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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hot & Humid in Booming Haikou, Hainan

China bans Facebook, but I hope this gets through via posterous.com.  Got up at 4:20am to take 6:40 Tiger Airways flight to Haikou, Hainan, the southern island province of China.  It has been 1 1/2 years since I last visited Hainan and China.  This is a short 4-day trip for me - just a mini interlude to catch up with developments in the island my ancestors came from, and to get a feel for China, the new superpower.  My parents will fly in tomorrow on the Jetstar flight and we would proceed to the ancestral home village. 

The Tiger Airways flight was full of Singaporeans and Malaysians of Hainanese descent, some PRC tourists and a group of young Singaporeans out for an adventure in Hainan.  Upon arrival, I cleared the immigration superfast using my APEC Business Travel Card, and then got onto a RMB 15 bus direct to the Civil Aviation Hotel right at the heart of Haikou City opposite the huge Pearl Square Mall.  The weather is amazingly hot and humid, so I can't wait to check in.

Haikou seemed to be full of property development - especially in the "New District" area of Guoxing to the east of Haikou on the way to the airport.  In fact, there is a project called Visun Greatland that put up chic ads all over Haikou airport that proclaim itself the symbol of a new aristocratic lifestyle.  It has separate posters showcasing its "aristocratic horse-racing jockey club", "aristocratic marina and yacht club", "Chinese imperial garden villas, golf facilities and dedicated helicopter pickup service.  So much for the workers' paradise of the People's Republic.

I had a very greasy Sichuanese meal then went to the new Hainan Provincial Museum.  Very magnificent complex that tells the story of Hainan and its many ethnic groups fairly well, though I had anticipated a bit more after visiting its website recently.  Obviously alot of funding had gone into it.  The display style and format is modern and have played well with lighting and sound effects.  There was a North Korean dignitary visiting at the same time, surrounded by officials and a trigger non-stop photographer.

Now in my hotel using the free broadband in my room...which costs only RMB 184!

More later.

Posted via email from Nomadic Republic2

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