Chicken into Kiev…

"Okay, before I head to the airport, have I forgotten anything? I feel like I have..." Passport? Check. Wallet? Check. Phone, tablet, extra socks? All check. Something was bugging me. What had I forgotten... ...oh, that's right. Tiananmen Square. I forgot to visit one of the most important sites in Beijing. I mean sure, I [...]

Beijing Part 3: Peeking Duck

My next rule of travel? Never be afraid to do more research, even after you've arrived. Between China and Ukraine, most of my planning went into the latter - I knew very little about Kyiv, so I wanted to find out what was there other than tour companies offering trips to Chernobyl. For China, I had [...]

Beijing Part 2: Hidden Dragon

I'd done a lot of research on the Great Wall before leaving, and had a good idea of which section I wished to visit. Hiking from Simitai to Jiankou was my first choice, but it was closed. Jianshanlong was my second choice, but only if I could find a reasonably-priced tour heading there. Mutaniyu was [...]

Beijing Part 1: Crouching Tiger

I stepped out of the unlit hutong alley, dodging rubbish and stray dogs as I headed closer to the main strip. I turned the corner onto a side street filled with small shops adorned with neon signs all in Mandarin. No English signs suggesting these stores welcomed Western customers, no flags showing what languages other than Chinese [...]