No carts 'n' mules allowed.

I was out in Haidian 海淀 recently, and I spotted this sign:

Many countryside dwellers still use the traditional (and low carbon!) mule and cart to transport building materials or fruit and veg into the megacity. So, despite the China linking arms with super slick development and driving forward like a mentalist, sights like this –

“My favorite animal is the mule. He has more horse sense than a horse. He knows when to stop eating -- and he knows when to stop working.” ~ Harry S. Truman (photo courtesy of Sabine Hartmann at

– are still fairly common in and around Beijing, as well as other cities in China (except Shanghai, because it’s way to classy).

However, quaint and cute as they are to my nostalgic expat eyes, they aren’t entirely welcome in the car worshiping metropolis of Beijing.


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