Shenzhen Travel Blog› entry 10 of 33 › view all entries
November 1st, 2009 – by: mickduggantravel
I suppose Iâ€™ve had a picture in my head of China being a largely primitive, peasant country with â€śsome developmentâ€ť in urban / industrial areas, so I wasnâ€™t prepared for what I saw when I got there. The enormous scale of â€śdevelopedâ€ť China blew my mind. No doubt the poor primitive side we frequently hear about was very evident as I travelled around. However, I feel news reports etc.
The number of gigantic, metropolitan areas is mind boggling. I visited / passed through cities such as Shenzen, Chongqing, Xian, Wanzhou, Guilin, Yichang. Some of these I scarcely heard of before - all are cities of over a million people - most have large modern airports, are on the country's vast train network, have efficient modern subway systems, miles and miles of roads, bridges, tunnels and hundreds of apartment blocks with more being constructed as we speak. The scale and number of these modern cities that I had never heard of before definitely caught me off guard. I've read since that there are between 100 and 160 cities in China with populations of over a million people!.
Across the country, away from the cities, there are thousands of miles of interstates / motorways on a scale similar to what we see in Europe / USA. Some of these are by no means new but are obviously well maintained and are in excellent condition.
China has one of the largest train networks in the world. While some of this consists of old â€śhard seatâ€ť trains much of the network is serviced by modern, efficient medium speed trains. The network is undergoing constant expansion and upgrading. The overnight â€śFast Trainâ€ť connects Shanghai to Beijing, covering 910 miles in just 10 hours.
China also has the first commercially operating Maglev Train in the world which reaches a top speed of 431km/h (286mph) on its 18 mile journey from Shanghai Airport to the city. The journey takes less than 8mins.
China has lots of records of course - largest population, fastest train, biggest hydroelectric dam......the list goes on.....it certainly is an interesting place. Like I said at the start, I'm reluctant to summarize the country in a few paragraphs. However, these are my observations / experiences of this fascinating place....
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