The best China travel stories from around the net

by James Weir
Posted: October 22nd, 2012 | Updated: October 23rd, 2012 | Comments
Willow Palisade Folks, we had a big week here at China Travel: I watched in awe as the 2012 Shanghai Rolex Masters final unfolded; one of our rugged interns regaled us with the second installment of his journey through Tiger Leaping Gorge; and yet another intrepid intern told tell of a land where the hot peppers are consumed like candy and the local dialect is as indecipherable as deals on, and took a third look at the at-times dark world of Nikil Patel's Shanghai. But we're not the only people on the Internet, if you can believe it. Nope—around the world and across China, scores of bloggers, journalists and photojournalists continue to put dispatches from the Middle Kingdom onto the World Wide Interweb for all to enjoy. And thank Hu for them! Let's see what the Internet has to offer, with a mix of oldish and newish pieces alike. First up is an oldish dispatch from the well known travel writer Michael Meyer. Qing Dynasty, and today little remains of this arboreal and earthen wall erected for protection from invading forces. But not all traces of the Willow Palisade have been eradicated, and the story provides a wealth of information about the wall as it was and how it is now, all the while painting an interesting picture of contemporary China. Continue reading for more....
  • Hainan, the established capital of surfing in China (to be fair, there's not a whole lot of competition), is gearing up to celebrate the 5th consecutive year hosting the Surfing Hainan Open. The cats at Lost Laowai have a good rundown on what to expect next week, November 4 & 5, when the riders hit the waves. Most interesting to me, perhaps, is that this year will be the first event that will involve predominantly Chinese athletes, indicating that the sport is growing ever more popular on the shores of the mainland. Surfs up, broseph.
  • This short film shows a rogue group of Inner Mongolia. Though the skaters are no slouches, what is notable in this video is not the tricks, but the landscape. Ordos is perhaps best known around the world as the site of one of China's ghostly towns, built and then never fully realized. The Kangbashi New Area, built in the mid-2000s, is a development that is estimated to offer residence for 300,000, but only has a population of about 20,000. Shiny, brand new buildings and no one but a pack of rascal skateboarders. It might not make for a good economics, but it sure makes for some good footage.
  • Keep hearing people talk about "third-tier" and "second-tier" cities, but find yourself totally clueless as to what constitutes the various levels of Chinese cities? The good folks at clear things up for us.
  • The Shanghai of today is certainly not the quaint fishing village it once was. No, Shanghai is truly a world citizen, an unforgiving vixen as hard on your wallet as she can be on your heart. Curious as to how Shanghai prices stack up, world wide, against other major cities? City Weekend has your back.
  • Thinking about going to Xinjiang, but can't quite make up your mind? Well, maybe this great collection of photographs from Kashgar will help you make up your mind.

That's it for this week! As always, hold your hat and lean into the wind....

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