The best China travel stories from around the net

by James Weir
Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Updated: May 23rd, 2012 | Comments
China travel features_china travel news_china travel blogs_china travel stories Yunnan travel stories I have spent almost no time in Yunnan, but I will say that I had the best chicken wing of my whole life in Kunming*. It was amazing. Mind-blowing, even—the highlight of my one-day jaunt through the province, or at least tied for first place with the Charlie Chaplin-themed karaoke bar called the Charlie Bar (one hopes the owners understand the irony, although you never know). One thing is for sure: the chicken wing was certainly better than the bowl of spaghetti bolognese I ate at the Charlie Bar (note to self: you are an idiot for ordering spaghetti bolognese at a Charlie Chaplin-themed karaoke bar in China).
Anyway, chicken wings aside, the development of the tourism infrastructure in Yunnan continues to develop at a rapid pace. Jeremiah Jenne, of the fantastic** new blog Rectified.name, wrote a post about the impact of such development. A snippet from early on in the piece:
I first went to Yunnan in 2003. True old timers tell me that the place was already ruined by then, that Lijiang was well on its way to becoming a kitschy tourist trap, package tours were inundating scenic vistas with screeching megaphones and hat-matched lemmings, Dali was passé, Zhongdian was Sinified, and that Kunming was becoming just another third-tier provincial city, devoid of charm or history, transformed into block after block of white façades and KFCs. Read the rest of the post on Rectified.name....
More China stories after the jump....
  • While I'm not familiar with the subtleties of the Chengdu bar scene, I still enjoyed this look at Chengdu, I spent one evening drinking cheap beers at The Shamrock. Sascha Matuszak, who found the list on Weibo and translated it for the post on Chengdu Living, noted The Shamrock's absence. In lieu of a translated description, I'll take this opportunity to describe the people found in the bar when I was there: there were some clothes badly in need of laundering (mine included, of course), some hair badly in need of cutting (idem), and everybody was smoking cigarettes (idem et al). And I'm pretty sure some dude named Franklin was there. It was a pretty good time.
  • Although the Tibet travel restrictions remain largely the same as they were at our last update, The Land of Snows has complied a detailed list of the Tibet I've found online.
  • Ningxia may be one of the less-popular provinces in China, but that's certainly not to say that there isn't a wealth of stuff to see. This post on the sand dunes of Shapotou has some great pictures, and is a reminder that the nooks and crannies are often just as good as the more famous spots around the country.
  • Do you like walking around and looking at stuff? You're a unique soul, you. Well, in that case, I'll point you in the direction of this walking tour around Guangzhou. The post is detailed, contains maps and a number of intriguing pictures. Walk on, you bohemian tourist!

Until next time, travel well!

*It was at a KFC. And yes, I am serious—angels sang, the sky opened, it rained marshmallows, I forgot (for a moment, at least) that everything in this world must eventually perish. **For real. It's awesome. See this post, and this post, and this post.
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