Graham's passion for travel was instilled in him from a very young age. Every year his parents would take him to a new place in Europe and teach him how travel broadens the mind.
Therefore once he had finished his degree he decided to move to Hong Kong where he then lived and worked for 5 years. During this time he did a great amount of travelling around the Asia region. Everywhere from Japan to Indonesia and most countries in between.
However, it wasn't until he began to explore deep into China that he realised where his true passion lay. He explored China extensively whilst living in Hong Kong and since joining Audley he has ventured into the more rural side of the country, which amazed him even further.
Graham's interests include most outdoor activities, reading and photography.
My Most Memorable Experience
"One of my most memorable experiences in China was when I hiked from Guilin for 6 hours in the rain to the "Dragon's Backbone" rice terraces of Longji. At first it seemed like a daunting task considering the length of the hike but I was so excited that it didn't matter.
As I walked further and further and the rain lashed down, (followed by brief periods of sunshine) I really started to appreciate life here. I could see the local people working come rain or shine. They were always the most polite people and it was a delight to watch them in action.
I finally finished the gruelling hike to reach the village of Pingan and was rewarded by the most breath-taking sight I had ever seen. After everything that I had just been through I had no words to describe the beauty of the reflections on the water of the rice terraces. Amazing!
Of course then it was time to rest and enjoy a well-deserved drink whilst watching the sun go down over the mountains."
My Favourite Destination
"I would have to say it is Lijiang in Yunnan province. The newer part of the city is home to one million people, but the well preserved old town harks back to its more rural beginnings, combined with modern day tourism. I love the total relaxation you can experience there.
Due to its altitude it has a great climate that ranges from 18 - 26 C all year round. Blend this with the local slow pace of life and the fresh fruits grown on the hillsides, and you find yourself drifting away into a place that is so rare to find. It is enchanting.
I spent an evening taking part in a tea ceremony while listening to the trickle of water from the local streams and the gentle cool breeze, making it one of the most soothing places I have been to."
My Favourite Accommodation
The Blossom Hill Boutique in Lijiang is the most beautiful and relaxed hotel I have stayed at. It feels more like a family run chain where everyone knows everyone and you find yourself getting invited to interesting BBQs or evenings of Mahjong, (yet without the pressure of having to do so should you just want time to yourself).
Also the layout is fantastic and blends modern facilities seamlessly with old fashioned and traditional Chinese room design. In the evenings they light red lanterns in the courtyard and you can go and sit peacefully and read while enjoying the soothing ambiance.
You could easily believe that you were living in another era. Escapism at its best!