Oct 14 2017

Flushing skyline @ Prince Street

More buildings are going up, the skyline is in constant change.

One Fulton Square. On 39th Avenue, from Prince Street, looking over Main St and Queens Crossing


On Prince St, looking over Roosevelt Ave

On Prince St, @ 37th Avenue, looking out to Main St. @ from 35th Avenue looking over to Northern Blvd.


Oct 21 2016

Vanke 万科

Vanke is building multiple high rises – 2,480,000 sq meters Haiyu Peninsular 海愉半岛 in this corner landfill. The walls are covers by motivational and moralistic slogans: China dreams, come on China, trust, endurance and perseverance…

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Oct 19 2016

Hengfu Sunshine Club 恒福阳光会所

Hengfu Yangguang Club
2 South Qinglv Road, Zhuhai 519015, China

They operate two more hotels, one in the city, Hengfu Sunshine Hotel and one by the airport.

Highly recommend the hotel and its restaurants. Pretty sunrise and sunset.

This Club is on the tip of the land fill Siu Pai 小排 where Vanke is building a multiple high rises. I stay at the top floor suite #408, over looking the Zhujiang River Estuary  珠江口. The Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau Bridge is being built and there is a construction bridge to the right which will be kept after the completion of the Bridge. To the left, ferries going in and out from the Jiuzhou Port continually. On the clear days, from the bed, I watch the sun rises and set.

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… and sun sets behind the Bridge.

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Out of the lobby is the Lover’s Road, which is suitable for jogging, biking, yoga and many more. The room/suite is pleasant, the bed and pillows are comfortable. Mini refrigerator. Bottled water. Spacious bathroom with Jacuzzi and very good shower pressure.

On site, there is a restaurant and a tea house on either side of the lobby. I’ve many meals there: very delicious. I particularly like their pufferfish 河豚鱼, fortunately, I get to live to write this review.

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Oct 12 2016

The home of a Jinshi

In HubushanXuzhou, JiangsuChina.

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Oct 11 2016

Jinjiang hotel @ Zhengzhou

Jinjiang Inn (Zhengzhou Railway Station)
NO. 77 Erma Road, Zhengzhou, 450099, China

It’s comfortable and very convenient: just a couple of minutes walk from the old train station. The staff is friendly and helpful. However, the area is dilapidated, and they wont’t get a cab for you. I’ll have to walk out and get one, drive a few yards back to the hotel. My originally plan to take metro/subway to the high speed train station isn’t feasible since it’s a bit of walk.

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Oct 9 2016

Bell Tower Youth Hostel 鐘樓青年旅舍

img_84161 North Street, Beilin District
Xi’an, Shaanxi 陕西, China

Since my plan isn’t inked in stone so I reserved this hotel just in case. I also tried to score an overnight train back to Taiyuan but was unable. Neither worked so I stayed.

It’s next to the Bell Tower, if location is important to you, this is it. Other than that, this place has nothing else to offer.

When I checked in, the staff couldn’t find my reservation. They looked into their monitor, digging, digging and digging. Finally found me on Expedia even I booked it on Booking.com for US$19.

What or whom does the Internet try to fool – themselves or the consumers?

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Looking out from the 2nd floor terrace

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Oct 9 2016

Aegean Bath, a rude awakening

Huaqing Aegean International Hot Springs Resort & Spa
No.8 Shangu Avenue, Lintong District,
Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710600, China

According to my tour guide at the terracotta army, this bath house (6 miles/10 km west of  terracotta army), a little off city center (华清池和骊山仅有3分钟的车程), without doubt, is the best in town, costing about ¥160. She walks me to the bus (¥9) that stops right at the resort.

** Please bring a bathing suit **

The compound is pretty big, lush and dated. The bath house is flanked by multiple buildings (hotels). At reception, a young man said the fee to the bath is “¥296.”
“Oh … I was told it’s ¥160.”
“That’s price for tour guide. Are you a tour guide?”
“I’m not but my tour guide guides me here.”
“Ok, I can’t give you that price but how about ¥188?” I end up paying ¥296/US$44.38, which includes ¥108 bathing suit (the cheapest in their store) that’s required.

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After checking in my shoes, I go in. Facing with at least four openings, I’m a little lost and looking toward a young staff for direction, she scolds,
“NOT that one. THIS one …”
Her savage manner and voice is simply shocking. I read this fellow traveler’s review that they’re not set up for westerners, she’s right. Mandarin is my native tongue but I’ve trouble to understand their attitude.
The ponds or tubs are all out door, linked by the winding covered corridor. They claim the spring is from the famed HuaQing Spring. The water temperatures are displayed and vary from tubs to tubs, which mean, they heat … ? What else do they do to the spring? They provides tea, cookies and bananas, neglectable compare to Beijing and Shanghai.


Oct 8 2016

The prison

Pingyao in Jinzhong, China

Being in prison is better off than torture?

The courtyard adjacent to the prison is very pleasant, inside the country gov office. Wide open space and greenery is rather inviting. The prison cell isn’t too compact.


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Oct 8 2016

Eating at Pingyao

Pingyao in Jinzhong, China

Juxian Ju kezhan Hotel 聚贤居客栈 is our initial choice. Walking through their back door, I get to see their accommodation, which look pretty decent.

As we make our way to the front, we’re told that they’re closed due to the fatigue over the Golden Week that just ended yesterday.

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Local specialties and other foods, bars and eateries

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Oct 3 2016

Privacy in China

To counter the anti corruption campaign and gaining more control over privacy, or simply to have a pad to entertain, many entrepreneurs have set up their own clubs/mini hotels, large and small, as early as decades ago. This one in Hefei and this in Zhuhai.

Recently my friend set one up in Beijing. The CCTV anchor Bi Fujian‘s unfortunate dinner singing in April 2015 might have been the big push. The duplex is in a Haidian’s residential community. The lower level for dining and the two bedrooms on the top floor. My friend says that when there’s important guest coming, all cell phones would be collected into a basket where my friend can see, just to make sure.

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As funny as it may sound, each country/region defines its freedom differently.