Just a little more Wuhan baby

Final post on Wuhan I promise! For a city that is not really a huge tourist destination, I sure did take a lot of photos and want to share them all!

I think spending a day just quietly exploring a city in China that isn’t so overwhelming and huge is just really calming and enjoyable.

My first destination was the Yellow Crane Tower.

I was totally happy by the fact I could order a ticket in Chinese. Woo, it really is the small things! Haha.

Yep, packed the trusty selfie stick… Well, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do when she doesn’t have a partner 😉


The walk up was peaceful and potentially my favorite part. I was super excited and ready for my money shot of the tower.

In construction!!! Of course it is, right!! Oh well, I got over it soon enough and then missioned on forward, finding a path amongst the swarms of local Chinese tourists.

I considered stealing one of the beautiful pictures off Pinterest that had lured me here… but decided to keep it real.

Cool shit… Yeah.  

Stupidly it never clicked for me that the yellow crane tower was actually about a yellow crane…

Luckily for me i could still see some amazing views from the top!


So, all in all Wuhan… You’re alright. Thanks for the one night stand x

Wuhan – Temple 

So, Wuhan has a brilliant temple. It was baking hot, but worth it!

Turtles!!! I love Turtles! And I don’t think they are for eating. That’s a win.
Gold Monks were really cool. Inside this building were rows and rows of these golden monks. Each with a different face / position and even props. No photos allowed inside but you get the jist.



Wuhan city 

Rather than going straight back to Shanghai after Beijing (you know the trip where I was super bitchy and angry) I decided to go to Wuhan. It’s to the East of Shanghai and known as one of the 4 furnace cities in China as it just catches the heat like a bitch.

Wuhan – East of Shanghai 

The Verdict… Not a bad little city to cruise around for a day.

My general wandering….


For some reason seeing live chickens outside restaurants is more disturbing than when you see a tank of live fish….. 

I love it when you stumble across something cool and unexpected. I found a Lotus festival as I walked back to the hotel! 

Night life was a let down… Although this slightly surreal little ‘western street’ was interesting 

My hotel…. And as always in China ‘Safety First’! 

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!


Good Rural Street Eats – Huashan, Shaanxi Province, China

Once I finally got over my food poisoning and freaky meat worries (aka Street Food) I soon realised what I was missing!

I now plan to discover more street food whilst here in China!

During my trip to Huashan, Shaanxi (a small little rural town at the base of an incredibly amazing mountain range – which I of coursed hiked up) I tasted some goodies and had to share!

This is our breakfast before a 8 hour hike – it’s essentially a little crepe cooked over a bucket of fire with a few vege’s inside… I felt quite safe with this one.

Not quite France, but Crepe anyone?

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Next is my fucked up mid-hike snack. Not the Beer, I mean the egg! Boiled eggs!!! Less delicious but I managed to eat it given the level of hunger and tiredness. However it’s confirmed that I think I have mild phobia of boiled eggs (not fried or poached mind you). China love a boiled egg, but hey, at least this one isn’t soaked in Vinegar or Fermented.

Yay Beer. Boo Egg.


This next one has to be the highlight of my food during the trip. The Hiking was done and dusted so I couldn’t resist this pulled pork type of spicy pastry/sandwich.

Warm flaky bread (dough made and cooked by the old guy)… The woman then pulls out some of this amazing pull-a-part style pork from a dodgy looking tin filled with cooked pork and broth and she of course hacked it to shreds with a large butches knife. Then she added pickled spicy carrot, beanshoots, coriander and green chill and then this odd but very tasty potato hash.

The Highlight of the Trip!

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The Lows of January 2015

Oh yeah, I have a blog post sitting in.my drafts… I know it’s Feb but I’m not going to adjust this to the past tense… Here it is;

Wow, has January been like the longest month ever… Maybe it’s just me, but I think January is the least shiny month in shanghai so far.

This blog comes with a disclaimer of not having a great purpose and story line for that matter… It’s a vent. So here I go.

January 2015. It started off with a bang… Brilliant New Years, hopes and dreams…

I went from marvelling at how pretty the dark rainy weather was…

How much fun it was to see random stuff like meat that’s just hanging out by the register in a box

But I’m afraid smog was looming….

So, I may have started the ball rolling by joining my running friends for a Monday 7km along the river when the the pollution reading was directly saying it was unhealthy, so of course I screenshot and send the air pollution reading and made a stupid comment via viber like ‘perfect weather for a jog’ and off I went…

Karma it’s a bitch.

