These places really do exist in real life…

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I’ve been procrastinating this post for a while now. It’s not that I dread writing about it, rather it’s a challenge to try and describe in words my most favourite part of China. Not to mention selecting only a handful of the hundreds of photos we took in this region.

Often we see pictures on the internet and wonder if such beautiful places really do exist in this world, and that’s what went through my head as I sieved through our endless pictures of Yangshuo and Xinping in the region of Guangxi. These places are very real and none of the pictures have been photoshopped or edited.

This region is most famous for its limestone karst scenery. They are literally everywhere. I first laid eyes on limestone karsts in Vietnam and fell in love with it. But this tops it without a doubt. You can scale any peak in this region and see hundreds of limestone karsts as far as the eye can see. These peaks resemble hunched giants, quiet, unassuming but impossible not to notice. And sunsets in this region are truly breathtaking. Layer upon layer of shadowy peaks bathed in golden light.

I remember as a kid drawing multiple mountain peaks in an upside down ‘U’ or ‘V’  for art class, and realised as I grew older that my drawings were too far fetched and that such peaks probably don’t exist in real life. But seeing these limestone peaks before my very eyes proves that our imagination may not have been too far from reality. These things really do exist in real life..

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The Tuscan Dream

IMG_1593 IMG_1660 IMG_1732 IMG_1756 IMG_1805 IMG_1919 IMG_1921 IMG_1933 IMG_1935 IMG_1774We drove for days in search of the Tuscan dream. Think rolling green hills dotted with lines of cypress trees and stone farmhouses that beckon you to their doorstep. We found it all and more.

The Tuscan region of Chianti and Val D’orcia is not unheard of. But hearing all about it and finally seeing it right before our eyes is one dream come true. The golden vineyards of Chianti stretch on for miles as far as the eye can see and resemble fields of flowers from afar. The undulated green and brown hills of Val D’orcia are simply stunning like nothing I’ve ever seen before. And the cypress trees. I could go on and on about the trees. To me and many others, the cypress tree is the epitome of Tuscany. Without these trees, Tuscany can no longer be.

There was so much more that we saw beyond these pictures. Medieval towns that sit majestically on hilltops, eerie old abbeys with heavenly acoustics, long windy roads framed with cypress trees leading up to wineries and sleepy towns that seem a bit deserted.