Railroad speeds up China’s tourism flow

Proudly contributed by Don Ross

Company contributor TTR Weekly

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Photo: NPR

Brian Linden a China railway buff and a heritage hotel founder in the ancient town of Xizhou, just north of Dali, stands on the station platform and answers TTR Weekly’s email questions on his Ipad while waiting for the next high-speed train to arrive.

A couple of days later he responds to a follow-up email and you guessed it, he’s standing on a station platform in a faraway city waiting for a train.

An American who settled in Xizhou just 37 km north of Dali in Yunnan province, Linden restored a protected building in the ancient town and runs the ‘Linden Centre The Commons’, a small 14-room hotel in the heart of this heritage market town that stands on the banks of the Erthal Lake.

That’s his first passion and a close second is travelling and exploring China on its vast railway system.

He knows the railways, both the slow overnight trains and the high-speed variety, like the back of his hand having made hundreds of trips annually.

He will present his observations on rail travel as well as address the opportunities and challenges facing tourism in Yunnan province at the opening day session of the Mekong Tourism Forum 28 May in Dali town.

A travel veteran who gained his spurs on the old Chinese train system Linden says he never “expected such dramatic changes in China in such a short period of time.

“I love trains, and proudly have spent over 250 nights on trains (3/4 of them in China).  Unfortunately, overnight train travel in China is a thing of the past for many travellers because of the convenience of the high-speed train network. I still try to sneak in five to 10 overnight rides per year.”

Read the full article at TTR Weekly: https://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2019/05/railroad-speeds-up-chinas-tourism-flow/

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