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Back on the Dragon

22 July, 2017 (20:57) | Holidays, snap! | By: Ian Burdon

Drum Tower, Xi’an

We’re thinking about another visit to China, probably in February 2018. This is a little unexpected as it wasn’t something that appealed to me just a few months ago, but I got sick last time I was there and wasn’t in the best frame of mind when I thought that.

One of the things I’ve written about previously is the pace at which China is developing and the sacrifice of historic identity that seems to be accompanying it. There are signs that they are realising that destruction of heritage is damaging and I welcome that; nevertheless I’m interested in finding the aspects of China that have been disappearing while they’re still there and I’m still able to go. One big city is pretty much interchangeable with any other big city.

I’m quite keen to go back to some slightly off-the-beaten-track places and appreciate them properly. We’re currently thinking about a looping route via Beijing, through Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, then back to Shanghai as the core of the itinerary, but, of course, that is likely to change as time passes.

The main limitations will be (a) travelling during Spring festival and (b) it will be winter, so no mountains.

After my experiment in the Hebrides when I took only film cameras with me (I’ll load some pics into the gallery here soon just as soon as I remember how), I plan to do the same again in China. We’re still a long way out from finalising plans, but my guess is I’ll take the Pentax 645N and a Contax SLR. I found with the 645N that I stuck to a 45mm lens pretty much all the time so I may just take one lens with me for it. Similarly with the Contax: just one, or at most 2 lenses (say a 45mm and a 135mm). I may take another SLR as a back up, or loaded with Black and White film, but I’m not sure. Preliminary indications are I’ll need to take film with me as I can’t guarantee time to get to the camera markets in Shanghai or Beijing to buy it there.