JiangCheng hasn't changed a lot since I left four years ago. There are a few swanky new Supermarkets in town, but you can still find traditional horn and paw medicine on the streets [see photo]. There are traffic lights at the main intersections now, but the tractors ignore them.
The sports centre has been upgraded, though the men still prefer playing "tuolou" - throwing large spinning tops to hit others' tops out of a central circle. The river has a nice new walkway beside it now, lit by fairy lights.
The biggest change perhaps is the huge development to the east of the town. A new expressway is being built through JiangCheng which will eventually reach Vietnam. Shops and houses are therefore being thrown up to accommodate the expected flood of Vietnamese tourists. All the shops now sport new signs in Chinese, English and Vietnamese. JiangCheng may not be the sleepy remote town I recall for much longer. Retaining any sort of character will be a difficult balancing act [see photo!].
8/2/2011 07:46:32 pm
Is this where I stayed with you in '97? Or was that somewhere else?
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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