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A place for me to share some of my travel photography and experiences as well as any other thoughts, ideas or events that catch my eye. 

Photo Essay - China with G Adventures

When I first started working at G Adventures - just over three years ago, I knew from the very beginning that my first trip with the company would be one through China. Even when the opportunity came up to potentially travel a few months before originally possible (but to a different destination), I still made the decision to wait a few more months until I could finally travel to China.

I've often been met with a puzzled look when revealing how I chose China for my first real foray into a place other than the western world. Many people that I've met have shared less than positive opinions about wanting to travel to China to see the country. Part of that is because their picture of China is one that has been created by the news, stereotypes, etc and part of it is because they just think that there are more interesting places to visit. 

I on the other hand, was always fascinated by potentially travelling to China. I just had this feeling that the food, culture, history, sites, etc, would be absolutely amazing.  And boy was I right. To this day, visiting China is by far one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. I saw things that I never thought I'd see, ate things that I still dream about to this day and I managed to experience everything from hiking the Great Wall to interacting with locals in the heart of China.

My time spent travelling through China also came at a point in my "travel life" where I had begun to take my photography a bit more seriously. I was still using an older point and shoot camera (hence the image quality), but I had begun to pay even more attention to finding the right shots, angles, lighting, etc...

Even when I explain to people why I think that China is such an amazing place to visit, I'm still met with a certain amount of skepticism.  What better way to show off such a unique country than by showing off the country itself.

Yuyuan Market (Shanghai) - My first experience in China was walking along Nanjing Street in Shanghai at night, but the Yuyuan market was my first Shanghai experience where instead of being overwhelmed, I was just able to soak everything. Filled with little shops and surrounding a beautiful temple/gardens, this was the perfect place to visit when it came to dipping my feet into China's culture.

Yuyuan Market (Shanghai) - My first experience in China was walking along Nanjing Street in Shanghai at night, but the Yuyuan market was my first Shanghai experience where instead of being overwhelmed, I was just able to soak everything. Filled with little shops and surrounding a beautiful temple/gardens, this was the perfect place to visit when it came to dipping my feet into China's culture.

Pearl Tower - Currently the 7th tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Financial Centre overlooks the entire city and the miles and miles of skyscrapers that the city houses. Here we were overlooking the Pearl Tower, another one of Shanghai's most famous buildings (especially if you've ever seen a picture of the Bund).

Pearl Tower - Currently the 7th tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Financial Centre overlooks the entire city and the miles and miles of skyscrapers that the city houses. Here we were overlooking the Pearl Tower, another one of Shanghai's most famous buildings (especially if you've ever seen a picture of the Bund).

Hangzhou Tea Fields - We were lucky enough to visit China's most famous tea area during the peak season for authentic Chinese green tea. Suffice to say I brought more than a little home with me after visiting here.

Hangzhou Tea Fields - We were lucky enough to visit China's most famous tea area during the peak season for authentic Chinese green tea. Suffice to say I brought more than a little home with me after visiting here.

Lingyin Temple - A huge temple complex in the north of Hangzhou, the Lingyin temple might be my favourite Buddhist temple that I've ever had the honour of visiting. Just inside the grounds you'll see these stunning stone carvings that depict past events that have happened in Buddhist history.

Lingyin Temple - A huge temple complex in the north of Hangzhou, the Lingyin temple might be my favourite Buddhist temple that I've ever had the honour of visiting. Just inside the grounds you'll see these stunning stone carvings that depict past events that have happened in Buddhist history.

Yangshuo - One of the most underrated (and probably one of the best) parts of China is the Yangshuo country region.  My day spent here was one of the best days of my life, from biking the countryside, having a local lunch, climbing to the top of Moon Hill to see the entire countryside and taking a bamboo raft down the Li River, taking in all the surrounding sights around me.

Yangshuo - One of the most underrated (and probably one of the best) parts of China is the Yangshuo country region.  My day spent here was one of the best days of my life, from biking the countryside, having a local lunch, climbing to the top of Moon Hill to see the entire countryside and taking a bamboo raft down the Li River, taking in all the surrounding sights around me.

Yangtze River - My trip included a 3 day river cruise along the Yangtze river. With no technology available, all that was left was sitting back and admiring the country and all of its beauty.

Yangtze River - My trip included a 3 day river cruise along the Yangtze river. With no technology available, all that was left was sitting back and admiring the country and all of its beauty.

Xian City Wall - The old Xian city wall is a stark reminder of the past, but we also had the chance to rent a bike and ride across the entire wall over the course of a few hours. Definitely not your everyday occurrence.

Xian City Wall - The old Xian city wall is a stark reminder of the past, but we also had the chance to rent a bike and ride across the entire wall over the course of a few hours. Definitely not your everyday occurrence.

Terracotta Warriors - One of China's most famous sites, the Terracotta warriors were not as photogenic as I would have thought. Being there was unreal though. Walking through such an important part of history is something that's not easily forgotten.

Terracotta Warriors - One of China's most famous sites, the Terracotta warriors were not as photogenic as I would have thought. Being there was unreal though. Walking through such an important part of history is something that's not easily forgotten.

Great Wall - I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the Great Wall, but the experience was another once in a lifetime one. We were lucky enough to have a bright and sunny day following us on our trek across the wall.

Great Wall - I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the Great Wall, but the experience was another once in a lifetime one. We were lucky enough to have a bright and sunny day following us on our trek across the wall.

Forbidden City - When it comes to Chinese history, there's no place like the Forbidden City. Walking through the "city" was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had.

Forbidden City - When it comes to Chinese history, there's no place like the Forbidden City. Walking through the "city" was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had.

Beijing Hutongs - Travelling through Beijing's hutong district was a great way to see rural/local life (while eating some delicious food as well) and of course there's no better way to visit than by rickshaw.

Beijing Hutongs - Travelling through Beijing's hutong district was a great way to see rural/local life (while eating some delicious food as well) and of course there's no better way to visit than by rickshaw.

Summer Palace - Another one of Beijing's stunning palaces, the Summer Palace is the perfect place to spend an afternoon/day, especially during the summer. With colours and architecture like this, it's hard not to see why.

Summer Palace - Another one of Beijing's stunning palaces, the Summer Palace is the perfect place to spend an afternoon/day, especially during the summer. With colours and architecture like this, it's hard not to see why.

Bird's Nest - Part of the "newer" China, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Olympic Village from the 2008 Games, including the Bird's Nest, the crown jewel of the Olympic stadiums.

Bird's Nest - Part of the "newer" China, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Olympic Village from the 2008 Games, including the Bird's Nest, the crown jewel of the Olympic stadiums.

National Aquatic Centre - Commonly referred to as the Bubble, this was the Olympic centre for all aquatic events.  As a former swimmer, I had to check it out and was glad I did.

National Aquatic Centre - Commonly referred to as the Bubble, this was the Olympic centre for all aquatic events.  As a former swimmer, I had to check it out and was glad I did.

Stephan Popescu1 Comment