Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall


Tucked away in a secondary road in Balestier is the former Sun Yat Sen Villa. Just over a hundred years ago, it was the Southeast Asian (Nanyang) headquarters for Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary activities with the Tong Meng Hui secret society.

The funds and support he raised here with the Tong Meng Hui had a role to play in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty – marking the end of millennia of dynastic rule in China with the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. The Republic of China was established, Asia’s first. It had a western style parliamentary system although that didn’t last long.

Few Singaporeans, nor northern mainland Chinese know about the existence of this place which in our minds, a glaring blindspot.

First, it makes for a worthwhile visit to understand that Singapore’s relationship with China goes back a longer way than Deng-Lee relations, or the post-LEE post-Terrex new normal. Second, that Singapore had a hand in the birth of modern China. Sun Yat Sen visited Singapore nine times between 1900 and 1911. The villa was gazetted as a national monument in October 1994 and is now known as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Altitude: 200feet / 60m

#NeverForget Singapore’s #SeaState
Shot with the DJI Mavic Pro

Filed under: History, International Relations, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Uncategorized, , , ,

Travel: Guilin, Guangxi Autonomous Region


I recently spent 10 days in China’s Guangxi Autonomus Region as well as Hunan Province. Whilst I have travelled to China many times before, this is the first time I’ve visited with an eye in the sky – a flying camera. Here are some aerial panoramas of my travels there.

The first two panos below are of Guilin’s Karst-filled horizons. The bottom two are villages where China’s ethnic minorities are largely, self-determining. Each travel to China reminds me that China is not a monolithic entity. And that their population of close to 1.4 billion means 1.4 billion stories and agendas, all pretty much on the same roller coaster ride emerging from a century of mistakes they’re not keen to repeat.

In this part of China there are hardly any heavy industries and the sheer number of domestic tourists I met suggests to me again a blindspot the rest of the world is not privy to. China’s domestic market is enormous.

guilin 1 DJI_0041-49 Pano.jpg

guilin 17 DJI_0042-50 Pano.jpg

guilin 19 DJI_0036-43 Pano.jpg

guilin 21 DJI_0008-16 Pano.jpg

Filed under: China Dream, Chinese Model, Mapping Feelings, Tourism, , ,

A step back to move forward. Hello again!

Dear reader, it’s been a number of years but I’m back.

I’ve taken time off to work on my book on China’s rise and it seems timely that I return to the blogosphere to continue sharing my thoughts now that the book’s probably a year away from completion. I was in Guilin with a flying camera in the Guangxi Automous Region recently. The objective was twofold –  to get an updated first hand impression of what China’s periphery has been thinking about and doing, and second to document China from the sky. I returned with a number of aerial photos and look forward to sharing them here.

guilin 5 DJI_0014-29 Pano.jpg

So, hello again!

Wandering China

Filed under: Back to China, Uncategorized,

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January 2017
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The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

China in images and Infographics, by Wandering China

Wandering China: Facing west

Please click to access video

Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Click here to view the Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

Click here to view the East Asia Geographic Timelapse

A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

Wandering Planets

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Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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