The best China travel stories from around the net

by James Weir
Posted: January 30th, 2012 | Updated: January 30th, 2012 | Comments
China travel features_china travel news_china travel blogs_china travel stories China Travel 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. >>> Here at the China Travel Blog, we're back to work. This week marks a return to the day-to-day schedules that have been disrupted by the holiday season (both Western and Eastern alike), as well as a much needed respite for sore eardrums. Yes, of course, I'm talking about the sensational display that is Chinese New Year/amateur-fireworks week. While the subject of the Year of the Dragon in general and the specific phenomena of holiday explosions have been exhausted across the blogosphere (this blog certainly has some red on its hands), there really is something very special about the display. So let us reflect, one more time, on the spectacle. Nankai Rob has written up two fireworks-related posts, and together they do a great job communicating what it's like to be on the ground in the middle of it all. The first one highlights some of the differences between Western New Year and Chinese New Year, and has some great descriptions of the chaotic revelry. The second post is on what he has deemed Arbitrary Explosion Day. I'll let him take it from there. For now, we can relax and breathe deep without the gut-clenching shock of explosions all around us. Until next year! More after the jump....
  • Have we foreigners completely misinterpreted the Chinese idea of what a lóng (龙), or dragon, is? Well, I suppose it's all relative; everyone has different interpretations of concepts. But it's still interesting to consider and this article on the Chinese dragon is a great read. Whether dragons are benign or threatening, one thing is for sure: a very high percentage of every article about China in the Western media for the next month will have at least three dragon references.
  • If our article on San Francisco's Chinatown didn't satisfy your urge for information on America's Chinese enclaves, head over to Go Chengdoo and check out their article on Los Angeles' Chinatown. With a good bit of history, the article does a great job putting the neighborhood in the context of the ever-evolving immigrant country.
  • If you need another reason to Guangzhou do a great job putting an image to the idea of brisk urban renewal (or destruction, depending on who you ask).
  • While we're on the subject of transforming landscape, let's take a moment to visit Far West China and consider the VPN or proxy in China to get around the Great Firewall). The article questions the value of erasing history to pave the way for new development, and in the interest of cultural preservation, I tend to lean towards the nostalgic side of things. And when I say "lean," I mean that I'm sprinting in the opposite direction of large-scale, cookie-cutter housing developments.
  • Wondering how the Dinosaur Lantern Festival came off last week? What's that? No, you weren't? Oh. Well, it came off well. Here are some pictures from the Sichuan night and is one of the most famous domestic lantern festivals of the holiday season.
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