Travelling Welshman
Instagram @tompj

China

  • Asia,  Blog,  China,  Shanghai

    Shanghai

    Two years ago I was faced with a decision; where would I like to live? Beijing or Shanghai. Quite the decision to make, particularly when you’re on the other side of the world and with no real knowledge of either of them. Throughout that time I’ve always wondered if I made the right decision, whether Shanghai really would have been the better choice. It was time to find out.   Arrival My arrival in Shanghai was synchronised with another farewell, a happier one than usual. This would be (for the time at least) the last train journey I’d have to endure in China. To reaffirm my hatred, in an effort…

  • Asia,  Blog,  China

    Zhangjiajie

    This must be the most world recognized natural phenomenon China has to offer, a true natural wonder of the world. An image of another primeval world, a time of long forgotten mystery. A location which has been forever immortalized in the blockbuster movie Avatar. Somewhere which humbles anyone lucky enough to roam amongst its sandstone pillars and allows them to understand why this is considered such a spiritual place. Welcome to Zhangjiajie.   Arrival   What better way to begin an around the world journey than with a 24-hour train journey? To ease the experience, I treated myself to a claustrophobic yet cosy sleeper, allowing me to sleep off a…

  • Asia,  Blog,  China,  Xi'an

    Xi’an

    Xi’an is a city with immense history, stretching back to the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilisation. As well as being the former imperial capital for successions of emperors and dynasty’s, the city became the terminal end of the Silk Road, bringing with it influence from the Middle East. The city is also home to one of the pinnacle tourist attractions in the whole country. A site known the world over, often labelled as the 8th wonder of the world. None other than the mighty Terracotta Warriors.   Getting There To get to Xi’an from my HQ in Beijing, I had 2 realistic options; train or flight. Due to my pure…

  • Asia,  Blog,  China

    The North-East Tour – Wudalianchi

    For any true traveller, there comes a time when there’s a desire to seek a real adventure. Following the well-beaten track is good for many different reasons. However, there comes a need to find a unique experience, one that’s off-route, into the unknown. With that comes difficulties; such as getting to the destination, the lack of tourism frameworks and all-round complexity to make the trip possible. Even more difficult to make it successful. This was Wudalianchi, my first true independent adventure. Months of research about this place produced very little information. Even China’s own tourism websites completely neglected to mention this town, and its rarely indicated on a map. So…

  • Asia,  Blog,  China,  Harbin

    The North-East Tour – Harbin

    [visual-link-preview encoded=”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″] Watch this video on YouTube The chronicles of my 2-days in Harbin For an extensive guide on Harbin’s attractions, accommodations and travel info, check the guide here! Or for a list of Harbin’s top 8 attractions, click here!   The first step of my North Eastern tour would take me to the capital of China’s northern-most province Heilongjiang; the bustling city of Harbin. The city known as serves as the central hub for a historical interweaving of cultures originating from neighbouring nations, historical conquerors and prosperous foreigners alike. Known as “Ice City”, the city becomes a prime holiday destination during the Spring Festival, catering to the thousands of…

  • Asia,  Beijing,  Blog,  China

    Life in Beijing

    3 months after making the big move to Beijing, the initial cloud of culture shock (or smog) has finally settled, and life as a Beijinger has become the norm. As I sit in my very own hutong (traditional Chinese house) nestled among the stereotypical narrow streets across the way from the mighty Forbidden City right in the centre of Beijing, it’s time to reflect.   Naturally the differences from an enormous capital city and my home in bumfuck nowhere Wales are immense. Most culture shocks are simply down to just being in a big city. However, it’s the sight of a cart pulling donkey situated in-front of glass covered high…

  • Blog,  China

    Life in China

    It’s fair to say that that I had no real idea what to expect of life in China. All I really had to go off were a few misinformed suggestions, second-hand stories and inaccurate stereotypes. However, nothing compares to dropping yourself there and seeing for yourself what the country’s about. Now that the initial dust of confusion has settled, I’ve noticed a few things I must get used to.   Queuing Doesn’t Exist   It’s fair to say that the Brits have a close relationship with the queue. From childhood we’re taught to stand in line politely behind the person in front. Well not in China. There is no queuing…

  • Blog,  China

    How will I Survive in China?

    “How are you going to survive in China? They don’t speak English! What are you going to eat? It’s going to be cheap there! You can’t go on facebook?! What if World War III breaks out!?!?”. I’ve heard it all as soon as I told people that’s where I’d be venturing off to next. To be quite honest, I asked myself most of the same questions, but I don’t seem as nervous about it as everyone else. Arrogance perhaps?   Almost a year ago, I started my first 3-month long backpacking trip, split between Australia and Indonesia, cut short after quickly becoming broke. I considered it a very effective test…

  • Asia,  Beijing,  Blog,  China,  Shanghai

    Beijing or Shanghai?

    With the offer accepted and the contract signed for the spectacular opportunity of being able to live and work in China, I find myself with a pleasant problem. The company I applied for has schools in multiple cities, so I didn’t know where they’d put me. Turns out they’re leaving the decision up to me; Beijing or Shanghai? Thankfully I have time to consider this important decision, time that I’ll need. How exactly do you decide where you want to live for a whole year? Especially when you know NOTHING about the places! I have to judge my potential new home from the other side of the world. All I…

  • Blog,  China

    A New Adventure Awaits

    So, what’s the next adventure? The last 3+ months of travel (almost exactly a year ago) has started a fire to say the least. Well and truly infected with the travel bug. Despite the last tour coming to an abrupt halt, it can be considered a very good test run. Lessons learned for future travels. It’s these lessons that have influenced my choices on how to start this next tour.   This mission statement is much like the last; travel for as long as possible. Last time however, things didn’t go exactly to plan. Inexperienced and naïve, early predictions of a 6+ month tour of Australia and South East Asia…