Oct 11 2019

Chengdu 成都

Qijiang @ Chengdu

We arrived late from Taiyuan – actually our train arrived five minutes early than scheduled. But our hotel was cross the street from the station, at 11:35pm, the street was buzzed with cars and people.

My first impression of Chengdu is: old, old buildings even the top brands in downtown. Smokers, lots of them, even in the restaurants. Hot – spicy. I consider myself can handle pretty spicy food but my first fray out was a mistake. I asked for the mild (medium and hot) spicy but it almost killed me. The oil and saltiness upset my stomach so much that I’ve to run to a bathroom, twice, and the following day.

Sichuan cuisine has been in vogue worldwide in recent decades but it hits me only now that Sichuan food has two traits: salt and spice. Let’s face it: salt = tasty.

Oct 11 2019

Yes Inn 成都雅仕

8 Jialingjiang Road
嘉陵江路8号 成华区
Chenghua District, Chengdu

I recommend this hotel for the convenience – cross street – to Chengdu East train station.

It has two types of accommodations: the hotel and apartment, under four names with Longmont being the most expensive among the four and Rayfont the least:

  1. 龙之梦大酒店 Longmont
  2. 瑞锋国际 Rayfont
  3. 亚士商务酒店 Yes Inn
  4. 瑞锋公寓 Rayfont

This hotel group is massive, east of the train station. It’s modern, clean and well light. We stay at Yes Inn (room 509). The bathroom’s door is used also for the shower which is pretty cool. The water pressure is good. However, there are some nagging pains: unstable toilet seat, hard to insert outlets and leaky shower. But over all, I’m satisfied and will return.

There is a pool and a gym, etc for different price range (free or paid). A travel agency, a supermarket, a convenient store, a small eatery, cafe/bar and restaurants are on site. Bus #4 is cross the street which we take often.


Oct 1 2019

ZGC #28

Seeing my old apartment building #28 and the Zoology Institute again.

The three story building looks like need some TLC. But most of the buildings there are in the same league.

It holds memories of our youth … Every time we pass by, we’ll recall the by gone era.

I shopped at the mall 中关村购物中心 at 海淀区中关村大街19号. The 5G

May 15 2019

Crouching tigers

and hidden dragons. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 卧虎藏龙 was the name of 2000 movie, directed by Ang Lee and staring Chow Yun-fat (Zhou Yunfa), etc.

Crouch means squat 蹲 and I find many Chinese like to squat.

May 7 2019

Wanzhu Yuan in 2019

Ten Thousand Bamboo Garden 万竹园
Ji’nan, Shandong

Thanks to my aunt Yang Dongming who systematically photographed the Garden by courtyards. 谢谢小婶婶杨东明 特意帮我逐个花园照. 感恩

From the entrance, there is the rockery 假山 and the Donggao Spring 东高泉 to the left, which is one of the three springs. This post is mainly on the courtyards.

The Eastern Section 东套院 was the main living quarter.

Turning right from the entrance is the Eastern Section – the main section. The front building has converted into a memorial hall to house artist Li Kuchan’s work 李苦禅纪念馆 since 1986. And followed by (up north) Pomegranate Courtyard 石榴院, the Magnolia Courtyard 玉兰院 and at the back is the 绣楼/恒明楼, the actual place my great grandfather lived.

The Pomegranate Courtyard 石榴院

The Magnolia Courtyard 玉兰院 & the Hengming 恒明

This well was prized in the Magnolia Courtyard 玉兰院. According to Grandaunt Jingqiao, when they were little, they liked to use the water from this well to wash their hair because it made their hair particularly smooth and shiny.

听巧姑说: 他们小时候用这个井水洗头, 特别顺滑.

The Western Section 西套院 of living quarter. Passing by the rockery to the right, the little pathway leads to the family quarter. It has Apricot Courtyard 杏院, Wangshui Spring 望水泉, Begonia Courtyard 海棠院, Aihe (Lotus) 爱荷亭, Papaya Courtyard 木瓜院.

Apricot Courtyard 杏院

Begonia Courtyard 海棠院

Apr 2 2019

Ji’nan in 2019

After anther round of fundraising, our family’s cemetery was updated. Many relatives gathered there shortly before the Tomb Sweeping Day 清明节, to pay respect to our ancestors.

Afterward, they visited Wanzhu Yuan again. The top and lower left photos were taken on Marcy 17, 2016.


