A Couple Waiting for their Train

I was on my way through the large promenade that leads to the Guangzhou East Railway station when I was approached by a young girl and her friend.  She wanted to take a picture with me, and I agreed, asking to take the couple’s photo in return.  They were more than happy to oblige, and we spoke for a short while about our homes.  The two were headed back to Dongguan, a city that lies just east of Guangzhou, about an hour away (Dongguan is rumored to be the capital of the underground Chinese pornography industry).  It is a simple shot, but I am very happy with the result, and it was nice to be able to trade pictures, brief as the encounter was.     Enjoy-   F.

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A Walk Through Zhujiang New Town

This is a series that I shot this afternoon in Zhujiang New Town, the epicenter of young wealth in Guangzhou.  It is an area that cannot grow fast enough, a microcosm of preconceived culture that fits well with the desires of the population that live in said towers.  It is nothing, if not vapid.

This pictures are best viewed large, so I encourage all to click the link below for a full screen experience.

A Walk Through Zhujiang New Town :  Full Screen Images

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Archives: A lone tower on the wall

Taken on the Jinshanling Great Wall, April of 2012

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From the Files: The Lijiang Night Market

Taken in November, 2011, at the Lijiang Old Town night market.

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A Walk in the Beijing Hutongs

It’s Golden Week in China, the national holiday which most Chinese use as a time to travel and visit other parts of this massive country.  Last year during this same time, I trekked out to Inner Mongolia, a adventure and a half. Having spent the last few weeks in continuous movement, I chose to stick with something a bit more relaxed this time around, and have found myself in Beijing once more.  I woke up late, and spent the early afternoon walking through the Hutongs in the northeast section of the city.   Street Mojito in hand, I joined the throngs and enjoyed an afternoon with the masses.

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Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang

Taken During a long bike ride through the valley North of Lijiang Old town, November of 2011.

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Street Crafts

There is a section of road in central Guangzhou that never fails to host one of the best street markets I have seen in China.  Each evening, hundreds of sellers drop their wares, a variety ranging from bamboo arts, to headphones to flowers and baskets of puppies.  I was out in search of a camera charger last night, and only got a few shots out before the battery went completely, but in the future will be back for a more complete documentation of the experience.  

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The Park Hyatt of Ningbo, China

Ningbo lies just over two hours south of Shanghai, and was the site of my most recent work related adventure.  I had the pleasure of being put up in the Park Hyatt, a hotel which soundly put all others to shame.  The place is brand new, huge and immaculate.  I spent most of my time there picturing myself a part of the royalty from which I am so far removed.

It was a strange trip, at least on a personal end.  It has been a bumpy return to China, and at times I feel that I am in a dream state.  The hotel very much complimented this sensation of other-worldliness, pushing my sensations somewhere between euphoria and disorientation.  I spent an evening walking around with the camera, hoping to shake the combination of exhaustion, jetlag and stress.  Most of the pictures I took were complete crap, and this photo is no exception.  It is flat and doesn’t have much subject to speak of, but in a strange way it makes me feel exactly as I did while I was setting it up; the dream that was the Ningbo Park Hyatt.

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Night in the Guangzhou Airport

I arrived early to the airport on my trip to Ningbo earlier last week, and spent some time drifting around pointing the camera at strange things.  A note for the future; taking photos on a jet draws much attention.

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Flying in United Global First at little to no cost

I recently wrote about my experience flying first class from China to New York, and though this is not the typical content of this site, a number of people have asked how much the ticket cost and how I was able to afford such excess – Ask and you shall receive!

Truth be told, I cannot afford this kind of ticket, nor would I spend so much money on the seat even if it was within my means (The day I traveled would have cost around $11,500 if purchased outright). Nonetheless, when said ticket costs little to nothing, I don’t believe there are many flyers who would turn down the opportunity.

I paid for my ticket entirely with skymiles – If you don’t already have an account and are flying with any regularity, set one up immediately. Frequent flyer accounts are offered by almost every airline that is worth using, and in the long run can help you gain free flights, accommodation discounts and a variety of benefits. In the case of this particular United ticket, I used miles that I had obtained when signing up for a United Credit Card offered through Chase. With a signing bonus of 50,000 miles, I was already well on my way to gaining a ticket in Global First. This, when combined with an existing flyer account, is a powerful card, and a good method to use if you are looking to accumulate from all angles. There are many frequent-flier cards out there, so choose one that suits an airline you prefer to travel with. United is partnered with the Star Alliance, so most miles earned through United Can be used toward flights with a wide range of partner airlines.

There, not my typical style of post, but now you know! I often check out The Points Guy for ideas on current offers for points from Credit Cards and hotels.

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