Mark’s China Blog worth a visit

I’ve been reading this blog recently and strongly recommend you go take a look. He obviously puts a lot of thought and work into it, and manages to keep his posts consistently interesting and intelligent, with just enough point of view to give it the sizzle a good blog needs. I wish I had read his piece on Pingyao 48 hours ago, before I decided to skip the city and head back directly to Beijing from Xi’an.

The Discussion: 10 Comments

Interesting, thanks for referring us Richard.

I like the first entry:

Recently shut down counterfeit goods sellers are angry. They want China to allow them to continue to break the law.

I really hope China does enforce the law. At some point it will want protection for its own goods and technologies overseas. Won’t happen if it doesn’t crack down/continue to crack down on pirates.

February 28, 2009 @ 7:10 pm | Comment

He was right on about Pingyao, which was first popularly featured to the Non-Chinese by NYTimes in 1999. I was worried that he didn’t mention Shuanglin Monastery, easily the most important temple housing Yuan and Ming sculptural art, but he did at the end.
He was not entirely correct about the better preservation effort of art and architecture in Pingyao and Shanxi in general. It wasn’t “backwater” that save these precious work of humanity (backwater maims cultural relics), but also the fact that Shanxi people have been known historically protective and adamantly respectful about cultural heritage. At the height of the GP Cultural Revolution, many Shanxi patriarchs and matriarchs simply locked up and obscured these historic destinations for protection, rather than opening or even inviting in the trouble makers to release their hatred. Shanxi’s arid inner Mongolian climate is also good for preserving timber architecture.
You can rent decent CCTV (I know!) soap operas on the Pingyao banking families of late imperial period.

March 1, 2009 @ 9:35 am | Comment

Thanks for following the link to his site; it deserves to have a lot of readers.

About the Pingyao preservation effort – you may disagree with some of the detail, but I am impressed that he wrote the article. I wish I had the fortitude at the moment to focus like that.

March 1, 2009 @ 10:31 am | Comment

Nice find. I completely agree.

March 2, 2009 @ 12:55 am | Comment

Hmmph. Did I not tell you that Pingyao was worth a visit? And the Shuanglin Temple very impressive also. BTW, the soap that Jason mentions is the one I saw at the airport that I wanted to buy! I’ve heard it’s really good.

March 2, 2009 @ 4:00 pm | Comment

Lisa, I never doubted Pingyao was worth a visit. His post just drove the point home, especially with his argument that if you’re coming back to Beijing from XiAn you really need to go by way of Pingyao. Now I wish I had done that. Next time.

March 2, 2009 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

By the way, Urumqi is a trip. My main complaint thus far (aside from the horrific taxi non-queue at the train station) is that the internet connectivity sucks big time. I suspect it’s the Nanny, because when I use the proxy, I don’t get the constant “You are not connected to the internet” messages. It’s still a big pain though.

March 2, 2009 @ 11:13 pm | Comment

Cool blog. Thanks for sharing the link.

March 3, 2009 @ 1:24 am | Comment

Lisa, you didn’t see Bai Yin Gu, did you?

March 3, 2009 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

Ya, Mark’s blog is great and it’s nice to see him getting some recognition for his work.

We’ve been reading it for over a year now. We first noticed his outstanding photos from his trip to Kashgar.

From there, we asked him to write a feature story Kashgar: The Far West of the Far East.

Congrats, Mark! And if you don’t mind a shameless plug, we’ve been publishing other China travel bloggers in our China Travel Features section. Another recent favorite is Viktoria Orizarska–check out her tale of training at a kung fu monastery in Yunnan and an interview about backpacking for charity.

March 5, 2009 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

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