Road Trip Series – Xishuangbanna

Thursday, 31st January. It's time for the Spring Festival folks! 春节来啦! Chinese New Year falls on February 5th, so we're packing our gear and getting ready to leave the cold and grey climes behind and enjoy some warmth and sunshine, for a few days at least. The plan is to set off from Chongqing, and … Continue reading Road Trip Series – Xishuangbanna

Getting a Chinese Driving License

No matter what you may have heard, it is perfectly legal for foreigners to drive anywhere in China, except for certain restricted areas, Tibet being a prime example. The international driving license is not accepted in mainland China, so you will have to go through some formalities and have a Chinese license issued to you … Continue reading Getting a Chinese Driving License

Hot Spring Series – Ronghui

A top favourite activity of mine ever since my first weeks in Chongqing is without doubt the hot springs. I will introduce a popular resort within easy reach of tourists, and explain how a foreign tourist can visit them from start to finish. Each resort is different in its own way, but the process of … Continue reading Hot Spring Series – Ronghui

Testbed 2 重庆贰厂

Testbed is the English name given to an old factory site that was restored into a cultural and recreational complex that's been hot on the Chongqing tourist trail for a few years now. It's located on a hilltop in the central district of Yuzhong渝中区, very close to the beautiful Eling Park, the pagoda of which … Continue reading Testbed 2 重庆贰厂

The origin and meaning of the name Chongqing 重庆

Where does the name 'Chongqing' come from? Let's look at the historical origin of the name, and then discuss the two Chinese characters of 'Chong' and 'Qing.' First of all, I would like to quote from the Lonely Planet on the origins of the name. Chongqing means 'double happiness' or 'repeated good luck.' It was … Continue reading The origin and meaning of the name Chongqing 重庆

Huayan Temple 华岩寺

Huayan Temple is a Buddhist temple, lying at the foot of Dalaoshan (Big & Old Mountain) in the west of Chongqing. There is a cave in the mountain cliff, and around the cave a temple was built. Water from the mountain stream splashes all year round just like scattering flowers (in ancient Chinese, the word … Continue reading Huayan Temple 华岩寺

The Foreign Permanent Resident’s Card

Back in around 2004, I believe, the green card became available for foreigners who satisfy a certain range of criteria. Unless you have a few million dollars spare to invest in China, or can make some momentus contribution to society, the most common method of obtaining one is through marriage to a Chinese spouse. The … Continue reading The Foreign Permanent Resident’s Card

Beware of the Panda

On the roads of Chongqing the last two years, any regular driver cannot fail to have noticed a large fleet of green and white Lifan mini cars emblazened with the Panda-auto EU and panda face logo. The brand name of 'Panda' doesn't actually mean the mammal variety, as the animal itself in Chinese is 熊猫(Xiong … Continue reading Beware of the Panda

Crushing evil influences

A nationwide campaign has been on the go, quietly but conspicuously, in the form of banners hung up in public areas and billboards. The theme is 扫除黑恶 (Sao chu hei e), meaning something like to eradicate underground practices. For quite some time, I didn't really pay much attention, as nothing in everyday life had changed, … Continue reading Crushing evil influences