1. The Hospital Cave, April 2018. Whether you’re staying on Cat Ba Island or just nipping in and out on a whistle stop boat tour, do try and make time for this curious Vietnam War site, set deep in the countryside about three kilometers from the entrance gates to Cat Ba National Park.
1. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, April 2018. The ancient Vietnamese art of water puppetry stretches back over a thousand years to the days when Hanoi was known as Thang Long. Performances took place in rice paddies and were carried out by the same local craftsmen that created the wooden puppets. Today the treasured art form can be enjoyed in this theatre on the northeastern bank of Hoan Kiem Lake.
1. Dafen Art Museum, February 2018. Appropriately perched to the side of Dafen Oil Painting Village, this handsome art museum is well worth an hour of your time. Housed in a striking modern building on a large open square, it showcases original paintings from local artists.
2. Dafen Art Museum, February 2018. As with the adjoining oil painting village there’s no entry fee, you can just stroll in and investigate at your leisure.
3. Dafen Art Museum, February 2018. It’s a huge air-conditioned space inside and you can take as many photos as you want. There wasn’t much of a security presence either, which added to the relaxed vibe. The whole museum takes a stripped back approach, with barely any literature at all to accompany the paintings, just the name of the painter and the year it was created.
4. Dafen Art Museum, February 2018. The museum hosts an annual Oil Painting Fair every October. There are special exhibitions and a huge live auction that fetched over 700 million RMB in 2017 ($1.1000000). I wonder how this fantastic painting, almost photographic in its clarity, would cost to take home.
5. Dafen Art Museum, February 2018. The museum is open daily (except Mondays) from 10:00-17:00.
For more on my adventures in the city, check out more of My 5s on Shenzhen.
Like these? Then why not have a leaf through my zillion articles from all around China.
1. Coloane Village, February 2018. It’s almost criminal to think that thousands of people come to Macau and see out the entirety of their visits in the neon bubble of Taipa Island’s towering hotel-casinos. Sure, Macau is world famous as a gambling mecca and shopper’s paradise, but it also boasts some gorgeous rural scenery. Most unforgivable of all, it’s just a fourteen-minute drive (ninety minutes if you’re walking) from The Venetian down to sleepy little Coloane Village.
1. Qingjing Mosque, February 2018. The arresting ruins of this city centre mosque can be found on Tumen Street, just a five-minute walk down from Guandi Temple. Built in 1009, this is China’s second oldest mosque and a major pilgrimage point for the country’s Muslim community.
1. Juara Turtle Project, May 2015. My newly acquainted travel mates and I had literally just arrived in the village of Juara on the eastern side of Tioman Island when we saw the sign for the turtle sanctuary. We’d trekked through seven kilometers of jungle to get here, so figured another twenty minute walk to see some rare turtles had to be worth it!