So, Tuesday I feel pretty lethargic and have a weird ear thing going on (I later find out that apparently pollution causes ear trouble in children, chesty coughs and general unwellness thankfully work allow Google so I can diagnose myself with complete certainty and not have to deal with figuring out where a doctor can be found) but decide to drag myself to a dinner after work and decide to suck it up, I mean I’ve never had Korean BBQ and this may be my only chance…

Come Wednesday and I’m feeling shit not to mention pissed off that my vpn isn’t working and I’m left all alone (who will be there for me when I’m bored or lonely if I don’t have Facebook, Instagram or Google… How will I diagnose this illness I feel coming on?).

I leave work early and feel quite guilty, I convince myself that yes I am sick and it’s in the best interest that I go home. I try the pharmacy, I motion and use English words that of course they cannot understand… They get overwhelmed and shut down (this Happens a lot) and just say no in Chinese over and over. It’s gonna take a lot of effort to win the ladies over again and especially without google working to translate for me. My heart isn’t in it…. I’ll go au natural. Marley is stoked to have bedtime come so early, we go to sleep…

The thing is I sleep all afternoon, all night, pretty much all day, then all night and then finally wake up Friday morning. First I must try to figure out if it’s Thursday night or Friday morning, my phone is flat and I don’t actually know its friday morning for a while, but once I finally work it out I decide it’s time to go to work and be better… I scowl at my emails from Facebook saying I have notifications waiting… Screw you guys!

Of course, Marley promptly reminds me when it’s breakfast and dinner time for him.

Wow, this story is super exciting I bet you wish I had more like this… Anyway, I marvel at my strength, I’ve dealt with suffering away without getting all sooky lala and shit… Go me.

I treat myself to a massage, of which my regular massage lady that speaks English, asks how I’m not cold when I feel cold to touch, I say I think I have bad circulation… She smiles and says cheerfully, maybe it’s because of all your fat… I agree delightfully, oh yes it must be that.

Anyway, cut to Friday evening and I’m sitting on a bus on my way to a hiking trip… I know I know, but I paid already and i made up my mind that I wasn’t going to be sick anymore.

I manage to sit right next to the bus heater, which I think definitely made me feel worse. I chat as much as I can without seeming like a weirdo or anti social psycho to the sweet and painfully young and optimisitc looking Dutch boy sitting next to me. We bond briefly over some chinese brandy… I hope it will knock me out. I drift off, but am painfully aware of my stomach pains are looming.. We arrive at 2am and scurry off to real beds.

Now. For those of you thinking this story may end like the scene in the movie bridemaids, it’s not like that so don’t get excited. This is not food poisoning.

We set off hiking at least not too early, I’m not terrible so think I maybe okay. Off we go, and wow it only takes 5 minutes to realise that yes I do feel like crap… The hike is challenging for everyone (except 2 people cause there is always 1 or 2 over achievers in every group – it’s just the way life is), I feel weak but I can’t stand the thought of eating anything and I feel sick and faint. I ponder how many Chinese tourists will photograph me if I decide to puke politely to the side of narrow path…

We are staying at the top of the mountain, so I have no choice but to put my earphones in and will myself to hike up stairs for most of the day… Why on earth did I pack so much…

Eventually I am enticed by a mountain side cucumber and then just when I well and truly think I will run out of steam I have some mandarins and then some mango… I get there.

I go straight to bed like a broken person and wish the world away. 12 hours later, we hike again. Luckily I packed a jarrah mint hot chocolate to pepp me up…

I’m a bit better although still not ready to stomach the delicious trail Mix I made and the hike is half a day and much easier… I channel Taylor swift and shake it off…

Ah… Home sweet home, with an untouched bag of trail mix.

I drag my arse to work Monday, coughing now like an old sailor and I start again… Come Saturday afternoon and I’ll be chillin next to Kirsty’s pool… Shake it off…

My vpn still isn’t working, I hear rumours that China has stopped them all… What does this mean for me!! Can I really live not knowing everything, even the painfully boring yet alluring updates Facebook. I can’t think about it right now, it’s too painful… Oh and did I mention I ran out of Twinings Assam Bold, my stash at home and work is tapped out now!! Shit just got serious…

Weirdly I find myself working late, so I grab a massage at the suspicious place across the road. When the lady in a tight black Lycra dress finishes walking on me, I walk myself home slowly and decide my dinner tonight can just be Special K. I look up at the sky and can’t see a single star but glance at the tiny florist and decide if Shanghai gives you smog then you should buy some tulips..

The shop lady smiles like the Cheshire Cat as she painfully over charges me (okay, so $5 too much is painful for me) for bright orange tulips, but I don’t care… I stroll home reminded it’s Australia Day so I have a card to open from dayna, plus I check the mail and well hello a little package from Tegan.

