Monday, September 05, 2016

Gomar Monastery

Gomar Monastery (Gomar Gompa) is a 400-year-old Tibetan monastery in Qinghai in western China.

Gomar Monastery, Qinghai, China.

The chörten (stupa), located outside the monastery walls is a modern affair, dating from the 1980's and can be climbed.

Gomar Monastery, Qinghai, China.

Gomar Monastery is about 1km from Wutun Monastery in the monastic town of Tongren.

Gomar Monastery, Tongren, Qinghai, China.

The walled monastery has a number of different buildings and is home to over 100 monks. Buddhist paintings, gargoyles and the serene, curving temple roofs are the main sights.

Opening hours at the monastery are 8am-6pm. Women may be denied access at certain times.

Gomar Monastery, Tongen, Qinghai, China.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Zhangjiajie Skywalk

China's skywalks have been in the news recently. These mega-expensive, architectural wonders are a symbol of the new, confident China. However, the skywalk at Yuntaishan in Hunan Province hit the headlines when the surface panels of glass cracked, leading to frightening scenes for the tourists walking along it at the time.

Zhangjiajie Skywalk, Hunan, China.

China is home to the highest and longest glass skywalk in the world, also in Hunan. Zhangjiajie skywalk, designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, spans a 430-metre gap between two cliffs in Zhangjiajie National Park in Hunan. It is 300m above the ground.

The Zhangjiajie skywalk, which can carry up to 800 people, doubles up as a runway for fashion shows. For those seeking even more of a thrill, the bridge also lays claim to the world's highest bungee jump.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Atmosphere Bar Beijing

The highest bar in Beijing, this exclusive, 80th floor bar affords a view that extends all the way from Tiananmen Square to the nearby mountains.

Sophisticated rather than super trendy, the bar is worthy of its elevated real estate. Revellers sip expertly mixed cocktails (over 300 concoctions available), single malts and fine wines and can puff fine cigars while relaxing to live jazz and gazing out of the huge windows.

Atmosphere Bar Beijing, China.

Apart from the view, the main pull at Atmosphere is the drinks. Yes, they are expensive, but few other bars can rival the extensive selection of cocktails for sheer quality and choice. There is also a good wine list by expert local sommelier Koen Masschelein.

1 Jianguomenwai, 80F China World Summit Wing
China World Trade Center Phase 3,
Tel: +86 (0)10 8571 6459

Atmosphere Bar Beijing China.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Longgang National Geological Park Skywalk

The Longgang National Geological Park Skywalk is world's longest glass-bottomed cantilever skywalk. it opened in 2015 and measures an impressive 26.64 meters (87.4 feet).

Built at a staggering cost of over $5 million, the Longgang National Geological Park Skywalk sits at a height of 1,010 meters (3,314 feet).

Longgang National Geological Park Skywalk.

Designed to withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake and a level-14 typhoon, the Yuanduan Skywalk is a marvel of engineering. It can support 200 people at a time, but the park has opted to limit that number to 30 to guarantee an enjoyable guest experience. Also included in the development is a see-through mountain pathway.

Cost: tickets are 60 RMB.

Sunday, April 05, 2015


Xiaolongbao is the signature dish of Shanghai - a plump dumpling crammed with juicy pork mince and a shot of meaty broth.


The name xiaolongbao comes from the bamboo steaming baskets, xiaolong, the buns (bao) are prepared in.

Xiaolongbao in Shanghai, China.

Originally from the suburb of Nanxiang in Shanghai, xiaolongbao can be found all over the city. One recommended restaurant to try them is the Taiwanese restaurant chain Din Tai Fung, which has a reputation for serving up some of the most superior buns in town.

Shanghai Xiaolongbao.

The buns are usually filled with minced pork though a variety of fillings can now be founded including vegetarian varieties.

Making Xiaolongbao.

The buns are tweaked and pinched at the top to give them their distinctive shape.


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Oriental Pearl TV Tower Shanghai


The Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the Pudong financial district of Shanghai is one of this port city's most famous architectural icons.

Though now dwarfed by such monsters as the Shanghai Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower was the tallest building in China from 1994-2007.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower Shanghai, China

Located opposite the historic Bund, the 468m-tall Oriental Pearl TV Tower signaled the reawakening of Shanghai's power as a center of global commerce, finance and trade. The building has a number of observation points with the highest at 350m - the Space Module.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is also host to a number of restaurants, including a revolving restaurant at 267m, exhibition space and shops. The structure is illuminated at night by LED.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower Shanghai, China

1 Century Avenue, Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai, China, 200120

Friday, January 17, 2014

Portovelo - Good in Every Purchase

By Christopher KL Lau

Many well-meaning social and business entrepreneurs are now finding ways in their business models to both run a sustainable business and to give back to society, in their own little way. This is a current trend which is sweeping the world of business; to not only make a profit but to help lift others out of poverty at the sametime.

One of these successful social ventures is the Hong Kong based, "Portovelo". The idea is the brainchild of founder Lavina Tien, who was inspired by her love of both travel and charity.

Via her journeys throughout the world, she saw much beauty in the different peoples and cultures she encountered yet she also saw much suffering and poverty. This was especially true in off-the-beaten-track developing nations such as Nepal, Cambodia and Tanzania where she witness extreme poverty which hindered the social and economic development of those respective nations. Being empathetic and compassionate, she decided to make a stance and help those in need in her own little way.

Tien was also alarmed by the stark and staggering statistics about child poverty, about 600 million children in the world today live on less than a dollar a day and often have to drop out of education to work and support their families.

More than 1 billion children are severely deprived of essential needs required to survive, grow and develop. These include needs like basic food and nutrition, access to clean water, healthcare, shelter and education. Touched by what she saw and armed with a Harvard Business Degree, she set up Portovelo which makes simple yet attractive slip on sneakers for sale around the world. Each sale of a shoe will go towards purchasing 15 meals for deprived children. Purchasing one of these shoes is not only a fashion statement, it also will help feed a child and maybe change their circumstances forever.

Portovelo also work closely with specific NGOs to help their dream become a reality; hence their partnership with the well known Flourishing Futures NGO in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Everytime a pair of shoes is purchased, the profits will provide 15 meals to a hungry child in their care. This will be of great relief to Flourishing Futures as it provides food assistance to families living below the poverty line. Poverty and hunger are a marked part of everyday life in Mongolia and these children often do not know when their next meal will be. Having regular meals will allow them to have the energy and strength to fully participate in either work and education to the best of their ability.

Portovelo - Good in Every Purchase
Portovelo also keep their eye on current news affairs and with the recent disasters in the Philippines, Portovelo donated a portion of all their sales proceeds to the World Visions' emergency food relief program in the Philippines, for all purchases at the end of 2013. With Portoveolo, Lavina Tien is making a huge difference, one slip on sneaker at a time!