China, Portfolio, Travel

Ancient Kashgar destroyed for “safety reasons”

Uyghur men in Kashgar souk By Alison Bate When I visited Kashgar just over three years ago, I was disappointed at first. The road in from the airport passed concrete roundabouts and boring buildings typical of the modern Han Chinese city. There was even a giant Mao statue close to the bus station. While Kashgar… Continue reading Ancient Kashgar destroyed for “safety reasons”

China, Travel

Winter in Urumqi

One of the world's most polluted cities The Toronto Star recently listed China's Urumqi as one of the Top Ten worst places to live in the world. The reason? Pollution. The list prompted my strangely fond memories of coughing and spluttering through winter in Urumqi while teaching English there between 2005 and 2006. By Alison… Continue reading Winter in Urumqi

China, Portfolio, Travel

Kicked Out Of The Karakoram

How we were turfed out of a village in remote China It was late January, the start of Chinese New Year, when Chris and I decided to escape the coal pollution, dirty snow and concrete overpasses of Urumqi. We were teaching English in the capital city of China‚Äôs remote northwestern province of Xinjiang. Tired of… Continue reading Kicked Out Of The Karakoram