Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Dose of Fresh Air

My company took a bunch of employees north to the Bashang Plains in neighbouring Hebei Province.

It was a six hour trip by bus going there, and then over eight hours getting back, which is why this post is going to be short.

But once we got there it was fantastic. As you can see it's an idyllic countryside, with rolling hills covered in a verdant green carpet, sheep and some cattle munching on grass, and horses carrying visitors along trails.

From what I could tell, there isn't much of an industry here except a tourist trade that will soon be booming with "resorts" springing up. I say "resorts" because they will probably be like two to three-star hotels.

The one we stayed in barely merited one star. The rooms were semi-clean and had a squat toilet with a shower overhead. The shower had no hot water. The bathroom had only two thin hand towels, two cups and a very slim piece of soap. But you could do some channel surfing (all eight channels) on a sleek colour television.

There was also no heating in the room and it got quite cold at night.

And the food at this hotel wasn't quite delicious, but just enough to keep our stomachs from growling at night.

But back to the scenery. Isn't it gorgeous?

Some of us went hiking up the hills and I was so surprised I wasn't tired at all. Then it hit me -- the air was so fresh, my lungs were filled with clean oxygen.

Now if I could only get hits of this air periodically, living in Beijing would be even better.


Larry said...

A couple of years ago in the concourse of the Vancouver Public Library, there was a shop that offered oxygen sessions for half an hour. The idea was to go breathe oxygen to relax and replenish the mind and body. The shop lasted about half a year but those took the session reported they felt more alert and refreshed. Maybe someone in Beijing should open such a shop.

ks said...

if the ba shan local officials are entrepreneurial, they should expand their tourist industry by setting up more tourists attractions and facilities. they should capitalize their fresh air, green space, quietness, spectacular scenery, and tranquility as their selling features . it is what is called ' smokeless industry' --tourism , that is.

Dory said...

Well said.