Summer is coming to China! Hiking Trip (um, somewhere in China!) 

The guesthouse we stayed in!!! Eek! Was good fun though!

And now for the beautiful scenery!





Hua Shan Temple

I’m pretty much just going to dump a whole lot of pics (not all mine). But this place was cool, a temple right next to Huashan Mointain.                        

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 Almost Happy Ending

So, this blog comes with a disclaimer…. it’s too embarrassing and awkward not to share but if you don’t want to read anything that includes reference to my nipples or Vajayjay (thank you Oprah) then, this is definitely not the post for you.

This post has no pictures, so it’s also not as scary as it could be.

I’ve been suspecting for some time now that the massage place near work may offer other services, but they are friendly, so close and do a good massage – I decided no point in worrying – I mean if they want to make men happy in other rooms, who am I to judge. The reason I feel this place is dodgy is because it’s not full of angry massage ladies, they have showers in the room and it’s down the stairs into some weird smokey den…

Cut to a pleasant enough Sunday afternoon where I decide to take wander to JingAn for a bit of shopping and a massage…  Eventually I find a massage place, great! I walk up the stairs and it seems quite nice, probably going to cost me more than I usually pay but still very Chinese so it’s not like I’ve gone to a western spa place.

I tell the desk lady I want a full body oil massage, she recommends something and I say fine.

I’m told to shower… I’m a bit weirded out by this, but I mean the other place has a shower too and maybe if I got an oil massage they’d make me shower too. This place is obviously classy… yes that’s it.

As I go to lie down I notice a suspicious sign, it says something about Male Nursing… I don’t know what this is but I’m naked bar a pair of paper shorts and it’s go time.

I lay down and get a massage, it’s not bad. She even understands when I motion and say no to the famous boob massage. Ah, but then things start to get a little creepy.

She puts her hand on a boob, and leaves it there while she says ‘very beautiful’. It’s weird, but strange things have happened…. she’s probably just thinking how funny it is to see a Laowi female.

She then goes into the stomach massage, which is actually quite painful but I remember it from the Thai health retreat and it’s super good for you. I enjoy the pain knowing it’s good for me. Then hang on, did push her hand down a little lower than she should have then? Oh my, and again?

Okay okay, you’re being a prude…. just hang in there. Next thing you know she’s THERE…. and well I don’t know what you’d called it but it was the equivalent of grabbing a little kids cheek. Then I feel her perhaps going in for the kill…. Okay no way man.

I say Mei You, Mei You, Mei You (No No No) and wave my hands around and shake my head. She moves away. I think oh good, this is okay it’s just some sort of cultural misunderstanding I guess.

Then she does a little normal arm massage and suddenly she’s flicking my nipples. Hang on, what on earth do you call this. I tense up and think I thought we talked about the boob thing… although technically it was that I didn’t want them massaged…. I think ‘don’t tweak and flick my nipple please’ is beyond my mime skills. Oh dear, am I a prude….???

Okay, she’s back on the stomach.. good good. The boom she’s back THERE and wiggling a finger in my direction…

Mei You, Mei You, Mei You!

Let’s just say I’ll be careful where I go next time. lol.

Times Flies

Wow, my how times flies! I dont want to forget what a wonderful time I had in Australia when I went back…. so making sure I post a few pics!

I left feeling like I was going back to China for a holiday, but it was worth the rushing around to see everyone! Can’t wait till next time!

  First Stop Baby Will. Sooo happy to meet this fresh little guy… he’s beautiful

Too Cute!

Finally Girl Time. 3pm Bubbles…a good idea at the time

Beautiful Wedding and Beautiful Friends… bubbly is kicking in at this stage… but let’s not get into that

Love My Dulie…

Happy Happy and keeping it classsy… for now

Ah, Coffee at the beach in Mordi before work… so peaceful!

Oh Seaford I missed you!

Ladies Afternoon Tea like it was out of a magazine, thanks Cassie

Mum, in her element!

Girls Night out!

The City, just cause!

My Bayside Grove Family

Oh Ollie…

Oh Dulie, stop…. you spoil me too much!

Okay last one of this little angel!

What I’ve Learnt in Six Months

So I’m in Australia, tuns out I managed to fly back exactly 6 months to the day. I spent a little time reflecting on my flight home… Here’s what I came up with.

