Saturday, December 22, 2012

Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival 2013

Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival 2013 哈尔滨国际冰雪节

The 29th Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival opens in Heilongjiang Province with a spectacular opening con Saturday January 5th, 2013 and lasts for around one month.

Harbin Ice Festival

The hundreds of ice sculptures at Sun Island, Zhaolin Park and "Ice and Snow World" are built from blocks of ice taken from the Songhua River by around 15,000 workers and designed by local engineering students and increasingly by artists from around the world.

The ice sculptures in the "Ice City" in Harbin are illuminated at night with multi-colored lights embedded in the ice and also by laser shows.

Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival 2013

Firework displays are also part of the attraction along with swimming contests in pools in the frozen Songhua River, ice climbing contests and ice restaurants where customers eat hotpot in restaurants built from blocks of ice.

Nearby Yabuli Ski Resort is another pull for the nearly 1,000,000 visitors expected to arrive for the winter period.

Harbin Ice Festival 2010

Other big snow festivals around the world include the Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan and Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival. The Shangri-La Hotel in Harbin is the city's most luxurious hotel to stay during the Ice Festival.

Zhaolin Park, Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
images © Daniel Allen
Accommodation in Harbin

Hotels in Harbin


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hong Kong Mass Transit Logo

Hong Kong Mass Transit Logo 香港

Hong Kong's Mass Transit has a distinctive logo. The white sign on a red circular background consists of 3 strokes: a vertical line and two semi-circles at the top and bottom.

Hong Kong Subway Sign, Causeway Bay

The MTR logo captures the inter-connectivity of Hong Kong's MTR with subway,  light rail and the Airport Express running out to Hong Kong International Airport.

MTR, Hong Kong.

Accommodation in Hong Kong

Hotels in Hong Kong


Friday, October 26, 2012

Long Life Garden Hong Kong

Long Life Garden Hong Kong

Long Life Garden in Kowloon, Hong Kong is a shop specializing in traditional Chinese herbal medicines.

Long Life Garden Hong Kong, China

Popular with tours of Japanese tourists, Long Life Garden offers demonstrations of its medicinal products often extracted from various creatures including sea horses (see above) and plants such as ginseng and garlic.

Long Life Garden Hong Kong

Rows of jars line the wooden shelves of the store which is a delight to wander.

Access - Getting There

Long Life Garden
308, Canton Road, G/F
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2730 1202

Long Life Garden, Kowloon, Hong Kong


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hong Kong Estate Agents

Hong Kong Estate Agents 香港

Hong Kong has some of the most expensive real estate in the world. A lack of space and a large population has meant Hong Kong has gone vertical and most places to rent in Hong Kong are in high rise blocks of flats.

Hong Kong Estate Agents, China

The Hong Kong property market is highly competitive and a large number of companies are involved in the sale and lease of property in Hong Kong.

Prices of properties to rent in Hong Kong depend on the location and the space of the property. Hong Kong landlords normally require a deposit of 1 or 2 months' rent in advance.

Check your rights on the Hong Kong government website that deals with housing.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Qiongzhu Temple Kunming Yunnan Province China

Qiongzhu Temple Kunming 筇竹寺

Qiongzhu Temple or Bamboo Temple is located on Yu'an Mountain, 12km north west of the city of Kunming in Yunnan Province.

Qiongzhu Temple, Kunming

The temple originally dates from the 13th century and is a Chinese Zen temple. The temple and statues you see today mostly date from the reconstruction work of the Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty after a devastating fire destroyed most of the original structures.

Qiongzhu Temple, China

Qiongzhu Temple is known for its 19th century sculptures of the 500 Buddhist arhats or luohan (Buddhist adepts freed from the cycle of death and re-birth) sculpted by the renown Chinese artist Li Guangxiu and his five disciples. The art work proved too much for the artist's contemporaries and patrons and was his last commission.

Qiongzhu Temple arhats

The clay statues, which took seven years in the making are beautifully painted and capture various personalities and states of human existence: the young and the old, the healthy and the sick, the happy and the sad.

