China: Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

The memories of our China trip still linger in my mind. One of those memories is our ride on the high-speed trains from Xian to Beijing and from Beijing to Shanghai. During our trip on the fabulous high-speed trains, we passed huge cities about every 30 minutes. These cities looked as though no one lived in them. Every city we passed, I would put my head close to the window so I could to see if there were any signs of life. I could not! I kept telling my husband Pete that it looked as though the cities were empty.

After returning home, I mentioned the empty cities to a friend. He told me that 60 Minutes and Dateline had both done segments on the “Ghost Cities of China”. I immediately googled it and found lots of information on these cities. Dateline’s tag on YouTube states, “Vast cities are being built across China at a rate of ten a year, but they remain almost uninhabited ghost towns. It’s estimated there are 64 million empty apartments.”

China only built the cities for growth of its economic product! In other words, they wanted to keep their workers busy. By reviewing internet use, or rather disuse, MIT Technology Review estimated there are 50 of these vast ghost cities across China. 

I can now rest easier knowing my instincts were right.

Our next stop was Hong Kong, a busy, large, beautiful city. We did the things most tourists do: rode the Peak Tram to the top of Hong Kong for a breathtaking view, enjoyed an evening cruise on the harbor to watch the Symphony of Lights, and had drinks at the top of the Peninsula hotel.

Pete and I also took the ferry to Macau for the day, which I would not recommend. There isn’t much to see in Macau. The most fun we had there was posing for photos with Chinese folks who had never seen people like us with blue eyes! If you do decide to go, don’t bother taking a tour – just take a ferry to Macau and go to the casinos on your own.

In September, a couple of our luxury travel partners will be joining us for an informational evening at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty in Lake Oswego. Scenic Luxury River Cruises, Silversea Luxury Cruises and a couple of other surprise vendors will be there. Please call me if you’d like to know more.

Next Month: Jet Tours