Fengjing, China

Less than 30 miles from busy Shanghai is the quiet river town of Fengjing where intricately decorated boats shuttle people along the town’s canals. A sharp contrast to Shanghai’s glass and metal skyscrapers, Fengjing, with its wood and stone houses and its museum of the Cultural Revolution, seems trapped in time.
Its real charm, though, is the food stands where one can buy cakes filled with red bean paste and dumplings filled with a piping hot soup. Stinky tofu—which is truly very stinky—is another favorite as is pork and cornmeal wrapped in banana leaves. The town also serves as a popular backdrop for wedding photos. It is easy to see why.
Photo © 2011 Alison Hoeman


Eastern Asia

Area 9,596,961 km2 (RANK 4)

Arable 14.9%

Capital Beijing (12.2M)

Population 1,343,239,923 (140/km2)

Literacy 92%

Life expectancy 75 yrs

HIV/AIDS 0.1% (740,000 adults)

In poverty 13%

Military 4.3% of GDP (RANK 21 of 195)

Languages Mandarin, Yue, Wu, Minbei, Minnan, Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects

Religions Daoist, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim

Gov’t Communist State

GDP/capita $9,100

Agriculture rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed, pork, fish

Industry electrical and other machinery, data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment

PCVs 1993-present, current 146, TTD 833; education

Focus word for 2014 - "Home"

Mandarin: jīa (jyah)
Mongolian: ger (gair)
Tibetan: phayul (phi-yool)

indigenous design from China

Copyright © Julie Olsen

Map of the world


Lost in Thailand.
Director: Xu Zheng (2012)

Director: Ying xiong (2002)

The Last Train Home.
Director: Gui tu lie che (2012)



Oracle Bones
by Peter Hessler, 2006
Book Description
Profile of a nation with an ancient traditional culture in the midst of a breathtaking transformation into a dynamic, modern society.

Kids' Books

Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party
by Ying Chang Compestine
2007. 248 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0312581497
Ages 10-up