Tag Archives: timelapse

Soaring over China through Timelapse

News and Travel Editor

What stands out to me the most when I watch this timelapse is the diversity of colours. The vibrant reds and oranges of sunset of Hainan Island, the greenery of Kham and Zhejiang and the bright lights of bustling Beijing at night. This timelapse is a great way to get a taste of the vastness and diversity of China. As Travel Editor, I’m continually excited and amazed by the possibilities in China. So, I thought I’d dig a little deeper into each of the featured locations to help you plan your dream trip. Where would you go first?

 

Fast Fact Files

Hainan Island

hainan

‘Hainan’ literally means ‘South of the Ocean’.

This tropical paradise is the place to go for golden sands, balmy weather and coconut trees on the coast, and luscious mountains inland. There’s even a growing surf scene to get involved in.

The population of Hainan is just over 8 million.

Zhejiang

Zhejiang

Eastern Coastal Province of China

Hangzhou is the capital, home of the famous West Lake which has inspired Chinese Artists and Poets throughout history.

Home to the arched bridges and canals scenes of Wūzhèn

Thousands of Islands are dotted across the shoreline to be explored, the most well known being the lush Buddhist Island of Putuoshan.

Beijing

beijing

‘Bei’ means Northern, and ‘Jing’ means Capital, so Beijing literally translates to Northern Capital! It sounds obvious, but is actually the 16th name given to the city in its history.  It’s the nation’s second largest city, after Shanghai.

The Forbidden City in Beijing is the world’s largest preservation of wooden structures from the Ancient World!

It’s also home to some very unusual cafes, where you can cuddle a cat with your coffee.

Yangtze River

Yangtze

It’s the third longest river in the world, but the longest river within a single country.

The river passes Fengdu Ghost City, “the home of the devil”, a town of tombs and temples.

The river flows 3,915 miles from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the mouth of the East China Sea.

Where would you go first in China? Let us know in the comments!

Four Seasons China Timelapse

Features Editor

The images we see of China on the news – and even in documentaries – are nearly always of the populous, fast-modernising eastern plains and seaboard: the great urban centres of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. These are cities with bristling skylines, lit up at night with vivid neon displays, where traffic roars 24/7 and commuters and consumers hurry to work and to play. This is certainly where the majority of Chinese people live – or aspire to live. And it’s the economic engine of the country. But there is another China that many visitors miss entirely. The fact is China is vast. Beijing to Guangzhou takes 8 hours, and that’s on a high speed train whizzing at 300km/hour. To travel from Shanghai on the East Coast to Kashgar in the West takes over seven hours on a plane – that’s the same as flying from Europe to the USA!

And many parts of China are so cold in the winter; or so mountainous; or so inhospitable that travelling is quite hard, even today. It was only in 2013 that the last county in China was connected to the national road network. Before 2013, the only way to reach Motuo was on foot, 10 hours over a mountain pass.

So that’s why I love this timelapse video. It gives a tiny glimpse of China’s geographical variety – and makes me dream where I might visit next…

Up in the far north, where the Heilongjiang river marks the border with Russia, people cope with Minus 40 degrees in mid winter and hack holes in the river ice to catch fish to vary their diet. nearly 4000km to the south, Hainan island is a total contrast – a tropical paradise. Inland, karst geology makes for giant caves and fantastical rocky outcrops, all draped with jungle vegetation; while along the coastline, holiday-makers surf and scuba-dive and locals fish and make sea salt in giant natural salt-pans of volcanic basalt.

High up on the Tibetan plateau in an area known as Khampa, locals race their sturdy mountain ponies – that were once the basis of trade between Lhasa and the lowlands. Tea from Yunnan especially, and from Darjeeling in India, was compressed into “bricks” and transported on people’s backs up onto the plateau. On the return journey, they brought sturdy mountain ponies, in demand for their sure-footedness and their endurance.

In south-west China, over more than a thousand years, locals have sculpted terraces from the hillsides to grow rice.

xiaohuang

The terraced fields need to be kept full of water or there will be landslides, so they have created an extraordinary system of water management that ensures every field on the mountain side is kept irrigated at just the right level. This method of rice growing also contains a virtuous ecological circle. Fish swim in the rice paddy water alongside the seedlings, eating insects; while ducks eat the smaller fish and fertilise the soil with their waste.