Qiongzhu Temple statue

Some of the statues ride waves like surfers on one wall of the temple and are particularly grotesque: one has arms longer than his body, another eyebrows reaching down to his chest.

Qiongzhu Temple, China

Qiongzhu Temple is also known for its fine setting with ancient cypress trees and the grounds also contain a vegetarian restaurant for visitors. The main hall of Qiongzhu Si contains a 14th century stone tablet recording the diplomacy between Imperial China and Yunnan in Chinese and Mongolian script.

Qiongzhu Temple monk


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hong Kong Public Light Buses

Hong Kong Public Light Buses 香港小型巴士

Hong Kong's Public Light Buses are a quick and easy way to get around Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories. Hong Kong's Public Light Buses (PLBs) are also known as Maxicabs or Green Minibuses (GMB) to differentiate them from the red Private Light Buses, which are unregulated and can run on their own routes and charge their own fares.

Hong Kong Public Light Buses, Hong Kong

A total of 4350 Public Light Buses are allowed to operate in Hong Kong and they can carry a maximum of 16 passengers. Public Light Buses operate on fixed routes with fixed fares on a timetable. The destination of the bus is shown on the front in both Chinese and English.

Hong Kong Public Light Buses, China

The Octopus Card, as well as cash, is accepted on all of Hong Kong's Public Light Buses. Many of the buses are now LPG vehicles, with plans to phase in electric buses in future. Most of the buses carry advertising.

Hong Kong Public Light Buses

By law passengers are obliged to wear seat belts on Hong Kong's Public Light Buses. Some of Hong Kong's Public Light Buses run 24 hours. When you want to get off the bus call out to the driver: "Next stop please!"

Hong Kong Public Light Buses
Lightbus 2021

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Made in China Restaurant Beijing

Made in China Restaurant Beijing

The Made in China restaurant is the centerpiece of the delicious haute cuisine on offer at the Grand Hyatt Beijing Hotel.

Beijing Duck, Made in China

Traditional Beijing Duck is wonderfully prepared in imperial style and is a favorite with diners. The restaurant is set in an open kitchen and the chefs and their skill are on full display.

Made in China restaurant, Beijing, China

Access - Getting There

Made in China
Seats 126 people
Located in the lobby
Hours: Breakfast 7 am-9 am
Lunch 11.30 am-2.30 pm
Dinner 5.30 pm-10.30 pm
Reservations: +86 10 8518 1234 ext: 6024

Grand Hyatt Beijing

Accommodation in Beijing

Hotels in Beijing


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Green T. House

Green T. House, Beijing

Green T. House, founded by celebrity chef Ms. Zhang Jin Jie (aka JinR) as a Beijing teahouse in 1997, has become a beacon of Beijing's haute cuisine eateries. The beautifully prepared dishes all feature tea in some form.

Green T. House, Beijing

Green T. House also features a tea shop, a spa and gallery.

Green T. House, Beijing, China

Access - Getting There

Green T. House (
6 Gongti Xilu Beijing, China 100027
朝阳区 工人体育场西路
Tel: 010 6552 8310

The nearest subway station to Green T. House is Dongsi Shitiao.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Kunming Stone Forest

Kunming Stone Forest 石林

The Kunming Stone Forest (Shilin), 120 kilometers or two or three hours by bus from Kunming East Coach Station in Kunming, is a spectacular area of limestone peaks, caves and crags covering over 400 square kilometers.

Stone Forest Kunming

Two parts of the Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest and Suogeyi Village are both classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The impressive limestone karst, at an altitude of over 1700 meters, was formed by retreating seas around 270 million years ago. Nowadays visitors can enjoy wandering around the eerie and strange rock and cave formations - many of which have resonant names such as Hanging Rock and Strange Wind Cave.

Stone Forest Kunming, China

The Stone Forest is associated with the indigenous Yi people's legend of Ashima, a beautiful girl who was turned into stone after not being allowed to marry her chosen sweetheart. Each year the Yi celebrate the Torch Festival with folk dances and wrestling matches in the area.