Top things I’ve learned in 6 months in Shanghai: 

1) How to properly brush my teeth (seriously I was doing it wrong which baffled me too)
2) Shit, I’m an adult
3) The beauty of living alone
4) And the beauty of a morning routine, even if it means not getting up 15 mins before I have to leave.
5) A little self indulgence is a necessary not a luxury
6) China road rules… they actually seem to make sense
7) Learning (some) patience and slowing down (when I remember)
Um, wish I’d Learnt – Chinese but hey can’t win em all.
And a few visuals…
Smog sucks, but hey got to take the good with the bad!


Buying shoes for children is not my strength, as cute as they are (I hope your boys enjoy them in a few years Tegan and Carlie)! 


I can still manage to rough it…. 


But only for a weekend MAX… I do NEED a little comfort these days too…


I lOVE health Retreats… they are life changing (breakfast seed and nut buffet – amazing).


And you can take a little bit of that back with you… even to work


Seeing some friendly faces can make a world of difference!


Lastly, when in Rome (And yes that’s a Poncho for my whole bicycle)

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Tourist in my ‘Own’ City

So those of  you who know me well, know that I can talk about and look at pretty stuff all day long, but I really struggle when it comes to more cultured activities – museums, art galleries blah blah blah. I wish I had the intellect to appreciate these for more than a nano section, but I don’t. haha. NEXT.

However when I get a message from a friend on a sunny sunday morning to go check out Red Town in Shanghai, I jump to attention and think hell yes, let’s play tourist in Shanghai. It’s a bit of a sculpture park with galleries and cafe’s etc… Plus, she promised home-made soup and that’s quite the treat to have someone invite you over for food in Shanghai (It was delicious by the way).

Look at me being all intellectual …. Yep, I’m someone who looks at Art on a Sunday rather than laying in bed with a hangover (and yes I am judging everyone who is hung over on this fine Sunday haha)

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Next was a bit of a photography session and stroll around the streets.

Shanghai can be so beautiful if you stop to look.

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And to top off a great day I met a friend for Tapas and Red Wine…


That’s Sunday Perfection to me!


So Like Jerry Springer, I’ll leave you with my final thoughts…. Go stroll around somewhere different in your neighbourhood and admire the beauty and jam up your Instagram feed with the PRETTY! x

The 5 day ‘Hangover’

Okay Okay, thinking back… now where was I. That’s right… I was in El Nido, I was Young (I was still 31), I was full of hope, I had so many dreams and I was eagerly awaiting my friends boat to arrive.

Yep, I can do this.


In tropical paradise style I met their boat whilst aboard my rented Paddleboard (of course I’d practiced a little yoga on the board first). It was great.

Me Got Some Friends!

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It’s important to stay hydrated


Everyone tells you when you arrive, you must do Tour A and C


We went on a tour, this was called Tour C – we had an amazing group of people with us so quickly made some new and awesome new friends. We nicked named it Tour F cause it was kinda dodgy and they didn’t know what they were doing so much, but we had a brilliant day… AND it was my Birthday!

Tour C it is….

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Beatuiful Peeps made Tour F


Post the tour our new gang head to the local bar and played a game of Dart…. there was only one Dart, hence the name. Now I’m not usually one to partake in such things, I’m a bit of a party pooper around ‘man cave games’ but I surprised myself and had a great time (and I came 2nd out of like 7 people) …. and it wasn’t just the shots everyone kept buying me. So cut a long story short I had a brilliant night, ended it with a late night ocean skinny dip and prepared for Tour A in the morning.

Priceless. Gotta impress the birthday girl.


Time to hit the ‘town’


A bit of Dart


Some fun times and great people! Note the Twinings behind the counter, very good. haha.


I woke up on the day that was not my birthday (I was no longer special) and I felt horrid but hey I kinda expected that… goes with the territory. I wish I could say Tour A was amazing, but it was HELL. I was cold and shivering, I was vomiting and I really felt that someone should just euthanize me. Anyway, as we pulled up at 6pm that evening I gave my stomach acid one last chance of freedom off the side of the boat and went back to my room.

It’s no surprise I have no photos from Tour A

The next few days came and went, it became apparent a few days later that ah Tour F perhaps gave me some good old fashioned food poisoning… just cause I’m 32 now doesn’t mean that I get 3, 4, 5 day hangovers with cold sweats (well it better not). Okay, guess this isn’t going to be a scuba trip after all.

