China A to Z: A is for Air

A is for Air

Air is a big part of where you are. Is it dry or moist? What does it smell like? and so on.

Much of China’s air pollution comes from industry that uses coal for power.

It’s sad that A is for Air, the very first letter, because it really isn’t China’s strongest suit, although, to give credit where due, they are working on it. Before my first trip my son told me that the air in Beijing smells like a smoking room at a hotel. That is a fairly accurate description…most of the time.

Dusk on a clear day at Beijing Capital International Airport

It isn’t always so: A few times I have been lucky and the air has been clear and crisp. One time I even saw the great wall from the airplane as it headed for home. (Once in seven trips.)




These two images were taken from the same vantage point the first had more zoom. I needed it so that the photo wasn’t just vague haze. On that day the vase shaped tower on the right in the second picture wasn’t visible at all. It was about 1 km from the location where I took the picture.


2 thoughts on “China A to Z: A is for Air”

  1. Of course I’ve heard of the air situation in Baijin. I have heard incredible stories about, a frend of my sister’s, who live in Baijin and had a kid there, recounted that where her boy was born, she didn’t trust to take him outside for an entire month for fear that the air would poison him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My son had a friend in Jinan (capital of Shandong) the school where she worked was closed for several weeks one winter because of air pollution. It is remarkable how quickly the air clears on long holidays when industry closes down. Winter is the worst because so many heat with coal. The Chinese government is working on the problem but it is hard to shift such a large infrastructure away from fossil fuels.
      I wish them well at it. China would be so much more lovely if the air was clean.


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