Bali to Beijing – Notes and Photos

Tex and I have a limited amount of time left in Asia.  In fact, when we found out that we were headed to Frankfurt, we created a priority list of places to visit while still in Taiwan:. Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, and China.  Our fun recent trips are outlined below in photos and notes.   Bali – Ubud (Rice Paddy Time)  The lush, tropical walk to our room.       Bali, like so many other places we’ve visited, is covered in temples with unique details.       Ubud, in the center of the island, is disappointingly littered with dirty little monkeys.  We spent a few nights here. I avoiding monkeys, Tex engaging them.        I highly recommend a villa with a private pool – always.   Bali-Seminyak (Beach Front Time)   Our first south-of-the-equator sunset.           When in Seminyak, I highly recommend  staying at a  resort  with a swim up pool bar as the popular ‘white sand beach’ is covered with ‘really gross trash’ from one end to the other.       Balinese temple petting.         Things I didn’t take photos of in Bali: All of our delicious food. The trashy, gross beach. Insanely huge bees. Intimidating flowers.     China – Macau We spent three nights in Macau with our friends meandering through small alleys, stuffing our faces with wonderful portuguese food, and people watching.     Tex and I at the Ruins of St. Paul’s – it’s a big deal.                     Galaxy Casino in Macau. We did very little gambling.  Table minimums were astronomical.  Slot machines were incredibly confusing, especially in a foreign currency.                 Old Taipa Village was jumbled with tiny, pretty alleyways and colorful  buildings.       Crowded streets of Taipa near the tourist areas.               Ruins of St. Paul’s way up close.             Beautiful streets – a touch of Europe in China.         China – Mutianyu About an hour and a half north of the Beijing airport there is a small village called Mutianyu.  You can spend a day hiking the “wild wall” and/or the reconstructed part.  Tex and I hiked up to the “wild wall” and  had the whole thing to ourselves for a while.             After hiking The Wall for a few hours you have three options to get back down: 1. hike back down 2. a metal, tetnus-infested luge track operated by unqualified, disinterested workers 3. an OLD gondola. We chose the gondola.  I hate gondolas.   We had remarkably beautiful weather while visiting Mutianyu.  Sunny, chilly, and clear. Very rare.           Our “open concept” hotel room bathroom – very, very “open concept.”                 China – Beijing After two nights in Mutianyu, we went back down to Beijing to visit the sights.  Beijing is unbelievably huge. With a population of about 20 million people, it all seemed a bit overwhelming.  The population of Taipei is a little under 3 million, much more manageable.  We visited Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden Palace.       Tex at the Forbidden Palace.           Tex is very serious at Tiananmen Square.                           Guardian Lions – very cool.                     View of the Palace from Jingshan park.          Fun architectural features.                                                      Brave people, like Tex, are able to elbow through the huge crowds of tourists to see, well, chairs mostly.  Emperors did a lot of sitting.                   Cafe’s can be cute in Beijing too.               Big, weird Beijing building.                 Things I didn’t take photos of in China: All of the people staring at me. The fork they gave me to eat my yogurt at breakfast. The atrocious public restrooms....