Anyway being a glutton for punishment I agreed to catch a 7 hour shuttle bus with a friend (it was so squashed, but it was a plus not to have live roosters) from El Nido to Sabang, which is more remote and quiet than El Nido. I managed it, I guess I was getting better… it was on and off but life was still not good in Sarah Town.

I did however perk up for what was the most amazing place I went to in the Philipines, the 7th Wonder of the World…. The Underwater River. Wow, wow and wow. My friend being a smart cookie insisted we go at the very end of the day which meant a private boat and no one else behind us – it was sheer brilliance!

We do a little walk in the bush and then this appears… Now this is the sort of beauty I have been waiting for. No words!


So so so pretty 


Yep, we’re going in there!


Sorry no more pics, it’s dark in the cave!


So night one in Sabang, we went out and I watched my friends eat as I picked at some fruit, then I walked myself back to my room early. It was progress at least and I loved the underground river today.

I was jealous of my Swedish friend who checked herself into the fancy resort up the beach. I was even more sad to find out that this new place was worse than the first night in El Nido. See below for where sensible people stay…


By now I am used to no flushing toilets, but this place I was staying in for $10 that night (I know what did I expect for $10, I don’t know how it all happened) had no power at all i.e. no lights and no sink. I used the last little ounce of power my phone had to find my way to ‘hug’ (yuck, as if i can touch it) the toilet bowl and again slept with a sheet shivering to sleep.

The next morning. This is the part where I bowed out – I am no backpacker, I try to be but seriously Fuck That Shit.

My new friend works at Volvo. Safe, reliable and Swedish. This is exactly what I needed in my life. Off I go to find her at the fancy resort. I feel better the moment I check in… oh the bliss.

I say no way to the rest of the trip to Puerto Princessa City (I aint moving till I leave) and slowly but surely, through steady hammocking and pool time I get myself back to ‘normal’.


What a happy ending.


Okay, so for those of you interested in more than just my dribblings…. that’s you McChonkies! But Kirsty, I know you enjoy the dribbling haha.

El Nido is a tiny little strip along the beach with some bars on the beach, average restaurants and really basic accommodation. The consensus with the group I was with was that we just came too late. The place has grown too quickly and hasn’t really been able to catch up quick enough, it was marvelled by the world but then the world came (last year it was voted best beach in the world by a French Newspaper)…. The beach itself in my opinion would struggle to rival Seaford Beach, but it is a great hub for island hopping. The islands, lagoons etc are all pretty damn spesh.. although not necessarily all that unique, they would be amazing to stumble across but when they are jamming with tourists it’s just not the same.

So Sarah says, it’s a B Grade Destination. No Brad Pitt, but still smokin hot. Good fun, really pretty but don’t go too out of your way for it.

El Nido

So here we go ….

Okay I take it back, I should worry about details…

So, I fly to Manila and then to El Nido – it’s boring but fine. I only wish that I’d thought about food. Oh well.

Anyway, I know I want to stay at Tony’s guesthouse… But apparently it doesn’t have a website. So, I’m a bit sceptical but I have details for 3 others as a back up… Look at me planning ahead 🙂

How cute is this airport…

And unusual to have this kind of chilled out vibe when travelling… Oh how quaint and lovely… I’m in some sort of paradise!

This is exactly where I should be right now! Okay now to find the place to stay… If Oprah was here she’s hi fiving me.

I’m blown away just by how beautiful it all feels

So I ride the tricycle to Rico’s guesthouse cause no one knows of this Tony’s place and feel so excited and inspired by the airport of all places… This place is going to be incredible I think to myself.


I arrive and it’s a small little strip with places everywhere. I pop into Rico’s which is totally cute and right on the beach. I go in and she tells me no rooms till tomorrow, hmm this is a minor problem. She tells me to leave my backpack and try along the beach.

I do, but everyone tells me no, no, no. Hmm, wasn’t expecting this. I go back to Rico’s and she let’s me use the internet and I chill and have a beer (I mean hell I’m on holiday right).

Seems I can go to some expensive resorts but it’s going to cost a fortune to get there as they are far away, I need to come back here to meet my friends anyway.

An older guy joins me let’s call him the Americanised Australian, he tells me he had the same problem and his friend stays here and he stays somewhere else, he’s had to move 3 times. Damn.

So the Americanised Australian tries to get me a room at his place, but no luck… Eh, well he wishes me well and says join his friends down the beach later. I’m on my own again.

