It is a different world where tradition mingles with modernity, where one corner smells of salt, sea and fish and another bears the odour of the most sophisticated and expensive fragrances one has ever felt. It is a place where romance may arise anywhere, a place where the clatter of money echoes from the steel and glass skyscrapers, it is a place where East and West have harmoniously been shaking hands for over a century.
China’s quick development and modernization programme entails a soaring demand for energy in order to power its heavy industry and its expanding transport systems. By 2010 the country had become the second largest world economy, surpassing Japan. As an illustration of the scale of its rapid modernization, it is worth mentioning that 74000 km of express railway have been built in just 10 years, making China’s the second longest expressway network in the world after the US. Also in 2010 Chinese people bought more cars than any other country, more even than America (13.5m compared to 11.6m in the US). All these bring a huge thirst for energy that significantly changes the geopolitical and geo-economic landscape not just of the Asian Pacific area but of the entire world.Continue reading →
Shanghai breathes the spirit of capitalism reflected in its vivid lights, enumerate business offices, banks, luxurious hotels, bars, restaurants, eye-catching shopping centers and exquisite shopping malls. However some communist legacies are still there but they are far more less obvious than in other cities in China, including the capital city, Beijing.
Firstly I noticed countless red flags streamed across important streets and on top of the Continue reading →
How much similarity is there between China towns across the world and a Chinese town in China? Is everything made in China cheap? Is Shanghai a second New York? With all these questions in mind and like a nosy soul I am, I booked my flight to visit a bit of this continent-size country and a good friend who was working there. While in China I discovered surprises are waiting round every corner and nothing is as you’d expect it to be. So, from how to order and eat food to how to travel round effectively and make cheap phone calls, here are 12 tips for the first time traveller to China!