Thursday, 11 October 2012

China 2012

At the start of June 2012 I travelled around China for 3 weeks. Not a lot of time in such a big country. Visits had to be picked carefully and time used wisely while I was there. So the main attractions had to be covered - this meant remaining in the Eastern side moving from city to city using various forms of transportation.
So I started my trip in Beijing - why not, right, it has the massive Tienanmen Square, the Forbidden City and is fairly close to the Great Wall. I flew in via Dubai and then into Beijing. Both airports have great design features - in particular Beijing with its impressive huge roof - I haven't done it justice at all in my photo as I was a bit rushed at the time, however, worth a look skyward.
The Great Wall of China An hours drive in a taxi gives you the opportunity to take in some of the Chinese culture and in particular their road habits. Now coming from London I'm used to busy roads, even in my travels I've experienced some interesting sights on a public highway - but nothing could prepare me for China. Driving obviously requires special skills to look in all directions at all times - it's quite a remarkable sight to watch a pedestrian crossing the road.. And then realise you were about to become one later.. Beijing has a lot of history mixed with modernisation. It's a city on the go - always busy from dusk till dawn and you quickly realise that most of the tourists here are actually Chinese. The subway is the cheapest and quickest route around the city - taxi's too are not that expensive - compared to London anyway. When you are walking, crossing the road is dangerous game - best stick close to the locals, if you are going to attempt it. If you hire a guide - make sure you are not going to be taken 'off piste' and end up in a silk market or tea house.. The place is steeped in history and spread out over a wide area - a lot of walking is a sure thing.
For photography - China is amazing.. it is steeped in history, has beautiful architecture, wonderful people and mostly - from my point of view - wondrous landscape. Except the Wall, most of my favourite parts of the trip were near the end when I took in Guilin and Huangshan. But I think to visit China without seeing what other values it has to offer would have been missing something. It was great to visit the walled cities of Xian and Yingpao. These historic places are full of stories and wonderful architecture that just has to be photographed... Well, that's the way I felt anyway ;)
Just outside Xian is the place to see the famous Terracotta Army.. This was something I was shocked to see the scale of - mind blowing. The statues themselves are beautiful and are very detailed. What I did not realise is that all the soldiers were broken when found and therefore had been put back together again, kind of like the worlds biggest jigsaw!
Guilin (above) was so beautiful I cannot really tell you in words.. The picture does a good job though. I sailed one morning down the River Li to Yangshou where I stayed for 3 nights .. plenty of time to explore the area.. Although the weather here was not that kind to me.. I did manage to real off a few adequate images. Next on to the mountains of Huangshan - or The Yellow Mountain. The sun came out and the light was incredible.. so high up on the mountain - above the clouds as if in some heavenly place.. A joy to photograph even if I did have to wake up at 03:30 to do so.
The end of my trip was spent in Shanghai.. a stark difference from what I had been through but so much to photograph again - this time is a modern, sci-fi sort of way. Shanghai is a busy metropolis with huge skyscrapers and modern big name shops and restaurants. It has less history than Beijing and therefore lacks in culture a little but is still fun and fast!
Links: Facebook China Album Book - China in a Nutshell The book is for sale and is very well made - however, I do not earn any monies from it. If you wish to purchase ANY of the images you see, please get in touch with me - the details of how to do so, you with find HERE Ray -x-

1 comment:

  1. Great post and summary of your amazing trip to China.