Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back from China and Thanks to Guest Blogger, Lisa-Marie Pierre

Overlooking the South China Sea
Well, I made it back safe and sound from the island of Hainan in the Peoples Republic of China.  The trip was very fruitful and productive.  More about that latter, but first of all a big thanks to Lisa-Marie Pierre who took on guest blogger duties while I was away.  One of my long-term goals for this blog is to invite a few other researchers who work on sustainability issues to add posts to On the Brink in order to provide more frequent and interesting content.  So, having Lisa-Marie guest blog was a first step in that direction.  I hope you enjoyed her fresh voice and perspective as much as I did.  One of the other goals I have for the coming year is to add a monthly interview/conversation segment.  I can't decide if I want to do this as a youtube video series or as an audio podcast.  But, know that I am looking at some upgrades to On the Brink.
I stood out a little so was often photographed.  They do
not get many westerners on Hainan--yet.
As you know, blogger is blocked in China and I was unable to update you on my travels and experiences in real time, so I will try to do a post or two this week on what I was up to and my overall impressions about Hainan and its role in the economic development of China as a major resort tourist destination.  However, let me just note today that Hainan is a beautiful tropical island off the southern coast of China.  While the culture is clearly Chinese, the tropical setting makes it feel somewhat Indochinese or even Pacific Island in nature.  I travelled to many locations on the island including our home base of Haikou, Bao (where the Asian Economic Forum is held), the resort city of Sanya, and various smaller towns and places.  I was struck by the rapid development of the island.  There are cranes and construction sites everywhere.  Even more than in the heady days of Florida's real estate booms.

The food was amazing.  When we went out to eat,
lots of food was ordered and we shared what was on the table.  Note those are fresh coconuts in the plastic bags.
The food was really quite good and fresh.  Hainan is considered one of the most important agricultural regions of China.  It is very much like Florida in this respect in that Hainan provides a great deal of winter produce to the rest of the island.  Because Hainan is more tropical than Florida, one sees a few more tropical fruit varieties than in Florida--such as dragon fruit, durian, and lychee.  They also have amazing seafood from the South China Sea.  

The resort area of Sanya.
I'll spend some time in an upcoming post discussing some of my official activities on the island, but for now, I just wanted to let you know that I am back.

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