|Like father, like son and grandchild.|
There is an old joke that goes: "In China when they say you are one in a million there are a thousand just like you." There are almost twice as many people in China as there are in European Union and the United States combined. India is the only other country that has reached the one billion mark.
|Tourist or opportunist|
Together China and India account for a third of the world’s population and 60 percent of Asia’s population (as cited on the website of the Beijing Tourist Centre).The most recent statistics as provided by the Beijing Tourist centre, indicate that China is the world’s most populated country, with about 1.34 billion people (2010). Its closest rival, India, has around 1 billion people but is expected to have more people than China by the year 2030 as a result of having a less successful family planning policy than China.
|In for a ride at the Inn.|
China’s population surpassed 1.34 billion in 2010 according to census figures released in April 2011. This is 5.9 percent more people than the 1.27 billion counted in the 2000 census but was lower than the 1.4 billion population predicted by some demographers. Growth was slower in 2010 than the previous year, leading some experts to suggest that the one-child policy might be eased.
|Tea for two and two for tea.|
The 2000 census counted 1.295 billion people. Between 1990 and 2000 the total population increased by 11.7 percent. China’s population hit 1 billion in 1982 and reached the 1.3 billion mark in 2005, a year in which the population grew by 8.1 million, or 0.63 percent. China is projected to have 1.39 billion citizens by 2015, up from 1.32 billion at the end of 2008. About 23 percent of all the people on earth live in China. Every year 20 million infants are born.
|Stoking the fire.|
The images featured here were taken in the two cities Shanghai and Beijing respectively. Hopefully they provide insight into my experience of Chinese people, if this is at all possible. The size of the country and its people is just too vast, to fully appreciate and capture. There are advantages to masses; the use of taxis is one such service – always in demand and always readily available.
|Late afternoon sidewalk activity.|
|The Bund glitz.|
My trip was divided into two parts, the Shanghai leg (one week) and two weeks in Beijing. I stayed at the Astor House Hotel in Shanghai, in walking distance to the Bund, situated across the landmark bridge titled The Baidu Bridge. The Bund is a highly popular tourist site, a promenade from which you can view the old city and the conglomerate of eccentric contemporary architectural structures, situated mainly across Huangpu River bank. The development is very much like the urban planning incentive of La Defense in Paris.
|Capturing the view.|
People frequent this boardwalk daily, especially late afternoons and early evenings, the stroll providing insight into China’s diverse cultural groups; their dress and mannerisms. All around are Chinese wisterias, gingko trees and azaleas. Buildings in Greek, Renaissance and Baroque styles can be seen along the west of the Bund.
|Targeted fat prince.|
The rest of the images were shot in Beijing. I stayed in a flat in Dongzhimen within 60 meters from the Holiday Inn Express Beijing Dongzhimen. A fifteen to twenty minute drive by taxi to all the major tourist sites such as the national Museum of China, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City (8 km away) including the Temple of Heaven.
|Dig the next move|