The Road To Shanghai Day One- Reflections on an Expressway

Reporting in from smoggy Zibo! Extremely clear day leaving Beijing today, something unusual for the typically polluted city, but apparently the local officials here in Zibo didn’t get the memo, because as soon as we entered the city limits, we immediately noticed the heavy smog through which the setting sun was filtering through. One of the things I typically do in my “alone” time in my helmet when on trips in China is make comparisons with experiences from back home. Given that this was my first time covering any sort of long distance on the Chinese expressway, I spent a good part of my day thinking about the parallels with the interstate system back home in the US, which is now the only country with a larger and more developed expressway system then China. No Motorcycles Allowed This is certainly the most obvious comparison but is definitely worth mentioning: bikes
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The Illustrated Rules of the Road When Driving in China

This incredibly entertaining and accurate write-up was passed along to me by a friend also living in China. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet identified the original author, but I’ll be sure to provide an update when we do. In the meantime, please enjoy this walkthrough of a typical crossing at an intersection in China. And if you have any of your own experiences where you can relate to this, please share in the comments below! UPDATE: Original author found. Took less than 12 hours to find the original, five year old post that this originated from. Incredible what the internet can uncover. I think the best part is is that despite how quickly China has been developing, this pre-olympic illustration still rings true for a lot of us. Enjoy the post, originally from So I’m Going to China by Henry B. The Basics of Driving in China: A Walkthrough The following
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Harley and Honda at The Beijing Autoshow

Asia’s biggest auto show in the world’s fastest growing and biggest auto market – Beijing, China. Though the focus was obviously on cars (for some Chinese news organizations though it was the models, including one wearing a diamond dress) there were some motorcycle companies displaying at the show. Interesting actually to compare this with the actual motorcycle show they had in Beijing last year (read our post on the first China Motorcycle and Parts Exhibition), which was not nearly as impressive. Here are some pics from the Autoshow this year including the motorcycle displays:
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Ryan Pyle’s Guinness World Record Trip Around China

I came upon this story recently through my oft-overlooked University Alumni e-newsletter from University of Toronto. The reason it caught my eye was the subject: “Documenting China – An Alumni Speaker Series Event”. So I opened up the email to see what this was all about, and it turns out that a fellow alum, Ryan Pyle (HBA 2001, New College) had very recently toured around the entirety of China with his brother Colin, in an adventure that they called the Middle Kingdom Ride. The ride was not only record setting for the longest motorcycle ride in a single country at 18,000km, but they also filmed the whole trip and plan on releasing the feature length documentary later this year. Ryan first came to China after graduation in 2001 and, as with many that come to visit China, he became hooked from that point forward. Ryan started off his career freelancing
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Day 2- 100 Year Old Dumplings and a Seaside Ghost Town

China Traveler’s Tip: Always check your bill from your restaurant and hotels. As we were checking out this morning, the front desk/cleaning staff tried to tack on extra charges, claiming that we had used one of the for-pay packaged extras in the room. As soon as we double checked and then started kicking up a fuss though, they quickly said it didn’t matter and let us be on our way. This wasn’t the first time that this had happened when traveling in China unfortunately. We were back on the road a little later than we would have liked but made pretty good time getting to Changli where my co-worker Cindy was going to meet us. Changli was a very typical Chinese city- very crowded, busy, and congested but nice enough with a big scenic mountain in the backdrop. It certainly didn’t have the eerie feel that Tangshan from the night
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