Sunday, February 21, 2010

Old and New

I looked out of the Hotel window in Xiamen this morning to a very grey day and noted how the older buildings are being slowly taken over by new high rises. Everywhere we drove in Quanzhou high rise apartment blocks are popping up and the older two storey apartments are being demolished. I would have to say many of the older apartments look well past their use by dates; plaster is peeling off the exterior walls and they have seen better days.
The new apartments are bigger, approx 800 to 1000 square feet and up to 30 storeys high.

This photo was taken from my hotel window, the quality is not that overly good due to it being a grey day with lots of smog!

Following on from the last post, here is another example of recycling.
Following these trucks can be a bit scary! The load is only held on by a few lengths of rope and you hold your breath that it will make it under the over bridges. Following it looks like they get under the bridges with inches to spare!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Recycling in China

Think about it! Over 2.5 billion people create a humungous amount of waste every day. Everywhere you look rubbish is piled up for disposal. Over the last couple of years recycling has become more noticeable in all cities in China. Vehicles of every shape and size are picking up recyclable products such as cardboard, plastic bottles and industrial metal waste for recylcing. Smaller vehicles such as push bikes and motorbikes collect plastics, cardboard etc and deliver their loads to the local depots to be loaded onto truckts to be taken away for processing.
Today I decided to take some photos of recycling. Over the last four days I have seen vehicles ranging from push bikes to trucks stacked high with recyclable products.
The morning started well, the majority of these images were taken while driving between factories, however the afternoon went belly up when the rain was like rain = all the bikes etc go into hiding. Anyway I managed to get a few shots.

Image One: Motorbike and trailer with giant nets full of plastic bottles, this is a small load, I have seen them stacked three nets high.

Image Two: Motorbike stacked with bales of plastic ready for recycling.

Image Three: Industrial metal waste chugging along the road at jogging speed!

Image four: Truck piled high with cardboard, no such thing as maximum load height, so long as they can get under the bridges problem!

Image Five: Three wheeled bike used locally to collect cardboard taken mid morning, not too much collected. I have seen these stacked over two metres high!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meals on Wheels

Once you get out of the cities, outdoor markets are a common sight. While the men are waiting for customers they sit around playing card games. Neither of these fresh food sellers had any refrigeration, however it was a fairly cool day around 15 degrees.

Anyone for pork? (I think I will pass!)

My guide asked the fishmonger where he caught the fish. He pointed to the river behind us and said he catches them and sells them fresh.

No fish and chips for me...the river was very polluted. I'm surprised the fish had only one head!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Construction in China

While the world's tallest buildings are under construction in Shanghai and sky scrapers are popping up in all cities thoughout China, check out how a brick wall should really be built!

Who said that bricks had to be flat, alternatively stacked and cemented for strength?


Earth moving throughout the world uses trucks of varying sizes.

The first two images are of the main stay truck in every village throughout China. They look like a rotary hoe (without the hoe). Their single cylinder engine chugs along at just over jogging pace towing trailers with massive amounts of building materials from bricks to dirt.

The other little truck is another example of the style of trucks working in the villages. Again its single cylinder engine chugs away, however these ones go a little bit faster than jogging pace.

It is amazing how much they can load on the back!

Adds new meaning to the words 'big wheels keep on rolling!'

Friday, February 5, 2010

KFC versus MFC

China has for many years been known for knocking off brands and selling at a fraction of the genuine brand retail price. In the last couple of years several multi national brands have taken China manufacturers to court to stop their brands from being knocked off. Brands such as Starbucks who were recently successful in getting a Chinese knock off coffee house to change its logo which was a direct copy of Starbucks.

I guess KFC have not caught up with MFC yet. Like KFC they sell chicken however unlike KFC you can also order a large selection of Chinese dishes.

As MFC is a new company it is only fitting the man in white looks like a much younger version of the Colonel.

MFC Rating out of 10
Exterior cleanliness: 5
Ordering process: 2
Service: 8
Restaurant cleanliness: 6
Food: 5
Washroom: 2
Music: 2

Shanghai Maglev Experience

In all of the years that I have been coming to Shanghai I have never had an opportunity to ride the Maglev. As I had time to kill before flying out to Xiamen I thought 'why not go for a ride on the world's fastest train clocked at over 430km/h.

It is fast, the 30km ride from Pudong Airpot to Longyang station takes a mere 8 minutes! I was a little disappointed as the blurb states that the maximum speed is 431 km/h and we got to a much slower speed of 301km/h!

The ride was extremely smooth but it was still impossible to take a photo out of the window as everything was a blur on the screen!
You can only find the Maglev train in China. It was designed in Germany and runs on a magnetic current which lifts and propels the train forward.

Why? You ask, is it only in China?

Well it's the most expensive train in the world and only China can afford it! Plans are currently being worked on to build a Maglev from Shanghai to Hanghzou, a distance of 145km. By car it takes approximately 2 hours, but by Maglev it will only take a maximum of 50 minutes.