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Hugh in China.

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Eddie Mair | 12:24 UK time, Thursday, 31 July 2008

Here are some words and photos to go with Hugh's report from yesterday Urumchi. Hugh is still heading towards Beijing and the Games from remote regions of China. On PM last night, he reported from an improbable venue - a gay internet station, and a gay nightclub, in Urumchi - in the 'conservative' far west of China, where about 40% of the population are Muslim.By the way, stand by for what are described as "a whole series of slightly blurred but more than identifiable pics of Hugh blowing up and bursting a condom in the gay club in Muslim, remote, north east China at 2am".

We are trying to extort money from Hugh first to see if he wants to stop publication. But in the meantime, those Urumchi words and pics from Hugh:

"Performer at the Red River Valley gay nightclub, Urumchi. It's open every night of the week, and open in every sense - located on a busy street full of bars and cafes. Ten years ago in China, homosexuality was defined as a mental disorder.

Bai Lu, a woman who was born a man. She had her sex change operation in Xian, in China.

Poster on the wall at gay internet radio station, cyboys.com

cyboys.com director Xia Ke. He's 24. He hasn't told his parents he's gay yet. He's their only child.

People's Park, Urumchi, at dusk. There's the boating lake, and an old fun fair, and ballroom dancing under the trees, and a carousel:



And here's one of Urumchi's multiplex cinemas...
....showing Kung Fu Panda.

The mainly Han Chinese end of town, which has a population of more than three million.

In the mainly Muslim quarter, there's the French chain Carrefour, and right across the road:

The old bazaar. Prices in Carrefour are lower. Big Foot effect.

My companion at lunch one day.

And then the cafe manager wanted me to take her picture too.

Boys listening to themelves 'live' on my recording equipment, on miniature headphones.
Oh, and do you remember Mehmet Tursun Chong, the Olympic boxer whose family I visited near Kashgar last week? I caught up with him eventually, for about ten minutes in a break in training in Urumchi. You can read about it here"


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