shanghai rooftops.

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Skirt and Top: Zara//Bag: Alexander Wang//Shoes: Isabel Marant// Sunnies: Karen Walker//Ring: YSL

Photos by Mandy

Sometimes you can get so lost in the hustle and bustle of Shanghai that you can miss the beauty of this city. Amongst an urban vastness, aspects of an old city charm still can be seen through the eyes of a lens.

On Saturday, I met up with Shanghai instagrammers to explore Tianzhifan and test shoot with a fellow Aussie creative Mandy of Kaecreative. We found our way to many Shanghai rooftops with some amazing views and background textures to play with. Mandy’s aesthetic and creative style aligns so much with mine that I think we will have a lot of more creative collaborations to come. Here are just a few (or plentiful) teasers of all the amazing scenery we had at our disposal.

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emei mountian photo diary.

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Photos by me and Dad.

The trek to Emei Mountain was definitely one worth making. Located at about 3000km above sea level (at the Golden Summit), the trek up the mountain took us through various terrains as well as meeting some furry little, mischievous locals along the way. Upon reaching the top, one can understand why they call this a place of enlightenment.

Emei is one of four scared Buddhist mountains in China. A bus will take you to about three quarters of the way up the mountain in which then you will need to walk a 7-8km path (icy and slippery in winter) until you reach the cable cars which will take you The Golden Summit. The path to the cable cars are filled with monkeys: aggressive and mischievous males, females cradling their cute and wrinkly babies all the while trying to steal food from tourists and posing for photos and sometimes I have even heard, stealing cameras and mobile phones!

The view at the Golden Summit is breathtaking, and looks like that from a Chinese brush work painting you see in museums. You literally feel like you are in “heaven” as all you can see surrounding the sheer cliffs are seas of clouds beneath you. Emei holds one of the earliest forms of Buddhist temples built in the 1st century and houses a enormous golden statue of Samantabhadra. It is said the sunrise at this mountain is a worthwhile sight to see, so a few hotels were set up on the summit for tourists to stay.

On our way down the mountain, we went through Qing Yin, a lush bamboo forrest like terrain with scattered forms of Buddhist architecture set on a meandering pathway that takes you from Black Dragon River through to White Dragon River. Along the paths, villagers set up little stalls for tourists to try and buy their local mountain teas and home made dried roots for medicinal usage. I was surprised at how clean and crisp the air was here, especially after breathing in two months of not so quality air of Shanghai and Chengdu.

So concludes my Chengdu travel diaries. More travel diaries to come of my trip last year the Greek Islands in which I have been putting off for almost a year!

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jiuzhaigou photo diary.

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Photos by me and Dad.

I’ve heard some amazing praise and seen some pretty impressive photos of this place called JiuZhaiGou. Some have said that this world heritage area is heaven on earth, that in which I may not argue, since having seen the bluest of blue waters myself in amongst the starkness of snow covered surroundings. JiuZhaiGou is actually named after the nine Tibetan villages in the national park. But along side the villages one might spy, the other natural attraction is the 101 lakes, rivers, waterfalls and ponds that make up the park, created by myth of a Goddess shattering her mirror on earth.

JiuZhaiGou for us was done on a whim, since my dad had argued “what’s the point of going to Chengdu if you miss out on JiuZhaiGou”. So it was then, we decided to hire a private car and make the 8 hour drive through the mountainous terrain and through the memorial paths to see the remnants of the Sichuan earthquake of 2008.

Having only one night in JiuZhaiGou, we got up early the next morning to avoid the crowds of tourists that mobbed the park entrances. The sights in the park are none-the-less breathtaking. At one scenic spot, you will see epic turquoise lakes framed by mountains and local shrubbery of purple hues, then, just a few kilometres up mountain, the scenery will change to that of a frozen lake, ice capped mountains and leafless trees. Hike a little further downhill and the scenery which change again to that of glacial waterfalls towering over planked walkways.

I have never really been interested and or heard of any places of recommendation to travel in China (besides that of Beijing, for its historical factor), but JiuZhaiGou is definitely a place I would recommend anyone to go during their travels in China. I have been secretly planning trips in my head to go back during the other seasons as they say JiuZhaiGou is a different sight and a different beauty each season of the year.

So people visiting China, pack your hiking boots (a lot warm clothes in winter), get ready to get snap happy and get onto it!

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chengdu photo diary.

A quick photo diary to give a little look into the city of Chengdu. A vibrant city with so much history and beautiful natural landscapes. I would have never opted to see the city in winter, but actually being able to see white capped mountains actually made me appreciate the scene so much more, as this wouldn’t be something that we see that often back home in Australia.

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