Random links – Vast Chinese limestone caves, India wet wonderland, Roman Empire, and China’s poor urban planning

China’s Guangxi is famous for its karst hills but what’s underground is just as impressive. See National Geographic’s amazing video, 3-D footage, and article about the exploration of several of the world’s most massive underground limestone caves in Guangxi and neighboring Guizhou. And there’s more to China’s attractive karst hills than just the postcard-perfect hills in Guangxi. People from the cave expedition climbed several karst areas (Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi) with the best being a slim standalone tower in Hubei’s Enshi Grand Canyon. How they got down from that one, I don’t know and I wish the writer had described how they did.

Here’re some great photos of the wettest place on Earth, in India’s Northeast region. There’s a bridge made out of the roots of an old tree, a hilltop village that gets perpetual rain, clouds that descend vertically over a cliff, and whole-body traditional “umbrellas.”

This Guardian article slams China’s urban planning for mimicking the worst of contemporary American cities, repeating the mistakes of previous decades. There’s valid critiques, but one thing is for sure There’s no need to wonder why China has done this because it’s simple. Chinese want to live Western middle-class lifestyles which means enjoying comforts including cars, big houses, shopping malls and so on. And of course, property developers want to keep building more houses and skyscrapers, no matter how inefficient or unnecessary, while local governments want to keep selling their land to developers.

Here’s a cool collection of 40 maps that explain and clarify the Roman Empire, from its beginning to its peak to its end. It pretty much explains the major developments and changes, from the Romans’ rise to decline. 



2 thoughts on “Random links – Vast Chinese limestone caves, India wet wonderland, Roman Empire, and China’s poor urban planning

  1. It’s too bad China is copying the worst of American development, but going in the opposite direction when it comes to copying the west on individual freedoms…

    Interesting links all around, broad range of topics!


    1. True, You’ve brought up a very interesting contradiction. China copies a lot of Western economic ideas and developments but not those concerning personal freedoms.


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