Linfen is a bustling Chinese city of 4 million people that’s famous for the nearby Hukou Waterfall, Guangsheng Temple and – oh yeah – being one of the most polluted cities in the world.
Time writer Bryan Walsh wrote that the city made “Dickensian London look as pristine as a nature park”. This city is filthy. And it’s filthy due to its location.
This sprawling metropolis is smack bang in the middle of China’s coal belt, and has become the main industrial centre for the country’s coal mining. Good news for those making a buck out of the industry (ahem, the government), but bad news if you live anywhere near Linfen.
And don’t even think about hanging up that laundry to dry outside. Apparently the pollution is so bad that your clothes will turn black before they even dry.
But all hope isn’t lost yet. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has been monitoring the city’s environmental conditions, and the atmosphere is improving each year.