The following was a script I wrote for my soon to be released youtube video. The one thing I learned from this new experience of scripting out what you want to say – is that it is hard and it is easy to get the timing wrong by overwriting…
Wait, that is two things!!
Welcome back to my channel.
This is Iain, your host for today.
If you have not subscribed to my channel, please do so by using the button below. I will show you around China and share the reality with you, so you do not get confused by the negative narrative in Western media.
Today I am going to share with you 10 cities I have been to in China.
It is a flying visit for you so if you need to pause and rewind, then do that because I will be moving quickly.
Are you ready?
Okay, City number one and this is the city that I Live in.
NUMBER 1 BEIJING
- Beijing is Huge, I mean Huge.
- About 22 million people are living in the City of Beijing.
- Beijing is the Capitol of China and is the city where the Government is situated.
- Beijing – means the Northern Capital.
- It gets freezing here in the Winter and very warm in the summer, and in between that is a short autumn and fresh, fast spring and a rainy season that always makes me feel at home.
- Beijing has an excellent metro system to get around the city. It is incredibly cheap – like a 10th of the price in a typical European city.
- You can also get around the City by Taxi or by Bike.
- From Being you can get to most places in China going by plane or the high-speed Bullet Train
- And one final quick point, it is famous for the three ‘F’s’ – the food, the fashion and the fabulous history, okay I made that bit up…
- But there are tons to do in a city that is similar to a New York City; the only difference is it is super safe here, no gun crime at all.
- Oh, and the air is a lot cleaner now, so no worries in that department.
NUMBER 2 TIANJIN
- Tianjin is about 90 miles south of Beijing, and it takes about 35 minutes by bullet train.
- The population of Tianjin is about 16 million people.
- You would not think that though because it is a tranquil city and it feels very calm when you are there.
- Tianjin is close to the Bohai Sea, and it has a beach with sand and everything. (laugh)
- Tianjin has many foreign influences – Germany, Britain, Russia, France, Italy, Japan… and this has left a legacy in Tianjin that you can see in the architecture and reflected in the wide selection of food.
- The city is so clean, and like all Chinese City’s it is very safe to walk about at night.
- There are lots to recommend about Tianjin. If you visit Beijing and want to visit another city, you can not go wrong with Tianjin.
- It is close enough to Beijing that you can do it overnight. There is a brilliant Ritz Carlton hotel next to the famous Astor hotel, well worth seeing. The Ritz is well worth stopping at as it has a very competitive price for a nights stay.
NOTE: CHINA IS HUGE
- Just q quick heads up – China is a massive country, and it has so many incredible places to visit. I have not even scratched the surface of this fascinating country.
- There are 1.4 billion people and a rich historical and cultural background that unites the country. Still, when you move around the different cities, you can feel that each city is different from the other in many ways.
- The one thing that runs through the many city cultures is the food. Food is central to everything in China, and from my own personal experience, the food is simply fantastic.
- Mandarin is the official language in China, but it has different accents and variants. All of them are not easy to learn at all, and learning the language remains my biggest challenge.
- Coming from Glasgow, I can hardly speak English. (laugh)
NUMBER 3 SHANGHAI
- If you think Beijing is significant, then Shanghai is even bigger.
- With a population of 27 Million people, It dwarf’s many of the cities in the west.
- Shanghai is China’s biggest city and is the crucial financial City for China and the world.
- Shanghai has a unique futuristic feel to it. The waterfront area, which is called the BUND, is famous for having the image of the city of the future. You may have seen this area as a backdrop in some Hollywood movies.
- I have to say though, many colonial-era buildings pepper the city and give it a very western feel… again, all a legacy to a history that had parts of China broken up and in control by other countries.
- Shanghai has a feel of risk and decadence to it, and that was always part of its history.
- It is an exciting place to visit, eat out and drink, and there is a very western nightlife feel to the city.
- I would call it a party Town
- It is a must-see if you are visiting China.
NUMBER 4 HONG KONG
- Most people will be no stranger to Hong Kong, but I would urge you to dig a little deeper into its history.
- It is not as innocent a town as you would expect and was very much a gateway for the British to run drugs and do other rather unsavoury things – but nobody wants to talk about that.
- Hong Kong has a population of about 8 million people, and it is incredibly wealthy.
- It has a Massive Western feel to it, and you will be very familiar in Hong Kong if you get a chance to visit.
- It is effortless to get around, and much of it has western street names and places.
- There is a lot crammed into Hong Kong and the surrounding areas, so it can feel crazy busy.
- In Hong Kong, they speak Cantonese, which is even harder to talk than Mandarin, and they are not exactly the same.
- For me, Hong Kong is one city that I want to go back and see to explore more because I got the feeling that I missed a lot to see when I was there.
NUMBER 5 MACAO
- Macao is another autonomous region of China, and it is across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong.
- It is about 40 miles from Hong Kong. With the construction that is going on and the bullet train links, Macao will be part of the Greater Bay Area with Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen… this will be a massive Tech hub for the future.
- Macao is like the Las Vegas of Asia, and it is famous for its casinos and for gambling.
- It does not have a large population because it is very much a transient town – like Las Vegas.
- The population is about 700,000.
- The one thing that surprised me in Macao was the Portuguese influence, and when I was there, I loved to fill up on the Portuguese Tart’s – if you have never tried one… I would say get down to Greggs and get yourself one (I think they sell them?)
