Hotel Kapok Beijing (北京木棉花酒店)

Hotel Kapok Beijing (北京木棉花酒店) is a boutique hotel located within walking distance to the Forbidden City (故宫) and the Wangfujing Steet (王府井大街) shopping area.



Restaurant in the hotel

Corridor to our rooms

Bathrode and mini bar enclosed in the closets



The weather Beijing in July is way too hot and humid. It's rather unbearable being soaked in perspiration once we step out to the outdoors. And perhaps it's the summer vacation, the Forbidden City (故宫) and Tiananmen (天安门) were super crowded.

QingHai Lake (青海湖)

According to Wikipedia, Qinghai Lake (青海湖) is the largest lake in China. It's so big that it looks like sea (海), rather than a lake (湖).

Our guide took us up to the hillside for a view of the enormous lake.

Along the roadsides, there are plenty of yellow fields of rapeseed flower (油菜花).

This is the most rural experience I ever had. Check out the "toilet" in middle of the field!

Don't even try to rely on those in the "restaurant". The public pay toilet has proper cubicles, but no doors. The only proper toilet, which has a door and a working flush, is the one at the petrol station.

On the way back to civilisation, we stopped by a family of beekeepers. My friends took the rare opportunity to watch the owners harvest honey (while I am too chicken to even go near).

Zürich City

Our 8D7N Switzerland tour with Cosmos started in Zürich. We went clockwise around the country and ended up back in Zürich. While in this city, we stayed at Novotel Zürich City West. During the free and easy times, we took tram no. 4 to the city center.

The cyclist lane

The tram stop

A tram passing by

Zürich's tram system can be considered sophisticated. The stops are installed with digital panels to show the arrival times of the next tram. Inside the tram, the next few stop locations are displayed (see photo above) together with the estimated time to each destination.

Water fountain in Lake Zürich

It relaxing to sit by the river / lake to watch the swans and ducks.

Loving pair of swans

Novotel Zürich City West

This was the hotel we stayed in on our first and last day of our Switzerland trip. It wasn't located right in town itself, so the surroundings were pretty quiet. To get to town, we just had to take the tram and travel several stops.

Eco-label on the toiletries

The window opens two ways

Puls 5 is nearby the hotel

On the inside, the building looks like it was converted from a warehouse or was formerly used by heavy industry. Now, it has become a mall with eateries.

Mount Stanserhorn

Mount Stanserhorn was our last stop before heading back to Zürich. Unlike Gornergrat that has a more modern railway system to bring visitors up the mountain, Stanserhorn transportation consists of trams and cable cars.

We took the tram up the lower part of the mountain

Enjoying the scenery while on the tram

The cable car took us further up the mountain

While riding the cable car, we spotted a family hiking up the mountain.

Snow-capped mountain top peeking among the cloud

Adorable alpine marmots

Alpine marmot feeding on grass

Final leg to the summit