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From Ulaanbaatar on a train full of Buryats

After Irkutsk the train had emptied. Most of the Mongolians that had been travelling Trans-Siberian train 005 from Ulaanbaatar had left us at the station. Since then, we’d been travelling less than half-full. But still, the majority of passengers were Mongolian ...

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Trans-Siberian dining on the shores of Lake Baikal

We’d passed through Ulan-Ude before dawn and woke to a Trans-Siberian sunrise with over 5000 km still to go. The low-rolling hills and Mongolian pasture of the afternoon before – that had shone after the morning’s rain – had morphed into hillsides ...

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Three hours in Ulaanbaatar: the race to the station

Waking to Mongolia, land of the sky of endless blue, of steppe and ranging grasslands. But not today. We’d entered in dust and sun-parched nothingness on the Trans-Mongolian railway from Erlian to Ulaanbaatar. Now the vast magnificence of the Mongolian countryside had been reduced to a drizzling grey, bleak and thoroughly miserable.

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The death of the nomad: Erlian to Ulaanbaatar

Though we left Erlian at 17:10, it was 21:25 by the time train 685 departed Zamyn-Uud for Ulaanbaatar. The Chinese officials did their thing on the one side of the China-Mongolia border, while the Mongolians did theirs on the other.

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Hong Kong


Ten of the Best

Hong Kong Outdoors

Lion Rock, Hong Kong

Let's cut to the chase, when we talk about Hong Kong hill views, nothing beats Lion Rock. There are those that are taller. There are those that are closer to the "action". But for spectacular, 360° views, smack in the centre of everything, Lion Rock is the best of the lot.

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Shing Mun Redoubt: Shing Mun Country Park

You'll not likely find it any of the guide books, but high above Tsuen Wan in Shing Mun Country Park, the remains of Hong Kong's first line of defence against the Japanese invasion during World War II, lie overgrown and unappreciated amongst the undergrowth. Constructed as part of the 13 miles of fortifications known as ...

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Amah Rock, Lion Rock Country Park

Amah Rock (望夫石), located close to Tai Wai on the New Territories side of the Lion Rock Tunnel, is another of Hong Kong's geological curiosities with a story.

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The Party by Richard McGregor

When Rupert Murdoch attended a dinner in Beijing in the late 1990s, he remarked that in all his visits to China, he had yet to meet a Communist. A strange remark indeed considering he was dining in by far the largest Communist state in the world ...

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Behind The Wall by Colin Thubron

1986. Mao Zedong was ten years dead, the Tiananmen Square 'incident' was still three years away, and China was optimistic about the future. Only a few years before, the country had been all but inaccessible to foreigners. Still struggling with the trauma of the Cultural Revolution ...

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Tiananmen Moon by Philip J Cunningham

With the 25th anniversary of the events of May and June 1989 just past, , and all the talk that went with it, it seems an appropriate time to take a look at an account of those momentous few weeks from the vantage point of someone who was actually there.

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