Tag sightsee china


1 hour flight out of Shenzhen brings you to Wuyishan City, Fujian Province. Famous for its natural conservation of a large number of ancient plant species, wild animals and reptiles, many of which are peculiar to China.The Bohea and the Oolong teas are grown in this region as well. Unforunatly for us southern China has been hit by continuous heavy rain so that some attractions and scenic areas are not available to tour or access.

Wuyishan Scenic Area, once trapped thousands of tourists, is now closed temporarily. So we head off about 1 hours drive to the village of He Ping. He Ping itself is one of the oldest communities in northern Fujian. While other towns its age or older have been partially restored, this town has remained basically untouched. The town dates from the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907) when it was a simple rice farming town. The name Heping is made up of two Chinese characters which mean ‘Rice Plain’. The village itself dates well beyond that. One of Chinas oldest Classical Learning Academy’s was first opened in Heping in AD926 during the Tang Dynasty by government official named Huang Qiao. Walking around here is like a trip back in time.Because of the weather, it was empty except for a few villagers. I enjoyed being the sole visiter here in this quiet village. You can almost imagine living in another time.

After a few days we returned to Shenzhen for a look see. We booked into the Shangri-La Hotel. Truly a world class operation. One of the pics show a TV shot. In the room I saw my old friend General Li on the national TV channel. How cool!
The weather being so wet, our time was spent doing a little shopping. And what is Shenzhen famous for? Clothes and electronics. In fact it is the largest electronics shopping center in Asia. Hong Kong gets all it’s products from here! This is home to the Apple iPhone. In fact, most everything is made here. There is a street downtown lined with mega malls that are nothing but computer, phones, and anything electronic. I bought a few things that you can preview in the pictures and also on my gadgets page. Prices for clothes and electronics are extremely low. I was in heaven.

Shenzhen is a new modern city 30 minutes from Hong Kong. What was a tiny fishing village on the border of Hong Kong in 1970 is now a buzzing metropolis of over eight million people! Already containing 20 buildings at over 200 meters tall, including the Shun Hing Square (the 8th tallest building in the world). A 2010 study conducted by Forbes magazine ranks Shenzhen’s population density as the 5th highest in the world. In 2006, the Dapeng Peninsula, the location of Shenzhen’s best beaches, was nominated by the China National Geographic Magazine as one of the most beautiful coastlines in China. We plan to return in the near future for a closer look at this city and make a jump into Maccau as well.

Finally we spent a few nights in Guanzhou. I didn’t care for this city. It is huge, noisy, and dirty. Besides great food and the tallest TV tower in the world, I can’t say much about this place. I reconize it does hold an historical value, but frankly I didn’t see much reason to spend any time here. Still, the Chinchilla for sale there was cute…..

Swimming with the Fishes


Last Tuesday night the rains rolled in on Kunming. It was dumping rain with no let up for several hours. The water was so heavy that the noise kept me awake all night. By the next day, Kunming was completely flooded. Major streets were under a foot of water, and much of the area was 3 feet deep. The ap photo is a good shot of downtown. I found this China news release….

“Downtown areas in the southwestern city of Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, were almost all flooded with up to a meter of water in places after a six-hour rainstorm over Tuesday night.

The city’s traffic was seriously disrupted and many people complained they were late for work as the major avenues were all under water.

More seriously, some junior high students were late for the annual entrance examination to senior high school, which began on Wednesday, but local education authorities allowed latecomers to be given extra time.

The city’s international airport was also closed on Tuesday morning as the runways were waist-deep in water. As of 7 p.m., more than 150 flights were delayed and more than 3,500 passengers were stranded.

More than 20 flights to Kunming had to land in the neighboring municipality of Chongqing instead.

The airport reopened at 5 p.m. and flights to Beijing and Shanghai took off. However, at 8 p.m., more than 1,000 passengers waiting still stranded.

More rain was forecast in the next two days and the China Meteorological Administration asked local governments to prepare.

(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-07-04 08:06

Since Monday, heavy rains in Yunnan province have killed five people and affected more than 60,000 others, local authorities said Thursday.

