As you might have suspected already, another Youtube Video is ready to be shared here. I wished I had managed to edit them at the same time as I was writing the blog posts, but I just recently found out how to edit videos.
Now that I’ve been absent on my blog in August quite a lot, I am now coming back almost every day with a new video :D
Staying at home has some positive effects after all!
This is one of my favourite videos until now, although it is only around 6 minutes. But I think that the music is quite on point this time! And, I just love Hong Kong! I love the landing at the airport because in my opinion, it is the most amazing landing I have ever seen in any city every!
Then, there is the peak! Again, breathtaking views! Hong Kong is just incredible!
Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me!
As always, thanks for reading and watching!
P.S.: I have a huge announcement tomorrow evening! So stick around for that!
It’s true that there is a dog meat festival in a village in Guilin. These people are definitely the cruelest, dumbest, most ignorant and evil people in this world. Seriously, how can you possibly tortue and then eat a dog??!?!!?!??
Yes, this festival is a reality in China, but it’s the exception. I have never seen anyone eat dog meat where I lived in China. I also don’t know anyone of my friends who tried it or seen dog meat being offered anywhere.
Of course I am not trying to deny that this behavious exists in China, but it is also not true that everyone in China eats dog. It’s rather more common to see dogs being kept as pets now, and they seem to be more popular than cats. There are also more people protesting against the dog meat festival every year. So I hope that after a few years, the government will actually do something to ban it for good.
2. You will return with lung cancer
Another misconception that many people get after watching the news too much. Again, I am not trying to deny the fact that the air is polluted, but it is by far not as bad as you see in media. Of course, when you happen to live in Beijing, it is more serious, but if you happen to live in any other city, you won’t see the smog as often as you feared. I was living in small town close to Shanghai, and the only times it was really smoggy were the 2 or 3 days after Christmas. December is a very bad time to visit China, because the pollution is gonna be the strongest. Since winter is really hard in the north, heating will go up during the cold months. The eastern and southern parts of China don’t have central heating since there is basically only one month of proper cold weather. Still, the smog from Beijing wanders east to Shanghai and the cities around it. I did wake up to a smoggy morning and I just cried in my bed. I didn’t know what to do other than wear a face mask.
Still, this only lasted a few days. The other days were maybe only a little bit more polluted than the weather here in Germany. No city nowadays is 100% clean. I guess you’d have to live up on a mountain or by the beach to have clear and clean air.
3. Street food is not safe
Totally wrong! Street food is in most cases even safer and cleaner than restaurant food. You can actually see all the ingredients and how they cook it, so they can’t trick you. Also, most locals get streetfood on an almost daily basis, so don’t worry. It seriously is restaurant food that you should be worried about. Behind closed doors, those cooks use MSG and used oil and what else we can only guess about.
Street food is the safest option in Asia in my opinion.
4. Everyone is rude
I hear a lot of tourists and travellers complain about how rude chinese people are. I can see how that happens though. I also had my share of chinese rudeness, but it was mostly some mean taxi drivers refusing to take us because we were not chinese, or couldn’t speak the language, or didn’t have the adress in chinese characters. Other than those evil taxi drivers, I mostly met the nicest people on earth. When I was lost, there were people who would get out of their ways to help me. Once, a girl even took us all the way to our hostel although it was raining outside. Not only young people, but also older people are so nice when they see you are lost. They are actually the ones who will understand your broken mandarin the best :’D
Also, when you plan to go to China, you should get ready to learn at least some basic sentences in mandarin. People will appreciate it and they will be more eager to help you out. Actually, this is something you should do for every country you visit. In the end, you are the visitor.
5. It’s a communist country
Of course, the party that rules the country of China is a communist party. Still, chinese people must be the most capitalist nation I have seen. They are addicted to shopping and real estates as well as tourism. China is a rising star, and without a capitalist concept, it would have never become the most powerful developping country.
I would describe China as a perfect mixture between communism and capitalism. I am sure, that the political situation in China will eventually get better and better after the following years to come. I kind of feel like China might be the next super nation since the US is doomed with Donald Trump :’D
Anyway, what I wanna say is that the political situation in China is actually not as bad as others imagine it to be.
So these were the most crucial myths people know about China before actually visiting. If you visit a country with specific misconpetions already floating around in your head beforehand, then it is quite certain that these things will actually happen.
So please, wherever you go, let go of your prejudice and enjoy the place in its purity!
As you might have followed my previous blogposts about my trip to Beijing and my 3 days there, you know that the city was a very exhausting one. There is no denying it, that it is beautiful, has a lot of culture and history and I saw so many different things I couldn’t have seen anywhere else, I can be sure that I would never want to live in this city, even if the smog disappeared one day. This also doesn’t mean that I dislike big cities, quite the contrary actually, I really love big cities. I am in love with Shanghai for example, and I could seriously imagine living there, but Beijing was something different. It’s nice for a trip, but that’s all.
