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Alashan Desert, Inner Mongolia, 2014/05

Alashan Desert, Inner Mongolia, 2014/05

For the May holiday we made a mission into the Alashan Desert, travelling by foot, camel, jeep, and boat (!) to find a temple in the middle of the dunes.

On the four-day trip we found that the desert wasn’t so dry after all, as we travelled between oases on the way to the temple.

Click through to see all the photos!

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Middle Switchback Great Wall camping trip, April 26-27, 2014

Middle Switchback Great Wall camping trip, April 26-27, 2014

In late April we did a two-day trip on which we set up camp on an unrestored section of the Great Wall that we call the Switchback. Click through to see nine photos of the Great Wall, our campsite, and happy hikers.

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Miyun Birdwatching overnighter, 2014/03/29-30

Miyun Birdwatching overnighter, 2014/03/29-30

On this weekend trip, we visited the biggest reservoir in Beijing in search of many species of birds that winter over in this area, as well as some of those that live there year round. We enjoyed the beautiful countryside and stayed in a local fisherman’s guest house. 

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Switchback Great Wall, 2014/4/12

Switchback Great Wall, 2014/4/12

We headed out to Yanqing District to hike a wild stretch of unrestored Great Wall that we call the Switchback Great Wall. With blue skies and the flowers blooming it was beautiful out there, and we got some good photos – click through to take a look!

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Earth Day clean up hike photos, 2014/04/20

Earth Day clean up hike photos, 2014/04/20

April 22 is Earth Day, and around that time every year we organise a clean up hike.

This year, we chose to go picking up trash at the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng after seeing way too much litter there as we passed by on a hike in March. Click through to see photos!

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Hakka Tulou Clusters and Xiamen, Fujian Province, 2014/04

Hakka Tulou Clusters and Xiamen, Fujian Province, 2014/04

On this trip we travelled down to Fujian Province, with the main attraction being the tulou buildings of the Hakka people, deep in the mountains.

As well as spending two days looking around the villages, valleys, and rice terraces where the tulou buildings are sited, we visited various sights in Xiamen - the Huli Mountain Cannon Fort, the seafood market, and the island of Gulangyu.

Click through to see photos of all that, and more!

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Coffin Village visit, 2014/04/02

Coffin Village visit, 2014/04/02

Photos from a visit to Coffin Village, a small village with a long history - click through to see some shots of the old courtyards and village life.

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Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province, 2014/03

Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province, 2014/03

Our spring time trip took us to Wuyuan County in Jiangxi Province. We’d timed it just right to find the fields full of canola flowers, making our visit to the villages and valleys of the area even more beautiful than usual! Click through to see photos of the scenery, as well as shots of life in the rural villages and fields.

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A Long Way to Pray for Rain, 2014/03/16

A Long Way to Pray for Rain, 2014/03/16

There’s a great story behind this hiking trail, which was told to us by one of the locals the first time we visited the area, a tale of a barefoot pilgrimage through the hills to pray for rain.

In early spring it’s really dry in Beijing, so we organised a team of brave hikers to follow those footsteps, taking the same trail over the hills to the end.

Click through to see photos of dry hills, a small village, and other things we saw in the countryside!

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Bricks in the Wall hike, 2014/03/15

Bricks in the Wall hike, 2014/03/15

The Bricks in the Wall hike is one of the new trails that we found during the winter of 2013. This visit was the first time we’d taken a group out, and we had a great day rambling through the hills. Click through to see the photos!

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Dashuhua performance - Yu County CNY 2014 Overnighters, Part 2

Yu County CNY 2014 Overnighters, Part 2

During Chinese New Year we made several visits to see the festival action out in Yu County, Hebei Province.

In the area are several ancient towns and fortresses that fill up with performers and visitors during Chinese New Year, making it a very lively and interesting place to visit.

As well as traditional performances of opera, we also saw an evening performance of Dashuhua, where molten iron is flung against tall walls to create a shower of sparks!

Click through to see Part Two of the trip report!

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title2 - Yu County CNY 2014 Overnighters, Part 1

Yu County CNY 2014 Overnighters, Part 1

During Chinese New Year we made several visits to see the festival action out in Yu County, Hebei Province.

In the area are several ancient towns and fortresses that fill up with performers and visitors during Chinese New Year, making it a very lively and interesting place to visit.

As well as traditional performances of opera, we also saw an evening performance of Dashuhua, where molten iron is flung against tall walls to create a shower of sparks!

Click through to see Part One of the trip report!

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Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

During winter, the Longqingxia park holds an ice festival that is a smaller scale version of the big ice festival in Harbin. To make a day of it, we first visited the Tang Dynasty Caves, a mysterious set of cave dwellings, and moved on to the ice festival after the sun went down.

Click through to see photos from the caves and the festival!

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, Yu County Ancient Towns and Fortresses overnight, 2014/02

Yu County Chinese New Year overnight trip photos

Hiker Chris N. took some great photos on our Chinese New Year overnight trip in Hebei’s Yu County, with shots of the old buildings and fortresses, street scenes, temple murals, and the special evening performance – click through to take a look!

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At the end of the hike - Longquanyu Hike, 2014/01/27

Longquanyu Hike, 2014/01/25

On this hike we went out to Changping District to hike a stretch of Great Wall near Longquanyu, and found a shady valley filled with ice that we had to cross to finish the walk. Click through to see some photos!

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