10 June 2011


Transportation here in Baotou is a mix of the familiar and different, the old and new.
Sometimes we get so focussed on the unusual that we neglect the ordinary, like this tree-lined street with cars in the morning rush hour waiting for the light to turn green -- it could almost be Houston, except for the sign in Chinese.
Electric bicycles are very popular here and more are sold every day.  Typically, the rechargeable battery is good for about 20 km and there are also pedals if you run out of juice.
Bikes and e-bikes here are transportation, not recreation.  Dressed for work and with high heels -- you'd never see this at home.
The bigger scooters are also mostly electric, and we sometimes see a whole family riding -- father and two children wait for mother to finish an errand and hop back on.
Tricycle carts move some incredible loads here, and most are also electric.
And there's still an occasional donkey cart in the mix of traffic.  Taxis are very common, and you never call for a ride, just flag one down -- affordable too, short trips about $1, about $3 to the train station and $8 to the airport.  They run on CNG to keep the air clean. 
But people aspire to high-end SUV's, and there are plenty of those here too.  So old and new, familiar and different, China is on the move.