My first experience of a city on Mainland China was that of Weifang in east central Shandong. I was out of the place within 24 hours, not willing to tolerate the noxious quality of its air. Happily it proved easy enough to find a bus bound for Yantai on the province’s northern coast, and thence […]Continue Reading...
Enshi Grand Canyon Bit of a cockup on the naming front regarding this mountain crest in central China. There is a canyon, but it is narrow, hardly ‘grand’. Close to the cablecar’s lower station, a path leads down into this fissure, but it is a paultry affair compared with the splendour awaiting at the top. […]Continue Reading...
Nestling in the mountains that straddle the border of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, Lugu Lake is somewhat off the beaten track. Consequently, it wasn’t until my fifth visit to southwest China that I finally made my way there. According to Wikipedia, following an illicit meeting between a promiscuous goddess and a god,Continue Reading...
Internal tourism is big business in China. Along with weather reports for major cities Chinese TV includes the data for Jiuzhaigou. This ‘Nine Stockades Valley’ now has an airport and a motorway connection to the regional capital. Consequently, the getting-away-from-it-all element of the area is greatly diminished. It was mid-afternoon under a leaden sky,Continue Reading...
In mid autumn the overnight train from Urumchi disgorges passengers at its penultimate stop around dawn. A fleet of buses trundles us onward the few miles into an urban centre. We have arrived at Bole the principal town of Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. There is a nip in the air, […]Continue Reading...
Southeastern Yunnan’s Honghe prefecture borders Vietnam, and is bisected by the Red river, from which the area gets its name HONG meaning ‘red’, and HE ‘river’. Aside from the narrow Red river valley, which is generally hot and tropical, this part of Yunnan has a comfortable climate and much very pleasant scenery – a place […]Continue Reading...
My first venture into Sichuan province involves a series of bus journeys north from Qujing the largest town of eastern Yunnan. Seriously steep and barren mountains, traversed on sub-standard road surfaces, are followed by the spectacular descent down into the Yangtse river valley. Cross the river into Sichuan, and the road onward runs […]Continue Reading...
Lying a mile above sea-level in the far southwest of China, the Tengchong basin is blessed with plentiful autumn and winter sunshine and a comfortable temperature. Nestling amongst the peaks of sixty-eight volcanoes (three of which are identified as ‘active’), the area plays host to visitors out to enjoy such attractions as climbing up rims and […]Continue Reading...
Chinese people sometimes exclaim “Great name!” upon hearing my Chinese name is Gongsun Hai. Gongsun is a rarity amongst Chinese surnames, and has the distinction of being one of those few formed by two characters, rather than a single one. Noteworthy Gongsuns? There was Gongsun Chou who couldn’t get enough of the wise words of […]Continue Reading...