A while ago I mentioned I had written an article for China Daily. Just today, it was published both online and in the newspaper! Here is the link below.
I haven’t written all that much about this trip on my blog, so here is a brief summary of the story behind the article.
I was invited, along with thirteen other foreigners from twelve different countries, to take part in a China Daily ‘Discover Shanxi’ trip. We weren’t sure what the trip would involve before participating, only aware that we were to write a short article about our feelings towards Shanxi province.
We visited many beautiful places, including mountain temples, Ming Dynasty courtyards and the houses of noblemen, the ancient streets of Pingyao ancient town, glorious five star hotels and intricately decorated restaurants, the Hanging Monastery and the Yungang Grottoes near Datong.
However, most of us felt that the places we visited had been somewhat overtaken by tourism. Old hutongs were replaced with tourist streets. holy relics replaced by Chinese ‘tat’ (as my mum calls it).
For me, there were two highlights of Shanxi province. The first was the people I travelled with, who came from all walks of life and were really interesting people. The second was the brief glimpses of authenticism we spotted in the midst of all that tat. We started to take walks after dinner, night walks after the schedule of the day had finished. This was the closest I got to the real Shanxi, and naturally this is what I wrote about in my article!
Hope you enjoy! I’ll write more about this Shanxi trip soon, as I haven’t talked about the most interesting parts yet!