The Jingjue Temple is still closed.



Mar 19 2019

What’s your thought on this?

This is an old photo I took nearly three years ago. It was a residential building. The Close button is visibly used than the Open.

Any thought on this?

Nov 26 2018

Jade Belt Bridge & Marble Boat

Stephan Loewentheil of Brooklyn is a rare book/photo collector who’s a lot of 19th century photos of China. They’re having one right now, 120 original photos at Qinghua University, till March 2019.

These photos are taken at Summer Palace by Thomas Child who in May 1870,”was hired by the Imperial Maritime Customs Service to be a gas engineer in Peking (Beijing). The 29-year-old Englishman left behind his wife and three children to become one of roughly 100 foreigners living in the late Qing dynasty’s capital, taking his camera along with him. Over the course of the next 20 years, he took some 200 photographs, capturing the earliest comprehensive catalog of the customs, architecture, and people during China’s last dynasty. ”

This is an early photograph of Jade Belt Bridge, or Moon Bridge, LOCated on the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing on the western shore of Kunming Lake. The elegant high arch bridge is a traditional Chinese design. The arch was constructed high enough to allow passage of the Emperor’s dragon boat. On special occasions the Emperor and Empress travelled on Kunming Lake passing under this bridge.”

Child took this photograph of the Marble Boat, or the Boat of Purity and Ease, in the 1870s, after it suffered damage from the Second Opium War. Child noted: “At one time there was a summer house on it, but it has entirely disappeared.” The base of the boat is made of solid stone. It originally supported a traditional Chinese wooden pavilion that was burned down during the conflict in 1860. The pavilion was rebuilt in 1893, decades after this photograph was taken.”

The following two are taken by Qin Qiang on 2018.11.21


Btw, some the photos are at LOC – Library of Congress in DC. If you visit their site recently, you’ll see the Statement to commemorate the 13th Librarian, Dr. James Billington who passed away on November 21, 2018. He’d been with the LOC for 28 years and raised half a billion dollars in private support – he must be a charmer as well as an able administrator. The statement credited him with

  • doubled the size of the Library’s traditional analog collections, from 85.5 million items in 1987 to more than 160 million items
  • acquired the only copy of the 1507 Waldseemüller world map (“America’s birth certificate”) in 2003
  • reconstructed Thomas Jefferson’s original library
  • obtained a complete copy of Lafayette’s previously inaccessible papers from the Lafayette family’s castle at LaGrange, France
  • advocated for an underground connection between the Library and the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center

RIP Dr. and thank you!

Nov 11 2018

Beijing 北京

No set schedule but many sites are on my mind.

Oct 22 2018

Cruising in the Chinese waters

It’s not easy, apparently. NCL’s Norwegian Joy leaves China in 2018 诺唯真退出中国市场… Here are some reports on the cruises in China.

  • 2019.7.11, scmp: Chinese tourist-led cruise ship boom sails into troubled environmental waters
  • 2019.6.10, Wired Forget the Bahamas. China’s Cruises Are Where It’s At
  • 2019.6.08, Economist: What slumping demand for cruises says about Chinese tourists
  • 2018, skift: Norwegian cruise line is moving its built for China ship to the us
  • 2018.10.25, Market Screener: NCL leaves China
  • 2018.10.10, 诺唯真退出中国市场
  • 2018.7.18, Travel Weekly: Built for China the Norwegian Joy is headed elsewhere
  • 2018.3.30, scmp: Angry Chinese tourists stage another noisy ‘patriotic’ protest after fog forces cruise ship to stay in port
  • 2016.1.26, LAT, U.S. cruise lines look for growth in China’s waters

One Chinese tourist on board NCL made the following observations:

  • Too cheap 两三千就可以住海景房或阳台房。三四晚的住宿.. “1949元起” 这个价
  • 船上的员工多达1800人,来自46个国家,为近5000名游客提供全方位的服务
  • 在5天的航程里,消耗约60吨肉类及禽类,20.5吨鱼类,7吨西瓜、1吨香蕉、11吨土豆、5万2千个鸡蛋以及750加仑牛奶……60吨!我的天!别的诺唯真船上消耗是多少?记得陈小姐当时闪烁其词:大概十几吨吧。

The local group’s cruise 世纪荣耀 Century Glory since 2019, how will it fare?