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Erlian to Zamyn-Uud: For real this time

The Mongolian visa office at the consulate in Erlian opened at 8am. I was there at twenty-to. There was only one other guy there. Another arrived at around ten-past. The office still hadn’t opened and there was no one that looked like doing so.

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Erlian to Zamyn-Uud: How not to cross the border

I’d stayed the night, or what was left of it, in a cheap hotel somewhere in town that the driver had found after our late night/early morning drive from Hohhot. It cost Y100 and I was too tired to haggle. Tomorrow I needed to get my Mongolian visa, negotiate the Erlian border crossing, and get on to Zamyn-Uud.

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Hohhot to Erlian: Five-and-a-half hours across the Gobi Desert

We arrived in Hohhot on the Beijing-Hohhot train on time, 20:30, enough time to buy a ticket for the Hohhot to Erlian train leaving at 21:38. But not only were there no tickets left that night, there was no train to Erlian at all. There was no bus to Erlian when I walked across to the bus station, they’d all left earlier in the day ...

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Hong Kong


Ten of the Best

Hong Kong Outdoors


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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Big Buddha at Sunset, Lantau

Here he is again. Fresh out of Lightroom. And I’m rather bloody pleased with this one. Taken a few months ago when I was still in Hong Kong, ticking off photos from my list of those that still needed taking, now he’s sitting pretty in my Hong Kong Portfolio. Check it out!

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Where to run in Hong Kong

Where to run in Hong Kong? It's a question that plagued my first few months in the city. When all around it seems that traffic, crowds and concrete have conspired to thwart your desire to run far and run free, Hong Kong can appear as far from a runner's paradise as you can get. In fact, it can seem the very opposite ...

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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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