Up in the air

While playing with (and by that, I mean being bullied by) a screaming bunch of pint-sized kids in the longtang one day, a ruddy-faced boy suddenly asked me, “Have you been on an airplane? What is it like?”

Domestic air travel in China reached 215 million passengers in 2009 and with the newly opened Hongqiao Terminal 2, Shanghai now has 2 airports housing 4 terminals. Each day, tens of thousands are touching down and/or taking to the skies to and from our fair city.

But we forget the majority of China travel domestically by bus or train. Not everyone has had, or will have, the luxury of sitting in a flying tin can, eating bad airplane food.

Hence today’s photos. Hardly street level, but yesterday’s foggy and dreadfully wet weather reminded me of the many possible air travellers abandoned in lounges or trapped on tarmacs in Shanghai’s airports.

This is for ruddy-faced A-da (阿怛).

Here’s to you, kid. I forgive you for sneezing all over my camera. May you one day share the same view.

December 2009, en route Shanghai-Beijing

Aerial Beijing 03

Aerial Beijing 01



  • Reply April 2, 2010


    I work in a flight school in China, surrounded by pilots, listening to airplanes all day long from my office. My experience with China is completely wrapped up with airplanes, and so I really appreciate these beautiful photographs of China from the air. And every time I fly, I always keep my eyes glued out the window. When the smog and clouds clear off, the views are spectacular.

    • Reply April 6, 2010

      Sue Anne

      Thanks very much for stopping by! I had a gander at your site and you must have many tales to share about the work at a flight school! I love aerial photography, you can see more of my aerial shots here: http://www.flickr.com/people/satayaerial

      • Reply April 6, 2010


        Fantastic! Thanks for the link to the aerial shots. I’m working on a post about China from the air, with links to several resources. I would like to include this post and your flickr site if that’s okay!

        • Reply April 6, 2010

          Sue Anne

          Sure! Go ahead. I look forward to reading the post. Have a good one. Best, Sue Anne

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.