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Fog (Not Smog) Covered Xiamen, and it was Beautiful

I looked out my window and said, “Oh no, not again . . . oh wait, maybe . . . . just maybe . . . could this really be fog? It was, and it was beautiful. Check out these photos of the almost mystical fog that covered Xiamen a couple of evenings ago.

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The first time I looked my window in China to find an opaque blanket of cloud-like material preventing me from even seeing the other side of the street it was during an airpocylpse. It was early 2012 and the local authorities were still trying to use the old “It’s not smog, it’s fog” line on their populous. Though by the next airpocylpse this routine was far too worn out to attempt again. Everybody knew it was smog, and we all admitted it.

What is an airpocalypse?

I’m not sure if such a term can be properly defined, but, generally speaking, an airpocalypse is not just a city having a bad air day, but is a smog front that virtually covers an entire country (like China) with a particulate matter haze that’s so thick that you can hardly see across the streets, let alone drive or even dare go outside. You know it’s a proper airpocalypse when smog concurrently shuts down dozens of cities that span thousands of kilometers. An airpocalypse is a quasi-weather phenomenon, and even places that are far from any urban or industrial centers can be caught in the depths of the miasma.

So when I looked out my window a couple of evenings ago and found that a frothy, fuzzy veil was put down in front of it, I immediately said, “not again.” But I’m on Xiamen island now, not in Jiangsu in the heavily industrialized Yangtze River Delta or Henan or Hebei or Beijing. Though smog still rolls in here, it never gets to airpocalypse heights. Then a novel idea hit me, “Maybe this really is fog?”

It was. It was beautiful, beautiful fog.

It was a day that started out rainy, then turned sunny quickly, and then the wind blew in, creating a billowing blanket of advection fog which swallowed Xiamen island. This is what it looked like:

7505Xiamen-in-fog4 Xiamen Fog Xiamen mirage_48bad 8139Xiamen-in-fog5 3314Xiamen-in-fog6

xiamen-fogThe view from inside the fog.


Yes, beautiful, beautiful fog.


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Filed under: China, Pollution, Weather

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3717 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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