Category Archives: Tourism

Privatizing clean air, part II

In an earlier post, I commented on the privatization of clean air as a business model that in effect commodifies what should be a basic right.  Clean air has become the bottled water of China’s 21st century; a once-ubiquitous resource … Continue reading

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Privatizing clean air

As living with toxic air becomes part of people’s mundane daily lives during the winter in northern and central China’s cities, it’s inevitable that the entrepreneurial exuberance of many urban residents will find ways to commodify the right of breathing … Continue reading

Posted in Consumption, Environment, Guizhou, Tourism, Urban China | 1 Comment

Living fossils of the frontier: Zhelaizhai’s “Roman Culture”

Two of my favorite topics when teaching about China’s geography, as many of my students know, are the cultural mixing that has occurred historically throughout China’s frontiers, and the ways localities in China have contrived all sorts of fantastic cultural … Continue reading

Posted in Frontiers, Imaginative Geographies, Rural China, Tourism | Leave a comment

Dreaming of marriage and a ‘Fragrant Princess’ on the frontier

Xinjiang has been in the news a lot recently,  After a series of violent incidents earlier this year, attention has turned to the ways the Chinese government has been managing ethnic relations in the region, particularly between Uighur and Han.  … Continue reading

Posted in Frontiers, Minzu, Regions of China, Religion, Tourism | Leave a comment

Just another roadside attraction

When the film Braveheart came out, tourists flocked to Scotland to see the land and heritage of William Wallace (even though it was filmed in Ireland).  After Downton Abbey  became popular, tourists went looking for the ‘real’ Downton Abbey in … Continue reading

Posted in Imaginative Geographies, Rural China, Tourism | Leave a comment

Shanzhai shopping

Continuing with the shanzhai tourism theme, there’s been a good deal of chatter recently about a new shanzhai shopping street near Wanda Square in Shenyang.  The street, built as a ‘European style pedestrian street,’ features shanzhai designer-brand boutiques and cafés.  … Continue reading

Posted in Globalization, Tourism, Urban China | 1 Comment

Shanzhai tourism

At the beginning of Caspar Stracke’s video of Tianducheng – Zhejiang’s mimetic Paris – we see the Eiffel Tower rising into a deep blue sky above clean white Parisian apartment buildings.  As the camera pans back, we realize that we’re … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Imaginative Geographies, Tourism | 2 Comments

Consumable villages – more on rural China’s boutique hotels

In an older post, I commented on the rise of entrepreneurs from China’s major urban areas buying old run-down properties in picturesque villages and turning them into boutique hotels for a new class of urban Chinese independent travelers.  Recently, the … Continue reading

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Consumable villages – “Many people dream of finding paradise, but they never really find such a place. But I did.”

A few lectures ago in class I mentioned the UNESCO World Heritage villages of Hongcun and Xidi in the context of raising questions about the ways heritage preservation in rural China can be an oppressive force that can alienate villagers … Continue reading

Posted in Rural China, Tourism | 1 Comment

China’s purchasing power aids an ailing Europe

One of the topics we’ll be addressing later in the semester, in the context of reading an essay that Travis Klingberg and I wrote about Chinese tourism for the forthcoming volume China In and Beyond the Headlines, is the increasing … Continue reading

Posted in Tourism | 1 Comment