Travel Diary: Hunan province, China

When I imagined China, I pictured huge cities with masses of people living in close proximity in endless high risers surrounded by smog. As I was landing in Changsha for my last work trip, I saw some of this.

But then, after an hour in the taxi and another half an hour on a charter bus my eyes were opened up to the beautiful tranquility of the mainland China countryside. 

In contrast to the big metropolitan cities, life here is environmentally sustainable - many buildings are built from bamboo that grows with amazing speed in huge forests that surround the villages. 

The Hunan province is known for its natural beauty, but it’s also refreshing to see that the people of China are working hard to encourage city dwellers to visit and invest in the countryside. The farmers make their living not just from the produce, of which there is an abundance of, but from quant traditional restaurants that serve local delicacies. Another source of their income is Airbnb! Heaps of people from the cities come in bus loads to the countryside for getaway weekends - whether it’s to fish, to enjoy a barbecue in fresh air, or just to take a stroll through the picturesque scenery. 

The Hunan government provides ample attractions for visitors to the countryside and on this trip I was one of those attractions! I was sponsored to create murals and even one working directly with the local school kids. Here are some snaps of my travels. Hope you enjoy it!

Maxim Chikanchi