– Travel: off the beaten track

The Tao of travel in rural China

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. February, 2013 You need to have your wits about you when travelling independently across the countryside in China. Having said this, as long as you can speak a little functional Chinese language and have a normal ration of common sense and patience, your journey will be a rewarding one. If […]


Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. 2009 Butuo. A dangerous small town in southwest China. Alcohol, drugs, violence and orphans. Too many of them. A depressing place. Don’t go there.   Butuo ____________________________________________________________ Butuo is the saddest town I have seen in China. It is a couple of hours by local bus from Xichang, the […]

Nujiang Canyon

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. November, 2011 The Nujiang (Nu River) Canyon is a spectacular 315 kilometre long marvel of nature in northwest Yunnan province in southwest China. The Chinese call it the Grand Canyon of the East: a direct comparison with the more famous Grand Canyon in the USA. Go there if you […]

To Yangshuo

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. 2006. Travel agencies around the world display the photos: sensually moulded limestone kharst mountains huddled together – a jumble of softly rounded silhouettes pushing up into a hazy blue south China sky. Iconic stuff. Although it’s a popular tourist destination, don’t let that worry you – it’s a beautiful […]


Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. 2007, 2008, and 2011 Kangding was once a trading town and cultural buffer on the old border between China and Tibet. When China annexed the eastern one-third of the Tibetan Plateau, this town became part of western Sichuan province. Today it remains a staging post for the long and […]


Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. 2006, 2007, 2008, & 2010 At 4200 metres, Litang is the heart of Khamba culture in the eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. The centre of the old kingdom of Kham. The inhabitants, although Tibetan, have their own character and history. They are a wild, proud lot. Noted for their […]


Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. 2009, 2010, 2011 This 2,300 year old city is the genuine article. Located in the northeast of Sichuan Province in southwest China, Langzhong is a living example of how civilised life could be in ancient China. Unfortunately, it can’t be included in any packaged tour requiring major airports or […]

In Xichang

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. 2007 The first thing I do after arriving in a new town is get my bearings. And as I wander around looking at everything, getting the feel of the place, I often stumble across something really good. In Xichang yesterday, it was the old quarter of town. The original, crowded, […]

Valley: On the Tibetan border

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. Summer The valley’s name is Tsaupa Gu (Chuppa Gully). It is located on the other side of Genie Holy Mountain, and is surrounded by a jagged semicircle of grey, green and brown which dominates the closed eastern end of this little lost world. A giant angular Buddha, topped with […]

Liaoning Province: Fushun city.

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. 2008 Like many ordinary cities in China, Dongbei Fushun does not impress at first sight. The same old grimy buildings and littered streets dominated by rampant spewing smokestacks. This is industrial north-east China. Dongbei: the home of coal, steel, and struggling State Owned Enterprises.   Downtown Liaoning Province: Fushun […]

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