Thursday, 16 June 2016

1 Year In China...

Should I be freaking out?! Yes, I have made it to my one year milestone of living in China! Twelve months ago seems like a world away, I have settled into my kindergarten job and my mission to see China isn't going too badly! Six months on since checking-in around this time in December 2015, I want to reflect on my second installment of China life! 2016, stay blessed C!

Kicking off 2016 I boarded another China Southern flight from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, trading those neon lights for Xi'an, Shaanxi to see the Terracotta Warriors. I had finally got my passport back, setting me free to travel when the opportunity arose. Xi'an fuelled the fire for my travel expectations for the year ahead. I had passed the six month mark, work was getting easier and I was really enjoying the flow of kindergarten life. Sticking within Wuhan after my Xi'an New Year trip had to be done. I had Spring Festival coming up in February and I had some travelling to do within that winter break. Wuhan life then and now has become normal to me, I still get riled by the differences of China and England, I know I'm here for a reason. The temperature was at rock bottom during that winter time. Xi'an was the perfect kick-starter that got 2016 fired, I was ready for this chapter to unfold! Those Warriors, Xi!!

Sticking within Wuhan I was shown the build up to 2016's Chinese New Year celebrations, something had been missing during last Christmas because all of that tinsel was just for show. Famous songs could be heard blaring in the street, something told me that I was going to enjoy my second New Year celebration of 2016 a lot more than the previous Christmas. Wuhan may have had an immense chill going down but I was still out to see the city, one weekend before Spring Festival I revisited Hankou's Jiang'an District to find the Gude Temple, Dazhimen Station and a healthy serving of Urban Decay! Was I missing home during my seventh month living in China, I wasn't because I was and I'm still living a dream! Would I be getting another tattoo during that month? No, I wasn't sure on a design that was right for me at that point but I was on the look out! January 2016 served as the perfect introduction to my second instalment of my first year in CN. I longed to be across the borderline!

Saying goodbye to my students for their winter holiday, I was ready for my Spring Festival trip but I would miss those kids at the same time! Boarding my 'high speed train' to Shenzhen North, I zoomed down to the LoWu border checkpoint to leave Mainland China for the former British Overseas Territory of Hong Kong. It had been a dream of mine to visit HK, that very dream came true on the 1st of February 2016 for real! Spending three full days in Kowloon with my friend, Kelly who I had studied with at university in Birmingham I was afforded a real Hong Kong treat. Viewing a million lights from Victoria Peak to then taking a boat over to Tai O Fishing Village on Lantau Island, I felt truly blessed! Those Hong Kongers knew what to do, it was so clean and tidy! A definite feeling of order and clarity was felt within their modern society. I may have been close to the Chinese border but HK felt like good old England to me! How I adore HK!

Leaving HK I skimmed over to Macau on the hydrofoil to continue my 2016 Spring Festival holiday. Macau was once a Portuguese Colony until 1999, it was amicably handed back to China after the agreement with Portugal had finished. I was looking for some good Portuguese fusion food and a glimpse of the UNESCO protected old town that sure oozed Colonial Realness! The Ruins of St. Paul's were definitely crowded but it made my Macau trip feel complete. Back on another train but back over the border in China I headed to Guangzhou for three days. Guangzhou showed me the towering rainbow lit Canton Tower, the nighttime showed off GZ's stunning futuristic skyline! Going back to another Colonial time I loved Shamian Island, it showed me how the British made their connections in GZ all those years ago, it was fascinating. Guangzhou showed me how Spring Festival is done, I adored the feeling at the Hualin Temple! When I arrived back to Wuhan I was in need of a nice rest! 

