On the first day in Qingdao, the tour guide took us to the boardwalk in Quondam. It is where the Olympic torch was passed on when the game were happening in Beijing. All along the boardwalk, there were these vendors selling all kinds of trinkets, such as seashells and jewelry.
I was quite stunned by this place that the tour guide took us to. This is a shopping arcade in Quingdao. The ceilings are painted like a sunset and the place is made to look like an outdoor village. The experience of walking through is surreal because you get the impression that the colours in the sky are changing. But the fact is that it is not– you are just changing perspective. It felt like I was walking into a Van Gogh painting!
In Quingdao, we went to the seaside and walked on the pier. It had rained that morning and by afternoon, it was misty and foggy. We considered it lucky that throughout the trip we only had one day of rain. Sometimes I think the unusual weather makes for the most interesting of photos. I really enjoyed the people watching at the pier. There were so many swarms of seagulls flying everywhere. The fog felt somewhat magical.
#seaside #China #peoplewatching #seagulls #fog #rain #mist
Some aspects I find interesting about China is the difference in living standards. It’s interesting to see how people from the other side of the world life. In Changchun and Jilin, it made for some interesting people watching. You may notice people wearing masks over their nose and mouth in these photos. The reason for that is that environmental pollution is very apparent in the cities. I also noticed that Chinese people wear a lot of colour in general. Unlike in the West, where most people prefer to wear dark or neutral colours.
On one of the tour stops, we went to Jilin Beishan Park. The river was frozen and so people were skating. We walked over the icy white bridge past the railway track and I could heard weird ghostly noises. A recording was being played repeatedly. I’m not sure why or where it was coming from. It was a rather strange and surreal experience.
We travelled to Tai’an to see the mountains. It is a less popular attraction during the winter. But I do have to say that it is worth going to. The waters streaming from the mountains are frozen and it offers a spectacular sight to behold. The rock formations are stunning with its vibrant colours and textures.
#breathtaking #China #landscape #mountains #hiking #nature #beauty
One of my favourite city stops on the tour was Jian. Jinan is known for its hot spring waters, and so even the hotels had hot spring water coming out of the faucets. We went to Daming Lake Park (as seen above), which had picturesque views. That day was hazy, and so you see it in the pictures how misty it looks in the distance. We also went to Baotu Spring. The scenery is very pretty, even in winter. What was an interesting site to see was the people collecting the spring water. It was an interesting place for people watching.
Thanks for dropping by! Be sure to come back next Sunday for a new set of photos from my journey to China. You can also follow me on Instagram @andreamaicreative, were I post daily photos from the trip that aren;t on this blog!
Our tour took us to Chang Bai Mountain, which is along the North Eastern coastline that borders North Korea. Getting to the mountain top, you have to take a bus that drives you to the trails. It was snowing as we climbed the mountain, and it blocked visibility of most of it sights. It made it more difficult to get around. There were even snow ploughs removing snow around its facilities! However, despite its disappointing weather it’s only in moments like these that you get these glorious sights, when the sun is just peeking through the clouds. Truly the silver lining in a situation!
Although everything freezes here in the winter, the streams are steaming, as its thermal springs run along the mountains. It’s an amazing sight to behold! At the top of the mountain area, they had food venders and one of them was selling eggs and sausages prepared using the heat from the thermal water! At the hotel we stayed in, there was thermal spring water in the taps. I felt so lucky to wash my hair that night with spring water! it made my hair and skin feel really smooth.
I also enjoyed people watching, seeing how they were dressed for this environment. Many bright colours! It’s a stunning contrast set against the pale whiteness of the snow.
This was an amazing trip and I would recommend going here if you have the chance to!
Be sure to follow me on Instagram, where I often post photos that didn’t make it onto the blog! Stay tuned for more photos from my China trip next Sunday! Thanks for visiting my site!
#China #landscape #mountains #streetstyle #blizzard #snow #winter
In December, I took a two-week trip to China. We traveled to the North Eastern region of China. In the next month or so, I’m going to be posting photos from my trip on this blog and Instagram @andreamaicreative. I post here every Sunday, so you can follow my journey to China.
