The best China travel stories from around the net

by James Weir
Posted: January 16th, 2012 | Updated: January 17th, 2012 | Comments
China travel features_china travel news_china travel blogs_china travel stories China travel photography 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. >>> The question of why anyone would move to, or travel in China, is a complicated one. For most of us, China offers little in the way of the social comforts, familiar amenities and reassuring regularities that are easily found in the more Westernized parts of the world with booming tourism industries and expat populations. But often, it is that very strangeness that draws  individuals to China to pursue a vacation or some career, and there is no shortage of experiences to be had. My answer to that particular question shifts, depending on the day or mood I'm in, and I'm armed with a variety of cut-and-paste answers that I throw back at whoever's asking, often in lieu of some direct, well thought out response that I don't have. In contrast to the often unhelpful and/or unclear answers I generally provide for the question, Stephen at Bohemian Traveler has gone ahead and written a post titled Why I'm going to China on his blog in anticipation of a three month long journey through the southern part of the country. My guess is that this exercise in personal goals, expectations and aims was as much for his own consumption as it is for inquiring observers; I've found it helpful to think constructively about what I hope to wrest from any experiences abroad, particularly when a place is as foreign as China. So big ups to Stephen, who keeps a tidy travel blog with regularly updated content, and we look forward to catching up with him in a few weeks after his China boots have been shined a bit more. More links after the jump...
  • I imagine the days before modern technology through a rosy, romantic lens: I picture road-weary men traversing the countryside on horseback, drinking tea in fire-lit shacks and around mountain pass fire-pits, shuttling goods back and forth between the far reaches of the vast countryside—ponies for peonies, if you will. Naturally, the Ancient Tea Horse Road (or the Southern Silk Road or Ancient Tea Route, depending on who you're talking to), and it's more famous relative, the Silk Road, have always held a special place in my own personal mythology of what China could have been like many centuries ago. For now, I may just have to pack up my gear and make my way to Lijiang, an ancient stop on the Tea Horse Road that fed trade between Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet; read more at Nakhi.
  • Speaking of the Tea Horse Road, this week Go Kunming dropped an excellent article on the small Yunnan village of Shaxi, another prominent trade hub on the ancient trade route. There is also this interview with an old Shaxi villager from late 2010, who was a young boy when the trade route was still thriving in its last days. Both great reads.
  • Here in Shanghai, it's cold, damp, and the wind tears down the alleys and around skyscrapers like the Hammer of Thor. It is not nice weather here. So it seems like as good a time as any to Hac Sa Beach). Here a few tips of what to do in Macau, courtesy of Go Mad Nomad.
  • Though now is not the ideal time to visit Mogan Shan, this week I came across this collection of photos of the blogger Michael Goffman. It is such a uniquely beautiful place, that though out of season, I felt compelled to share them. Take a good look, and start planning your trip for this coming spring.
Photo courtesy of Zebble  
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