Dongguan: Tomorrowland

Disneyland for adults: What kind of imagery does that conjure up? A while ago Dongguan was officially busted for its sex dens and the poor women (whether they chose to work in the sex industry or not) humiliated before the media. So does the city deserve its reputation as nothing more than a seedy halfway […]

Speech Judging in Shangri-La La Land

Earlier this month I was asked to judge an event called the USAD (United States Academic Decathlon) at the very salubrious Shangra-La Hotel in Pazhou. The idea was to judge students from many schools all over China. To break the ice, some of us held a dinner together a few weeks prior in another part […]

Guangzhou: Xiaozhou Art Village

Sometimes my students’ really do come up trumps when it comes to info on people or places I may not know about (SanMao) and again here with this mysterious art enclave tucked away in the depths of Haizhu. No metro station so I am reliant on bus. My student mentions a blog by a mysterious Swiss Geographer […]

Huizhou: A Liveable Oasis

Huizhou begins with a shabby bus and what seems a standard journey east until the final 20 minutes when the bus veers off the main motorway into a south westerly direction – seemingly away from Huizhou. Surely there must be a reason for this. Perhaps it is calling at the cities West railway station first. Nope […]

Qingyuan: Strangely Familiar

On a foggy day in early January I notched up my 80th city and it fell to this relative obscurity to the north of Guangzhou (co-incidentally my first beginning with Q). So off I set on this mini-adventure by bus from Tianhe Coach Station. The vistas of both Tianhe and Huadu are known to me and […]

Rail Journeys

NEWPORT – LONDON PADDINGTON, c1977 or 78 Do you remember your first train trip? Me neither but this one will do to start. The (then) brand new Inter City 125 had started operations from South Wales and my father treated us to a trip to London. Super smooth or as smooth as UK train travel […]

Shenzhen/Guangzhou: Welcome to Metroland!

A few months ago in Shenzhen, the new city to airport Line 11 was opened. Not long after that lines 7 and 9 followed. Meanwhile Guangzhou’s own metro opened Line 7 and an expansion of 6 but sadly as yet no 9 which would be useful as it will link Huadu with the ever mysterious […]