990s fresh out of college. It was already a tourist attraction, though there was a considerab number of locals taking the tram. More about that in our Hong Kong handprint story (which will come soon enough). True the SAR has numerous other attractions and a plethora of things to do. But we are sure that many who visit the island even today would consider a ride on the tramway to be a must do activity.

Constructed in 1903, the tramway is now well over 100 years old. Like a venerable old dame, the tramway has seen booms, busts and wars. The familiar “ding” that one hears as the tram comes through is iconic as the dim sum that one seeks in Hong Kong in our opinion. We actually compared that with the one in San Francisco. Although different (the Hong Kong one is double decked), they were both constructed and put in service around the same decades of the 19th century.

Real estate is precious on tiny Hong Kong island. Would this little piece of gem be removed? How do the locals feel about this iconic symbol of Hong Kong? Will Hong Kongers nd residents tell us your views?

Presidential AirBnB no more

We all know about AirBnB’s rapid growth and spread. We’ve written about it here. Even Japan is said to be close to approving its operations – formally that is. But how about a Presidential AirBnB apartment to rent?

If this article is to be believed, folks who managed to book the apartment at Trump towers might just had been able to mingle with the secret service folks who were probably crawling all over the building. Perhaps see some important politicians too. And that is exactly what one lucky couple did when they stayed in December. But today’s post is not about the Presidential AirBnB listing. Because it is no more.

It’s about some of the quirkiest places one can book on AirBnB.

Wendy wrote about her experiences of staying in various places (here), from a castle to a windmill, from a bus to a yurt. One of our favorite though in her list of places is the ginger bread house (it’s located in California). Really? Well, not that it was made of dough of course! And how can one not consider to live in a old stone church? Hopefully it isn’t too cold because if our past castle stay was any guide, it is awfully hard to heat up a stone building… Perhaps this might set you off on a browse of properties on AirBnB like Wendy did? Because when we did our browsing, there sure looked like some mighty intriguing listings… perhaps you’d like to live like medieval nobility here?

We’ve read of how folks who have stayed in a buddhist temple, having to work in the day and fast from 6pm till the next morning! Heheh, sounds like a novel way to pick up a set of new travel experiences no?

If you are one for daring and new experiences, looking out for such stays could jolt some adrenaline in you! Will this motivate you to search now for the weirdest AirBnB to stay in for your next journey?

Exotic Ürümqi

Can you guess what is in the featured image of this post?

No. No clue will be given You’d need to read our handprint story (see link at bottom of post) for the answer. Heheh. Some way to drive readership traffic to the pages right? OK we try.

Anyhow.

Ürümqi. Capital of the vast vast Xinjiang (新疆) province of China. You might read that it is the Guinness holder of being the most remote city in the world. Being at least 2500km from the sea in any direction, it sits in the middle of the continent and was a major hub on the famed silk road. And we were on that road for nearly two weeks. Back in the day tourist facilities were definitely not at its current level (ok someone correct us?).

No toilets in the open desert for sure.

It was easily the journey with the greatest hardship endured by us. And fortunately we got to start it in the relative comfort of this city. We got around the sights that ring the city. Would you like to know more about them?

Here in the middle of nowhere (and we know someone who had that record in Australia), you’d think the sights were just for tourists. Oh boy will you be surprised that it teems with life. Not just wild life but people too. For the region has been inhabited by the nomads for eons.

Why not read all about what one can experience here? Now you know what the featured picture is?

Walking on broken glass

Okay, not that Mel & Suan will advocate doing this. Recall that we’ve written about glass walks that jut out over empty space (here and here). Many of them are in places of natural beauty, so folks can enjoy a view. Well, a couple of months back we read about this new rage to provide similar experiences in cities too. And it seems to be a competition out there!

Now if the city of Chicago approves, then the owners of this office tower just might get the opportunity to build a glass walkway high in the sky. Read here for the article. If you did not manage to click on the link and read, well let us share with you that the owners of the building intends to provide visitors the opportunity to abseil from the 103rd floor to the 102nd too. No glassway there! Buy your own insurance. Not sure if even any company might want to extend cover…

Ok, our own experiences had not been that dramatic. At least not yet. We have been to quite a few glasswalks though, the most recent one in Busan. For us the Tianmen (天门山) mountain in ZhangJiaJie (张家界) provided one of the most challenging, as the walkway was hugging to a cliff hundreds of meters from the ground. Even holding to the railing was scary to some. They feared the railing might give way… yet not far they actually build a bridge between two mountains! Missed that one because it opened a year after our journey.

We also missed the one at the west rim of the Grand Canyon. So we now have excuses to journey to these sites again. From the looks of it, there will be more glasswalks coming to a place near you.

Do you have a phobia walking on glass floors over great heights? Where have you done that before?