at home in... w| Gerald Zhang-Schmidt

Look Closer, Learn More, #GetAtHome In This World

Tag: Hunan Page 1 of 2

#GetAtHome in China 5 -Travels through Hunan: A Tectonic Shift, a Creek… a Scenic Spot

It’s not as if Austria, Europe… everywhere… didn’t have their peculiar parts of nature that sometimes, suddenly, end up spots to see.

Hidden valleys, small waterfalls, forest outlooks, that sort of thing.

And yet, what makes something special enough to not just be there, but be something?

China makes that question particularly noteworthy.

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#GetAtHome in China 4 -Travels through Hunan: Temples of Note that No One Knows

The last thing to expect in Hunan countryside is a Japan connection, yet there it was…

In the eastern part of the Jiuxian Lake Scenic Area in You County, Hunan, just about as deep into the Chinese countryside as you can get without traveling back in time, there are two Buddhist temples.

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#GetAtHome in China 3 -Travels through Hunan: The Highest Mountain… Of You County

Climbing Everest would still get you points, ridiculous though it has become (with guides and porters who basically carry not just the gear but even some “climbers” up that veritable Disneyland of a mountain).

But climbing the highest mountain, which isn’t very high, of a rural Chinese county, which is neither big nor home to anything that would give it any claim to fame?

It doesn’t seem very much worth it, in the big picture.

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#GetAtHome in China 2 – Travels through Hunan: In the Tourist Nowhere of Rural China

China, for all it has to offer beyond the pollution and problems one tends to hear about so much, is not a very popular tourist destination.

The places we go because family is there are particularly unpopular – and thus, chances to show a China as it really is, as hardly anyone gets to see it, with less of the glamour Instagram demands, but even more honesty and authenticity…

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#GetAtHome in China: Deep in Hunan Countryside. Writing on the Road Less Traveled

Shanghai, as seen in my previous posts, provided several nice impressions.

Still, I keep saying that Shanghai is not quite China, and there’s a very #GetAtHome reason for that:

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China Circle - On the Mountain

Running in a Circle… in the Heart of China

Three years – has it really been three years already?! – after the first time I visited the place my wife grew up and her parents still (mainly) live, deep in the countryside of Hunan, we returned.

One of the things I returned to was running in a circle.

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Rural Hunan. Mao Zedong still watches over...

Two Views of China

Said goodbye to Europe shortly after the OutDoor Friedrichshafen 2016, went to the other place that is home for my wife and me, while also always being something of a place for ‘adventuring‘: China.

Wanted to share a few impressions which show something of the very different views…

China West-East, From the Plane

Goodbye to Europe

Goodbye to Europe

Hello Himalayas

Hello Himalayas (between Pakistan and China)

Takla Maklan, probably

Takla Maklan, probably

More Chinese Desert

More Chinese Desert

Settlement, Far West China

Settlement, Far West China

Northern Central China

Northern Central China

Northern Central China

Northern Central China, finally with more water

Mountains before (west of) Beijing

Mountains before (west of) Beijing – and before everything disappeared in cloud cover (and/or haze)

China Intimately, In Rural Hunan

Rural Hunan

Rural Hunan, where the road ends. Seemingly…

Rural Hunan. Grave in the Hillside

And even that far out, graves speak of the millennia of human occupation

Rural Hunan. Tomb

And tombs as well…

Rural Hunan. Mao Zedong still watches over...

Rural Hunan. Mao Zedong still watches over…

Rural Hunan. Butterfly

There is also wildlife, though

Rural Hunan. Dragonfly

Rural Hunan. Trash Burning

Trash is still being treated as if it were all biological material…

Rural Hunan. Farm Workers on Break

…much work is still done by hand…

Rural Hunan. Traffic

… but much transport has long since switched to motorization.

Rural Hunan. Market

The market is as I know it from our visit three years ago, and as it probably has been for centuries (except for the plastic)

Rural Hunan. Village(?) Street

Even in this village (if that’s what one wants to call it), construction has kicked up a notch – but that may be a different story yet.


Black Dragon Pond, Shennong Valley

The (Shennong) Valley at the End of the Road

The plan was to go to Chenzhou on Monday, be at some place where to float down a river – or is that a water amusement park? – on some sort of rafts… then the relatives on whose invitation that was to happen were coming back, Sunday, and suddenly the call was to pack because we’d be going somewhere else. Some place out in the countryside, up into mountains, which would be nicely cool. Now.

See what I said about flexibility?

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Grandma's House

A Trip to the Hunan Countryside

China, yes, but which China?

We hear so much about China, it’s hard to escape the news about it – but what do we ever hear and see anything about? Hardly how the majority of people live, what moves them, quite outside the usual focal points of the big cities and the people with grievances against the government (or, of course, the political and economic doings at the “important” levels).

All the more interesting to see the China that sounds like it should, in the drive for urbanization, be disappearing. Except here, it’s only in some parts that this does happen. In other parts, not so much.

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