Friday, October 2, 2015

Tibet and China 4 - Kunming

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Our last stop in Yunnan Province was its capital, Kunming. This city is a giant melting pot of various ethnic minorities and mainstream Chinese culture. Our stay in Kunming was short but I really enjoyed it.

The main site we visited was the stone forest. This all-natural spread of rock formations was unreal. We climbed to a high vantage point and spotted artsy rock shards as far as the eye could see. It was like being dropped into a life sized bonsai-style mountain range.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tibet and China 3 - Lijiang

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Our next stop in the Yunnan Province ended up being one of my favourite throughout our entire holiday. My ideal kind of holiday location involves stunning natural scenery, sunshine and delicious food. Lijiang ticked all of the above.

Lijiang in Chinese means "beautiful river" and refers to the Yangtze River which runs through it. Aside from sites like the Tiger Leaping Gorge (we saw it from the Shangrila side, not the Lijiang side) and the first bend of the Yangtze River, Lijiang has some amazing mountains and lakes.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tibet and China 2 - Shangrila

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Shangrila County

Going into this trip, we didn't know much about Shangrila. Isn't it a fictional location? Wiki tells me that Shangrila County in China used to be called Zhongdian but was renamed in 2001 after the land from James Hilton's novel 'Lost Horizon' to promote tourism.

Songzanlin Monestary

It was originally mapped as part of Tibet but was reallocated as part of Yunnan province, again to increase tourism. The point being that visitors to Shangrila could go on a basic Chinese visa and not have to apply for the pesky Tibet permit.

Tibet and China 1 - Lhasa

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I can't explain why, nor do I recall a reason for this but I've wanted to go to Tibet ever since I was a young child. I think the root of this desire is something as simple as looking at a postcard of the Potala Palace and thinking "this is the most stunning building I've seen in my entire life. I must visit in person!"

View out of our car on the ride to Lhasa from the airport

This last holiday, I finally got the opportunity to head to Lhasa. Tibet is one of those places we feel is important to visit while we're young and fit because the altitude can be an issue. We had been planning to travel around China as part of our honeymoon and geographically, it made sense to tag Tibet on to the trip. It's not very straight forward obtaining a permit to enter Tibet but thanks to our travel agency everything was sorted in time.

Back home... China and Tibet in review

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China and Tibet in Review

It was so hard getting back on this keyboard to start putting up posts. I have a severe case of post holiday blues. When you go from 4 blissful weeks of no work, waking up whenever you want, eating whatever you want and looking at amazing sites to the mundane reality of home, work and routine, it's a huge decline in quality of life.

This morning, I was unpacking my China suitcase and started feeling teary at the thought that the last time I wore certain items of clothing was when I was in Xi'an, or Beijing, i.e. when my life was still enjoyable. In any case, there's no point dwelling on the past. I'm sure one day I'll have the time and money to go on another adventure... maybe in the next 50 years. :( :(

Friday, August 21, 2015

4-5 week break

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Today is the big day... this food blogger is getting wed! It's going to be a whirlwind weekend followed by a flight out to China next week for our honeymoon. We're there for 4 weeks during which time we'll be touring all over the place and celebrating our marriage with my family in Shanghai.

Upon my return, expect a bunch of Chinese food posts and then I'll get back into Brissie restaurants.

Cheers and thanks for following me!

Green Bees for Healthy Takeaway

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Green Bees Organic

I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that wedding prep involves lots of running around like a headless chicken. I was getting my hair done and suddenly it was time to do something else and I needed lunch and lo and behold Green Bees appeared before me.

I literally drive past this cafe every day as noticed it as it was being set up so the curiosity was always there. It looked quite busy so I was willing to give it a try.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Racecourse 63 for Lunch

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Racecourse 63
63 Racecourse Rd, Hamilton

Another day another lot of wedding errands to be had... I'm pumping out these posts in haste because for obvious reasons I'll be busy in the coming days. Last weekend we had to make an emergency visit to the airport DFO to find Marc appropriate footwear. I hate outlet shopping because the crowds really stress me out so to make a painful event more bearable, I figured we'd have lunch at Racecourse Road on the way.

The original plan was to eat at Hosokawa but it was closed on the Sunday so we headed into nearby Racecourse 63 instead. It looked to be a happening cafe so I was confident we'd get some good food.

CHE Asado for Meaty Feast

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CHE Asado and Bar

Alright I'll readily admit I'm crap at dieting. I would say my overall pre-wedding effort can be "rounded up" as good but there have definitely been occasions where I've used twisty excuses to allow myself some treats. My excuse for dinner at CHE was that it would be mostly meat and therefore categorically low carb. Of course I didn't take into account the jugs of sweet sangria we'd be ingesting...

That aside, last Saturday we completed an anxiety and comedy laden rehearsal for our ceremony. I'm awkward in all walks of life and unfortunately this seems to extend to tasks like repeating vows and even hand holding. By the end of it all I was sweating and exhausted and ready for a feed. We were at Kangaroo Point and figured Southbank would just be a quick walk away

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dinner at Asana

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Asana by Pete Evans

Continuing on with the theme of healthy eating, this dinner experience at Asana was definitely one worth blogging about. I didn't even know this place existed or I'm sure I would have tried it out sooner. Asana is masterminded by celebrity chef Pete Evans of the My Kitchen Rules series. He has also built himself a reputation as a passionate paleo diet advocate.

I'm not one to get strongly sucked into any dietary fads because I like all food way too much to remain faithful to one school of thought. I dipped my toes into paleo for a while because in my day to day, I try to limit refined carbs and paleo eating is aligned with that. It does go much beyond that if you're a hardcore paleo enthusiast and I'm not sure of the scientific rationale behind their theories but then again, when have fad diets ever leaned on actual scientific research?