The crystal-clear lakes bring to mind a less pleasant beach experience I had last summer, which I described the last time I updated this blog:
‘Qingdao is an old German colony with one of the most unappealing beaches I have ever seen: brown, rocky and weed-strewn, tidepools that smell more like cesspools, and a horizon dominated by ill-conceived modern architecture. After two days, I headed back to Beijing. On my way out of the city, I marveled at its size: it seems like there are enough skyscrapers to house all the jobs in the world. And yet there are cranes everywhere – dormant while the city struts its stuff for the Olympics, but ready to roar back into action. Celtic tigers and lions notwithstanding, it is hard to imagine a future not dominated by the Chinese dragon.’ (23 Aug. 2008)
I’ll be back in China next Friday. Can’t wait to see how things have changed.