Stone Forest, Shilin, Kunming


Monday, April 30, 2012

Kunming Flower and Bird Market

Kunming Flower and Bird Market 昆明花 鸟市场

Kunming Flower and Bird Market (Kunming Huaniao Shichang) in Kunming is located near the center of the city around the intersection of Dongfeng West Road (东风西路) and Wuyi Road (五一路).

Kunming Flower and Bird Market, China

Kunming's mild climate is perfect for growing flowers (camellias, lilies, orchids, and roses) and this large market has many stalls selling freshly cut flowers, along with caged song birds, antiques, curios, Mao badges, small animals, books, calligraphy brushes, Yunnan ethnic clothing and varieties of fish.

Kunming Flower and Bird Market

In operation since 1983, the Kunming Flower and Bird Market is also a good place to have lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area.

Kunming Flower and Bird Market, Yunnan, China

Hotels in Kunming


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bai Theater Yunnan Nationalities Village

Bai Theater Yunnan Nationalities Village

The Yunnan Nationalities Village is a short distance south of Kunming on the north east shore of Dianchi Lake.

Yunnan Province's many ethnic minorities including the Bai, the Dai and the Yi are represented here through displays of crafts and performances of ethnic music and drama, as in these images showing a traditional Bai drama.

Yunnan Nationalities Village theme park opened in 1992 and visitors can enjoy a variety of traditional re-enactments including an elephant show and musical performances.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Calligraphy Brushes For Sale

Calligraphy Brushes For Sale 書法

These beautiful calligraphy brushes are for sale in a hutong street market in Beijing.

The brushes come in all shapes and sizes and make for a great souvenir from China whether you practice calligraphy or not.

The art of Chinese calligraphy grew out of writing the Chinese characters of the Chinese language.

Chinese calligraphy brushes are made of wood often bamboo and the heads are made from animal hair (or feathers).


Friday, February 17, 2012


Shichahai, Beijing 什刹海

Shichahai (lit. Lake of the Ten Buddhist Monasteries) is an area of three historic lakes. Qianhai (前海), Xihai (西海) and the largest lake Houhai (后海) are located north-west of the Forbidden City and Beihai Park.

The Prince Gong Mansion (恭亲王府), Zhengjue Temple, the Museum of Mei Langfang (the former residence of Beijing Opera star Mei Lanfang from 1949 to 1961) and the Prince Chun Mansion (醇亲王府) - the father of the last Chinese emperor - are all located in the area.

Shichahai was formerly the northernmost part of the Grand Canal connecting Beijing to Hangzhou in the south.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Year of the Dragon 2012

Year of the Dragon 2012 龍

Monday 23 January was the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations. This year is the Year of the Dragon, a highly propitious year as the dragon is associated with power, vitality and action and was a symbol of the Chinese Emperor.

Chinese New Year

It is considered good luck to be born in the Year of the Dragon and maternity hospitals in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore are expecting a mini baby boom. The Year of the Dragon is also good news for companies producing baby products such as baby clothes, toys and medicines.

Temple Fairs are in full swing during Chinese New Year celebrations including Changdian Temple Fair in Taoranting Park, Shijingshan Temple Fair, Red Snail Temple Fair, Dongyue Temple Fair, Chaoyang Park Temple Fair, Yuanmingyuan Royal Temple Fair, Ditan Temple Fair, Daguanyuan Temple Fair, and Longtanhue Temple Fair.

Beijing Temple Fair By Wang Xi


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Valentine's Day In Hong Kong

Valentine's Day In Hong Kong

Valentine's Day in Hong Kong is big business with florists, chocolate shops, hotels and restaurants all having improved sales.

Check the local listings magazines for Valentine Day's deals at the big hotels like the Peninsula, InterContinental and the Regal Hongkong Hotel in Causeway Bay, live music cabarets, aphrodisia dessert buffets and romantic dinner offers. In 2010 Valentine's Day fell on the first day of the lunar new year holiday making it a doubly busy day.

Hotels in Hong Kong