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Showing posts with label Infrastructure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Infrastructure. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Following the Rainbow: A Pagoda, River, and Bridge in Ganxian, Ganzhou

A little over a week ago in Ganzhou, I saw a rainbowan uncommon experience for me during my years in China. Seeing the rainbow was all the more surprising because I hadn't noticed anything which made me think one was a likely possibility.

Later in the week on Saturday, I visited Ganzhou's Ganxian District (赣县区). A storm passed though during the afternoon, and as the rain subsided I thought it could be a prime opportunity to catch yet another rainbow. So I headed eastward down a tree-covered section of Meilin Street (梅林大街) to an intersection with a clearer view.

And there it was.

rainbow over Meilin Street (梅林大街) in Ganxian, Ganzhou (赣州赣县)


I hadn't ever seen two rainbows in such a short period of time in China. Looking further down the road, it appeared there might be some natural scenery to pair with the rainbow. So I changed plans and headed in that direction. By the time I reached the perimeter of Ganxian's most urban area, the rainbow was gone. Yet the view was still rewarding, and I spotted the Zhenxing Pagoda (振兴塔) in the distance.



Now intrigued by the tower, I headed toward it. Soon I was at the Gong River (贡水), the same river where I had earlier seen people observing the Hungry Ghost Festival in Ganzhou's Zhanggong District (章贡区).

Zhenxing Tower( 振兴塔) and the Gong River (贡水) in Ganxian (赣县), Ganzhou, Jiangxi


Nearby I spotted the Meilin Bridge (梅林大桥).

Meilin Bridge (梅林大桥) in Ganxian, Ganzhou


I then headed down to the riverbank where I took in more views and also saw construction work on a riverside walkway.

men walking on land sticking into the Gong River with the Zhenxing Tower (振兴塔) in background


construction of a walkway next to the Gong River near the Meilin Bridge in Ganxian


construction of walkway next to the Gong River in Ganxian


The previous time I saw a rainbow, I had to give thanks to a woman for the fact I saw it all. This time, I had to give thanks to the rainbow for bringing me to sights I would have likely missed otherwise. And I still ended up making it to my original destination, which I could fortunately appreciate even after the sun had set.

One more thing . . . While I had been walking near the river, there was a brief drizzle and a rainbow appeared once more. I wasn't in an ideal location during its brief existence. But nonetheless, I finally captured a rainbow in a more scenic Chinese setting.

Zhenxing Tower (振兴塔) and a rainbow

Monday, December 18, 2017

Elevated Arches in Wuhan

I'm hoping to soon return to posts with a bit more text in them. For now, here is another scene from the capital of Hubei:

Zhongbei Road, including an elevated section with many arches over it, in Wuhan
Zhongbei Road near Han Street

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Views of and from Toudao Street Station in Wuhan

The Toudao Street Station on Line 1 of the Wuhan Metro is a brief walk from one end of Gudesi Road. For contrasts to the previously shared scenes from Gudesi Road and of metro trains arriving at two other stations on Line 1, here are photos of two trains departing the station:

view of Toudao Street Station (头道街站) in Wuhan with a departing metro train
View of Toudao Street Station facing northeast from a pedestrian bridge


view from Toudao Street Station (头道街站) in Wuhan of a train departing
View facing southwest from Toudao Street Station

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Thanksgiving in Wuhan

I didn't have any rats running up my leg like I did in Changsha five years ago, but Thanksgiving this year was still a success. Although a holiday-special pulled turkey breast burger with cranberry BBQ sauce took way too long to arrive at lunch, the delay led to a free slice of dark chocolate cake (thank you, Sunny). The cake was more impressive than the burger, so it felt like a net win. For dinner I chose a Western upscale hotel with a buffet that I figured would be serving turkey today. Not only was I correct, but I arrived in time to score a leg. It took a little extra effort to communicate that, yes, I really wanted the whole leg. Early bird scores the worm and all that.

I won't be sharing any photos of the pricey food since none of it would be remarkable for Thanksgiving fare. Part of the reason for my choice in dining location tonight was that it would offer the opportunity for a late walk somewhere I hadn't visited before. So in that spirit, for a photo here is a scene from tonight in Wuhan's Hanyang District including the Yingwuzhou Yangtze River Bridge (鹦鹉洲长江大桥):

People near the Yingwuzhou Yangtze River Bridge (鹦鹉洲长江大桥) at night


Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Another View of the Juzizhou Bridge in Changsha

A followup to yesterday's Halloween-themed post is taking longer than expected and won't be finished today. So I will do a different (and simpler) followup.

