CHINA: HONG KONG ON THE CHEAP

THE TIMES Hong Kong has earned a gaudy reputation as a metropolis where consumption is nothing if it’s not conspicuous.  China’s new emperors of bling revel in flashing the Yuan and deliver master classes in glitz.  Fortunately, for a city so obsessed with economic might, it’s still possible for those with more modest monetary means to visit without stir-frying their finances.  This is the way to do the city on a budget without skimping on style. Continue reading

CHINA: SHANGHAI CITY PORTRAIT

INTELLIGENT TRAVELLER Shanghai’s modern skyline would be recognised immediately by Buck Rogers. The ever taller and preposterously capped skyscrapers look like they’ve been designed en-masse by a comic-book illustrator from the 1950’s. It is, quite simply, a wonderful twenty-first-century futurama of both beautiful and ugly architecture. Continue reading

CHINA: CRUISING IN XITANG

GUARDIAN I wouldn’t normally associate a haunt like Xitang with the toothy gleam of Hollywood royalty. It’s hard to imagine high-octane players like Tom Cruise kicking back in an ancient Chinese water-village and much easier to picture the place filled with decadent opium dens and people idling on sampans. But incontrovertible proof was there to see: up on the wall in a restaurant – and it will soon be seen by many more on silver screens worldwide.

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CHINA: HIGH ON THE HOG: YEAR OF THE PIG

GUARDIAN This won’t make me popular north of the border, but here goes anyway: Hogmanay is for wimps. There, I’ve said it. If you want to play with the big boys during new year celebrations, you’ll have to travel a lot further afield than Scotland; and you can forget the end of December, too. Six thousand miles and February will get you the real deal. Continue reading