Getting back to work was something to get used to after the month break I enjoyed in February, nevertheless I was ready for the challenge of my second semester of teaching English in Wuhan, China. The heat had been turned up several notches but I knew I could handle the pressures of that time because it was all happening for a reason. March was predominately about work, so when April arrived I was excited to leave Hubei Province for a weekend in Changsha, Hunan Province. I stayed with my friend Andy and had a great time getting to know what Changsha had to show me. Boarding my fifth 'high speed train' of the year during April 2016 I spent one weekend in Xianning, Hubei Province with my fellow teaching friend, Fiona. My Scottish friend gave me a weekend to remember, it was great to see a smaller city within Hubei Province for Wuhan's manic vibe got me crazy during that time! Oh the drama! The brief getaway gave me life C!

So, Changsha and Xianning got me through April, things had been mixed up for the better so May had some much needed chill to offer! Flying for a change I touched down in my first Chinese Autonomous Region for my Guilin May Day Holiday. Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region allowed me to spend three days in Guilin, exploring the compact city centre allowed me to see the Sun and Moon Pagodas and catch a glimpse of the Li River. Trusting my China Highlights tour I had an amazing time seeing the Long-Haired Ladies of the Huangluo Yao Village, those ladies knew how to serve their long jet-black locks! Keeping it together I made my way around the Longji Rice Terraces at heights that took my breath away, the views were sensational with the mist making the vista look quite mystical! Casting my mind back to climbing Mount Snowdon, I saw navigating my way around the Rice Terraces a lot easier compared to that Welsh pursuit. So, March was stressful but April and May both slayed!

My twelfth month living in China saw me getting into the groove teaching at work, I never rest on my laurels because China loves change but things have become easier. Ten months a kindergarten teacher I feel settled but I know that there's room for growth. Arriving into Shanghai just after Dragon Boat Festival 2015 it was time for me to experience Nanjing, Jiangsu Province for 2016's Dragon Boat Festival. After seeing sights in Wuhan and Guangzhou dedicated to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen I was not going to miss out my opportunity to see the Zhongshan Mausoleum! Accessed in less than four hours by 'high speed train' from Wuhan Railway Station, I haven't spent any time to relax during my holidays since arriving in China. Nanjing had me in circles, I will admit that my sense of direction was called up more than once. The Qinhaui River looked lovely during that June eve, I felt centred during that one year milestone trip. It felt good!

June also saw me get over to Hankou's Bund and Riverside District, I hadn't discovered that area properly until that one year point. I enjoyed staying close to Guanggu for that day of sightseeing and I even found ASDA milk in a Wal-Mart that was near to my Hankou location that day! The weekend of my one year anniversary of living and in China was spent getting very boozy indeed, I had been cultured in Nanjing and had taken note in Hankou, so I wanted to enjoy that special milestone with my friend, Fiona out on the tiles in Guanggu, Wuhan! I'm planning to spend another year teaching English in Wuhan, China, so I have every confidence the next year will be filled with as much travel and will see me learn valuable experience at work as a kindergarten teacher. From Xi'an to Macau then to my recent stop in Nanjing, I feel extremely blessed to have travelled so much! My professional life continues to help me move forward with my goal to teach for two years. Oh my, I actually did it!

One Year Done! 

Joseph Harrison 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Nanjing: China's Southern Capital

Nanjing called me back to China's Jiangsu Province to see the Middle Kingdom's former capital city. Sun Yat-Sen's Mausoleum was on my top list of places to visit, recognising the feeling Chinese people shared for Nanjing impressed me! I zoomed away from my Hubei Province base for Dragon Boat Festival without a seconds thought! Oh, Nanjing was golden! Chaotian Palace?

Not wasting any time I boarded my China 'high speed train' from Wuhan Railway Station bright and early, I was bound for Nanjing South Railway Station for my Dragon Boat Festival trip. Xiejiekou on the Nanjing Metro had me all confused with it's mammoth twenty-one exits, but thankfully I found my hotel in a respectable amount of time! I didn't have time to make a pre-trip plan because work had been super busy before my June trip arrived, choosing a nearby station on the metro line I was ready for Nanjing to show me everything and more! Getting off the metro at Zhangfuyuan to find a small riverside walkway, centred around numerous hangouts frequented by Nanjing's elders, grandfathers played board games, as their wives cradled their newborn grandchildren without a care in the world, I stopped to take a glimpse of that scene as it looked organic. Nanjing had a lovely vibe, as it served normality in the big city!

