China – Tiger Leaping Gorge, THE hike

It had been over a year that I had been thinking of hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge and then one sunny morning with the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background we were there. I had the impression that this hike wouldn’t be too arduous therefore, feeling comfortable, we took no guide as the route seemed […]

Spain – Cordoba has the grand Mezquita but has also more to offer

I knew of Cordoba because of the Mezquita so we decided to sleep just in front of the church to make sure we could make it to the opening. However that meant my New Zealand husband, who is used to more space on roads, had to deal with maneuvering our car through the maze of […]

Chi Lin and Nan Lian: a different Hong Kong

I have often heard people say that once you have seen Victoria Peak there is not much more to see in Hong Kong. It’s not true and here are at least two reasons why –  the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian garden, sitting next to each other, on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. […]

Japan – Kokedera: Kyoto’s Moss Garden

A visit to Kokedera is not straightforward: advance registration is required, you need to visit at a set time, access is not very convenient, and there is a relatively expensive entrance fee … but this is a special Kyoto experience. Once you jump the preliminary hurdles there is still one more test to pass before […]

Philippines – Discovering of the Bohol tarsier

tarsier bohol

  Have you ever heard of a tarsier? Before coming to Bohol, we certainly had never heard of it … but once you reach the island they are hard to miss. You see them everywhere: on billboards, on postcards, included in the tours of Bohol so what is it? It is the smallest primate in […]

Indonesia – My heart is torn between Prambanan and Plaosan

Prambanan is one of the highlights of Central Java, but I really wasn’t quite sure of what to expect: First impressions: this reminds me of Angkor Wat … and it is so hot … and all seats in the shade are taken! Second impressions: these temples are impressive with their beautiful friezes and this cow […]

Australia – Pinnacles of nature

The real “outback” starts north of Perth, which ou means you drive for miles through an unchanging landscape hoping that a kangaroo might jump out of nowhere to alleviate the boredom. Fortunately there are some nice breaks along the way and the Namburg National Park is one of them: this forest of limestone monoliths standing […]

China – Shaxi: off the beaten track paradise

Is it still possible to visit beautiful places in China without being disturbed by crowds of tourists? Yes it is and Shaxi in Yunnan is one of these places. Shaxi is conveniently located halfway between Dali and Lijiang, so off the beaten path… for the moment at least (a highway is on the way!). The […]

New-Zealand – Whangamumu Whaling Station

We were looking for an  afternoon walk for the family and came across a map at the tourist office offering a whaling station. After driving out from Russell, we started the walk by crossing a farm and then wandered into some bush as we started to climb – so far a fairly typical walk for New […]