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Ibrahim Albeshari in China

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Ibrahim Albeshari in ChinaLike0

You know when you meet a person and you hear their stories and you are taken by the way they describe everything? Ibrahim Albeshari is a property investment as his profession but expresses his life through photography. Think of the ways how you express yourself? Is it through dance? Music? Photography or even writing? So happy to share with you Ibrahim’s diary and wonderful journey through his images!! Follow him as well on Instagram HERE

Travel Junkie Diary

Destination China (Beijing , Xian, Hunan and Shanghai )

The main reason for choosing China… simply because it’s a photographer’s heaven. Initially, China wasn’t really a place I was keen to visit. However, since I’ve developed an interest in photography, I realized I wanted to explore more places like China. After an amazing 2 weeks and 4 towns, I’m glad that I took the opportunity with my travel partner to capture, only some of, China’s beauty.

Stayed in

Beijing *Dragon King Hostel was my first hostel experience. I must say it was a pleasant surprise! The hostel was clean and the staff spoke English well and very helpful. The hostel had a nice bar/restaurant with Chinese and western cuisine and offered a variety of nightly activities. However, location was the best! It was on a busy street with a lot of restaurants, so we hardly ate at the hostel. The hostel was conveniently located two subway-stops away from the Forbidden City.

Xian *Han Tang Inn Hostel was very nice. It was centrally located so walking during the evening was very enjoyable. It was close to the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, and Muslim Quarters. The hostel offered many tours, which included, but not limited to, the Terra Cotta Warriors, Panda breeding and research, and Tibet budget tour. The kitchen was open late and offered a range of western food, which was very good

Hunan *Zhangjiajie Forest Park Qinyuan Hotel was basically a place to sleep. We chose it because it was one of the few hotels closest to the Zhangjiajie National Park gate. We didn’t want to waste time traveling to and from the hotel. The hotel was extremely cold and did not offer much heat, if any at all. However, the room was very large. The hotel was based in a small town up in the mountains so the town life was very quiet. There was restaurant close by and a small market to gather essential items.

Shanghai *Elegance Bund Hotel in Shanghai was a very nice place and location was the excellent. The hotel was a bit difficult to find as it was behind buildings on the main road and under construction. Once inside, the hotel was very nice and the room was very comfortable. The hotel was located about a 10-minute walk to a premier shopping street, 3.4-mile-long Nanjing Road, and 5-minute walk to the Bund. The hotel, itself, offered Chinese style breakfast only but there was several restaurants located right around the corner.

Month March/April

In your suitcase  The basics, I tried not to over pack. It Was a bit tricky, as the weather was slightly different from one city to the other. But mainly good hiking shoes, comfortable pants, and long sleeve shirts. And almost my entire camera gear!

Diary 

We started our journey in Beijing, of course, to see the famous Great Wall of China. We had signed up through a travel website for a day trip to the wall. The tour guide picked us up from our hostel and drove for a few hours up into the mountains. The Great Wall trip started with a hike from a little town, straight up the mountain, and to the broken part of the wall. We were then able to explore on an amazing 4-5 hour hike. The beginning of our hike was simply amazing. There were very few people there and we wandered the broken, untouched, parts of the wall. As we came closer to the end of our hike, we came across the more touristy part of the wall. The wall had been fixed to accommodate all types of people and there were more people. We decided to take the toboggan down the mountain. Very long line but definitely worth it! While Great Wall was our main focus in Beijing, we did spend time at Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

We chose to visit Xian mainly for the Terracotta Warriors, however we found some hidden gems inside the city walls. Xian is a town within city walls and has beautiful architectures such as the Bell and Drum tower. We spent most of our free time in the Muslim Quarters. This was great because it offered a variety of food and shopping. There were markets within the quarters and we just wandered each one until our hands were full. We made a stop at the Great Mosque, which is one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved mosques in China. We booked a day tour through the hostel to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. This was a great tour! The drive was a bit long but well worth it once we arrived. After wandering the museums, we made a stop for lunch. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, as it was just part of the tour, but the food was excellent. Our small group sat at a round table and the small plates were placed on a round turntable, “Lazy Susan”. We even had some time to explore the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Tang Paradise. The pagoda was beautiful, along with several Buddhist schools and temples. Tang Paradise is a theme park, however, it was pretty empty due to cold weather. It was still beautiful to see and we waited until night to take pictures of the palace with the beautiful light show.

