Mount Kumgang (Hiking in North Korea)

I have for the last 11 days ventured into North Korea. A country much spoken about, but a tourist destination “off the beaten track” for most. So when I was there, I got the opportunity to visit the Mount Kumgang, a mountain range located  close to the DMZ, and the border with South Korea on the east coast of the peninsula. The location makes the region  something that most tourist that visit North Korea do not come to the Mount Kumgang.  The region is taken to be one of the natural beautiful places in the area, and I have to agree. It is quite impressive. The limestone mountains reminds me of the Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. The mountains also have it share of old myths, and more resent history to it that was told to us by our local guides.  I used the possibility to go for a short hike in the mountain, and as you can see from my image,  the rain was pouring down. Still quite the sight I have to admit.

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-Ray

The Summer palace

The summer palace is the old Royal retreat here in Beijing, and is a must see when here. It is located about 20 km outside the city centre, but it is defiantly worth the time to get there. It is a wast area with many building located around a lake. The biggest one is a temple on a “artificial” hill that was made there. We where not allowed to visit the temple, but you get a good glimpse from the lake shore. Another possibility is to go  on one of the many boats that give you a little bit closer look.

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-Ray

The Temple of Heaven

Is one of the must see attractions in Beijing. It is a massive park area, and the most significant and famous landmark is The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests that is  large circular building. Quite the sight. Thought it suited nicely as a postcard image of the day.

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-Ray

Chinese acrobatics

When in Rome, do as romans do…. goes the old saying. So when in China it is time to enjoy som breathtaking acrobatics Chinese style. We where taken to a magnificent venue that are one of Beijings finest, and here are some shots from a spectacular performance.

The entire performance was a historical inspired thing, and a King  of ancient China was overseeing the performace.

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First of we have a performer on a balance board, that negotiated some plates on his head while performing. Quite impressive.

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The next one I chose is of two trapeze artists that did something that is one of the most impressive and terrifying stunts I have ever seen. Loved it:)

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No Chinese show without some contourionists, so here we go…

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And to end this litte taste, I have filmed the last minute of a “cage of death” motorcycle stunt , featuring not less then six motorcycle stunt performers in a confined space I would guessed was made for just one. I can not describe it, have to be seen.

 

An excellent evening.

-Ray

 

The Great Wall

Indeed… It is great. I got the opportunity today to  visit the wall for the first time, even if If I have been to China many times before. I have to say it is very impressive. Two thousand years old, and still (parts of it are) standing strong.  I have to admit, I did not anticipate that it was so high up in the mountains that it actually was, and that I had to take a cable cart to get up to it. But all the logistics was defiantly worth the wait. For a sight, and what a view. Just a little bit bad about the humidity and fog / smog. That made walking a little bit challenging for a “pale bearded Norwegian”  (and as a sidenote on that…. it is obvious that there are not many pale, and  bearded men on these parts, because I got stopped several times of other tourists that of some reason wanted to take their picture with me…..) Still a brilliant,  and no doubt an impressive piece of construction.

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-Ray

 

Welcome to China

I have made it to China, and its capital Beijing. After over 130 hours of train ride starting in Moscow two weeks ago, we have left the train. It is quite wonderful here, even though it is very hot.  We have another two days of exploration here, and the image of today is of the impressive landscape that met us a couple of hours out of Beijing. Shot from the train earlier this morning.

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-Ray

Leaving Mongolia

After three days in a quite magnificent Mongolia exploration. It is time to board the train for the last leg down to China, and Beijing. Mongolia is quit special, and one of the mandatory thing to see and experience is a Ger camp , that is made like the nomads live in the countryside. Todays image is from the sunset two night ago, when we stayed at the Ger camp a couple of hours ride away from Ulan Bataar.

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-Ray

Beautiful Lake Baikal and Listvyanka

I have spent the day today exploring Lake Baikal and Listvyanka, and there are such great places.

The town of Listvyanka is located around the lake, and have a tourist focus.

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Lots of activity going around, maybe the most busy part is the market where the barbecue runs high, smoking different meats and fish. Mostly collected locally.

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And the boats are going all the time, and the harbour is full of them.  Some are fishing, and some are catering to tourists that wants to get the know the famous lake a little closer.

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So of course I had to do the same and get a look of the city and the spectacular surroundings from the lake itself.

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As a little after note, I can mention that I am currently in my hotel in Listvyanka writing this since I will not have Internet untill I reach Mongolia in a couple of more days on the train. But the town will not let you go easily, 50 metres from my hotel window there is a wedding party, and oh boy, can these Siberians party. So I guess . I will have more time to write about my trip so far, and edit some more of my images.

-Ray

 

 

 

 

 

Transmongolian railway

I have been on the transmongolian railway for the last four days. Moving from Moscow to Irkutsk or more precisely a beautiful little village outside Lake Baikal. More pictures to come. The train ride is quite epic, but I have to admit , it  do require some effort. Still it is just a brilliant travel between such a large country and different scenery and villages and people.  Many short stops on the way, and lots and lots of people to meet. Quite brilliant. Tomorrow it is onwards towards Mongolia. So more updates to come soon.

Image is shot at sunset yesterday, somewhere over the  Taiga.

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-Ray

Exploring the world

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