If you have missed the posts, you can read about them here:
When I woke up on my fourth day in Beijing, I took my bags, checked out and headed to the train station to catch my early train to Xi’An. The train station was smaller than expected and super busy. There were almost more foreigners than chinese people. I also saw like three travel groups full with german people.
Taking trains in China is so convenient and the prices are pretty good. Way cheaper than the trains here in Germany. That’s one of the things that I miss the most about China.
Anyway, I arrived in Xi’An in the late afternoon. By the time my taxi driver took me to my hostel it was almost early evening. While I was on the train and on the taxi, I was texting my friend Qiqi, who lives in Xi’An. I met her on my travels to Suzhou in September as I posted on this blogpost, and I promised her to visit her in Xi’An before I left China.
She told me that her friend would pick me up and show me around town until she made it out of work.
By the time I got my things inside my dorm room which was huge by the way and very clean and almost empty (only 2 other people with me there), Qiqi’s friend texted me that he arrived and waited in the lobby for me. We planned to go visit the Drum Tower and Bell Tower and then go to the Muslim Street Food Square. I was starving, so this was a great idea.
It was really nice of him to show me around. His english was also quite good, so he could do a little bit of translation between Qiqi and me. Qiqi’s english was around the same level as my chinese. We somehow managed to communicate, even if it was just through smiles, gestures and hugs. But it was nice to somehow be able to communicate with her through her friend.
The Muslim Square actually blew my mind. It was my favourite part about Xi’An, and I would love to return just for the food sold there. They have everything from Kebap, Nut Candies, Muslim noodles, soups, pita-like breads, Fruits, Juices, Milk drinks, Fried stuff, just EVERYTHING! I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t know where to look at and what to eat.
We sat down at a traditional restaurant that sold soups and meat. My friend told me that this place was a very old family restaurant, and all the locals knew about it. I ordered a normal noodle soup, my friend ordered the spicy version and he also ordered a dish made of intestines. He didn’t know that I don’t like intestines, but I tried to see how it tasted. I definitely didn’t like it :D But he appreciated that I tried.
The food was delicious. We continued to roam around the streets a little bit more. I found a stand with the pita-style bread and bought one. It looked yummy, but it tasted a little bit dry.
Then I saw something fried. It was dough filled with vegetables and it looked sooooo yummy! We ordered some, shared it, but could only eat a little bit since it was really oily.
The Street Food market has a lot to offer. I was so full after only 3 dishes, that I could neither eat nor drink anything. I regret not having tried the pomegranate juice and the milk drinks that are really famous here.
I still wanted to buy some boxes of the nut candy though. I love them and I wanted to bring them to Germany so I bought two boxes, one with sesame and one natural.
After that, we finally went to meet Qiqi. She came with our friend’s car which was a Jeep. We then drove to the Wild Goose Pagoda, another famous sight in Xi’An.
Bascially, on that first evening, I saw all the famous sights you can see inside of the city of Xi’An.
We took a lot of pictures there, walked around the square, and even found a park which had funny sculptures to pose with.
It’s one of the best things you can do during your travels: Hanging out with locals who can show you around.
Unfortunately, it was getting quite late already, and I was feeling really sleepy. I had an early start and I had to wake up early the next morning as well, to go see the Terracotta Warriors.
Have you guys ever been to Xi’An? And let me know about your favourite street food you ever had.
The letter I was probably the easiest to do so far, with so many places that are very very high on my travel list. Let’s begin!
1. Country: Indonesia
Indonesia is second place on my travel list right now, right after Japan. There are so many beautiful places to see on this island country, that consist of seventeen thousand islands in total. So, you can imagine the range of beauty here.
Here are all the places I wanna see in Indonesia:
Ubud is famous for its lush rice terraces surround every hotel, restaurant, cafe or any other location you go to.
In Bali, you can do anything you want: Living in beautiful villas, hang out on paradise-like beaches, eat healthy and delicious food, visit rice terraces, pet adorable, wild animals, and more.
Seminyak also belongs to Bali, as well as Ubud, and is famous for hip and beautiful locations. It might be the more upper-class part of Bali as I heard, so if you wanna have a fancy vacation, you should book a hotel here.
This swing in Gili Trawangan has become extremely famous on social media platforms now, and I think many people come to Gili mainly to see this speciality. But the Gili Islands have way more to offer than just this swing.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving are popular activities in Indonesia, especially in Gili Air, and are definitely on my Bucket list.
