Sam's Exotic Travels to Guizhou Province, China
I was the guest of the Province of Guizhou for the 2012 FAPA Director's Meeting and the Federation of Asian Photographic Art. The meeting was held in Taijang, and we did a tour afterwards of mostly Miao and Dong nationality villages throughout Southeast Guizhou Province. As one of almost 3,000 attendees to the Director's Meeting, it was an immense undertaking. It was mot enjoyable.
While it was interesting to see the village life in the various places we visited and the warm people close up - the biggest impression I had was of the missing generation of people. There were children and grandparents everywhere we went - but very few parents. This is because parents are among the numerous migrant workers in China, who travel to where work can be found - and leave their children under the care of their parents and extended family, and who return home usually only once a year - over an extended Chinese New Year celebration.
According to wikipedia.org:
While Wikipedia says that Guizhou is one - if not the poorest - of China's Provinces. This is definitely not true. Guiyang, the capital, is currently undergoing a building boom. While not on the same scale, all cities we traveled through also had new city centers and high rise residential construction.
Highways and roads were almost all paved (except in the far SE mountainous area, where major highway projects are currently under construction). The toll road from far SE province back to Guiyang was indeed impressive. With 30 - 40 (My rough estimate) of tunnels up to 1km in length, major bridges and overpasses spanning local villages, it equals or surpasses the US Interstate system - while cutting the mileage down from 400 to 300 kilometers for the journey.
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