In China…

…I will be, from 21/2 until 24/2 – please excuse slow replies as I have no idea how restrictive the Great Firewall is going to be. I will of course deal with email, comments and posts as soon as I can. However, posts will continue as normal, thanks to the power of scheduling. πŸ™‚ MT


  1. Currently in my 3rd year in China. Beijing, now Shanghai. Internet within China is excellent. Taobao, Alipay and Kwaipan better than Amazon, PayPal and Google Drive, respectively. You need to read Hanzi : ). Contract Vyper Astrill or Strong VPNs for a month as a backup. People’s Congress coming up in a few weeks so outgoing data will be hobbled, throttled or stopped, just know this.

  2. L. Ron Hubbard says:

    7 years I lived in China. The worst internet experience one can imagine. Even without all the censorship, bandwidth speeds are miserable in most cases.

    Great country, filled with wonderful people and photo ops around every corner. I shot 9 binders worth of film while in China, each binder stuffed to absolute capacity. Landscapes are tough with all the smog filling the sky however.

    • Let’s hope things have improved since then…especially since I’m supposedly visiting their equivalent of Silicon Valley…

      • Spoilers: it won’t be. Get ready to dehaze!

      • L. Ron Hubbard says:

        There are a few areas where speeds can approach normal (never exceed it). My life for 7 years had to do with at most 1 mbps bandwidth….truly miserable.

        I had a huge laugh one year when I was driving down a highway in Zhejiang province. There were billboards along the road advertising a global internet technical conference in Wuhan. Deep in the heart of heavily censored China there was a world wide conference on various internet topics! Too funny. You’d have to sell your soul to be a part of that nonsense.

      • If that equivalent of Sicilicon Valley means Zhongguancun in Beijing, you should be fully prepared for the smog anyway. BTW, Beijing isn’t that kind of city one will love at first sight.

        • No, it’s Shenzhen.

          • L. Ron Hubbard says:

            Shenzhen, a very very boring city, but one located right next to Hong Kong, one of the finest cities in the world! The amount of shutter life I’ve consumed in Hong Kong is incalculable!

            • Me too: it’s been the setting for a lot of my professional work…

              • L. Ron Hubbard says:

                An UltraPrint shot from the top of Victoria Peak down into Central Hong Kong at night would sell HUGE.

                • Wouldn’t be very original or interesting though…

                  • L. Ron Hubbard says:

                    Strongly disagree. It’s one of the most spectacular sights in the world. I’ve been to Hong Kong 30+ times and every time I’m able to, I make the trip up to the top of Victoria Peak and spend as much time as I can there, watching the sun go down and day turn into night.

                    It’s like saying the Grand Canyon or El Capitan isnt original or interesting.

                    • Personally, it didn’t do as much for me as the Grand Canyon…but maybe it’s because I live in a city in Asia that’s already dense with skyscrapers and similar in flavour…

                  • L. Ron Hubbard says:

                    Did you take the hiking path along Victoria Peak? There’s the main viewing station, that elevated U shaped building near the bus terminal which most people go to. I’ve never been up there (despite being up on the mountain dozens of times). Instead I take the hiking path to the west and walk 20 minutes or so. There you’ll find an area where the trees fall away and you are left with an open view of Central, Admiralty, and Kowloon. It is quiet and peaceful and you are only surrounded by at most a dozen other photographers, who know these locations that are off the beaten path.

                    Anyway, I’d pay good money for an UltraPrint shot from that location!

                    • That I’ll have to try next time in Hong Kong. I’ve been to The Peak several times; the building was built by one of my clients.

                      Ultraprint: I’ll hold you to that πŸ˜‰

                    • L. Ron Hubbard says:

                      Seriously, I’ve got a nice spot on my wall waiting for that scene. I’ll make it myself (a regular print), but I dont expect to be back in Hong Kong for a year or two. Last time I was there, my tridpod sadly was not high enough to completely clear the railing. I was soooooo disappointed. Bring a tripod with 5 or 6 feet of height.

                    • I’ll see what I can do on a future trip. All of my tripods clear 6ft – you never know when you might have to put one leg downhill…

  3. Enjoy your travels and be well, Ming πŸ™‚

  4. RenΓ© Sterental says:

    I just got back from Beijing where I was for work. With Intl Roaming or a VPN, you should be good. Otherwise, with local WiFi, Google and others are blocked.

    • I figured as much. VPN in place, but just in case…you never know, some of the VPNs are blocked, too.

      • Social networks are fully blocked. Flickr services are handicapped because some of their content servers are blocked. Dropbox and G Drive are fully blocked. Google mail is definitely not working, although iPhones can still sometimes get push notifications if you set it up with the stock client.

        On proxy services, personally I find shadowsocks a lot faster and a lot more stable(due to its low popularity). Vimeo & Youtube 720p worked fine for me so I suppose it can handle large volume. VPNCUP is a stable provider of both shadowsocks & vpn service. No English pages though.

        Hope you enjoy your trip to China : )

        • Thanks for the tip!

          • Currently in my 3rd year in China, first Beijing, now Shanghai. Internet within China is excellent. Taobao, Alipay and Kwaipan better than Amazon, PayPal and Google Drive, respectively. You need to read Hanzi : ). People’s Congress Party Meeting coming up in a few weeks so outgoing data will be hobbled, throttled or stopped, just know this. Contract Vyper, Astrill or Strong VPNs for a month as a backup. For a short while it’s only a little pain, so accept it. Enjoy your trip to this largely genial country.

            • L. Ron Hubbard says:

              Excellent? LMAO! Thanks for the laugh. Thank god I had my coffee already. Too funny.

              • “Internet within China is excellent” is indeed funny, but Michael is right about Taobao and Alipay (and Wechat pay) being better than their American counterparts. When I’m in Beijing I don’t even need to carry cash around. Taobao is much cheaper and more convenient, with a far more robust feedback and return system, than eBay or Amazon. Delivery is super cheap. All that of course is built upon a vast and still affordable migrant labor force, and your conscience about some other things.

              • I just realized by “Internet within China” Michael really meant the Chinese intra-net, within the Great Firewall. In that sense his sentence is definitely accurate. I’m posting this using a generally-useable VPN…

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