Chaotian Gong was in view, I had no idea it even existed! I was in that much in a rush before that June trip to do my usual pre-trip research! A former Ming Dynasty palace, nowadays Nanjing's Chaotian Gong informs visitors as part of the Nanjing Municipal Museum. I passed through the terracotta red gates, not having one single clue what I was about to see, I was excited! The near empty courtyard and gardens were filled with a sense of chill, considering it was the first day of a National Holiday I was very lucky to be one of the few visitors during that afternoon. I was schooled about the vast history of Nanjing, throughout my visit I was informed about the city's former days as the capital of China and it's main figure, the remarkable Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. I'm no history buff but I just can't say no to a bit of Chinese history from time to time! The stresses of the previous week just melted away, the serene and picturesque settings of Chaotian Palace was ace. Yes, China is just amazing!

Still on my first day in Jiangsu Province, I wanted to see one more place before taking it easy for the day was pressing on. I made a swift detour from Nanjing's Chaotian Palace to the 1912 Casual Street, I was staring at something I could find in Wuhan's Han Street. I had a little look around to see only bars and restaurants present, before going underground once more. Heading for the Qinhuai River, stopping at Fuzimao to reach the waters of this Nanjing spur from the mighty Yangtze River it was nearing the hours of dusk. I had made up good time since stepping off my 'high speed train' from Wuhan, Hubei, I was hopeful to catch a glimpse of such a popular view. Without further ado, a most darling scene was handed to me with two views from both sides that were effortless to witness. The side that has been captured served a calmer vibe compared with the opposite side that had riverside restaurants and bars. Yes, go on Jiangsu!

Nanjing wasn't the first place I had visited in China's Jiangsu Province, no I spent one week in Suzhou within the same province for training purposes during June 2015. Nanjing didn't have a strong presence of foreigners, saying that the vast majority of tourists that I saw were mostly Chinese tourists who were visiting from other parts of the country for the holiday. I was already looking to the next day, I was planning to see the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, the pioneer that paved a way for China after the fall of the final Dynasty. The views of the Qinhuai River gave me life, I had managed to squeeze quite a lot into my first afternoon and evening in Nanjing. Leaving the maze of Chinese tourists behind, I headed back to Zhangfuyuan for some food. With my pizza in hand I wanted nothing more to go back and relax at my hotel with a bit of CCTV 9, the walk back to my hotel didn't go as planned because Nanjing had me lose my sense of direction! No, I didn't appreciate getting lost at all!

Bright and early the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum was calling me, that former Chinese figure was one of the reasons why I had chosen to visit Nanjing, Jiangsu. Following the growing numbers of Chinese tourists from Xiamafang station on Nanjing's metro network, I kept to the well signposted path, I was expecting an epic climb to be ahead of me but I was pleasantly surprised to not have to hike too much! Closing a chapter on China's long Dynasty's, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen showed China that it could survive and become a prosperous country without the rule of its former Emperor's and their Empresses. Since visiting the 1912 Uprising Museum in Wuhan I have taken a keen interest in the work Zhongshan did for China. I tried not to be bothered by the growing numbers of tourists, it was getting more humid by the second, keeping it together I took my photos and proceeded to the top of the steps. Oh, Nanjing was serving!

I couldn't believe the view from the top of the stairs, it was quite a height but the hazy skies masked the view slightly, but I was OK with that! Snaking around the long line I made my way into see the Mausoleum for myself, I was very impressed with what I saw and it slightly reminded me of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. with the large sitting statue of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen as it shared a pose similar to Abraham Lincoln. Two young guys stood at both sides of the entrance to the Mausoleum, they were holding 'no photography' signs but that didn't mean anything to one lady, she attempted to take several photos on her iPhone but I made it very clear to her that she was being extremely disrespectful, it wasn't even my history and I knew how to behave! I really appreciated seeing another place of interest that schooled me further about Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. After making my way back down towards the main entrance I was so thirsty, instead of water I found beer! Yes to beer o'clock, NJ!

