That's Beijing Editor-in-Chief Oscar Holland introduces the cover story from our August 2016 issue:
Every now and then, we are forced to take stock of how we ended up at a certain juncture in life. These mini existential crises usually strike while I’m on a toilet in some far-flung corner of China (too much time to think). But my latest what-the-fuck-am-I-doing here moment was more pleasant, and took place in the middle of the Bohai Sea on the world’s fourth-largest luxury cruise ship with Fan Bingbing, China’s most famous woman.
The ease with which one is thrown into surreal circumstances is, for me, what makes traveling so addictive. I say this in a general sense, but it proves particularly true in China.
Don’t get me wrong, travel here can be unbearable. I speak for anyone who has been forced off a bus to tour a jade factory. But at the risk of skirting too close to cliche, this country is old, diverse and exceptionally large. You’ve got to try pretty hard not to find adventure here.
So this month, in addition to my dispatch from the Bohai, we’ve brought together a short collection of travel writing. If your summer won’t take you beyond the 6th Ring Road, then let this provide some vicarious wonderment.
I Took a Billion-Dollar Cruise Ship with Fan Bingbing, by Oscar Holland [Monday August 15]
I Tried to Cycle Across China on a Flying Pigeon, by Simon Clode [Tuesday August 16]
I Hitchhiked Along the North Korean Border, by Noelle Mateer [Wednesday August 17]
I Lived in a Gansu Cave House, by Dominique Wong [Thursday August 18]
I Was a Post-Disaster Tourist in Sichuan's Earthquake Villages, by Oscar Holland [Friday August 19]