As I write this post on a smoggy Tuesday morning, I feel much better – perhaps the tulips worked a treat 🙂


This is all I have to say haha IMG_1273 Nah, i’m being overdramatic don’t worry…  although when we were told to go find some brekkie here I was a little worried I would be undernourished… IMG_1503 Smiling for the camera… prentending to not be that ‘weird’ person.. IMG_1504 Shake it Off! IMG_1533 Okay, it’s time to force something down… nothing like a mountain side cucumber (okay I just took my first photo, maybe there is hope for me…)! IMG_1505 Usually going down stairs is exciting, but knowing we’re half way… we’re only just going to have to go up some more on the other side! Very cool view and quite scary to walk down steps so steep! IMG_1511 Yep, here we go… Up IMG_1514 Hmm, maybe the cucumber helped! IMG_1528 Okay, yes worst part over… keep slogging on! IMG_1531 And at least I’m not one of these poor guys! IMG_1532 Well, I made it to the top! Thankfully I could go and sleep right up the top… oh wait, we need to check out sunset first…. argh. IMG_1527 Day 2, feeling good after so much sleep. Off we trek… IMG_1550 We Plan a good trek but not so bad today (yay) and then a gondola ride… now that’s much better! IMG_1542 Home time.. but a quick stop for food in the town… IMG_1547 At least others took pretty pictures whilst I was summing all my will just to keep moving…. IMG_1549 IMG_1551 IMG_1553 IMG_1554 IMG_1525

The Highs of January 2015

So, I’m kinda glad I didn’t bother with a New Years Resolution around being much more up to date with my blogging… but hey, I’m not claiming to be a blogger here and no one is offering to sponsor me! haha.

When I drafted the start of this post it was called ‘New Years Non Resolutions’ – I was all high on life and ready to embrace every Pinterest quote I Pinned i.e. Release and let go of all the crap in the past and look forward.. create the life she loved… Well, that was all great and noble, but then the smoggy winter really kicked in and I got sick…it all went a little down hill (see my next post soon around the Low’s of January) but don’t worry it’s February now and I am 5 short sleeps away from a 2 weeks vacation in tropical paradise… nothing to complain about from Shanghai in this post! 🙂

Anyway, I really didn’t want to do the fancy hotel party thing, I didn’t want to go to a house party;- I just wanted to get the Hell Out of Shanghai and didn’t mind where. Luckily, I know a few lovely ladies (by lovely I mean ones I can be compmletely fucked up and vulgar around with no fear of judgement) which were on the same page… so we ‘loosely’ planned a trip and off we went, not sure what to do or expect… but off we went on December 31st!

6 Hour Bus trip, not so cosy but at least I’ve learnt not to crack any beers until the last half an hour or hour max… Did I mention we missed our stop and ended up in a different town, but never mind we just stayed there anyway.


Beer and a Selfie Stick, we’re sorted!

Our hostel was like a giant Ice Box!


But Mr. Hu was so nice and it was a miracle for us that he spoke such good English!

Plus Mr. Hu’s wife was a great cook and restored my faith in Chinese food!!

Exploring around the Town…

Beer in hand of Course…


Even the little supermarkets where fun… Our Brazilian member talked about the need to wear a lucky pair of coloured undies to bring you luck… you pick the colour based on what you want in 2015… I picked blue which is relaxed and calming, she insisted I needed to add some red (passion and luck) but socks would do just fine…. our selection was limited

We found the closest thing we could to a bar in the quiet little town

Trying the local spirits – We started with high hopes…. I had my phone camera on ‘burst’ and caught our expressions! haha


Trying the local spirits – a little sharp


Trying the local spirits – The kick


Then Jan 1 we went off to see a Waterfall (which didn’t really have a Waterfall….hmm). Oh well, we’ll roll with it.

Feeling fresh and full of energy… what a new feeling for me on Jan 1st!

Selfie Stick has already paid for itself haha…

Everyone wanted a photo with us, it was quite funny. Even one of the employees at the front gate followed us around, and every time we took pictures and posed for ourselves he jumped in and took his own photos of us… he never acknowledged us or said hello, just acted like he was invisible hahaIMG_1045

Yep, he was there taking a copy of this too!
Finally, off to climb the Mountains – The Yellow Mountains!

Never ever have I climbed so high!

These poor guys running up and down with stuff – it was insane.


Made it to the top! cheesy yes, but you’re supposed put a lock somewhere on the mountain and inscribe the names… this is providing you climb with the love of your life. Now, Oprah tells me the Love of my life should be Me… hey that works! Rewarded with a can of beer of course – it’s all about ‘Balance’. Yes that’s my theme for 2015…

Strange weather, was quite sunny but also almost frozen.


Um, do they realise that’s a little dangerous…

I arrive home happy but exhaused and treat myself to a gourmet dinner!

Such a brilliant trip, but very nice to snuggle up when I got home though!!!