Autumn in Zhangjiagang

Autumn in the Jiangsu city of Zhangjiagang (张家港). Because of the rain we have the park (香山) almost for ourselves. Still, there’s a sign warning against PDA. First time I’ve ever seen one and it almost reads like a joke? The second part of the translation should be: “Refuse intimate contact.” In the Buddhist temple, […]

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Old, new, and rainclouds

The visitors are outnumbered by staff, who are busy swiping Douyin. But of course, it’s only a rainy Thursday in Zhenjiang (镇江). What made me go here is Xinjindu (西津渡), an old navy harbor named after where the ferry would cross the Yangtze river, a long long time ago, connecting the southern Wu kingdom with […]

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A ring and the road in Ninghai

I’m reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time and today in Ninghai (宁海) I felt much like Frodo (I’m even wearing a khotan jade ring (田玉) from Xi’an, albeit with a different purpose. Ninghai (宁海) is a small city in Zhejiang (not to be confused by Haining (海宁) in the same province), […]

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Nanbei Lake

We stayed at Nanbei Lake (南北湖) which is a nice (yet a bit touristic) lake on the edge of the Zhejiang province. It’s all new roads and bridges, and newly planted trees and flowerbeds. Plus 美女 being photographed. Hellobike (哈啰单车) is also expanding to these sites. Family bikes and even electric ones you can simply […]

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Old Nantong in October

Friend lived in this neighborhood 30 years ago, and we go back to everyone’s favorite wonton store. Someone recognizes her and yells: “Hey! Going to eat wonton?!” The store is +50 years old, has no logo, yet you need to queue to get your dish. Plus 15RMB for a bowl of pork wonton isn’t super […]

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Tiger Cave Mountain

Goujian (who from 496–465 BC was the king of Yue) walked these hills a long time ago. The legend goes that a tiger jumped at him, roared three times and led him to this cave — declared a holy place by Goujian — now known as Tiger Cave (老虎洞) in Wenyan (闻堰镇) near Hangzhou. The […]

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The ancient merchant trail

Chinese characters allow for elegant naming. Just take a character from each destination and add what it is. The highway from Jiading to Songjiang: 嘉松公路 (JiaSong Highway). The bridge from Suzhou to Nantong: 苏通桥 (SuTong Bridge). And there’s the HuiHang Ancient Road (微杭古道). The Hui is from Huizhou (徽州) in the Anhui province, the Hang […]

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True places in Weihai

After a few days in rural Shandong, Weihai (威海) hits different immediately as we get off the train — people and suitcases everywhere. It’s full of an obvious type of people: tourists. And immediately I wonder if the people in those rural areas who cited covid for the lack of tourism are just wrong, and […]

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A wall, a mountain, and the people that climb it

The Great Wall of China was built over centuries and one of the oldest segments ran through the Shandong province, from Jinan (济南) to Qingdao (青岛): Great Wall of Qi (齐长城). It lacks the fame of the Great Wall in Beijing built in the Ming Dynasty (this is the one that comes to your mind […]

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Big sister sends us to Luziyu

So after Tai’an (泰安) our next stop is the city Zibo (淄博), although more by name rather than perimeter.  Luziyu (鲁子峪) is a small town on its own, made up of several villages. From Tai’an we choose to take the taxi instead of the high-speed train. It’s slower and pricier, but the scenery is a […]

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