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.

Continue reading

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