Okay, time to go for another walk… No luck. Okay, shit is getting annoying. I find a bar and drink beer instead.

A Lone Austrian is chatting with the lady behind the bar about not being able to find a girl. I smile to myself and think shit, I nearly forgot I need a room. I search the net, find a place – go see them and they tell me no. My argument of the internet says you do is useless.

Eh, back to the bar. So it’s a tiny bar and my ‘things’ I left to save my seat have been moved next to Lone Austrian guy… Here we go…

“Oh they took your seat, but you can sit here” she says and smiles a little too sweetly. Ah, whatever.. I small talk a little, at least it takes my mind off having nowhere to sleep and the fact that some airport food is not agreeing with my body.

Finally the bar lady offers me her dishwasher boy to take me around to find rooms, the ‘last resort’ places. We walk around for ages in the dark (it feels safe and bustling not dark and creepy though) and I’m mentally planning how to stay awake all night.

I’m aware I have stuff all over the place, well okay just at Rico’s and the bar.. Ah shit Sarah, this was dumb even for you.

But finally, success…

Hotel: you mind shared bathroom?
Me: no, can I pay now
Hotel: you wanna see the room first?
Me: no, I’ll take it
Hotel: but it has shared bathroom
Me: take my money here
Hotel: okay, but come back in 1 hour I need to clean okay

So, back to the bar and my friendly bar lady and Lone Austrian – I ordered a pizza, it was huge. I eat what I think it acceptable to eat in public, but in my heart I know that when I’m finally in my dingy room I will gorge myself a little more…

Finally, in my room about 8.30pm I sit on the bed and then decide maybe my backpacking days are over and that I should stick to resorts and health spas in then future.

At this point it’s just good to have a place to sleep.


So, this is where I ended up…


Shit ain’t so pretty and cute anymore haha.



I munch a piece of pizza and hear a dog barking, I open the door and see someone’s kitchen and a little dog tied up… Naw, poor guy… I give him a slice. We can eat our troubles away together.

I go for a massage to pass the time and then decide I just wanna sleep early. The barking dog makes me feel a little sad, but I drift off reasonably easily.

However, I wake up and suddenly find this whole thing rather comical and humbling … And look forward to getting back to Rico’s!

I wake up do some yoga in my room (who needs Bikram when I have this hot box hotel room). I sit and wait for my egg, rice and hot dog breakfast and watch people do the accommodation scramble… Do you have room? No, no, no.

Okay, fingers crossed ‘my’ room is safe at Rico’s like they promised me!

Okay. So apparently El Nido is having a come back… Here I am at Rico’s


Not all mistakes are bad

So, I’m not complaining but coming to boracay was a mistake. And a stupid one at that.

Details, details, details… Some times I just can’t be bothered with them…

I love to travel, but I actually hate figuring out what to do, where to go and how to get a good price.

So, it’s starts like this.

People: So where in the Philippines are you going?

Me: I arrive in Manilla and go straight to some Island and then we will go to El Nido.

People: Oh, to Boracay?

Me: Nah, somewhere else

People: So where in the Philippines are you going?

Me: I arrive in Manilla and go straight to some Island and then we will go to El Nido.

People: Oh, to Boracay?

Me: Maybe, I can’t remember though

People: So where in the Philippines are you going?

Me: I arrive in Manilla and go straight to some Island and then we will go to El Nido.

People: Oh, to Boracay?

Me: Yes, I’m going to Boracay

People: So where in the Philippines are you going?

Me: I arrive in Manilla and go straight to Boracay and then we will go to El Nido.

Me: I just booked my internal flight, see you in Boracay on Saturday!

Alice: um, what?

No biggie, I plan to change my flight… But of course Coron (not Boracay) is hard to get to and has limited flights and boats. It’s Chinese new year and all the organised people have booked them out.

Oh well, off I go to Boracay for a few days…. I’ve certainly had worse problems to deal with in life! Haha

Check this amazing place out! It may be called Spider Retreat (don’t ask me how I accepted this, I still don’t know) but I love the beautiful mix of shabby, quirky, secluded and cool.








Although…. Oh dear I forgot its Valentines day Haha 


But I have a little love from Dayna!

And I found some friends to have fun with, so no problem!


Barely left the spider resort, but I did check out a spa for some yoga and a facial on my last day… So nice and indulgent 🙂