Recently I shared photos of Changsha's Juzizhou Bridge viewed from the east side of the Xiang River north of the bridge as the sun lowered in the sky. For a variation, here is a photo taken from the west side of the Xiang River south of the bridge as the sun was close to going behind Yuelu Mountain, which is out of view.

two men fishing and the Juzizhou Bridge in Changsha


Of note are the two men fishing on the left side of the photo, the numerous buses on the bridge, and the taller buildings on the right side, three of which stand out more flashily in a photo I took at night four years ago from the same side of the river north of the bridge. Similar to the previous photo, the trees in the far distance are all on Tangerine Island in the middle of the river. The scene is less orangish than the previous photo probably due to facing away from the sun and a clearer sky, though the air quality was still bad — hovering around the border between the Unhealthy and Very Unhealthy categories for just a 24-hour exposure. The full size of the uploaded photo is slightly larger than usual and should be viewable by clicking (or whatever it is you do) on the photo above.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Two More Drained Lakes in Hengyang, Hunan

Within walking distance of the drained lake in Hengyang which once had several sunken pedal boats (and may again in the near future) are two other lakes, both artificial, which were also missing much of their water when I recently passed by.

One day at Yueping Park, workers weren't hard to spot at partially-drained Yunshui Lake.

workers at the bottom of partially-drained Yunshui Lake (云水湖) in Yueping Park (岳屏公园) in Hengyang


I also saw Lotus Lake at Lianhu Square had been drained.

drained lake at Lianhu Square (莲湖广场) in Hengyang


Once again, people were at work.

man walking in drained lake at Lianhu Square (莲湖广场) in Hengyang

workers in drained lake at Lianhu Square (莲湖广场) in Hengyang


And there was even a stranded pedal boat.

pedal boat in drained lake at Lianhu Square (莲湖广场) in Hengyang


I don't know the boat's condition before the lake was drained, but its location is curious.

Together, the three lakes represent some of the infrastructure work ongoing in Hengyang. More of that work, but not involving any lakes, later . . .

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Juzizhou Bridge: A Return to Changsha, Hunan

As recent posts suggest, I am now in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province. I arrived here while the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was underway. Coincidentally, I was also in Changsha five years ago during the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. At that time I experienced great difficulty using my VPN to get through the Great Firewall and access online sites blocked in China. This time I have had a far more online positive experience. I have not had any additional unusual problems since those I experienced almost three weeks ago in Zhongshan, Guangdong.

When I mentioned some of the internet challenges I faced five years ago, I shared a photo of Changsha's Juzizhou Bridge. A year later, I shared another photo of the bridge, this one from the western side of the river at night. Although a subway line below the river now matches its path, the bridge remains an important link across the Xiang River while also connecting Tangerine Island (Juzi Zhou) to both sides. Below is a fresh series of eight photos taken north of the bridge from the eastern side of the river. The colors may seem a bit off, but they are in part a result of something that hasn't changed much in Changsha since I first visited the city over 8 years ago — heavy air pollution. All of the photos include Tangerine Island, which blocks the view of the shoreline on the river's other side where the most easily visible buildings stand. In addition to people on and below the bridge, vehicles crossing the river, and ships passing by, the sun descends from one photo to the next, eventually to be partially hidden by Yuelu Mountain.

two people under Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



ship and Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



buses and people on Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



two boats approaching Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



ship approaching Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



man under Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



buses crossing Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha



sun setting behind Juzizhou Bridge (橘子洲大桥) in Changsha

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Fast Trip of Many Tunnels: From Guilin to Guiyang

Yesterday morning in Guilin I caught a taxi. It was rush hour, but at least I was headed out of the city center. Upon arrival at the Guilin North Railway station, I figured since it wasn't raining very hard I would get out of the taxi before opening my umbrella. I then found out the taxi had stopped at a place where a steady stream of water was pouring from a roof perfectly positioned for not covering a reasonable area where people might get out of a car.

My back was quickly drenched.

Life went on, and soon I was in the station. I didn't see a Texas Burger restaurant, but I had no need for one. I had recently eaten a small pack of unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds. Really, unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds are both good and filling.

Like my previous intercity trip, I boarded a high-speed train taking a route I had never traveled before. I expected many beautiful scenes. When some sunlight could penetrate to the tracks, even through clouds, some beautiful scenes did indeed appear. But these sunlit moments were fewer than I had expected. From the first stop in Rongjiang to my destination, I conservatively estimated at least 70% of the journey occurred while in tunnels. I have been on other rail lines with many tunnels, but this one was in a league of its own.

