Travel in Beijing, Hangzhou, Zhuhai

The most memorable restaurant in Hangzhou

hangzhou restaurantI think the English name of the restaurant is called Chate. Well, that is the name I recall whenever I think of the restaurant anyway. In Chinese its name is literally “one tea one seat”. It has a few branches across Hangzhou, with one ideally located at the West Lake. The outdoor seating is shaded by trees, and overlooks the lake. If you look for a nice place to chill out near the West Lake, this is the one.

The restaurant has a menu of delicious drinks, including cold tea drink and ice shake. Look out for the mango ice shake – a real treat in the sweltering hot of summer.

outdoor seating of the restaurant
outdoor seating of the restaurant

The restaurant’s boss is taiwaness, so no wonder that the food and drink offered are quite taiwanese flavored. I must say all the food I have tried taste delicious, especially the taiwanese dish “rice with minced pork”.

The snacks, coming in a wide variety, such as fried yam, dumplings, etc are also wonderful.

Besides West Lake, there is a branch restaurant near Dragon Sports Centre. I was once a frequent customer there, as my office was around. I had a horrible time doing business in China, and that horrible time was associated with this restaurant – whenever I was stressed, I would go out for dinner, here in this restaurant.

China As It Is Hong Kong As It Is

Top Secret Means Leader’s State of Health

The spying case of Hong Kong journalist Ching Cheong has sent shocks to the Hong Kong community. The seasoned journalist known for his patriotism was sentenced to jail for five years by the course in China on charges of spying. Upon hearing the verdict, a sense of frustration and pessimism prevails, espescially among the journalists here, and those having believed that China is well on the way to modernity.

First of all, the trial is clouded in secrecy. No evidence is clearly presented and there is no clear explanation of why Ching is accused of spying and what intelligence he has leaked.

Secondly, there is contradiction in the court papers.  The court says Ching surrendered himself, which appears to be a total fabrication. Ching did not surrender but was arrested when visiting China. Also, in the first court paper issued, Ching was accused of leaking top secret state information. In the second court paper, the intelligence he leaked was classified as secret only.

I found out because of the case, that in China there are three classifications of “secrecy” of state intelligence. The top secret goes to state information such as military move, important diplomatic and economic information, and the state leaders’ STATE OF HEALTH.

The second level of secrecy goes to information such as news of resignation of the state leaders, their temperaments and expertise.

The third level of secrecy goes to news of plagues, corruption of local officials, etc.
So it is obvious that if you are a journalist in Hong Kong or China, you can easily step into the trap and report something that belongs to state secrets and land in the jail like Ching Cheong. No wonder the sentence of Ching Cheong has sent a chilling shock to the local journalists.

Hong Kong has been a major outpost in reporting China news of depth and a wide range of topics. If Hong Kong’s journalists are silenced because of the threat of spy charges, the news about China are doomed to be unexciting and more pro-government.

Travel in Beijing, Hangzhou, Zhuhai Travel Tips

Anji Bamboo Forest – 2nd Part

anji bamboo forest
anji bamboo forest

To continue from my last posting about Anji bamboo forest

Anji bamboo forest (Da Zhu Hai in Chinese) is increasingly popular among the Chinese as a destination for a taste of idyllic life in a green environment. Dozens of guesthouses with restaurants attached are being run by the local. You can play majong, a popular Chinese game, sing KTV, fish, have local farmer dishes, etc. These kinds of things appeal to Chinese, obviously, and these guesthouses fill up during the weekend, especially in summer.

The accommodation price is very cheap for international standard. Typically, a standard double room in a farmer’s house is priced at 65 yuan per night, a 3-person room at 85 and a 4-person room at 110 yuan.

If you come to the Anji bamboo forest and like the environment, just check into one of the guesthouses and spend the night there. The surroundings is peaceful and very green. And the people here are very friendly. The white tea, a local specialty, is as good as Longjing tea, the famous Chinese green tea from Hangzhou.

China As It Is

Premier Wen’s Sneakers

China’s premier Wen Jiabo’s sneakers are worn out and repaired and worn out again, and repaired again. It is praised as setting an examplary of being thrifty, a traditional Chinese virtue. But China’s rising economy also means that maybe this virtue is no longer what China needs today. 

Here’s a report from South China Morning Post dated 31 July 2006: 

…the story has also raised interesting questions on whether mainland leaders also need to set an example to boost consumption, the weakest link in the economy.

Just as a manager of the Double Star group, a private mainland firm which produced the premier’s shoes, reportedly suggested, Mr Wen should have bought a new pair of shoes – which cost only 100 yuan – instead of having his worn-out shoes repaired several times.

If everyone emulated the premier by repairing worn-out sneakers, the shoemaker could be in trouble, the manager said.

Indeed, the mainland media should make a big deal of Mr Wen finally deciding to swap the shoes for a new pair because the significance should be just as great.

For Mr Wen and other mainland leaders, turning domestic consumption into an engine of economic growth has been an important priority issue to rebalance the economy, which for the past 20 years has been powered mainly by exports and fixed-asset investments.

But they appear to be at a loss on how to encourage people to spend more, and many government policies appear to discourage spending. The latest example is the central government’s hot-headed policies to crack down on property speculation.

As property prices in major cities soar, the leadership has released a series of measures, including one ridiculous policy of 70/90, ordering local authorities to make sure 70 per cent of new residential properties contain flats of no more than 90 square metres.

It remains a mystery just how the magical figures came about, but the policy is causing controversy among officials and homebuyers, particularly in the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou…

China As It Is

The Old and New China

I am constantly struck by the stark contrast of pessimism expressed by China’s literati and intellectuals and optimism expressed by those wanting to study and live in China.

Yu Hua, a popular writer whose most recent novel “Brother” is a big hit on the mainland, says this when attending Hong Kong Book Fair:

“The Cultural Revolution is a tragedy; The modern China is a farce.”

“The Cultural Revolution is an era of unprecedented pressure; The modern China is an era of unprecedented sleaze.”

I guess you will understand how cogent his comment is if you know the history of China.