After an arduous month of May preparing for the HSK, we set off to discover new lands for a weekend getaway. Little did we know we would experience one of my new favorite places on earth!

View from the city wall ramparts. Reminds me of the walled in cities of the Loire Valley and southern France.

The hiking around the old city is the best and even better when accompanied by an awesome group of Brits!

Nice illusion my friend! Travel during the week have the whole place almost to yourself.
The main Great Wall entrance surrounding the Linhai old town.

The best way to enter the wall is from the main entrance on the east side of the city north of the lake area.

From the Linhai train station, have a taxi take you to the Chang Cheng Da Men Kou: 长城大门口。

They area is known as The Great Wall in Southeast China. It is well maintained, you can climb all watchtowers, with other surprises along the way.

Stop for a meditative moment or nap in the ‘sacrificial alter’ monument.

One of the best sights along the way are the hilarious translated signs eloquently placed throughout the area.

When you buy your tickets for the wall, if you have all day or two days (recommended); buy the ticket that covers the lake entrance fee as well.

The East Lake Park, 东湖公园,is a serene oasis protected in the center of the city. It straddles the border between the ancient town and the bustling newer developed area.

There are daily local concerts of traditional singing and hidden pathways to explore.

Nature calls!

Morning is always my favorite time of day to discover a new place. I love to get up and explore around with a light breakfast and a good book. The independent morning I had in Linhai found me enjoying one of my favorite books, Eat, Pray, Love along the neighborhood back streets. In one perfect moment, I set up a timed self portrait when an older local woman flashed me a huge smile on her way back home. It was a great capture!



I could wander the streets of this town for days and never get bored…






In June with the visit of my awesome, younger brother, Greg, we visited Linhai once more for a day trip. It was just the same as we had left it 3 weeks earlier. Of course, we did the wall hike and meandered the old streets on an entirely different side of town. We began the straight up hike along the wall, taking a break on the ramparts along the way.

Greg was wondering, “are we going all the way there?!”




It’s always important to give up some prayers to the universe along the journey.

A great lunch of vegetables, duck blood, and tofu sitting outside among locals was of course a highlight! Greg loved taking random artsy shots for inspiration. He was definitely entertaining this on looking local.



Along the way, we wandered into a traditional Chinese medicine museum and introduced Greg to the tea culture of China. Later, the helpful owner gave us a ride to the train station in his very nice, new BMW. It pays off to know the language for sure!






Don’t miss the chance to discover the endless amazing small towns across China. Linhai surprised us in it’s culture and relaxed atmosphere. A wonderful day trip escape from the city!