NUMBER SHENZHEN (Bonus)
- I was only in Shenzhen for a couple of days on business, but it is another significant city.
- 13 million people.
- It is famous for its shopping and for its ability to produce things for other countries.
- It is very much China’s hub for research and innovation, and if you wanted some tech built – you would go there.
- When Shenzhen and the other cities in this area are finally joined up with the fast bullet train links, you will be looking at the world’s first megapolis – well over 50 million people all connected.
- When I was there, it was the first time I visited a mini world theme park, which was weird but super interesting.
- Yeah, I think I missed a whole lot of other stuff that I could have seen, but this was good fun.
NUMBER 6 SANYA
- Sanya is a holiday island off the southern coast of China.
- It is a beautiful place to go see.
- The beaches are just breathtaking, and I stood on an almost empty beach to watch the sunrise; now, that was a spectacular experience. (gasp)
- Sanya is hot, very hot, and because of that, it is one of the main tourist areas where Chinese people travel to get some rest and recreation and spend time soaking up the sun on the beach.
- It has incredible places to visit, unbelievable food and it also has an element of tax-free shopping.
- All in all, Sanya is the one place that many foreigners living in China visit many times because it is very much our culture to take a holiday at a beachside area and just roast in the sun.
NUMBER 7 NANJING
- Nanjing is a beautiful city and has a rich cultural history.
- There are about 9 million people in Nanjing.
- Nanjing means the South Capitol, and it did use to be the capital of China during the Ming dynasty.
- The city has a great city wall that runs around the core of the town, and it has activities all centred around this feature.
- I went to the city to see blossoms and take in some of the history associated with Nanjing.
- The one place that was so deep and made me pause in reflection about how precious life can be was the museum dedicated to all that lost their lives in the Nanjing Massacre.
- This was a depressing moment in history and something we never get taught about in the west. I would say that Japan attacking the city and massacring 300,000 people in days would have been something that our history class might have mentioned.
- Oh, this was on December the 13th, 1937.
- The city was a beautiful place to visit, and I could live there.
- It has an inner peace about it, and when I was there and taking a moment to gather my thoughts, a couple of local people checked on me to make sure I was okay.
- That, for me, is what we humans do best; we look after each other.
NUMBER 8 JINAN
- Jinan was a real surprise as a city.
- The population is about 9 million people. It is just over a couple of hours away from Beijing by bullet train.
- Jinan has beautiful lakes, very impressive, Hot Springs. Buddhism and Confuscious beliefs in China really took hold here, so you can feel the peacefulness across the city that this spiritual awakening would bring.
- Jinan has a very rich history. It dates back to the very beginnings of human life in this region.
- Marco Polo also visited Jinan in his travels, and I am sure he would have been impressed by what it had to offer back then.
- Jinan has terrific food and a bustling and exciting food street.
- The shopping is excellent.
- The most impressive thing was how the city was lit up at night.
- It is a magical city, and it has a very youthful and playful population.
- It is a cool town.
NUMBER 9 QINGDAO
- I have been to Qingdao a few times now, and I love this city.
- With a population of 9 million people, it is situated on the coast.
- It has a great climate which reminds me of Southern Europe.
- Qingdao is the home of the TSINGTAO Beer. This was a legacy to the Germans who had occupied the city way back in History. (1900’s)
- The seafood here is outstanding – the best I have ever tasted, and the variety and selection was just unbelievable.
- I do suggest, though, that it is not everyone’s taste.
- Qingdao is a significant seaport, and many multinational companies have a presence here.
- The beach is long, and the beach houses are incredible. They are at a reasonable price for the moment, but this is a trendy place to be, so I would imagine prices would be rising fast.
- There is a lot to see in Qingdao, and there is a massive western feeling to the city.
- You will be very much at home here, especially if you like seafood and beer.
- Which I do.
NUMBER 10 XIAN
- I am leaving one of the best places to see in China to the last.
- XIAN has a population of about 9 million people, and it is the home of the Terracotta Warriors.
- The Warriors are a must-see if you get to China, but it will take an overnight because Xian is about 5 hours from Beijing by bullet train, and the warriors are just over an hour outside the city. But they are so well worth the trip – one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life.
- Xian is rich in history and was an essential stop on the historical Silk Road.
- The city has a breathtaking city wall, and the food, nightlife and shopping are also incredible.
- When we were there, we went up the giant wood pagoda and walked down Muslim street – which is a famous food street – that was a breathtaking experience.
- This area is also known for its Muslim influence and is home to one of China’s biggest mosques. Yep, you heard that correctly.
WHERE TO NEXT?
I want to visit Dalian, which is across the sea from beijing.
It is a port town that has western and Russian influences.
It is one of the smaller cities in China with only 5.5 Million people, but I am going there in the next couple of weeks.
It has excellent seafood, beer and beaches and there are lots to see…
And one of the places I will go see when I am in Dalian is a place called Dandong, which is a border town with North Korea.
That will be super exciting. I am not sure what I will be able to film there, but I will capture what I can and share it with you.
WHAT I WANT TO GO SEE BUT CAN NOT AT THE MOMENT
Scotland. I am missing the family and friends back home.
Scotland is an incredible place to visit, and it also has a rich history, great food, beer, and the people are what make it so special.
You will never find a better nation of people than the Scottish people.
I will see you soon when it is safe to do the return travel.
If you want to watch more about China or see what Dalian or Dandong are like, please subscribe to my channel below.
I will bid you farewell for now.