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Spring 2006

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 Get a Headstart
Kites on Tiananmen Square / Courtesy of Don DomingoNo two travelers experience a country the same way. One sees a pile of rocks and a semi-dilapidated building, the other sees an ancient fortress where thousands died defending their homeland and an early temple of worship that held the moral fibers of an early civilization together. The difference is usually what you know before you go.

To get you geared up for your next venture into the Middle Kingdom, we have updated our list of recommended books, films, and websites. We have added/deleted to present what we believe to be the best of what is out there. We even added a whole new section of China blogs. You can check it out by clicking here.

 Hey! That's My Bag!
If you were sitting in the Guangzhou East train station last week, you saw a tape playing over and over again on the television monitors. This tape showed a man sitting down to wait for his train. He sat his bag down in the seat next to him. He got up to use the toilet. When he returned, his bag was gone. The man was unhappy, as would be anybody. It's just that most people are not quite that stupid. But there's a little bit more to the story of the stupid Guangzhou train passenger. And it's happening all over the mainland. Read more...

 Small Town Does Good
Ten years ago, the small town of Pingyao garnered all of one line in what many consider to be the "bible" for independent travelers, the Lonely Planet. Eight years later, in the 2003 edition, it was touted as a "must-see" attraction of China. So what transformed this impoverished town in the dusty flatlands of Shanxi Province almost overnight? It's an interesting story. Read more...

 Film at 11
In our December 2005 newsletter, we touched on Beijing's preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. We glossed over the many infrastructure projects and looked at the cultural changes taking place. Since then, we've noticed a glut of articles in the mainstream media talking about the same subject. (Okay, so they're better-written. Those guys get paid to do this.)

We recently came across a great little short video highlighting a few of the major construction projects currently underway in the capital. You can access it by clicking here. It is courtesy of one of our favorite China blogs, Danwie, run by Jeremy Goldkorn. Check it out sometime.

See You in China!
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