I took this almost exactly two years ago, on a quiet summer morning in Shanghai’s Huangpu District. This was a memorable moment partly because I got to share it alongside someone special, and also because I found it unexpectedly while exploring the private areas at the top of the hotel. I usually don’t like to post really similar shots on Instagram, but this is the fourth one of this view that I’ve shared. Frankly, 5AM sunrises since then have never quite measured up to this one. I could see the sun slowly creeping up past the half-finished Shanghai Tower, casting godlike rays between the skyscrapers. Everything seemed at rest, from the still humid air, to the daytime bustle far below that had yet to awaken. The calm was a vividly contradictory backdrop to a skyline born of breakneck growth and change. It was an embodiment of the many dualities of modern China, a culture I’ve fallen in love with while growing up an ocean away. The few times I’ve visited China were mostly spent in urban environments, so I’d love to see more of the ancient culture and landscapes of cities in central China like Guilin and Chengdu.
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Kevin will be flying around China for two weeks on Cathay Pacific.