Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chinese villages

Wow, China is, what, two weeks away? I'm putting together my itinerary, seeking out beauty and bustle. For beauty, Unesco World Heritage Site Lijiang (above) seems sure to please, a charming old town so beloved of foreign and domestic tourists that I gather it's growing! Beneath those tiled roofs are shops and b&bs along myriad canals, all festooned with red lanterns.... For bustle I'm going to try to visit one of the "urban villages" in Shenzhen which I learned about from a colleague's work. The remains of the villages and collective farms in this area before it was turned into the nation's biggest economic growth zone, thay have long since replaced fields with poorly built apartment blocks, so chockablock close to each other they're known as "handshake houses," renting to the undocumented migrant laborers who keep the city going. 

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