Z – Zhengzhou

Zhengzhou is a busy city in east-central China. It is the capital of Henan province and has a very long history dating back to the 3,500 years to the Shang dynasty. We loved exploring this city and interesting mix of old and new China.

The Zhengzhou Memorial Tower was opened in 1971 and remembers the Erqi Strike  of 7th Febrauary, 1923.

Erqi Memorial Tower

People’s Park Zhengzhou

Opened in 1952 the People’s Park was the first park in Zhengzhou. It covers a large area in the city consisting of gardens, statues, water ways, fountains, temples, open spaces as well as a theme park. We had a lovely afternoon exploring this surprise package.


Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

I can still remember the excitement my husband and I felt when we found the Flamingo Pond in Kowloon Park, Hong Kong. We had walked past the park everyday however we didn’t realise what it actually was until our second last day when we entered and found a secret treasure. Prior to this experience as Australians we had only seen the odd Flamingo in a zoo. These beautiful creatures in a flock were majestic. We stood watching them for more than twenty minutes leaving because the sun was beginning to set.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Time

Shaolin Temple 2-9-13 145

Shaolin Temple 2-9-13 144

This tree in the Shoalin Temple, China is the oldest living thing I have ever seen. Our guide told us it was 1500 years old, which initially left me speechless. I struggled to understand the changes that would have occurred in it’s time. However, once I grounded myself, I enjoyed spending several minutes in this grand old masters presence mindfully connecting with both past, present and future. I love trees, they give me energy, especially those that have been around for a very long time.

What is the oldest living thing you have seen?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

The most amazing physical boundaries and divides I have explored are high in the Taihang Mountains, China. The Guoliang Tunnel shown in the photos below was carved by hand to allow Guoliang village people access to the outside world. To be even more inspired by this amazing part of China and learn more about the Guoliang Tunnel please visit my previous post http://www.inspiringmax.com/guoliang-tunnel/


Golden Hour

6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?

Greetings world

Open your eyes

Look before it is too late

Dream and make plans

Everything is possible

Notice the beauty



Understanding abound

Relax, take a breath and start again.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate

The Chen Clan Academy is the most intricate building I have seen. As the name suggests it was originally an academic Temple built with money donated the 72 Chen clan families for the accommodation during the their preparation for Imperial Examinations. The Temple was completed in 1894 during the Qing dynasty and is amazingly decorated with wood carvings, stone carvings, pottery, brick carvings, plaster and iron carvings.

Located in Guangzhou, China the Temple became  the Guangdong Folk Art Museum in 1959. I think I found the outside of the building even more fascinating than the Chinese Folk Art inside.


Y – Yangtze River

What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

My husband and I like to mix it up a bit. We are solo travelers who like to have accommodation pre-booked and make other things up as we go. If necessary and possible from Australia I will also pre-book transportation between our destinations and some special activities we know we want to do. In Canada however I booked internal train and bus tickets when I arrived in the city involved. It work well as their was no shortage of trips—China however due to the language barrier and time of year was a different story. This travel was arranged with some difficulty from Australia but worked well.

As solo travelers one of the great things is deciding on the day what you feel like doing. There is no rush as we allow ourselves plenty of time to immerse ourselves in each city as we don’t like to be rushed. The more different the culture I think the more important this is. Because we are getting ourselves around in foreign cities it makes us more mindful of our surroundings as we have to get ourselves back home to our motel.

When we first found out we were going to Wuhu we were so excited because it was on the great Yangtze River. We could wait. The Yangtze is the longest river in Asia and the third longest river in the world.

  1. Nile
  2. Amazon
  3. Yangtze

The Yangtze is also the longest river flowing through a single country—China. It begins high in the mountains in Qinghai – Tibet Plateau and flows west to east into the East China Sea. We first saw the Yangtze from the 5th floor of our hotel. I couldn’t believe how wide and busy it was. So many boats and junks. A few days later we spent several pleasant hours walking along its foreshore—just the two of us and this majestic lifeblood river. On the bucket list now is to cruise the Yangtze—one day.

#A-Z Challenge


W -Wuhu # A – Z Blogging

Wuhu China is off the usual travellers map. It is an isolated rural city on the Yangtze River in Aunhui Provinence—one of China’s poorest. As we were travelling to this university city in Golden Week—the national Chinese holiday week we needed to arrange a private car from Nanjing airport. Our four days in Wuhu were well worth it. The hospitality of the people was amazing as they rarely see white people as they called us and we were instant celebrities. Wuhu was our first experience with the Chinese culture and we loved it. With only 2 million people it was easy to get around.

Weekly Photo Challenge:Afloat

This week, show us what afloat means to you.

My inspiration for this weeks challenge comes from Lotus Square, Xuanwa Lake, Nanjing, China. Lotus Square is an entertainment area of the park covering 5000 metres and can accommodate 3,000 viewers. It has a musical fountain as well as water and lasers screens.

The centrepiece of the area is 12 metre high Lotus Fairy and 4 charming naïve Lotus Boys—surrounding her are masses of Lotus plants in various stages of life floating above the lake. As an Australian the beauty of this area was different to anything I had seen before. It was relaxing and inspirational.



How would you cope if you were unable to access social media on a daily basis. Your choice was taken away. It is an interesting experience, which forces you to re think your priorities.

For the last two years, my husband and I have spent a week living in regional China—a place where everyone lives under the same rules. Everything is controlled by the government. This means Facebook is blocked and Google appears more limited than usual. Suddenly I felt isolated even though I knew ahead of time that this was the situation. I wasn’t blogging at the time so do not know about access to WordPress.

My adjustment was quick and as I had no choice I decided to immerse myself in the quiet. No knowledge of the outside world for at least a week, maybe two. As we were travelling alone in parts of the world that few white people go, most Chinese speak limited if any English, and we were unable to understand Chinese TV our communication was limited. We only had each other. I loved the silence and started to realise the time media and social media wastes.

When we arrived at our international hotel in Ghangzhou, by accident my husband discovered that we had access to Facebook again. I was so excited that this become my status update. On Facebook in China, I can’t believe it. We suddenly were connected to our world again. It did feel like we were breaking rules and definitely changed our holiday. We could find out what was happening at home and could communicate with other people again. This was fun but I am glad we got to experience the forced silence—it taught me a lot.