International Lifestyle: China, modern living

A building site, which used to be home to a famous Chinese bicycle factory, found in  Xingtai city centre – three hour’s south of Beijing, was going to be turned into 4000 luxury apartments spread over 50 tower blocks, a landmark hotel and a shopping centre and I was going to be their architect.

The developers were keen on our ideas and welcomed our proposals for turning their vision of upmarket homes, in a down at heel location into “concrete” reality.
We would design the gardens, access paths and underground car park and turn their dreams, based on this model from….
…this large hole into…
….the Palace of Versailles!
Or, as it was going to be called, Xingtai’s First Sky City ( 天 一 使, Tian Yi Cheng – much better).
And I was going to be the face of “International Lifestyle” displayed on advertising hoardings across south Hebei province.

Construction began in 2009 and was completed soon after. A few (thousand) apartments are still available for viewing.

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Philip Pembroke

My name is Phil Pembroke and I write fishing guide books - covering fly, sea and coarse fishing for Spain, France and Portugal. Nothing compares to ordering a pint of Guiness - a favourite drink, in my local Romford bar and nothing compares to a two week holiday spent fishing for carp at my local lake in Dagenham, East London. But the quest continues, to organise more fishing downtime. Fishing Bin El Ouidane lake in Morocco for virgin carp, with friends in 2007 was a wonderful experience. Ice fishing in Poland in 2017 was chilling. I have spent time fishing for Bighead carp in north east China in 2010 and drunk the local whiskey. 2017 is the Chinese year of the Rooster (Gōngjī), the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying luck, romance and personality. May the celestial rooster bring good luck to anglers everywhere they chose to cast a line. My blog has stories from near and far about fishing and travel, plus a few surprises. my website has free fishing maps for all regions of Spain, and a lot of free information about fishing in western and central Europe, Morocco and China: You can get in touch here:

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