I’m not going to be showing my photo collections in any particular order, so this se of photos are actually from the middle of the trip. We went to the frozen city of Harbin, the most north eastern main city, close to the border of Russia. What happens with many bordering cities is that they influence each other, as people from both sides of the border migrate and bring their culture. Harbins architecture that is influence by Russia. During the winter, it reaches to temperatures like minus 30. It was -26 degrees Celsius when we were there. It gets extremely cold at night, so if you ever go there, pack many layer; you’ll need three layers of pants, at least! I think this is the coldest I have ever felt in my life, despite living in Canada. This would be the kind of weather they get in Quebec City. The top photo is from the snow sculpture exhibition in Taiyangdao Park.
At night, the city lights up and everything is very pretty. This is Saint Sophia Cathedral. The moon happened to be visible in the clear night sky.
This is Zhongyang Street, this is the main street for shopping. This street is closed off from cars, so you can wander the streets freely. Here you can get many local Chinese products, as well as Russian products, such as chocolates and vodka.
Here is the famous “popsicle” shop. Despite how cold it is, they serve these milky popsicles here. At first I was somewhat put off by the idea of eating a popsicle in the cold, but I was pleasantly surprised. It became one of the most enjoyable moments on the trip.
Beside the popsicle shop, there was a night market selling street food and dried goods. And next to that, there was an ice castle being constructed!
If you walk to the end of Zhongyang Street, you will reach the river and the Flood Control Success Memorial. The monument lights up at night and you can view the frozen river where people go ice skating. I even saw people flying drones over the river!
#travel #tourism #China #Harbin #frozen #winter #nightscapes #icesculpture #foodie
Flower photography has really become one of my favourite areas of photography. There is something so amazing to capture the blossoming beauties and knowing that its blooms won’t always be there. You have to be present and enjoy the moment as it is. It’s not about wishing for something better or waiting for the future. Flowers are a beautiful reminder that life is fleeting, so you have to live it fully. Currently, one of my dreams are to travel and photograph gardens from around the world, especially England and France.
#flowers #garden #jasmine #Toronto #travel #tourism #joy #beauty
I only got a sneak peek of the Christmas show at Allan Gardens, just a taste of it was enough to leave me with a good impression. Totally worth going to! It makes for such an enjoyable outing. The show will still be up even after Christmas, so you will still have time to check it out during the holidays!
#garden #Christmas #Toronto #poinsettia #holidays
As you are reading this, I will be away in China. I will have escaped the overload of Christmas frenzy. I personally think that Christmas is the most boring time of the year, as its marketing calendar is extended for two months. They start marketing it right after Halloween and I feel it’s too much to have Christmas being promoted for this long. Regardless, Christmas time in the city can be a beautiful event as night. The lights certainly help liven things up as the days become shorter.
#Christmas #windows #HoltRenfrew #brightlights #magical #Toronto #fashion
I returned to Allan Gardens, and to my surprise, everything was moved and replaced with plants and flowers in preparation for the Christmas show. Here’s a preview of what’s on show starting today! (The show official starts on December 6, 2015)
#trees #evergreens #gardens #winter #Christmas #Toronto #birds
Here are more photos from Allan Gardens. I am not a fan of Poinsettia flowers, maybe because they are associated with Christmas, but these Shimmering Pink varieties, I do have to say, are stunning! I love pink! Also, there were white orchids. The photos for them turned out even more amazing than I expected, because by that time, I had lost a lot of light, as it was near the end of the day. They close the garden at 5 pm and I was there till they asked everyone to leave. There were also these blue, violet and fuchsia flowers, for which I do not know the name for. Leave a comment if you know what they are!
#flowers #garden #exotic #tropical #Toronto #tourism #botanical
I went to Allan Gardens in Toronto to check out their conservatory. It was a larger greenhouse than I thought it would be! It was quite an enjoyable outing for me. They had their Chrysanthemum flower show on, and I took these images.
Did you know that these flowers are traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine? It has been used to treat many ailments including colds, inflammation, eyes, and more. In Japan, it is a symbol of happiness and long life. These flowers come in many varieties and I love their jaunty, cheerful appearance.
#flowers #gardens #herbalmedicine #symbolism #happiness #Toronto #turism