Mark Tanner - Adventurer, Writer and Amateur Beatboxer

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The first ever people to paddle from the source of the Blue Nile to the Mediterranean Sea

Paddling the Nile

The first ever paddle down the Blue Nile from source to sea. 5,000km through wild rapids, war zones, crocodile and hippo infested waters, disease, terrorists, guns, arrests; the works...

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Living the dream in China

Chinese Adventures

Newly married amongst the neon glow and dumpling vendors as we bumble our way trying to figure out the world's most populous nation at this exciting time in it's history...

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Solo winter bicycle trek across Canada

The Great Canadian Bike Trek

23 years old and naive, I set off in the middle of Canada's barbaric winter perched on a woolskin seat-cover peddling solo from one side of Canada to the other...

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Welcome to MarkTanner.com where you'll read about the first ever paddle from the source of the Blue Nile to the sea, an ancient Viking treasure hunt, midwinter biking across Canada and Chinese adventures. There's tasty Sudanese recipes, a Chinese Haka Video, beatbox downloads, Nile Floods, rat trapping, a Nile River trivia quiz, photos of Wellington and lots more. Enjoy!

 



Inappropriate Content Is Still Sneaking Through In China – Where You’d Least Expect It

February 1, 2015 | Comments No Comments

 

Fan Bingbing, the Empress of China with Cleavage

Fan Bingbing, the Empress of China

 

Over the past couple of years, there has been a trend towards more heavy-handed censoring in China, particularly for content that strongly represents Western ideals and culture. Each year, as China’s population becomes more global, online, educated and well-travelled, its censors battle harder to keep China ‘pure’ and free from the evils of sex, drugs and civil rights that have polluted the West.

 

While China’s censoring of the Internet is well documented, rules require everything from mainstream advertising to TV soups to get the big State tick before being aired in the Mainland. “The Empress of China” – its biggest-budget soap ever made following China’s only female emperor during the Tang Dynasty, was abruptly pulled after its release in late-December 2014. After a few days the show returned with cleavage shots strategically removed from the lead actress, Fan Bingbing. It happened at a similar time to announcements that the Shanghai Auto Show was likely to ban racy models.

 

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Thawing China-Japan Relations Will Be Good For Rugby

January 17, 2015 | Comments No Comments

 

Chinese rugby in Beijing

Rugby on the main stage in Beijing – a pipe dream or a possibility?

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The Sphinx: Didn’t the Egyptians think to Trademark it in China?

June 2, 2014 | Comments No Comments

 

China's fake Great Sphinx of Giza, in Hebei province, close to Beijing

China’s fake Great Sphinx of Giza, in Hebei province, close to Beijing

 

China has been investing large sums into Africa to take advantage of the continent’s vast natural resources and build diplomacy. In 2012 alone, China dropped $27.7 billion between Cairo and Capetown and is showing no signs of slowing down. But even with China bringing all sorts of new infrastructure, mobile networks, sports stadiums and more productive farming to the continent, one country that isn’t looking too fondly on the Middle Kingdom is Egypt.

 

Egypt’s tourism industry, which accounts for 40% of the country’s non-commodity exports and is one its main employers, stands to benefit significantly from the rise of Chinese outbound tourism.  With 200 million Chinese expected to travel abroad in 2017, once Egypt settles a little, big-spending Chinese tourists will come flooding in.  So it is in Egypt’s best interests to keep China on side, but a couple of recent incidents by Chinese nationals will certainly be testing their patience.

 

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Elysium, China and the Electric Car Question

February 16, 2014 | Comments No Comments

 

China Elysium

China Elysium

 

On the long flight back from China to New Zealand recently, one of the films I watched was Elysium.  The sci-fi thriller probably won’t make my top-10 list, but some of the content felt disturbingly close to home.

 

Although earth in Elysium was depicted as a polluted and overpopulated Los Angeles in 2154, it had elements of the way China is going right now, as the air and water pollution seem to be getting worse every year.  The luxurious space habitat that the earthlings wanted to escape to, reminded me a little bit of New Zealand – although with slightly better looking inhabitants and a far superior health system.

 

A recent McKinsey poll in China, found air and water pollution to be Chinese consumers’ fastest growing concerns – 11% and 7% up on last year – and the forth and fifth biggest concerns overall.  Interestingly, the concerns were confirmed by a recent report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, claiming that Beijing was almost uninhabitable for human beings due to the pollution. Whether or not these claims are ‘exaggerated‘, as reported by Chinese state media, the pollution appears to be getting even worse, not better, based on both official reports and my personal experiences, particularly in Shanghai.

 

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