The provincial civil affairs department said that as of 4 pm yesterday, more than 2,100 houses had collapsed, 14,200 others had been damaged, and about 2,500 people had been evacuated.

Kunming, the provincial capital, on Tuesday recorded its third-highest rainfall since records began in 1951. Up to a meter of water fell in the city center during a six-hour storm that inundated major roads and buildings, the department said.”

I had to drive across town at 1am that night. It was raining so hard I could barely see to drive. I haven’t seen this much rain since coming here 3 years ago! But all’s well on the home front. I managed to keep my powder dry….

Wait a week…… it will all change


Kunming, like all over China is changing faster than anyplace I have ever seen. In some of my past posts I referred to this as well. Much of this desire by the government to renew China is quickly wiping out it’s own cultural history. Hutongs in Beijing are almost extinct now. Historic villages and cities are torn down and rebuilt with modern condos.

Here in Kunming alone, thousands of condos have been torn down in just the last year. The old city center with buildings several hundred years old, is all gone save for about a 2 block strip. I think it is also earmarked for destruction. I was just through there and noticed the brick walls going up down the street. Soon after that they usually begin knocking down the buildings behind the walls.

These pictures show the destruction of two condo buildings downtown. 1 week later this park appears. Kunming seems to be replacing most of the old condo spaces with large parks, which really is a great improvement. All the people displaced by removing the condos, are given brand new condos that are being built SW of the city center. I must say that the new ones are quite impressive and a big step up for the people getting them. When a condo is ready for these people, they hold a lottery where they draw a number to see what condo you get. Seems like a fair enough system to me.

Still it is sad to see many historic buildings taken away to make room for high rise glass office buildings. Preservation of these buildings take a back seat to progress in China. I hope this attitude will change before China evolves into a place showcased by modern steel and glass cities. Time will tell.

stinkin horse!


My car insurance agent just told me a story about one of his clients. I had taken my car to him for my free engine cleaning, a benefit this company provides to their customers. He says how nice it is to have me as a customer because we are good to take care of our car. Still, his job is hard because of so much trouble many customers make for him.

Then he told me of one customer that is a farmer who just came into some $$$ because they found iron ore on his property near Kunming. So this guy goes out and buys a new “E’ class Mercedes. It cost him over 1 million RMB.

I’m sure you all have seen pictures of the horse driven stone grinders used to make corn flour. This farmer dude decided to retire his horse, and rig up his new Benz for the task. He enjoys driving it in circles, day after day making his corn meal! I hope to go get some pics of this later.

Another farmer, who also bought a Benz, uses his on the farm as well. He’s a pig farmer! He actually crams pigs in his car to take them to the market. Now he doesn’t need a special license to bring animals into the city. This guys a thinker! No kidding, this stuff happens here.



Slowly but surely China succumbs to western decadence. Hooters has just recently opened a branch in Shanghai. Actually they have 3 locations in Shanghai now! My friend Chris sent me this camera phone pic while he was there just last night. While Hooters is certainly no “strip joint”, it does symbolize the epitome of an establishment dedicated to eye candy. I don’t think you go to Hooters for the fine cuisine.

I was surprised to see that China would allow such a venue, even for Shanghai. China is quite conservative when it comes to the “nightclub” scene. Of course there are plenty of nightclub shows featuring scantily clothed girls, but these are produced like a stage show so they pass as “art”, making them allowable in China. These shows are not intended to titillate the audience in the manner of a traditional girl show like in a go-go bar. Frankly these productions are a lot more entertaining than just watching some girls shaking it on stage.

Hooters by definition is a family restaurant, but it’s real purpose is showcasing young girls dressed to show their assets. I mean you can’t possibly want to go there just to eat greasy chicken wings! I think this is why a Hooters in China earmarks a big change in Chinese attitudes toward “entertainment”. Maybe you have to live in China to really appreciate what a big deal this is for China. As for me, I guess I will have to go there and see for myself………. for the chicken I mean.