When we visited Kyoto we realized we could not see all the temples of the city. There are more than 1000! For this reason we had to make a research and choose some of them. We already wrote about the 7 best shrines in Kyoto. However, Kyoto is much more than temples and spirituality. It has a rich natural heritage. Although concrete and asphalt is everywhere, like in every Japanese city, there are many natural hideouts. In this post we write about our walk through the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and our visit to the Arashiyama Monkey Park.
South of Guilin, in China, you can find the biggest karst formation of the world. The erosion has created unique mountians that are cut by different rivers: Li River, the biggest, is the main way to reach Yangshuo by a cruise boat. Yangshuo is a touristic capital in the middle of the karst formation. Although many tourists pay for an hotel in the town, we decided to stay in a small hotel in the countryside, close to Yangshuo but far enough to have a quiet and pleasant stay. The Moondance Hotel was next to Yulong river, the most beautiful river we have ever seen.
It was our fist day in Beijing. We landed at the city at around 4 a.m. without having slept much during the flight. We took the train and later the underground to our hotel, completed the check-in and bought some breakfast at a FamiliyMart. Our bodies needed coffee and something sweet to deal with jet lag in our first day in China. We had a plan for it but trips are not always as we expect them to be, so we had to improvise a little bit.
As we already explained in this post, after crossing the security check that is required to enter the Tiananmen Square, we arrived at the sale office to purchase the tickets to the Forbidden City. However, we were told that all tickets for that day were sold out. We were tired and a bit disappointed: our trip to China had not started well. It was a very hot day but anyway we decided to anticipate our visit to the Summer Palace and now we can say that it really exceded our expectations.
knock, knock, knock.
It was 5:30am. The employee of China Railway company knocked the door and woke us up. We shared the small room with another couple from Barcelona. We hardly slept 5 hours and were tired after four full days discovering the capital of China, Beijing. We put on our clothes, went to the bathroom and closed the luggage. The train arrived to its destination, Datong.
Nara was the capital of Japan during the Nara period (710-784). It was enough to build one of the most impressive buddhist temples in the world: the Todai-ji. It is also home of hundreds of deers and site of other impressive places, some of them free, that we explain in this post. It is an unmissable city in any trip in Japan. It is small enough to be visited in one day coming from the nearby cities of Osaka and Kyoto. Well connected by train in the region of Kansai, you won’t have any excuse to not come to Nara in your travel to Japan after reading these lines.