I went back to Fuzimao, the area near the Qinhuai River had something more to show me. I decided to make a whistle-stop visit to the Confucian Temple, otherwise known as 'Dacheng Hall' to see a Nanjing site that had been hailed as a must see whilst in the city. Finding my way around the winding corners amongst the tourist appropriate oriental shops I found the gates to the Confucian Temple. Built in 384 I had a little look around the compact temple garden and peered into one of the main halls. The weather was getting gradually hotter, after giving the temple my full attention I took the chance to get some lunch, before making my next move. Bypassing Mochou Lake I took a taxi back to my hotel to catch some more CCTV 9. Refreshed and relaxed I took an early evening walk from my hotel to the centre of Xiejiekou, it showed me a oriental interpretation of NYC's Times Square with its electric love! A blessed day!

I had no idea how much shopping Xiejiekou had to offer, going back to the start I admired the same energetic sight that greeted me two days previously. I would be returning to a long and stressful week back at work in Wuhan the very next day, so I decided with some forward thinking to get my ASDA milk from the nearest Walmart that happened to be just off the main junction in Xiejiekou, call me sad but I wasn't traipsing all the way to Jianghan Road after getting off that Wuhan bound 'high speed train' the next day! No way, Wuhan! Nanjing was golden, easing my stressed self I was feeling on top form to make the trip back to Wuhan. I saw everything and more during my Dragon Boat Festival trip, seeing my third Zhongshan point of interest will enable me to publish a special blog during the latter part of 2016. The Confucian Temple didn't blow me away but Nanjing's Chaotian Gong showed me why Nanjing was and still is China's Southern Capital! So, Nanjing you stay golden!

Next Stop, Zhengzhou!

Joseph Harrison

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

June 2015: London, Shanghai & Suzhou!

Since jetting off to China I have been on a crazy and amazing journey, for the moment I would like to reflect on the month of my departure from England to Shanghai, China. June 2015 had me on a mission, it also saw me discovering new parts of London and then soaring into the clouds, bound for the Far East! Oh, it was safe to say that my arrival into China threw shade!

Leaving the hotel life behind me I packed up my suitcase and left Bilston, of course I was sad to say goodbye to my family but I knew life had many exciting things in store for me. Heading down to London to take care of my Chinese visa I stayed with my parents, I was ready to leave for China but I was all up for seeing some more of London before my flight was called! Getting my Chinese visa and those formalities sorted I had some time spare, I looked towards Limehouse and Poplar to serve some Docklands Realness! I was living for the chic apartments that overlooked the skyscrapers at Canary Wharf from the Limehouse Basin. E17's own Walthamstow called me for one June afternoon, I adored that corner of North East London, those Turkish delights tasted just right and I loved a certain street that had a brilliant name! Yes, Columbia Road Flower Market was great! London, you know that you are timeless to me! Get it! 

June 2015 soon came round, I had been working at a Walsall based hotel for around four months as a receptionist. I saw that hospitality time as a valuable choice, I enjoyed being back in a routine and having the opportunity to invest in my future Oriental move, giving me the tools to move forwards. I met some nice people during my time working at that West Midlands hotel but I was onto the next phase without a seconds thought. Nearing the next chapter of my life I was ready to embark on a move to a part of the world I had never been to and to be something that I had only dreamed of. I secured a job with a reputable English training centre, I had accepted a job as an English teacher within one of their Wuhan centres. I had only ever heard of Wuhan through my friend Catherine who had previously taught in Wuhan. I was both scared and excited! London distracted me from the enormity of the move, acting as the perfect transition. Truthfully, I was more excited about the flight!

