Recent articles

Qingdao – My first love…

Qingdao (in Chinese 青岛; formerly Tsingtao) is a city in eastern Shandong Province on the east coast of China and looking out to the Yellow Sea. ...

Qingdao – My first love…

 

The Great Wall: Beat the Crowds at Mutianyu

We visited the Great Wall on a weekend. ...

The Great Wall: Beat the Crowds at Mutianyu

 

Trip to Suzhou

On this trip I decided it was time for a little more culture. ...

Trip to Suzhou

 

Harbin: Day 1

After spending a few weeks in Beijing on a language intensive course for my university, my class hopped on a train and after seven painfully boring hours, we arrived in Harbin. ...

Harbin: Day 1

 

Speaking Xuzhounese

‘If you speak English here, maybe 2 in 100 people will understand,’ a young worker in a Xuzhou noodle shop told me. ...

Speaking Xuzhounese

 

The Sanlitun Tour: a conceptual tour of Beijing's tours

by Bill Aitchison   - Apr 28, 2015
 
 
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This blocking of the blog from within China is why there have been fewer postings of late and that is a pity as there has been plenty to write about. The tour to The Great Wall was very silly and they managed to make something that could have been quite beautiful and impressive a great deal less than what it is. On the other hand, the way the day unfolded and the differences between Chinese coach tours and those I am more familiar with was so vast that it was worthy of a study unto itself. 
 
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Last weekend I gave the first Tour of Tours here in China for the Bookworm's Literary Festival and it went really well. The smog did not interfere, the weather was finally warm and it was a pleasure to be outside, something that has not been the case for a while. That helped enormously. The tour was a particularly conceptual one as there are no real tours that I took of the area and which I could report on. Everything was referring to something else or was a projection of another location onto Sanlitun. As such it made for an unusual sort of tour with the weight falling on talking about tours. We passed through Yashow Market a place bristling with fake branded products and lost a few people there, such is the danger of passing through a shopping place. In all however, it was a good start to Beijing tours and one that will be built upon in the coming months.
 
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Advance notice now about workshops that will be given on performing in public space using guiding principles. There will be workshops in Beijing in May and in London in July, others to be announced.
 
 

 

About Writer

bill_photo.jpgBill Aitchison is an artist and writer from Britain who has shown his work in galleries, theatres, festivals in Europe, Asia, America and The Middle East. He has a special interest in travel writing and in tours and he has created a number of highly acclaimed tours that arts events around the world. He holds a PhD from the University of London, has published in several countries, has worked in radio and is associate research fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London. 
 
 
 
 
 

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