Painted Roads Blog
June 4, 2015 by David Walker

A street photography trip to Macao

Not at all a cycling related post but having had to dash to Macao for a few days I indulged in another pass time that I enjoy, street photography. I always enjoy the architecture and bygone character of old colonial towns, and Macao was no exception.

I had a lovely time ambling around and enjoying the company of the very pleasant laid back locals. So for now a few snaps of my wanderings around what this wonderful old Portuguese colony.

For those interested in such matters, all images shot with an Olympus OMD-EM1 and Olympus 25mm f1.8 prime lens.

Street photography Macao

Macao is awash with beautiful old streets and crumbling architectur

colorful spiral incense in Chinese temple

These spiralled incense sticks burn in the old Chinese temples

Street photography Macao

Am I the only one to find the vanity of the selfie quite vulgar?

Street photography Macao

Old meets new in the shape of modern boutique shopping on a traditional Portuguese plaza

Street photography Macao

A street scene in central Macao

Macao skyline with cloudy sky

A dramatic view of Macao

A view of Macao's tallest tower

and a more modern view


Old cannon pointing at Macao's Lisboa casino

There seemed a certain irony that Portugal’s old cannons seemed to be aimed at the, erm, dramatic Lisboa casino

blue sky clouds a statue on The Virgin and a church and steeple, Macao

Catholic churches abound across Macao, this one afforded quite wonderful views

Street photography Macao

A view of one of Macao’s many winding streets

Street photography Macao

Old streets, Macao

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May 29, 2015 by David Walker

A few More Photos From Our Yunnan Cycling Tour

a cyclist on the edge of Er Hai lake, Yunnan, China

Journeys End? Er Hai lake towards the end of PaintedRoads tour of Yunnan

portrait of a smiling Chinese man with shiny eyes and brown hat

A visitor one lunch time during our cycling tour of Yunnan

cyclist with grey beard a a pink poodle on his helmet

Rogette the poodle was worn by most of us at one time or another, a reward for certain activities?

lady cyclist at Bai Shuai Tai terraces

A beautiful strt to the day at Baishaitai white water terraces


The distinguished General Arthur

Cyclist in pink rides past a blue Chinese wall with calligraphy

The empty road from Shangri-La to Tiger leaping Gorge, perfect for bicycle touring

cycling around Napa Hai Grasslands

Cycling around Napa Hai grasslands is a wonderful beginning to PaintedRoads China tour


A yellow digger clears the rubble at Shangri-La

Shangri-La is rising from the ashes at an impressive rate. I very much look forward to visiting next year.

portrate of a bright Eyed Chinese Man

This chap was somewhat surprised when when a dozed Western cyclists pulled up outside his house. he enjoyed the encounter though…

Old Chinese Man in Blue Cap

his chum was fascinated by us and intrigued to know how far we intended to cycle – “Shangri-La to Dali? Wow!”


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May 25, 2015 by David Walker

Yunnan Cycling Tour 2015

cyclist in red rides round Er Hai lake near Dali on a Painted Roads tour of Yunnan

A lone cyclists rounds Er Hai lake, Yunnan Province China

Our third Yunnan cycling tour through China’s most diverse province came to an end at the weekend and I feel it safe to say that this beautiful tour goes from strength to strength.

Last year we met the delightful Cathy who is not only a jolly fine bicycle racer but also a wonderful personality and a great agent for cycling tours in China. And so it was that we began this years tour with a new agent, a new guide (Cathy again) support driver and mechanic in the shape of the very fit, mild mannered and omni thirsts Lee (Cathy’s husband) and the ever jolly Mr Yuan driving the second support vehicles and keeping the group fed and watered whilst on the road. Many of you who have toured with PaintedRoads will by now know Echo, and it was Echo along with Cathy who effectively ran the tour taking care of all our accommodation, food and translation needs. Rounding up the final crew members were Frodo the frog and that usual tour leader who seems to tag along on every PaintedRoads tour with little more use than talking gibberish and opening beer bottles.

Now, as you know, PaintedRoads always seems to attract lovely people and our groups are all great fun, but I think it fair to say without fear of contradiction that the Yunnan group of 2015 really was amongst the best. So without further ado a big thanks to all who came along, both guests and crew, for making this such a wonderful fortnight’s cycling. And now for a few photos.

