Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chinese countryside in Hunan: the threat of modernization

Photos from Chinese countryside: going out of Changsha city

According to a study, Changsha is one of the cities in China where you live best.
I share this analysis even though I fear the "modernization" of Changsha and for the near future:
  • You can still get out of Changsha in 40 minutes and get fresh air, good food, fish...
  • Rental prices in Changsha are still relatively moderate as compare to coastal cities
  • In Changsha you can still use a car or a scooter to go to work. Of course there are a few traffic jams at rush hour but the construction of the subway will help a lot.
  • In Changsha people are not too stressed and generaly quite nice. I remember Shanghai people bumping on you on the street, no apologizes, angry stares... Or 3 hours stuck in some giant traffic jam in Beijing.

Rice culture and small hills

In the background you can see the new fast train line: my God! :-(

The countryside is threatened with new motorway, new fast train lines, new buildings, countryside inhabitant leaving for cities suburbs.

I didn't take pictures as I have respect for people: in this small village near Changsha no one is left except old people. Many old women (their husbands are already gone). They speak some local dialect can not understand my terrible Chinese foreigner accent. They wanted to offer me eggs and tea.

I went to have a closer look at the fast train railway.

Changsha is a flat city. 
However Hunan is hilly! You can see so many small hills. A beautiful countryside: between hills you have rice cultures, small lakes...

A typical Hunan countryside view

Here fishes in the valley

In fact 30 years ago Changsha was also not flat but a succession of small hills: all was flatten using bulldozer!
As the city extend, countryside changes.

On this picture you see how hills are flattened in order to build some modern buildings! What misery!


  1. China is always the best tourists spot. There are quite a history there. In every monument you will find the great myth behind it. Last year i did click here from China and i miss it very much.

    1. Humm I don't really agree with you. I have travelling a lot in China.

      I think that some places are incredible: great touristic places: Xi an is nice, in Hunan a few beautiful spot, in the south of China...
      However so many places have nothing left: not even a tree!
      And this goes for main cities: Shanghai, Beijing (except for the modern architecture). Not too mention: "fake old" place for tourists.
      And museum were a real disappointment for me. Being french I have seen beautiful museum and artifact in France. But in China...

      My opinion is that there is too much destruction of the countryside and monuments even just 50 years old buildings should be kept (instead of skycrapers).