China · Travel

Xian and Hong Kong tourism

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Xian is going to begin major multibillion-dollar renovation of an ancient district to attract more tourism. This sounds good because the city is ripe with so much history. As the former capital of China during the Tang Dynasty and several other dynasties, it’s got much more than just the terracotta warriors. This renovation project is expected to be complete in 2020 and will result in an entire historical part of the city being brought back to life as restored or rebuilt structures. I went to Xian for the first time last year and it was great. It’d be good to go back and see this new project, though it’s a bit of a long wait.

The Hong Kong Maritime Museum is profiled in the NY Times here. Formerly located at Stanley, on the south side of Hong Kong Island adjacent to the sea, the museum has been revamped and is now in Central, right at the edge of Victoria Harbor.

The South China Morning Post has a cool diagram of the Kowloon Walled City, a notorious massive fortress-like residential complex that was completely razed in the mid-90s. It was cramped, crime-ridden, squalid, and literally lawless (the police did not have jurisdiction over it, and housing and sanitation regulations did not apply) but apparently beloved by its residents. The authorities built a public garden park (see below) on the site of the Walled City, with remnants of old buildings and a historic gate (the bottom picture below) preserved for display. The garden is nice, but it’s a pity they couldn’t have left more of the structure intact.

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