The best China travel stories from around the net

by James Weir
Posted: April 23rd, 2012 | Updated: April 23rd, 2012 | Comments
China travel features_china travel news_china travel blogs_china travel stories 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. >>> As the world has moved ever more towards a landscape of television, computer and cellphone screens, there have remained a few constants in the playground repertoire of the more active child: learning to throw a ball; schoolyard games of soccer, basketball and the like; slides, monkey-bars and see-saws; kicking your first crush in the shins; cafeteria food fights and the timeless act of asserting dominance over our arboreal friends—climbing trees and building structures in them. Perhaps it is a subconscious yearning for new perspectives, or maybe it's a child's need to test and expand the limits of their physicality, an evolutionary tick that harkens back to a day when we had far more in common with our primal ancestors than we do today. Most likely, though, is that kids climb trees because it's super fun and satisfying, and provides a great balance of mental and physical exertion with a healthy dose of constructive, outside-the-box thinking—the sort of thinking that is crucial in a child's development. ("Will that branch support my weight? Probably not. Let me just jump up and down on it real quick to test it out. How could that possibly be a bad idea?" *CRACK* *CRUNCH* *WHOMP* "WAHHH MY FACE!") Of course, as we age these tendencies towards arboreal-ambulation and in-tree-residences are dampened by real world duties like school, more focused extracurricular activities like sports, glee club and the debate team, and are eventually supplanted by work and adult life. But it is reassuring to be reminded that even in the day-to-day struggle of adult life, there are some that haven't forgotten their childlike urge to be amongst the bird nests and leafy confines of an old, regal tree's upper reaches. When I was a kid, I played in my fair share of tree houses, some of which I would even go so far as to deem "cool". But no tree house I have ever known even comes close to this badass tree house in Shanghai. Clocking in with two stories, one bedroom and working plumbing, it's safe to say that for many children, this Shanghai resident saw their dreams realized. Learn more about the doomed tree house and more China happenings after the jump.... Alas, like all good things, the tree house too must pass. After two years of work and one man's RMB 8,000 investment, local authorities decided that they would suffer this man's dream no longer, as he had no "technical" or "legal" right to the property upon which he had built his amazing home. A shame, to say the least. May he one day recreate his recreation of so many childhood dreams.
  • I do my fair share of China-watching, and what with all the political hubbub recently, most of the China-related content floating around on the Internet has been less travelogue and more political gossip and speculation. But despair not, for many travel unimpeded by wild weibo rumors and political intrigue. As the city of Chongqing continues to reel in the political wake of the Bo family and their exploits, river cruises depart uninhibited. On the blog Bohemian Traveler, Stephen Bugno shares with us his story about cruising on the Yangtze.
  • The subway infrastructure in China is expanding rapidly with many cities already well tunneled under, but what many of the mainland metro stations lack is flair. Much of the colorful Hong Kong MTR, though, is awash in vivid hues that seem to range the entire spectrum. Hong Kong's underground.
  • Is all that money weighing down your pockets and becoming a pesky nuisance? Do you need to take a weekend off and bathe in garish opulence while throwing money around like it's 2007 and you work for Goldman Sachs? If so, you should probably go to Macau, which continues to be the most profitable gambling haven in the world. Evan Osnos of The New Yorker recently profiled the businesses, citizens and major players in Macau's gambling world. Las Vegas, watch out—you don't stand a chance.
  • In Shanghai, the future site of Pudong Disneyland is almost ready for large-scale construction. The reclaimed swamps of Pu-Jersey (as "in the know" people call the lands east of the Huangpu River) are in the final stages of being flattened and prepared for the major overhaul that will be required to build the theme park, and is tentatively scheduled to open in 2015.
  • This Beijing.

 Until next time, travel well!

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