It’s good to look at both sides, but all snapshots in rapidly changing China are unreliable. A bustling shopping area I visited in Chengdu was dead just a few months later when I revisited. Below is a video taken of Xilinghaote in Inner Mongolia by this female influencer. Why is Inner Mongolia so rich? That’s because it has an abundance of resources especially coal, cashmere, natural gas, rare-earth elements, and has more deposits of naturally occurring niobium, zirconium and beryllium than any other province-level region in China.
This is indeed a part of the real China that some tourists would like to see, but as we move further inland, it is hardly representative. Frankly, I live in a city without much character myself, so I have no interest in touring another nondescript city. By the way, her nose, her teeth and her eyelids are obviously fake. Who knows what else is fake?
Comrade Shi Bingfeng explores legendary Wudang which most of us only read about in martial arts/swordfighting novels. The town was developed as a tourist attraction with hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, banks adopting legendary names to try to squeeze money from curious tourists. Of course, it’s all highly contrived. The entrance fee with all the add-ons including transport, total up to nearly $60. There are also many aggressive touts. Some are “tour guides”, others could be “Taoist priests” with a wellness plan. But for a while, this was indeed booming until … Chinese people often say “计划赶不上变化”