The best China travel stories from around the net

by James Weir
Posted: October 30th, 2011 | Updated: January 9th, 2012 | Comments
China travel features_china travel news_china travel blogs_china travel stories Xiamen travel guide We read a lot about travel over the course of one week and, after much sifting and sorting, we've rounded up a few of our favorites. From news and reviews to great blog posts, unusual destinations and travel stories, read on for our picks. >>> My sense of city-claustrophobia has been particularly pronounced this week, and I'm not sure if it's something in the air or if it's just that it's about time I hit some kind of a dusty trail and hightailed it out of the city. Either way, I was particularly drawn to this blog post about VPN or proxy in China), in Fujian province. It's got just enough commentary and pictures to get me hankering for some fresh air, a healthy mountain before me and a waterfall pool or two to keep me motivated. For those of us who pass time amidst concrete, vehicle exhaust and several million people, it's a good reminder that it's often not as difficult to escape as you might think. Walk on, I say! The fellas and ladies at Chengde, in Hebei province. If you're into surreal and strange, you're probably interested in things like abandoned fairgrounds, decrepit amusement parks and ghost towns. It would be strange enough to see any city in China empty of people (albeit during week-long holidays it gets eerily quiet in the cities), and it only becomes odder when the empty Chinese city is a full size reproduction of a traditional German neighborhood outside of Shanghai. Built 30 km (19 mi) outside of the city, the German architecture firm that planned the neighborhood hoped to draw residents that were seeking a break from the cookie-cutter suburban monotony that runs rampant all over the world. But nobody moved in, and now there's an odd, empty reproduction of a German town in China. Go figure.

In China, everybody's got a guy for everything. I've got a light bulb guy on my block, a noodle lady in my 'hood, an extension cord elderly couple just a short walk away, a beer and cigarette shop run by a family a few doors down, etc. Every little storefront in China is packed to the gills with whatchamacallit's and whozamawhatsie's, and every store is different. Neighborhoods have different tastes, and the adaptable nature of corner store operators has made each and every store unique. Over October break, a photographer traveled across China and visited corner store after corner store and asked each proprietor what their highest selling item was. He went on to take a portrait of each one, and was kind enough to share it with the world on Danwei, a great web magazine about China. Turns out people love cigarettes and the lottery.

And finally, to go along with our piece on Traditional Chinese Medicine from last week, we've got a story over on the blog Seeing Red in China about Chinese doctors opinions on TCM. It's great to hear informed people on the topic, particularly doctors who've studied and practice western medicine, but who have lived their lives in China and around TCM. And, as the posts always are over at Seeing Red in China, it's a good one.

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