Shanghai Old Town

The best tour guide and translator is my Kiwi friend Kylie! Another great Sunday exploring.

A little visit to Fatty’s noodles in the old town…. Fatty was quite impressed with my bike and asked to have a go lol    





Next step, The Old a Shanghai Wall. The original city was a circle and as implied by the name… It had a wall around it haha. This is the only part left.   

Lol, in typical Chinese style… Anywhere is good for hanging your laundry… Even tourist attractions haha  

Back on the bikes! 









Fangbang Lu – it’s where it’s at!  

Now a little further you can see where the old down is being demolished….. As they say… If it’s old, rip it down.



Then suddenly you find yourself back to the bustling world again.  

Now back to the Old French Concession

Oh  Beijing you make me wanna say the F word!

I love train travel in China. I’ve taken two trains in China, so clearly I am quite the expert. It’s just so relaxing, I can get loads of work done, I have leg room, they don’t make me put my seat upright for takeoff and landing, do major check in and generally no delays. What’s not to love!!

So off I go to Beijing for consumer research, my first trip there. Yay!

Randomly I got put up in an amazing hotel, a one very famous for high ranking officials… Seems that’s how I roll in Beijing I guess. 

I feel like this will be a good trip even though I accept I don’t have time to spend the weekend and see the ‘amazing’ sites that the capital city holds for me.
Mmm, dinner for breakfast – the perks of hotel breakfast buffet in fancy Chinese hotels.



I get I won’t see the wall, but surely I can do SOMETHING!

I wake up early, obviously not as early as I had hoped or set my alarm for, but early enough. So I am feeling pretty good about myself, downloaded some APPs and have some maps – I got this.

So, I figure I take a nice stroll. I’m high on life and enjoying my upcoming exploration. I walk over a bridge and see a beautiful river, oh and wow old men are fishing – so cool. 

I think (and yes a little smuggly)…’Who are these people who say Beijing is a smoggy concrete jungle… this is lovely’. I feel a little emotional – man I love China!

Back when shit was all cute…. 

…. And I was so full of optimism!  


So, I start walking to the Café I planned to work in, but it is taking much longer to get to than I planned, it didn’t seem this far on the map but I think about the exercise and feel good. I sit and work no problem, but soon realise that there is no way I can walk to Tiananmen square during lunchtime and then walk back to the hotel for my meeting at 2pm. 

And because of the traffic here, it’s not like taking a taxi would make it that much better. I look at the metro… ah shit everything is so spread out. Oh well, I admit defeat and skip lunch so I can get back in time for my meeting.

For dinner we picked the Dali Courtyard, the most cliché and appropriate Beijing restaurant for my only night out. Food was delish and super cute! It was a shame my very new iphone 6 refused to charge properly and turn on (fuck you apple) for some reason, so I couldn’t take pics. I pep talk myself that this gives me a good chance to take in the surrounds without thinking about photo opportunities. But damn that Pomegranate tree, with fairy lights and a traditional wire birdcage is so perfect for Instagram – it’s practically teasing me! 

By morning, at least somehow miraculously in the night my iphone decided it would kindly charge for me and it finally turned back on (I’m sorry Apple, I love you just please don’t leave me alone again). I make a mental note to back up my photos just like a man on his death bed promises god he will coneet and be a better man if he can just life another day… One day, just not this day!
I prepare for my day, feeling refreshed and notice this awesome little spa bathtub menu, OMG how sweet. I choose the grapefruit milk option and call reception; apparently it takes half an hour and it’s all fresh ingredients. Blissful and it’s complimentary. I call them tell them I’m going for breakfast and want it ready when I’m back. Great.

I come back, no bath… grumble in an old man way. I call again; they say okay they will send someone right away. Then it’s getting late, I actually need to leave my hotel. Eventually someone comes to my door and asks which one I want. Hmm, so it’s taken an hour to realise you don’t know what I want, and great I need to wait half an hour for you to prepare!! I force an understanding smile but I say forget it. Okay, okay – this is a case of people not understanding me and just answering with ‘yes, okay’. I get over it, I mean seriously #firstworldproblems lol

I decide to reflect a little. I have a serious case of angry. I think it’s Beijing, something about this city stops me in my tracks… and I don’t like it. It’s like all I can see here are the hard parts of China without the charms. 

I soon decide to stop reflecting and get back to the task at hand… Getting angry and fighting the world.

Expecting a receipt given to me freely for my hotel room when I check out …. .I’m not even going to bother explaining that world of bemusement!

Wow, trying to change to an earlier train – the station is buzzing with chaos. I really want to kick people in the throat. I make another mental note, I’ve got to ask my Chinese teacher the words for “fuck off, get out of the way your prick”. I question myself “Am I maybe the prick today?….. Nah”.

I finally walk into Starbucks and scan around for a chair. Look at all the people sitting around with empty cups and I really want to tell them to get out and let real customers sit down. I’m outraged – why don’t Starbucks tell these people to move? About half an hour later, I’m sitting in Starbucks with an empty cup – fuck those people in the line, I’m not moving. Clearly it’s different when I do it.

I bitch and moan in my head about having to wait around for ages….then realise I’ve been googling (sorry, I mean I’ve been ‘binging’ cause we don’t do that google stuff here of course – Google is the devil) holidays in Thailand for too long. I run through the station mentally blaming everyone who somehow touched my day and made me almost miss my train, despite having got there hours before my train is scheduled to leave.

