Instagram Tour: China’s Tier 2 and Beyond

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Odes / Travel

There are specific moments when I think, Damn, it’s pretty cool to be Chinese. Like when China infallibly dominates at Olympic diving. Or anytime someone mentions “China’s 5,000-year history” (a point of contention, to be sure). Or! When I see stuff like the photo above, shot from Fubo Hill in the southeastern city of Guilin.

I’ve been to five Chinese cities so far—Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Chengdu—all of which are basically Tier 1 megacities familiar to the rest of the world (my hometown of Chengdu is still catching up in renown, but it’s definitely up there population-wise.) Naturally, a common image of modern China for me (and probably many others) is a dense metropolis, often with unwelcome haze.

But every once in a while, something comes along (usually a Chinese TV drama) to remind me that China is huge, and not every city boasts an aggressive skyline with towering new housing developments replicated for miles. There are quieter places where the land and sea play a bigger part (like a gentler Hong Kong) and blue skies come around more often.

I need to go back. There’s just too much to see. But in the mean time, Instagram lets me do some travel mood-boarding…

—Dalian, Yunnan

—Kunming, Yunnan

A photo posted by Visit Sanya (@visit_sanya) on Dec 23, 2016 at 7:41am PST

—Sanya, Hainan

A photo posted by Will Lambert (@whetwill) on Dec 16, 2016 at 8:26pm PST

—Ningbo, Zhejiang

A photo posted by P O N G + pir (@by.pong) on Dec 23, 2016 at 8:31pm PST

—Lijiang, Yunnan 

A photo posted by Hongqi Ding (@dinghongqi) on Dec 21, 2016 at 9:56pm PST

—Guilin, Guangxi 

A photo posted by Lulu (@luluz1218) on Dec 24, 2016 at 5:46am PST

—Guilin, Guangxi

A photo posted by 임도경 (@do_7373) on Dec 18, 2016 at 12:53am PST

—Qingdao, Shandong 

A photo posted by @ahhhh.s on Dec 19, 2016 at 7:41am PST

—Qingdao, Shandong

A photo posted by 슈인 (@suu_in) on Dec 21, 2016 at 6:11am PST

—Xiamen, Fujian

A photo posted by @rwdaquila on Nov 16, 2016 at 10:06pm PST

—Urumqi, Xinjiang 

A photo posted by FlyScoot (@flyscoot) on Dec 23, 2016 at 4:11am PST

—Dalian, Liaoning 

This is not urban at all but, but so #dreamcolorscheme…

A photo posted by Li Wei🇨🇳 (@liwei828) on Dec 17, 2016 at 3:24am PST

—Dali, Yunnan 

Guilin and Dali are at the top of my list, that’s for sure! 

Top image: “View on Guilin from Fubo Hill” by Thomas Bächinger/Flickr

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