Hunan offers two great mountain views, Tianmen Mountain and the mountains in the Zhangjiajie National Park. We were under the impression that both these mountains were in the same area, however, this is not the case. Tianmen Mountain is accessible from the city and Zhangjiajie National Park is further away from the city. We were able to see both after some planning. The Avatar Mountains are seen at the Zhangjiajie National Park and the mountainside glass skywalk is at the Tianmen Mountain. Unfortunately the weather was not ideal for photography.  A few days were excellent but one of our days was very cold, rainy, and therefore, extremely foggy. The mountains were just incredible and I wouldn’t even be able to put into words the views I have seen. The forest was so vast with tropical weather. Be prepared for some stair and climbing to get the best views!

By the time we arrived to Shanghai, we were looking forward to some city life. We had been in the mountains and small towns for a while now. We ate at Wagas, a Shanghai Café. They offered healthy and wholesome food. We were mostly excited to see the Bund and take pictures of the city skyline. The Oriental Pearl Tower is a site to visit, as you can view the city from the observation deck. We also took some beautiful photographs of the pedestrian roundabout. We made sure to wake up very early to snap some priceless photos of the sunrise on the bund. Shanghai was good for wandering, shopping, eating and just simply being apart of the Chinese city culture.

Dined in We enjoyed a restaurant in Xian that was located on the main street near out hostel. The local people were watching basketball games on TV, which was entertaining to witness. I don’t remember the name, but the food was good. We ordered a few small dishes, but the fried rice was excellent. Fried rice seemed to be a staple item during out trip, as menu translation was often difficult. My travel partner enjoyed the dumplings throughout our trip. They were often packed with unknown meat, whether it was chicken, beef, or pork, but she had no problem enjoying them.

Shopped There was this hidden t-shirt shop in Shanghai. The designs on the t-shirts are so awesome that I bought some shirts from. Several small markets selling just about anything you could imagine, anywhere you go. It was hard to limit ourselves in the beginning, knowing we had 2 full weeks of traveling.

Tips If you a photographer and street photography is you thing then China is perfect for it, But old people don’t like big cameras to be pointed at them.

As I said before language was the biggest issue, English is not widely spoken so patience is key when communicating. China is very busy with a very large population, be aware of big crowds. Pork is the main meat in just about all their dishes. Be careful if you are a non-pork eater. Some restaurants don’t offer an English menu so ordering was difficult when you were given one-word descriptions, use Google translator if you can J, Go to China with an open mind. There is so much to see, that one would need well over a month to explore. However, after 2 weeks, we were ready to get back to life, as we know it.

Mode of Travel I flew Emirates airlines to Beijing and domestic flight between cities , except for one time, we used the bullet train from Beijing to Xian.

 

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Take off Hunan
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Nature
Bejieng 3
Great Wall of China
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Terracotta Warriors
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Community life Beijing
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Xian
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Hunan
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Shanghai
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Shanghai
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Hunan
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Xian
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Beijing
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Travel Junkie Diary

