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Best (and Worst) of China, Part II

These are our choices for the best and worst moments of our 18 days in China. We spent some time in the following provinces: Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Hebei, Fujian, Guizhou, Guangxi, Guangdong, Beijing, Macau and Hong Kong (in China Part I, and in Pakistan and the Karakorum Highway, the follwoing provinces were featured: Shanghai, Zhejiang, Hubei, Chongqing, Sichuan, Yunnan and Xinjiang). We've also put together a gallery of our favourite photos which you can visit here here.

Our FAVOURITE Cities/Villages
According to Yann:
1- Zhaoxing, Guizhou Province
2- Manigango, Sichuan Province
3- Hongkeng, Fujian Province
According to Emilie:
1- Xiahe, Gansu Province
2- Xi'an, Shaanxi Province
3- Zhaoxing, Guizhou Province
4- Beijing

Our FAVOURITE Tourist Attractions
According to Yann:
1- Labrang Monastery, Xiahe, Gansu Province
2- Tang An Village, Guizhou Province
3- Hakka Earth Houses, Fujian Province
According to Emilie:
1- Labrang Monastery, Xiahe, Gansu Province
2- The Printing Monastery, Dege, Sichuan Province
3- Peking Duck Restaurants, Beijing
4- The Outlying Temples, Chengde, Hebei Province
5- Hakka Earth Houses, Fujian Province

Most DISAPPOINTING Tourist Attractions
According to Emilie and Yann:
1- Dunhuang, sand dunes and Mogao Caves, both totally overpriced
1- Yangshuo, over-hyped
2- Night markets of Henan Province (Luoyang closed, Kaifeng not as big as imagined)
3- Hong Kong skyline in the haze
4- Macau old town, surrounded by high end boutiques

The Most IMPRESSIVE Local Architecture
According to Yann and Emilie:
1- Hakka tulous, Yongding County, Fujian Province
2- Tibetan monasteries, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan Provinces
3- Qiang watchtowers, Danba, Sichuan Province
According to Emilie:
1- Tibetan monasteries, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan Provinces
2- Qiang watchtowers, Danba, Sichuan Province
3- Hakka tulous, Yongding County, Fujian Province
4- Temple of Heaven, Beijing

Most DELICIOUS Foods
According to Yann:
1- Peking Duck, from Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant, Beijing
2- Chicken dumplings in peanut butter sauce, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
3- Roasted leg of lamb with cumin, Xi'an Muslim Quarter, Shaanxi Province
4- Indian food, Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong (better than Indian food in India?!?!?)
According to Emilie:
1- Peking Duck, from Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant, Beijing
2- Squid Kebabs and other delicacies at the night market, Xining, Qinghai Province
3- Roasted leg of lamb with cumin, Xi'an Muslim Quarter, Shaanxi Province
4- Chicken dumplings in peanut butter sauce, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
5- Pork dumplings, Dazhalan Jie Street, Beijing
6- Food from our cooking class, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province
7- Indian food, Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong

WORST Food
According to Yann:
1- Dumplings stuffed with chives and noodles
According to Emilie:
1- Dumplings stuffed with chives and noodles
2- Nescafe instant coffee (I still drank it every day though)
3- "Beijing style" cuisine in Macau


Most SPECTACULAR Scenery
According to Emilie and Yann:
1- Road from Manigango to Dege (over the 5050m Tro La Pass), Sichuan Province
2- Giant sand dunes, Dunhuang, Gansu Province
3- Mountains dotted with Qiang watchtowers, Danba, Sichuan Province
4- Road from Yushu to Manigango (Qinghai to Sichuan Province)

Places we wish we had MORE TIME for
According to Emilie and Yann:
1- Tibetan Monasteries of Northwest Sichuan Province
2- Dong and Miao Villages of Eastern Guizhou Province
3- Kaifeng, Henan Province. Seemed atmospheric and interesting.
4- Xiamen, Fujian Province, (for the amazing seafood restaurants)
5- Changji, Xinjiang Province (to lounge with our friend Jochen)

Best ACCOMODATION
According to Emilie and Yann:
1- Labrang Red Rock Youth Hostel, Xiahe. Run by enthousiastic monks.
2- Kaiyue Youth Hostel, Qingdao. God were we happy to get there.
3- Qianmen Youth Hostel, Beijing. Brand new, cheap(ish), friendly and central.
4- Double Seven Guesthouse, 7th floor, Chunking Mansions, Hong Kong. So damn good.
5- Mountain Villa at off-season prices, Chengde, Hebei Province.

Worst ACCOMODATION
According to Emilie and Yann:
1- Monastery Guesthouse, Yushu, Qinghai. Who new monks could be so grumpy and filthy?
2- San Va Hospedaria, Macau. This one almost made it to the best accomodation list. Atmospheric, clean, cheap, but too full of weirdos.

For those interested in our expenses, we have updated our homepage with our financial information for this phase of China, it is available here

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