In Java, you can visit rice terraces, beaches, as well as its famous volcanoes and the craters, just like this one, the kawah putih (white crater) which is actually a crater lake and it just looks mesmerizing.
One more famous sight is the temple Borobudur which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are actually some pretty amazing beaches in Sumatra which should not be missed when in Indonesia.
You have probably seen this pink beach somewhere on instagram, and now I can tell you that it’s located in Lombok. The colour looks so strong and deep, almost like a Lush bath bomb.
By the way, you can reach all three Gili Islands by boat from Lombok, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
I will stop here with all the painfully beautiful beaches, or I will just book my next vacation to Indonesia :’D
Anyway, it’s definitely a great way for me to keep track of all the places I want to see in one place, and I can always come back to this post when I seriously plan to travel to a specific country on my travel list. I actually wanted to include some pictures of Indonesian food, since I have only heard good things about it, but I won’t do it now, or else the post will be too long.
Plus, I wanted to add that the people of Indonesia are known to be one of the friendliest and laid back ones. I myself have met two people from Indonesa, a good friend of mine from uni and my current co-worker, and they are all such kind, fun and down-to-earth people.
2. City: Istanbul
“If the earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital” – Napoleon Bonaparte
Istanbul is probably the only famous city in Turkey that I haven’t visited yet, and it makes me so angry and frustrated. All my turkish friends tell me that I can’t be a true turk if I haven’t visited this city, and they might be right. From all the cities on my travel list, Istanbul is very high on my list. Here are some reasons why.
This is the living proof for the connection between two continents, and you should definitely have glimpse at it from a far, or even take a bus ride across it. Also a must-do, is a boat ride along the bosphorus to admire all the residences located at the shore of the sea.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque/Blue Mosque
This mosque has established itself to the most popular landmark of Istanbul, and has a very significant importance in Ottoman history.
The inside of this mosque is a dream for any architecture-enthusiast, with its huge dome and the blue stained glasses from the rooftiles. It looks magical, and I can only imagine what a goose-bumpy experience it would be to be inside this mosque.
The former greek, byzantine church that was famous for the old city of Constantinople, has been turned into a mosque when Constantinople has been renamed Istanbul. It’s been turned into a mosque, but now serves as a museum.
Topkapi Saray/Topkapi Palace
Probably the most famous palace in Turkey, has been the main residence of the sultans of the ottoman empire. It doesn’t have a breathtaking view from the outside, but looks incredible beautiful on the inside. Definitely worth a visit if you wanna see something less touristy in Istanbul.
This place looks like something out of a greek mythology. It is said to be a sunken palace, and actually has some elements of greek mythology hidden inside, like the head of Medusa. A very impressive sight, and should definitely be on your Istanbul list.
If you have ever wondered what this tower here is, that is seen on basically every Istanbul picture, it’s easy to answer: It’s the Galata Tower. It is said to be used as a lighthouse which would make sense since it is high up on a hill and oversees the harbour.
Another famous tower, or rather a lighthouse, in Istanbul is the maiden tower which is located on a small island in the middle of the sea. It has always reminded me of the tower of Rapunzel, and since then, I have always wished of visiting that place.
The Grand Bazaar
Your trip to Istanbul would be inclomplete without going shopping at the Grand Bazaar. Trust me, you haven’t been to turkey, if you haven’t really visited an authentic bazaar.
This is the place to be if you want to have a snack – THE snack! Balik ekmek, a.k.a. fish sandwich. It is the must eat thing in Istanbul, even before kebab. And you have to eat it here at Eminönu, where they catch the fish fresh out the sea, grill it, and serv it to you in an instant. And then, with the view across the Bosphorus, you can enjoy your little delicious snack and dream of the next time you visit Istanbul.
If you want to know more about turkish food, check out this informative post on Buzzfeed to have a little introduction to turkish cuisine.
It’s finally not only the sights that make many people lose their hearts in Istanbul, but the overall atmosphere and the feeling that you get in this city that is on two continents, is surrounded by two different seas, and has been influenced by european, asian, and arabic history over the past 2000 years.
3. UNESCO World Heritage Sight: Ibiza Biodiversity and Culture
Ibiza is not only famous for its parties, but also for its natural diversity which is obviously amazing. Look at these colours on this photo which doesn’t seem to be photoshopped.
Still, I wouldn’t refuse to go club-hopping when in Ibiza.
I can imagine that Ibiza is probably one of the best party locations in the world, keeping it class, but still fun as hell.
Alright, I know this post has become quite long, so I had to keep Ibiza short, but what more is there to see except the ocean and parties (both very amazing of course). This was one of my favourite, but also the most detailed post in this challenge. I already can’t wait to visit all these places soon.
What do you think about these places? Are they on your Travel List as well? If not tell me your future destinations in the name of the letter I.