Cyclists on the main square of Shaxi during a Painted Roads Yunnan tour

The group arrives on the main square in Shaxi, the rather splendid venue for our rest day

cyclists on a Painted Roads tour ride through mountains in China's Yunnan province

Cycling south away from Shangri-La the deserted road and stunning mountain scenery offers wonderful bicycle touring

A Chinese man sits near cyclists during a bicycle tour of Yunnan Province

Stopping for a pic-nic lunch as we cycled from Shangri-La towards Tiger Leaping Gorger we befriended a few locals

Cyclists on rural Chinese road under blue sky and white cloud during Painted Roads tour of Yunnan

Beautiful weather accompanied us all the way as we cycled through Yunnan

Our cycling guides great our ferry across Er Hai lake during Painted Roads Yunnan tour

Echo and Cathy guide the cross lake ferry to our rather rural mooring place

cyclists in red dance by Er Hai Lake  during a Yunnan cycling holiday

Despite appearances to the contrary these two home sick cyclists were indulging in a quick nostalgic morris dance

early morning on The Yangtze River

The Yangtze river all silver and grey in the morning light

Landy cyclist looks out over the plain below as we cycle downhill in Yunnan Province China

Admiring the view of the plain far below as we cyle the 23 kilometre downhill to Tiger leaping Gorge

Our in country agent and bicycle racer Cathy was a hit with the group and with PaintedRoads' mascot Frodo

Our in country agent and bicycle racer Cathy was a hit with the group and with PaintedRoads’ mascot Frodo












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May 17, 2015 by David Walker

Photos from the road – Cycling Yunnan

girl sitting in water at Baisuhaitai hot spring

Day two away from Shangri-La and we visit Baishuaitai white water terraces – much like rice terraces, only more water and lime stone involved = very nice

Recipe: great group + great route + great weather + great food, and of course some post ride beers = a thoroughly splendid tour. And that, as fine providence has it, is exactly what we have in China just now.

A group of 13 friends, both old and new have gelled wonderfully into a top-hole bunch of adventurous cyclist having a smashing time exploring the mountains, hills, gorges and valleys of China’s most diverse province.

So without further ado, a few pics from the tour thus far:

three people walking on white lime rock beneath  blue sky and white cloud

Blue sky and white cloud fill the sky for our climb to the white water terraces

cyclists touring Yunnan ride past mountains rock face

A group of touring cyclists ride through deep valley during a PaintedRoads tour of China’s Yunnan Province

Chinese girl in red short drinks beer during cycling tour

Enjoying post ride beers at Sean’s Guest House in Tiger Leaping Gorge

Cyclists in red ride through Yunnan's Tiger Leaping Gorge

Distant cyclists carve their way through the curves of the stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge

Lone cyclitst in red on quiet rural lane in Yunnan Chine

Leaving Tiger leaping Gorge we head into an altogether different region of Yunnan Province, with a more agricultural feel


two cyclists in red China tour tee shirts watch a boat on the Yangtze

Towards the end of the days ride we cross the First bend Of The Yangtze by ferry

Bicycle touring group in red tee shirts Yunnan Province China

The group celebrate fine cycling


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May 10, 2015 by David Walker

Street Scenes From Shangri-La

man walking on stone street with wooden buildings and Tibetan prayer flags

One of the wooden streets that survived the fire of Jan 11 2014.

Awaiting the arrival of the group for this years Yunnan cycling tour is giving me time to indulge in a passion, wandering the streets with my Olympus camera capturing a little of the feeling of life on the old town, and how it is rapidly rising from the ashes.

A dog on a large plaza with tibetan temple prayer wheel

A dog rests on Shangri-La’s dance plaza with Tibetan temple and prayer wheel in the back ground

young Chines boy and colourful prayer flags

The Chicken temple above Shangri-La is well worth a visit.

Carpernters working on a new building in Shangri-La

Carpenters working on a new building in Shangri-La old town

colourful reflections on a wet street in China

A street in Shangri-La after an evening shower

Light and shadow on a dusty street in Shangri-La

Workers in the middle of Shangri-La old town

street scene, shangri-la, china, yunnan, blue sky, sunburst, prayer flags,

The sun rises bringing warmth to the early morn in this cobbled street in Shangri-La

portrait of smiling man in hat Shangri-La Yunnan China

The builders are all a merry bunch, quick with a wave and a cheery “ni hao”/


Chinese carpenter and traditional style wooden buildings

One of many carpenters working hard to recreate the character of Shangri-La old town

man and woman walking beneath Tibetan prayer flags blue sky

The Chicken Monastery is a beautiful place for a morning stroll.

desolate dusty street in Shangri-La Yunnan Chine

This street used to be full of little cafés, then is was rubble and ash. I strongly suspect that by this time next year it will once again be a thriving street of coffee and beer

two ladies in sun hats in a hole in Chinese street

Two ladies in wide brimmed sun hats nattering in a hole in the middle of Shangri-La

man and woman studying apple macbook with beer

First arrival on tour is Arthur, here he and Echo discuss the route of our bicycle ride to Dali










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