Author: Carrie

Top 5 moments to experience in Beijing

Beijing is a great city to explore on foot as there are hidden gems to be found around every corner.  I walked all over the city, navigating longer stretches using the subway (station names are conveniently listed in English).   Staying in one of the many lively hutongs that make up the city, I started each day with my senses being awakened by the noise, smell and hustle of daily life in Beijing. 1. Great Wall of China – Mutianyu section Your first sighting of the Great Wall of China is a moment you will never forget.   Renowned for its beautiful scenery, the Mutianyu section is located roughly 45 miles outside Beijing, winding 1.4 miles through mountainous scenery, with 22 well maintained watchtowers to stop and grab some shade. 2. The Forbidden City The Forbidden City blew me away as I was not aware of how large it is.  Spanning almost 1 km in length from the South Gate to the North Gate, take a moment with the other 77,000 daily visitors and immerse yourself in the history and splendor of this magnificent landmark. 3. People …

Explore Monument Valley on foot, horse back or by car!

Driving to Monument Valley Navajo National Park along US Highway 163 has to be one of the most scenic drives in the world.  The drive is simply breath-taking as the iconic formations slowly become visible from miles away. As you start to get closer and closer, you can appreciate why it is one of the most photographed landscapes in the USA. Monument Valley facts Monument Valley is located on the border between Arizona and Utah Flagstaff, Arizona is the closest major city – 175 miles away The breath-taking landscape is made up of the many red sandstone buttes that tower at heights of 400 to 100 hundred feet A must see for any film fanatics, especially westerns, Monument Valley has provided the backdrop for numerous popular motion pictures including Stagecoach, Forest Gump and Thelma and Louise Monument Valley is not part of the US National Park Service as it is completely within and surrounded by the Navajo Indian Reservation Monument Valley Visitor Centre The Visitor Centre is extremely informative and overlooks the valley. You can stroll through the various exhibits of the Navajo Nation and learn …

Action! A day in the life of an extra in a Bollywood film

Visiting India for the first time on a work trip in January 2014, I decided to extend my stay in Mumbai to see what the most populous city in India had to offer.  After conducting some quick research online, I compiled the following hit list: 72 hours in Mumbai > Gateway of India + ferry to Elephanta Island > Shopping in Colaba market, home to ‘Leopold Cafe & Bar’ > Heritage buildings – Prince of Wales Museum & Victoria Terminus > Chowpatty beach, Marine Drive …the one thing I didn’t plan for? Spending the day in the hub of Bollywood’s studios as an extra in a movie! Whilst browsing the jewelry and clothes in Colaba market, I was approached by a friendly local guy, who advised me that he was a scout for the local Bollywood film industry and he needed one more ‘European face’ for a movie that was being filmed tomorrow. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go….I mean how bad could it be? …

48 hour guide: Hiking the Grand Canyon’s Rim to Rim trail

If you are willing to plan ahead, there is no better way to experience the Grand Canyon than camping overnight and hiking ‘Rim to Rim’ on the South Kaibab and North Kaibab Trails. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon attracts nearly 5 million visitors annually, but there are only a limited number of daily camping spots available (backcountry permit required). Checklist: • National Park Services – Backcountry Permit Request Form (PDF) Bright Angel Campground | Cottonwood Campground | Indian Garden Campground • Download National Park Services Trail Planner (PDF) With my backcountry permit in-hand, I began my two day hike at the South Kaibab Trailhead, descending the steep 7.1 miles all the way to the bottom, camping at Bright Angel Campground. The next day I ascended 14 miles, following the North Kaibab Trail where the first 8.5 miles are manageable, however this cannot be said for the last 5.5 miles!  Once at the top, I pitched my tent at the North Rim Campground. Please note that if you are unsuccessful with securing a camping …