There are a lot of mountains in this part of China. And the high-speed rail line just goes straight through them. Fantastic for saving time. Not so great for views. Quite impressive though.

Upon arrival at my destination's North Railway Station, I quickly realized it was much larger than Guilin's. I also discovered that the taxi line is far past the still-under-construction subway station and past a long series of bus stops. But I still felt strength being drawn from the pumpkin seeds, so all was fine.

And soon I enjoyed a view from high up in the city.

view of Guiyang


No guessing games this time. If you can't identify the city from the photo (I suspect few can) or the title of this post (I suspect many can), I am now in Guiyang — the capital of Guizhou.

My first and only previous time in Guilin was nine years ago. My first time in Guiyang was eight years ago, and I last returned six years ago. In both cities a lot has changed, and that is part of the reason I haven't posted as much as I would have liked. There has been a lot to discover, sort out, and digest. Plenty of material for the future though . . .

And fear not, soon after my arrival in Guiyang I was enjoying an excellent sour and spicy dish. Pumpkin seeds have their limits.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Few Modern Tweets and an Old Newsreel on Flooding in Beijing and Tianjin

Today flooding is affecting Chinese cities such as Beijing and neighboring Tianjin. A tweet by Bill Bishop reminded me of some points raised in yesterday's post about flooding in Taiyuan.

Sam Crane remarked on a sliver of positive news:

Rain doesn't always mean much better air, but I similarly noticed the air during yesterday's flooding in Taiyuan was unusually good. That didn't last very long though.

Matthew Stinson remarked on some misleading posts regarding the flooding in Tianjin.

I doubt Stinson was referring to 77-year-old newsreels. But I will share below a brief account of the 1939 Tianjin flood which left thousands dead. The video includes some striking scenes from another time. It also includes a striking concluding statement: "So once more the swelling flood adds another burden to the tragedy of modern China".


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

More Flooding in China: Twenty Scenes from Taiyuan, Shanxi

In a piece about widespread flooding in China this year, Te-Ping Chen explored the possible causes, such as:
“China’s urban construction was carried out at too fast a pace,” says Jia Haifeng, associate professor with Tsinghua University’s environmental science and engineering department. Officials have tended to focus on visible projects such as roads, bridges and housing, he said. “They emphasized infrastructure above ground, but not so much infrastructure below ground.”

Many roads are built without being properly leveled, said Andrew Buck, an urban planner at Beijing landscape-architecture firm Turenscape, meaning that water easily accumulates. Older drainage systems often can’t accommodate current demands.
During my recent time in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi in northern China, I noticed it too apparently lacked appropriate infrastructure to deal with wet weather. Almost any time it rained, some streets became challenging to cross by foot or walk on (sometimes there isn't a useable sidewalk) due to water quickly accumulating in places.

Today the rain was especially heavy. When I went out for lunch I was soon faced with an unusual decision: try looking for food in another direction or step into water nearly knee-deep with a slight smell of sewage. I had deliberately put on sandals, was wearing shorts, and didn't have any open sores, so I figured I would take the submerged route to get a better sense of the extent of the flooding.

Below is a series of photos presented in the order they were taken during a brief outing this afternoon in a popular central shopping district. They include scenes of people crossing roads, vehicles trying to make it through high water, not-so-lucky vehicles, people dumping out water from an underground garage, a person clearing debris from a grating where water drained, and water flowing out of a sewer hole. Based on the pattern of garbage on the sidewalks, the flooding had already subsided from its high point by the time I made it outside. None of what I saw was as dramatic as what I experienced in Hengyang, Hunan, two years ago — in other words, no chengguan offered me a ride on a raft. It also wasn't as dramatic as many other recent examples of flooding in China. But the photos capture a side of life in a city, and in a country, in need of a water drainage infrastructure upgrade.

Car driving on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



car driving on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



Scooter and people on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



stalled car, person riding a bicycle, and people walking on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



young man and woman with umbrella on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



woman and girl with an umbrella walking on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



two young woman pulling up their skirts to avoid getting them wet on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



people crossing a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



men dumping out water from a flooded garage



men dumping out water from a flooded underground garage



SUV driving on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



woman pushing scooter on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



people crossing a flooded street next to a Starbucks in Taiyuan, China



man riding a motorbike on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



car driving on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



man standing in a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



open sewer hole cover in a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



young man clearing debris from a grating for drainage on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



motor-rickshaw on a flooded street in Taiyuan, China



water coming out of a sewer hole on a sidewalk next to a flooded street in Taiyuan, China