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  • For the longest time, I’ve been addicted to the sea. I’ve dedicated most of my passion for under water diving, kite surfing and being in flip flops. 
Asia was a huge part of my childhood and growing up to this day, I would only picture my future home in front of the ocean. But today, the ocean would maybe be the Arctic one. 
And now, I look back, only because it’s gratifying to do so. To see how far I have grown to love something totally the opposite but equally the same adventure of emotions. 
My goals? To be happy. To be really really happy. That’s all I ever want. 💫
  • The Arctic has become my comfort zone. A place where I can easily and happily go to re-align my thoughts. 
It helped me believe in giving people time...Time to process the good and the bad because there is something so beautiful about unforced bonds. 
I’m a forever kind of person. I don’t have room for temporary. I believe in big love, of growing old with your friends, soulmates and soul friends. 
I believe in being there for people through thick and thin. I believe in not giving up when things get tough. I believe in relationships that can make it through everything and anything. 
If the Arctic gave me that peace of mind, how can I ever leave? 💫
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  • Do you ever have these conversations in your head where you actually pull a facial expression that would fit the conversation but then realize how weird it must look to someone who doesn’t know you are acting out a whole scenario in your head? 
That’s me. 
All.The.Time. 
Even more when I can’t put emotions into words and this landscape pops out of nowhere and blows me away!
#shotoniphone #Lapland
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Some best friends call each other “soul friends” because they always feel inspired and uplifted after spending time together.
You’ve got to find your ‘soul people’ the ones for which the answers to these questions; does our relationship feel easy? Am I better for knowing this person? Would they do anything to keep me in their life? Do they help me become closer to the person I ultimately want to be?— are always yes.
Thank you to those who have inspired me on our @travelwithtjd trips 💫 #TravelWithTJD #shotoniphone
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What’s exhilarating about the experience is the wait, in subzero temperatures with new guests on our @travelwithtjd series. The reaction on their faces, the magic moment where they are so grateful for making that leap of faith to join @dennisstever and I on this adventure and to create their own reality. Priceless!
Also, thank you @dennisstever for capturing this moment 😊 #TravelwithTJD #CreateYourReality
  • I’m back in my element. Crazy, beautiful adventures in the northern most part of Finland with @travelwithtjd on our #TravelwithTJD Series. 
Nothing compares to the wilderness here in Finland @ourfinland ❄️ I’m so happy to be back, with 10 new guests, showing them the magic of the Arctic. We have very few spaces left on our TJD Finland Winter Series in March, you can join us by clicking the link in bio or contact me directly. #TravelwithTJD #CreateYourReality #Shotoniphone
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  • Our @travelwithtjd season has started and we have started to take bookings for 2020. Join @dennisstever and I on the 2nd - 7th of April in Iceland on a beautiful road trip to explore lagoons, waterfalls, horseriding, northern light hunting, glacier hiking, Icelandic cuisine and incredible landscapes! Direct message me for more info or click the link in bio💫 #TravelwithTJD #CreateYourReality

Photo by @dennisstever
  • Leaving Northumberland and back to Dubai!
Join me tomorrow, I will be in @uterqueofficial at @thedubaimall with @louisenichol at 4pm to 6pm, talking about how I turned my passion into a reliable and profitable business on @travelwithTJD @TJDHospitality.
In recent seasons, Uturque has been championing women empowerment by hosting a series of panel talks and discussions across the globe led by women who are experts in their professional field and it gives me great pleasure to be part of it.
  • A little gem in Newcastle...
Have a beautiful weekend everyone ❤️
and thank you @visitbritaingcc @wegoarabia and @visitneengland for designing an incredible itinerary for me and for taking so good care of me during my bucket list trip.
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Caught moments before the tripod tumbled and turned thanks to that slight countryside breeze 😊 
I travel for that breeze :)
@visitbritaingcc @visitneengland @wegoarabia
  • Any Vikings fans here?? I’ve ticked a bucket list place! Lindisfarne – also known as Holy Island – is one of the most important places of early English Christianity. Irish monks settled here in AD 635. 
To get here, there is only one road and that is covered twice a day by the North Sea at certain time of the day. About three miles of road disappears by the high tide and you can’t leave or get there until the tide changes back and the road re-appears.
Many visitors will attempt the ‘Pilgrims Way’ the ancient route across the sands marked by wooden posts. 
June AD 793 was destined to be one of their darkest days... it was here where the Vikings invaders from Scandinavia first landed in England on the shores of Lindisfarne, and launched a deadly attack on the church and the inhabitants. You can follow @visitneengland and @visitbritaingcc to see more on North East England.