Another set of goodbyes had to be said as I clutched my boarding cards and passport. I hadn't flew on a long-haul flight since 2013 so I was nervous about that. Goodbyes done, I had the prospect of a delayed flight so I saw it fit to head for one of the bars within that Heathrow departure lounge. I travelled with Sri Lankan Airlines from London Heathrow to Shanghai Pudong via Colombo, Sri Lanka. That two day journey was not a problem for the cabin crew were amazing, nothing was too much trouble and I even managed to get a photo with two members of the cabin crew. It did feel crazy to be 30,000 ft in the sky, as I ate my curry as we were flying over Slovakia, I couldn't believe I was on my way to China! After touching down into Colombo International Airport I had to politely push my way through the crowded cabin to make my slim connection that was already one hour delayed! I was ready for Shanghai!

The seat belt signs were illuminated, it was time for my Sri Lankan aircraft to make its finals into Shanghai's Pudong International Airport! It honestly didn't feel real as I disembarked that Asian bird, I gazed at the Chinese signs and took caution whenever I saw a Chinese border guard as they looked pretty imposing. My suitcase looked as if it had been flung from one aircraft to the next in more than a hurry, the connection time was so short I was relieved my belongings had even made the Shanghai flight! My transfer drove for what felt like an age, finding my hostel was such a hassle I'd rather forget about that infuriating and frantic time but I was livid when I saw that so called 'Youth Hostels Association' property wasn't fit for even a dog to sleep in! China was teaching me at lighting pace to run with whatever my new life would throw at me, I embraced that situation! After travelling for over two days all I wanted was some sleep, I was pure raging though! Say what?!

Shanghai gave me life, reawakening my sense of international love for the world. England was not giving me life, Shanghai's neon vibe and world class skyline was the perfect tonic! I gazed across the vast Huangpu River during my first evening in Shanghai, China to be transfixed by the futuristic and dazzling skyline that Shanghai served! Nanjing Road was an attack on my senses, was I previously living a sheltered life before going to China? I was taken aback by the amount of people who were going about their business, I was yet to realise that shopping is a favourite pastime for Chinese people. The Shanghai Bund was something of a colonial masterpiece with its British style, if truth be told I did feel like I was in an oriental Liverpool! Shanghai, China for all its quirks and crazy, that Chinese municipality was showing me I had made the right choice. It took enough time to get to China, I had to soak it all up! 这是惊人的! 是! 

I made the best of my questionable hostel, I made my way out for something to eat on the first evening spent in Shanghai. I had no idea where to eat, I was nowhere near English signs so I finally decided to just go with it! Choosing an uncomplicated looking noodle cafe I was about to eat my first proper meal in China, I was under the illusion I would be able to get a fork to eat my food, no! I almost ordered frog because the girl who was taking orders had no clue what I was pointing to and it was all a complete gamble because Chinese writing made no sense during that moment. Thankfully, I had ordered a bowl of beef noodles, taking a pair of chopsticks I embraced that situation because it was enough me being the only white person there! I hadn't planned much for my time in Shanghai, I had the obvious places in mind to see but I wanted to leave an element of surprise to my visit. I left the hostel one night early, I needed to sleep as the next part of the month would be mad! Lái ba!

Packed into a minivan, myself and ten or so other wannabe foreign teachers were heading down an unfamiliar looking motorway on our way to Suzhou, Jiangsu. I had signed a contract with a popular English training school, that selected training week was destined for Suzhou so flying into Shanghai a few days earlier gave me the chance to shake off my jet-lag before getting stuck into my training. I met some really nice people from America, Puerto Rico, Canada, England and Scotland. I loved spending time with Sam, from Glasgow she sure had a great sense of humour and being from the same United Kingdom we became good friends quickly. I was out of my depth for sure, I just had to make it to Wuhan to see how the following two months would pan out. I had severely underestimated some of what was about to happen but I used everything that I had, things were definitely meant to be! Alright, I had to get into this gig! Yes!

