Monday, January 17, 2011

Liuzhou: Walk Around

With each city I cover in this blog, I remind travelers that the best way to discover hidden gems and learn about the daily lives of the locals is to take a two hour walk... each day in a different direction from your hotel, one hour out, then one hour back using different streets. Liuzhou, because it is not a big tourist destination, offers a crystal clear glimpse into Chinese life, and life here is extremely peaceful.

For whatever reason, Liuzhou has a larger percentage of scooter commuters than most Chinese cities... many parents scooter their children to school on the way to work, and I saw several dealer showrooms near downtown. During wind storms alarms from many of the thousands of scooters parked outside of businesses in the city go off at once. It's amusing until it becomes mildly annoying. But I can't say it's a complaint.

A recurring theme in my observations of China is the active nature of the people, especially older generations. I wouldn't at all be surprised if in fact they spend less time watching TV than Americans. Liuzhou has an abundance of parks, and each time I ventured out they were busy. Chinese exercising, dancing, singing, performing music, practicing taichi, playing mahjong or cards... they love being social and outdoors.

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