flying from china to taiwan

posted in: china, travel 0

A not-so-direct flight from Xiamen to Taipei–presumably to avoid the military airspace over the Taiwanese strait. What was making headlines in the Chinese news when we left: …and in Taiwanese news, when we arrived:

yang wawa

posted in: china, travel 0

we’ve just come back from several weeks of holiday in Hong Kong, China (Shenzhen and Xiamen), and Taipei–and wow, was baby S ever popular! especially in China, where girls (and the occasional guy) on the street would often come up and ask to take a photo with him: (same thing with waitresses in restaurants, shop attendants, etc.) (not everyone was … Read More

how Ai Weiwei got his name

posted in: china, words 0

well, this is according to Wikipedia, but it’s cool if true: Ai Weiwei’s father was a famous Chinese poet called Aì Qīng (艾青). But that wasn’t his real name; his original name was Jiang Zhenghan (蒋正涵), styled Jiang Haicheng (蒋海澄)–in addition to his numerous pen names. Anyway, this poet was tortured and imprisoned in 1932 for opposing the Kuomintang (KMT) party. While … Read More

mala xiangguo (麻辣香锅)

posted in: china, food 0

Mala xiangguo is a new dish I discovered on my last trip to China; and I’m hoping someone just recently invented this, because I don’t know how I could not have tried it before! After seeing people line up for this dish at different food courts, we finally tried it at a sit-down place called… yep, the name of the … Read More

a day at the beach… in Dalian

posted in: china, food, travel 0

Since it’s December and minus 15°C out, I thought I’d write about the beach. Or at least about the last time I’d been to a beach, which was in Dalian on China’s Northeast coast. Dalian was rated China’s most livable city in 2006–a fact that kept popping up everywhere we went (or maybe we were just watching too many CCTV … Read More

the most famous foreigner in china

posted in: china, cross-culture 1

…is a Canadian dude from Ottawa?! His name in Chinese is 大山 (‘dashan’ or big mountain), and he’s crazy famous. Hilarious because I would never have heard of him in Canada–but Chinese people tell me he’s more famous than Mao. (How’s that for a benchmark?) So I guess it’s no surprise that the Canadian embassy in Beijing now has his … Read More

liang pi (凉皮)

posted in: china, food 0

Liang pi literally means ‘cold skin’ in Chinese, and is a lovely cold snack served in the summer. This dish comes originally from Shaanxi province but you can pretty much find it everywhere in northern China, and in Beijing it is common to find liang pi stands on the street, like so: It’s basically a cold noodle dish, but the … Read More

trains in china

posted in: china, travel 0

Trains are a great way to travel within China. There are several different categories of train, as identified through the route number. Routes consisting only of digits (no letters) are the regular, cheapest (and slowest) trains. Train numbers starting with ‘K’ are fast trains (kuai literally means fast), T trains are te-kuai (especially fast), and Z trains are zui kuai … Read More

view of north korea

posted in: china, travel 0

There is a section of the Great Wall just outside of Dandong called 虎山长城 (Tiger Mountain Great Wall), again along the border with North Korea. The wall itself is not all that remarkable if you’ve been to other sections: it looks way too new & reconstructed, with the site obviously renovated to herd tourists. But I must admit the view … Read More

Dandong 丹东

posted in: china, travel 2

This is my second time facing North Korea–the first time being a tour of the DMZ organized by the USO–but this time it’s from China. I’m now in Dandong, a very industrial looking city with 600,000 inhabitants. 查看大图 As you can see, the Yalu (“duck green”) river separates China from North Korea–the Chinese side looks rather raucous and full of … Read More

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