Passing my TEFL exam and getting a good grade on my demonstration class, I had made the grade so far during that Suzhou week of training. Our hotel was really nice, we even had an allowance that didn't last long! We would spend the evenings going out for meals, I never knew that Muslim people existed in China or that Halal Chinese food tasted so good!? After the first day of demonstration classes we decided to go out for a celebratory meal to toast the successes of the day. As soon as a bottle of 'Baijiu' was introduced to the table there was no going back, we all went on to got incredibly boozy that night! I knew the final night was going to get crazy so I packed my case the night before my super early train to Hankou, Wuhan the next day. Crawling onto that Hubei bound train I could safely say that my introduction to China up until then had been memorable for many reasons! June 2015 was a game-changer for certain, it was something else! Mad for my first month! Yes!

Never Forget, June 2015!

Joseph Harrison 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Hankou Bund & Riverside District, Wuhan

Taking my weekend back I traded a night out on the tiles for a sightseeing day in Hankou, Wuhan. During July 2015 I spent a little time in Jianghan District but I wanted to take some time to look further into Hankou Bund and the nearby Riverside area. I was schooled beyond belief about Wuhan's expansion into a trading powerhouse, I was all about the British Concession! 

Forgive me but I didn't feel an Oriental vibe as I checked out Wuhan's Hankou Customs House, the former headquarters of Wuhan's booming import and export empire. Beginning its life on January 1st 1862 by a British man, T. Dick opened this trading house to help unleash Wuhan as a key trading hub during those early imperialistic years. I had passed this Wuhan sight too many times before making it my mission to see what secrets lay behind this regal looking Customs House. Nowadays, I'm not sure where the dealings of Wuhan's modern trade take place but the former Hankou Customs House sits behind an imposing complex of high-rise apartment blocks, it definitely provided a striking comparison. Opened as a museum during late 2015, I knew that Jianghan would require my attention once the weather brightened up, Wuhan's central location provides some awful weather! Yes, Jianghan District was British!

Along with Tianjin and Shanghai, Wuhan was chosen to become a trading empire under a special treaty after the Second Opium War, I made it my mission to read up as much as I could about the history of Hankou and the early formation of Wuhan as those three Hubei mega-towns began life as a trio before they joined forces. Taking my time to appreciate the restored Realness of Wuhan's Customs House I was appreciating the stature Hankou and the surrounding Wuhan City possessed. The period features of the Jianghan Customs House gave me a feeling of European classic, throwing shades of a British style that I saw in Shanghai along it's very own Bund. Irrespective of the differing views of Wuhan's phase of British rule, it's evident to see that 154 years later Hankou and the rest of this Hubei province capital has prospered beyond belief. Jianghan District was showing me so much more than it had done before, I was definitely proud of being British! Oh, Jianghan District still serves W!

Hankou's Jianghan colonial corner is now famed for Jianghan Road, a nonstop pedestrian shopping street that maybe great for some but I'm not one for shopping all the time! After stopping for lunch following my Jianghan Customs House museum visit I was in hot pursuit of Poyang Street. Away from the bright lights and crowds of Jianghan Road, it's not difficult to find an historic kind of Jianghan District that presents something from a former Hankou moment in time. Searching for some Realness on Baidu Maps, Poyang Street looked to be the avenue within Jiaghan's Riverside District for me! Still inhabited by Wuhan City people that vintage Hankou street gave me life, I loved the rustic feel of that hidden Jianghan gem. A previous visit to Hankou's nearby Jiang'an District showed me a slice of Urban Decay, Poyang Street had me in the same head-space for certain! Oh WUH, I definitely felt another colonial vibe!

