Mandarin Tips – Communicating in Chinese TV Show

So far in my blog, I've already covered two Mandarin language resources that helped me through that tricky beginner's stage, and within a full year of my arrival in Chongqing. Just in case you haven't read them, they are the Mandarin pop VCDs and Crazy English Reader magazine. Another resource that taught me muchaimed at … Continue reading Mandarin Tips – Communicating in Chinese TV Show

Yuelai International Exhibition Centre

Almost two weeks ago on my drive home, a new but feebly inconspicuous road sign finally caught my attention. The right lane new painted in dark yellow was reserved for Smart Expo traffic, with all other road users presumably expected to keep it clear. By the time I searched online to learn more about the … Continue reading Yuelai International Exhibition Centre

Fog City Night Tales

For many years, Chongqing Television has run a program with several episodes a week called 'Fog City Night Tales,' or Wuduyehua雾都夜话. Chinese people nationwide know Chongqing as both 'Mountain City' and 'Fog City.' Indeed, the low elevation of Sichuan, locked in on all sides by mountain ranges, plus the humidity from its extensive waterways, often … Continue reading Fog City Night Tales

Mandarin Tips – Karaoke VCDs

I know what you're probably thinking, but hear me out. Believe me, my singing career was over long before it even began, but that never stopped me using Chinese music video CDs as an amazing way to overcome those initial linguistic hurdles. Times have certainly changed. During my first years in Chongqing, there was practically … Continue reading Mandarin Tips – Karaoke VCDs

Chongqing International Beer Festival

Summer beer festivals have become a ubiquitous event for most cities nationwide, and whilst a far cry from Oktoberfest, the most notable example in Chongqing takes place in early September on Nanbin Lu, the south bank river road of the Yangtze, just as the summer heat begins to subside. Today, I saw the eye catching … Continue reading Chongqing International Beer Festival

Interaction – Beat the Landlord

Today, I want to teach you how to play 'Beat the Landlord,' (斗地主Dou di zhu) the most popular card game in Chongqing, if not the whole country. While some individuals do indeed fritter away countless sums of money in the Macanese casinos, only a tiny majority play the more international games like blackjack or poker. … Continue reading Interaction – Beat the Landlord

Yangshuo Adventure

The famous Chinese saying goes 'Guilin shanshui jia tianxia 桂林山水甲天下,' the scenery of Guilin is unmatched beneath the heavens. Perhaps, that is, except for Yangshuo, an hour's drive further south. Tomorrow, we shall embark on a 5 hour bullet train journey direct to Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, a distance of around 780 kilometres. There, we will … Continue reading Yangshuo Adventure

Ciqikou Old Town – A Personal Account

Ciqikou is an old town area of Chongqing tucked away in a corner of Shapinba District by the Jialing River. Its most noticeable landmark is the hilltop Buddhist temple Baolunsi 宝轮寺, easily visible when driving in or out of Shapinba across the ringroad bridge. Ciqikou 磁器口 translates as 'Chinaware Mouth' or 'inlet.' Indeed, the area … Continue reading Ciqikou Old Town – A Personal Account

A Japanese Style Bath House

Allow me to begin with a brief anecdote or two. Nanshan南山 is the lushly forrested 'South Mountain' ridge that streches roughly north to south along the eastern side of Chongqing, and provides the famous backdrop to the Mountain City skyline. Apart from sitting pretty, the ridge hosts the insanely popular nightviewing platforms of Yikeshu一棵树观景台, and … Continue reading A Japanese Style Bath House

Interaction – Going AA

Going AA is the younger Chinese generation's choice expression when going Dutch, ie; sharing equally the cost of meal, an unspecified number of alcoholic beverages, a karaoke suite, the list goes on! Overall, the culture of hosting and covering the expense personally is still very popular. Outward impressions of generosity aside, people like to develop … Continue reading Interaction – Going AA

China Powerboat League – Pengshui

Out of the blue one day last week, a young lady from Dalian added me as a contact on QQ through a Chongqing foreigners' group, and asked if I would be interested in taking part in an amateur jet ski race, an addition to the professional China Powerboat League. Since all the other racers are … Continue reading China Powerboat League – Pengshui

Public Line Dancing

As daylight fades, small armies of middle aged and elderly ladies emerge from their apartment blocks to congregate in their communal square, a public space, or even in corners of an underground parking garages when met with inclement weather. A stereo cassette player, a bluetooth connected boombox, or even portable screening equipment is set up … Continue reading Public Line Dancing

The Grand Theatre

The Chongqing Grand Theatre重庆大剧院 is virtually at the tip of the Jiangbeizui peninsula, a piece of land that accosts the convergence point of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. As a small anecdote, many Chinese refer to the Yangtze erroneously as the 'Long River.' Indeed, the most widely used name is 'Chang jiang长江, that literally means … Continue reading The Grand Theatre