Changing China

Giant on the move

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China’s third-tier cities

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Forget Beijing and Shanghai. If you want to see real China, go to some of the country’s third tier cities.

They’re fascinating, and I’ve been trying to go to as many as possible before leaving China for my next post. Places like Chifeng, Ulanhot, Ankang and Golmud.

ChifengNever heard of them? Not surprising.

The Lonely Planet and other guides for foreigners either give them a passing mention or ignore them totally.

Why I like going to these cities is still a bit of a mystery, even to me. I suppose it’s for two reasons, and my friends think I’m crazy for it.

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