The name and city of Chuzhou

My phone’s keyboard can auto-suggest names like Amsterdam or Canberra, and names like Spotify or Maserati — but it does not know nor auto-complete the name Chuzhou, despite four million people living here. Many Chinese cities are like that. They exist and they’re huge — multi-million populations — but auto-correct (as well as many people) […]

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A church in Anhui

My parents never forced us to believe, and if they ever told us stories from the bible I don’t remember it. But we did have to go to church. No devotion was demanded of our minds, it was just our bodies that had to be there. We were all three baptized; my sister, brother and […]

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In between mountains

Kantou Village (坎头古村落) lies in between a range of mountains in Anhui. Some guides speak of a mysterious and hidden village, but it is a popular destination for tourists — especially people riding bicycles and motorbikes. Kids playing in a litter. The village is pretty, but the best view is provided by a nearby hill. […]

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A bubble in Anhui

In Anhui, leave a city, drive for half an hour, and leave the highway. Then drive half an hour on a long and narrow road into the mountains through tiny villages. You’ll encounter a dozen grey Wulin mini-vans. No restaurants, two tiny supermarkets. Park your car. Then walk two hours alongside creeks and waterfalls, and […]

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A walk in Ningguo

Lower-tier cities in China always fascinate me, because they’re so anonymous and unknown, yet house hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. (I wrote more about this phenomenon in an article about Danyang.) Anyway, today we’re in Ningguo (宁国) in Anhui, where 400,000 people live, and while Eva still sleeps I’m taking a quick […]

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Everything in Zhoupu

Shops! Food! Animals! All of it in and around ‘Little Shanghai Pedestrian Street’ (小上海步行街), in Zhoupu (周浦镇). One ‘layer’ outside of the street you’ll find cheap hotels and family-owned businesses, like clothing, make-up, and tattoo parlors. One more layer out and it’s an old suburb, absorbed into the shopping area. The houses are so close […]

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Back to Xinchang

Xinchang (新场) is Shanghai’s best old town. Second time there, back for some 蟹壳黄(Crab shell yellow). It’s hot, it’s packed, and shops are doing well — which is great to see.  

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Scorching Songjiang

The playing, the rider, and the painted (Songjiang today). I’ve sinned a bit. 4A and 5A tourist attractions in China are horrible, but we did go to Guangfulin Relics Park (广富林遗址) today, which classifies as 4A. It was good though. Lots of old buildings on the huge premise, most if not all reproductions & a […]

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Two hours to Huzhou

Every hike is its own little story. Today, Luyu Ancient Road (陆羽古道) in Huzhou (湖州) with friends & ten thousand mosquitoes. A two-hour drive from Shanghai and you’re in a totally different scenery. (Two hours back and you’re surrounded by glass, concrete & coffee stores again.) We only took the 6KM trail but with a […]

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Lots of history, but we’re just casually observing in Songxicun

Songxicun (嵩溪村) today, with buildings from different centuries. Lots of history here, but we didn’t really study all the plaques or Baidu, we just had a quiet day in between the rain showers. Amazing woodwork here in this temple. No visitors around, just corn left to dry. The village has two creeks coming together, one […]

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