Stopping off in Manzhouli for a day – a border town between Russia and China – and wandering it’s streets viewing the interesting and slightly bizarre mix of Russian-influenced architecture and follies.
A day spent wandering around historic Harbin. Whilst much of the European and Russian style architecture has been preserved much of it is falling into disrepair.
230km north-east of Beijing, away from the smog amongst more green and mountainous surroundings lies a prefecture-level city called Chengde. Chengde is best known for it’s Qing Dynasty Mountain Resort. This is where the Qing Emperors spent many of their summer months, surrounded by trees and lakes escaping the oppressive heat of the Forbidden City. The palace grounds are situated… Read more →
My first introduction to 798 Art Zone was one of laser pointers, loud music and more leopard print lycra than you could shake a stick at. Yes, it was the 2011 INTRO music festival. Although a great venue for urban electronic festivals, 798 is most famous for housing Beijing’s vibrant art community. 798 Art Zone is an art district that… Read more →
Red Capital Residence I was lucky to find myself living in close proximity to one of the few protected areas in Beijing when I first moved here in 2010; the Dongsi 东四 area in Dongcheng district. The 14 hutongs (traditional Beijing alleyways) in this area are under a high level of preservation protection thanks to some innovative courtyard restoration projects that… Read more →
A look at a few ancient town preservation projects, proving that China does have the ability to approach building preservation in an even-handed and holistic way.
With Spring quickly approaching and a rare Beijing “blue sky day”, I recently found myself with a perfect opportunity to visit a local courtyard project in the city. I was invited by a friend Ian, an Old China Hand who also has an interest in Beijing’s culture and heritage, to visit a private courtyard in Banshang Hutong in the Xidan… Read more →
Dongzhimen in 1908 A portion of Beijing’s former outer wall, including the former east gate (dong bian men), were unearthed in Tongzhou district in 2011 during excavation works for the new subway Line 6, due for completion by 2015. There was much debate in the first half of 2012 as to what to do with these remains, with heritage preservation… Read more →