Even after 2 and a half months in China (that is if you are including Taiwan as part of the One China policy!) we are still not able to sleep through the cocaphany of noise in this country. The numerous scooter alarms, rats running around, cockerels crowing, locals hacking up and piano practice all keep us awake at some time or another. The hard chinese beds are also taking its toll on our bodies, it is like being on a plank of wood with a thin sheet on top. I know it might be good for your back if you sleep on your back, but as I get accused of snoring like a warthog every time I attempt back sleeping I am resigned to lying on my side.
Anyway, the hostel we are staying in is really friendly so I thought I would go along with the mood and chat to our fellow travellers. The conversation started up on the usual, where you from, where you been…..I said we had overlanded it all the way from UK and had a slight smug feeling about that. On asking Hans, the young German whom I was speaking to, where he was from and how he got here, he responded with ‘I cycled from Germany’. I had been well and truly top trumped. He is a lovely guy though, he had cycled through Turkey, Iran (‘You English can’t go there can you?’ he said with a cheeky grin!), a few Stans then China. When Guy appeared he also was impressed and had some bike chat going on…
Boazi were recommended by another fellow traveller, and who are we to turn down a dumpling recommendation? Guy bought 2 pork and one meat rice. He raved about the pork one so much I had to try it, it was the tastiest pork we have had so far.
Botanical gardens were on the agenda, so we set off walking with the sun out through the bustling, photogenic streets of Jinghong. We are in need of some beauty essentials as well, so stop at Watsons for toothpaste a day face creams. I have sadly run out of my fancy, forever youthful, western serum cream so may look haggard and old from hence forth. The creams on offer here are staggering in their names, Horse Hair, Dragon Cream, and price, no 3 for 2 offers here! I choose the cheapest and hope it has nothing too harmful in there.
We carry on to the gardens, past the amazingly shiny mobile phone shops, one of which had to be Geordie owned, Huawei! The shops are pristine, white, glossy and totally out of character with all other shops. They must be doing well.
As we we get to the gardens the clouds dispurse and the blue skies appear. Guy gets the camera ready. We walk around the gardens, stumble upon an area with loads of magnolia trees, which when not in bloom look prehistoric and eerie. When in bloom they must be beautiful.
There is a lake so Guy can take his obligatory carp fighting for food photo.
We stop for some tropical fruit, a pomelo, which is like a less bitter grapefruit.
We see a few cocoa beans hanging from a tree.
Out of season and with the chinese ruining the views all around by building concrete towers it isn’t the best gardens ever.
We head towards the food court Guy went to yesterday and I order a noodle soup, which is bland and full of veg, just what I need. Guy orders a Burmese fermented tea salad, full of flavour and action! We both have coconut drink in the hope to revive me and calm Guy’s chilli stomach.
We have tea with our new hostel mates which consisted of a sour fish dish, aubergine and green spinach dishes. It is quite bland but fills the stomachs.