Cheung Chau Island


As we had some extra time in  Hong Kong, we decided to take a short, one-half hour ferry ride to this surprisingly (at least to us) populous island that is 10 km southwest of Hong Kong.  It was a beautiful sunny day, not too hot and not too cold. Perfect for island-tripping. Although [Read more …]

Macau: China's Portuguese Corner


While Hong Kong is a very young city, Macau is relatively old. It was already an established town when the Portuguese first discovered the Pearl River Delta in 1515 and established their first settlement between 1553 and 1557. The Portuguese brought Jesuit missionaries as well as trade to the island and established a productive relationship [Read more …]



After staying on Hong Kong island for a few days, we moved over to the Kowloon side to explore new territory. If you’re looking to shop for jewelry or watches, Kowloon is the place to be: You can spend an entire day within just a few blocks of Nathan Road. Since we are not [Read more …]

Re-exploring Hong Kong


Hong Kong has always been about the future. Although the island had been used for farming and fishing for millennia, its real history didn’t even begin until 1841, when the British secured rights to the island from China in return for lifting a shipping blockade Britain imposed after China initiated the Opium Wars (in an [Read more …]

Belated Happy New Year 2014


Seeing in the New Year One thing about traveling for 4 months is that time has little meaning. OK, so it is January 3 and New Years’ was 3 days ago…at least in Asia, only 2 days ago in the US. We spent New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong primarily because we always heard about [Read more …]

Tibet: Palaces, Temples, Monasteries, Nunnery and, of course, Food and Hotel

Joyce and Tom in front of Potola Palace 02

No visit to Lhasa and Tibet is complete without visiting the palaces and religious places. Unfortunately, we  were not allowed to take photos inside most places. But the beauty of these places is etched on our brains forever. Potola Palace This huge palace, dating from 631, is thirteen stories, 90,000 square meters and [Read more …]

Lhasa Tibet in Three Days

old town 03

Three days is difficult to assess an entire country (OK, we still think of Tibet as a country versus part of China), but we concentrated our time around Lhasa, the largest cityl We spent our first afternoon and evening in the city on our own, exploring the ancient, bustling center of the Barkhor (old [Read more …]

Tibet….A World Unlike China Even Though It Is In China

Tibet is a land that sounds so remote, extreme and exotic. Although it is part of China, one would never know it.  Unquestionably, it is… Huge, with more than 463 square miles, tucked between China, India and Nepal; Has amazingly high altitudes, lying at the crest of [Read more …]

Huangshan Mountain AKA Yellow Mountain

Tom and mountain

One of the things we were dreading the most on our trip (other than Joyce obsessing about her hair color) was getting to China’s famed Yellow Mountain (or Huangshan Mountain to natives). As hard as we tried, the documentation on the internet was confusing and contradictory. Tour agents wanted a fortune to take care of [Read more …]

Full-Day Private Custom Tour: Another Viator Disappointment 0 for 3

We had been on one Viator tour before this trip: a walking tour of D.C. that focused on Abraham Lincoln. Although the guide knew his material forward and back and the tour was generally interesting, the guide was unable to self-edit. The tour lasted twice as long as it was billed and by the end, [Read more …]