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Fish delivery on Pingdu Lu

Qingdao: beaches, beer and more besides

Beer or beaches? Hear the word Qingdao and the thought of one or the other will no doubt be the first that springs to mind. But Qingdao’s trump cards are not the only cards it holds. Regarded by many as one of China’s ...

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Close encounters of the sexual assault kind

I’d walked down to the river as I’d done on my first night in Suzhou. Again there was the dancing, the kids on rollerblades, the breeze and general gaiety. I’d spent another day exploring the city, trying to figure it out ...

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Rowing boat on Pingjiang Lu canal, Suzhou, China

Why do people go to Suzhou?

Suzhou bills itself as the “Venice of the East,” a moniker my guidebook had referred to as a “hackneyed … chat-up line” that I was unlikely to fall for. It is a town, it continues, that has “had to contend with destruction of its heritage and its replacement with largely arbitrary chunks of ...

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Suzhou: Big Pants and public dancing

I arrived in Suzhou after a little over an hour’s ride on the high-speed rail from Nanjing. The weather had cooled from the previous week’s mid-30s sweatfest. A light breeze was blowing as I sat overlooking a small square next to the Waicheng River in the south-west of the city ...

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Hong Kong


Ten of the Best

Hong Kong Outdoors

Where to run in Hong Kong

Where to run in Hong Kong? It's a question that plagued my first few months in the city. When all around it seems that traffic, crowds and concrete have conspired to thwart your desire to run far and run free, Hong Kong can appear as far from a runner's paradise as you can get. In fact, it can seem the very opposite ...

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More Japanese Tunnels on Jardine’s Lookout

In my previous Japanese Tunnels post, we looked at the two tunnels on the north-eastern slope of Jardine's Lookout as you head down from the peak towards the quarry. The second of these is perhaps the largest and certainly most intriguing of those discovered to date - with its cavernous interior and resident brood of bats - but ...

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One day it’ll just be the buildings and plants

It may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with Hong Kong's less glamorous side, but the city isn't all shiny new skyscrapers and bustling humanity. In this city of constant renewal, where land is money and money is everything, not everything conforms to the development free-for-all that seems to be the status quo.

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The Party by Richard McGregor

When Rupert Murdoch attended a dinner in Beijing in the late 1990s, he remarked that in all his visits to China, he had yet to meet a Communist. A strange remark indeed considering he was dining in by far the largest Communist state in the world ...

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Behind The Wall by Colin Thubron

1986. Mao Zedong was ten years dead, the Tiananmen Square 'incident' was still three years away, and China was optimistic about the future. Only a few years before, the country had been all but inaccessible to foreigners. Still struggling with the trauma of the Cultural Revolution ...

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Tiananmen Moon by Philip J Cunningham

With the 25th anniversary of the events of May and June 1989 just past, , and all the talk that went with it, it seems an appropriate time to take a look at an account of those momentous few weeks from the vantage point of someone who was actually there.

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