Guangzhou to Hong Kong: The Through Train

It is more common for me to visit Shenzhen. It is less common for me to visit Hong Kong unless I am doing so for official reasons. It is equally more common for me to travel by train from Guangzhou to Shenzhen and that is my intention, until that is I learn of an exhibition […]

Hodgkin in Hong Kong

This year marks the 40th anniversary of my first visit to Hong Kong when the tap water was brown and green and white stripy Tristars perilously glided into Kai Tak. Apparently it is also the length of time some local collectors have been purchasing Howard Hodgkin paintings. Taking that into consideration it is astonishing to […]

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 […]