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Hefang Street, Hangzhou

Back during the Southern Song Dynasty when Hangzhou was China's capital, the city was perhaps the biggest and richest in the world. The 14th century Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta called it "the biggest city I have ever seen on the face of the earth." While Marco Polo, whether he ever actually visited China or not ...

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Shenzhen to Shanghai by bus

I’ve said it before, and if this were the search for the Higgs Boson we were talking about, we’d almost be at our five-sigma point by now, such is the level of inevitability. Because seemingly without fail, whenever I travel in China, the adventure begins pretty much as soon as ...

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Black jails and paranoia in the heart of Beijing

“We are about to arrive in our nation’s great capital,” the voice on the train’s intercom said. It was Qing Ming Festival proper, as it would be for the following two days, and if we thought people would stay home to spend quality time with their families during this brief but precious holiday, how wrong we were to dismiss the appetite for sightseeing and patriotism of the Chinese tour group..

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Ten of the Best: Vietnamese Street Food

There are two types of people in this world: those who see street food as a one way ticket to toilet town, and those - let’s say, more adventurous souls - who see it as the guiding principle of their entire travel experience. Indeed, there are even those who would go so far as to ...

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Crossing the road in Vietnam

As I noted in my previous post Saigon: Motorbike Capital of the World, crossing the road in Vietnam at first seems impossible. How to step willingly into an incessant wave of oncoming traffic and not succumb to the flood, is something that not only seems to ...

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What to do in Saigon
Ben Thanh Market, Saigon, front entrance and clock tower against blue sky with traffic in the foreground.

If you’ve only got one day in Saigon in which to savour the city and don’t want to find yourself collapsed in a ball of over-sightseed stress by the end of the day, you’re going to have to make some fairly tough decisions about what to do and where to go in order to get the most out of your 24 hours.

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Saigon: Motorbike Capital of the World

Another trip, another country. First time in Vietnam. Arriving in Saigon with little clue as to what to expect … only that there would be motorbikes. But exactly how many motorbikes there would be in Saigon I never imagined.

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