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I haven’t traveled as much in China as I’d like to have done. My wife’s not big on travel – she thinks it’s a pointless waste of money and time, and I’m perpetually busy and disinclined to travel on my own when I’ve got some rare free time.

That's a lucky third appearance for the Shards of China publicity photo this week - I promise I'll save it for a while now at least until the end of the month.

There’s a lot of China that you and I have never heard of – in fact a lifetime spent in the country would barely be able to scratch the surface of what’s available to visitors. However I think it’s time to live vicariously and take a tour of China – province by province (and Special Economic Zone).

This is going to be a big series and it’s going to be delivered very much on a “dip in, dip out” basis but to give you an idea of what will be coming in the future here’s a list of all the major components of the country.

There's a lot of places in China and I hope you'll join me as I learn something about each of them.

Anhui, Beijing, Chongqing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hong Kong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Macau, NeiMongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai,  Shanxi, Sichuan, Tianjin, Tibet, Xinjiang, Yunnan and Zhejiang. That’s 33 big headlines and most of them deserve more than a single post – so this is the first time I’ll be adding sub-headings to a theme. There’ll be 33 of them by the end – as you’ll notice neither Shenzhen nor Guangzhou are on the list (and they’re two of the biggest cities in the world) and that’s because they’re part of Guangdong province – so that should give you an idea of how big a job this.

Interestingly Microsoft Word doesn’t recognize the spelling of three of these places which just goes to show how little we know about China in the West.

I imagine it’s going to take the best part of a year (or more) to walk round China, I’m going to take these places in alphabetical order too – so if there’s somewhere you’re dying to know about, you’ll have an idea of how long you might have to wait for it.

Tomorrow I’ll be starting in Anhui Province – a place about which I know almost nothing today, so I’d better get educating myself tonight. 🙂