I sit down in my seat and then spill raspberry Vitamin Water on my dress…. Damn, whose fault is that…. #Notfuckingmine 
Did I mention today was not a good day to pick a short summer dress and g-string in my rush to get dressed… not sure how many people saw my butt as a battered about the station with all my bags! Lol.

Okay, so that’s Beijing. I think perhaps it brings out the worst in me. Beijing 1: Sarah 0

P.s. Wow this super loud laughing lady next to me on the train better get off the fucking phone soon.

 P.P.S Are you judging me for using hashtags outside of Instagram or Twitter??…….#Ijudgedme #ashamed #iblameyou #gofuckyourself

P.P.P.S I know this post is ridiculous 😝

P.P.P.P.S Don’t be alarmed Mum, you’ll love Beijing when you go next week – it’s a great city

And I know I’ve been harsh on you… But it’s okay Beijing, don’t worry – I’m just having a bad day, trust me I’ve had guys act worse than this and I’ve still come back for more…, I’ll give you another go…. One day… Haha

A little River Hiking

What an amazing trip… Definitely one of my best ones so far. I was reunited with some awesome people from a previous one (My train husband + his girlfriend + the Irish).

This trip was basically hiking through a bamboo forest and then along a river… It was a fun trip and I was happy that I didn’t break my iPhone on the rocks!

The weather was warm so swimming as we hiked was an absolute must – the water was freezing but too tempting not to get in!

We had the usual beer and bonfire session at the hidden village. The village was very beautiful and our guide got quite drunk which was amusing (I may or may not have shown him how to give a lap dance haha)….. He had insisted on making us drink all this Chinese wine (imagine wine that is rocket fuel strength).

We all sat around talking drunken shit and everyone was discussing that maybe smoking and drinking must not be that bad (as we smoked and drank) and really it’s the other shit in life that ages you… ‘Check out the guide, he’s got to be like 80ish and he smokes like a chimney, drinks Baijio like a fish and hikes up and down a mountain all day.

At some point we found out the guide was 50ish. Hmmm. 

The guide had picked me to drink first and then share (force) this very special looking bottle of Baijio with the group… I started to ask him how much… He couldn’t understand me (why not?? I mean my Chinese is fucking impeccable haha) so I got out my phone and asked him to type.

He types so many numbers…. WTF. I grab one of the guys… Apparently he’s giving me his phone number…

Oh dear.

During the night one girl woke up with a centipede in her ear. Thankfully we were all too drunk passed out sleeping to wake up. But the poor girl ended up off to hospital all night and then back in the morning!

Hike Hike Hike






Swim time!



Success… Now for the less healthy part!!




 The Village 










Party Time!

Hiking Mt Hua Shan – The Most Dangerous Mountain in China

This trip was quite far away and requires an overnight train ride! I find the idea of train travel quite romantic…. I love the idea of it. However, like many things in China it’s not quite as you imagine in the world of Pinterest and Instagram …. 

Anyway, I joined he trip late (and apparently so did some British guy) so my hiking organizer friend managed to add us but we had to go ‘first class’. Oh no!!! Haha.

My new ‘train husband’ and I were so happy with our lovely honeymoon suite! Especially as the others were in these cabins split up amongst Chinese families (imagine crying babies) or old men (imagine flem throat clearing or snoring).

Anyway, this mountain is super high and has 5 Peaks. It’s famous for its scary little climbing area and also the super scary (and dodgy looking) walk along the edge of the mountain.

Thank you Wikipedia 

It is one of China’s Five Great Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. Originally classified as having three peaks, in modern times the mountain is classified as five main peaks, of which the highest is the South Peak at 2,154.9 metres (7,070 ft).

Jackpot a honeymoon suite for a 12 hour train ride!



Of course it was quite a long and boring trip… So a few of us decided to get a little (and in the end) a lot drunk!



This part was a little concerning… Our van was stopped by the police. The police took over the vehicle and just drove it… We were like ‘Um, what – are we doing to China jail?’ We sat in silence. Luckily he dropped us off where we need to go. ‘Um, thanks…’

Now, what we actually came for!




Matchy matchy

 Hiking was very hard!!! Whaaa


But totally worth it for the breathtaking views!

First Challenge at the peak .. Climb some steep shit and hope for the best! And yes I’m wearing a skirt (from Country Road to be even more ridiculous). Why you ask? Cause I was so hungover that I woke minutes before we had to jump off and didn’t get changed when I got off the train… I literally cut my legging with a Swiss Army knife (it was hot) and rolled with it like a bad ass 😝 haha

And we made it to the mini peak

As they say in China….. Safety First!

Relaxing after a tough day!

View from where we slept on top of the mountain that night.

Da 2 – Now for the most scary and famous part!!!

Business is business! This guys is crouching in a tiny nook in the the cliff printing and laminating photos of people!! Photo taken on the way and photo given on the way back!

After the rickety bridge you would reach some little shrine in the cliff. Now the thing is you had to go back the way you came and cross over people coming the oppsite direction as you.  Fark!

Okay this is brilliant, too scared to do it? No problem, we can fake this shit for you! Haha

And of course a communist war statue of sorts to cap off a brilliant hike

Feeling sad to leave, but managed to alleviate the pain the only way we knew how 

And back to Shanghai. Good times on the train

Village Eats are the Best!

Such deliciousness! Some of the best food I have in China is actually made in these little rural villages… I don’t even think you could call them restaurants.

They bring you whatever they want and you guess as to what it is you’re eating.

With a longneck of the local beer to wash it down, they are the bomb!