The local city dwellers of Poyang Street must have thought I was crazy to be snapping away with my camera, I was loving the sunshine and sights too much to care that beautiful Sunday afternoon! Staying within the former British Concession, my mind couldn't help but run wild as some of the abandoned buildings looked old enough to have been part of Wuhan's British influence. It was insane to think the craziness of Jianghan Road was less than a five minute walk away from the uncomplicated vibe of Poyang Street, I'll only be going back to Jianghan Road when I use the Wuhan Metro to get my ASDA milk from the Walmart superstore. Yes, ASDA milk in Wuhan, China! As I came to the crossroad with Qingdao Road I noticed a huge restoration project was powering ahead, I hope that development gives me another reason to see Poyang Street again?! Finding Poyang Street took some digging, nothing good comes easy so that slice of Urban Decay was so worth it! Go, Jianghan!

Take me to the river! Taking a break from my Jianghan District mission I took a rest alongside the banks of the mighty Yangtze River. Hankou's Beach Park was heaving with all sorts of Wuhan folk, from families who's children were flying their colouful kites to fashion forward young professionals, it was the perfect environment for all! That June afternoon had reached thirty degrees, that city Riverside view helped chill things out. I had been to Hankou's Beach Park before but I hadn't experienced such good weather within the Jianghan section, the Jiang'an section back in January 2016 was as cold as ice! The concrete design definitely overpowered the plant-life but I wasn't going to complain about my Yangtze view, that mega waterway was working hard that afternoon with countless cargo vessels passing by, it only added to the nonstop atmosphere that Wuhan owns! Summer, hurry up already! Now!

I'm nearing my first year spent living in Wuhan, China, during that time I have been extremely lucky to hop on the Wuhan Metro to spend time along the Hankou Bund at the Beach Park alongside the Yangtze River. Almost like when I lived Newark, NJ I would jump on the PATH Train to New York City, I'll always be grateful for these opportunities! The Yangtze never stops, owning the fast paced waters this Chinese waterway fills the Wuhan section with a number of cargo and passenger vessels everyday, with hopes of a new super inland port, its an exciting time to see what new trade this gargantuan river will see?! When the sun bothers to shine along Jianghan's section of the Beach Park everyone comes out to relax and to spend time with their friends or family, I have to say that whether its night or day there's always a relaxed mood as this frantic city pushes onwards. There's no doubt in my mind that within the Jianghan District this is one of my top places to take it easy! 得到它去!

Hankou's Jianghan District makes up just one part of the Hankou Bund, primarily showcasing the buildings from the former British Concession. Being a citizen of Great Britain I always relish the chance to capture a piece of history that dates back to the days of the British Empire, we may not have been popular for our unorthodox methods of colonisation but Hankou's Bund within Wuhan's Jianghan District looked as regal as ever to me. Once the playground of the British, American, Russian and Japanese diplomats and traders this prominent Riverside facing boulevard has a line of worthy buildings that still look on-point to this day! Casting my mind back to my first five days spent in China, I marveled at the elegant Shanghai Bund, it served a sense of Liverpudlian Realness as it resembled the striking waterfront historical buildings by the city's port. Hankou Bund stands in a league of its own for we've all got to serve it all!

Jianghan, Hankou showed me that Wuhan has many hidden depths, ranging from a controversial trading history that paved the way for it's modern day successes in this Chinese city! Jianghan was schooled how to make the best of its waterfront location, the Yangtze River was taken to new heights with the influence of foreign interest that called Hankou their home for many years. A new museum had been fashioned at the Hankou Customs House to educate people about the vast history and the future of this progressive Central Chinese city in Hubei Province. Turning back the hands of time I adored the Urban Decay of Poyang Street and I do hope to see more historical gems brought back to life in the near future! Rolling on a river, the Beach Park showed me another section since my previous Jiang'an District visit! The bright lights and department stores of Jianghan Road may glow nicely when the sunsets but I'm all about the historic charm and nonstop energy that Jianghan owns! Rock it!

I'm Living For Jianghan!

Joseph Harrison