Ear cleaning, mahjong, and ladies gossiping: just another ordinary day at a tea garden in Chengdu, China.
Pick up a tea cup with your favorite type of tea leaves inside, grab a seat at a table and enjoy the scene of life playing out in the tea garden. Men with large copper kettles filled with hot water make the rounds to ensure your cup is never empty. Continue Reading »
The arc of our travel experience is shaped by the people we meet. Even the most beautiful food and landscape need a human context. With that in mind, we offer a selection of faces – each with a story – that we will recall whenever we reflect on our travels in China.
The following slideshow is our take on China’s ethnic diversity. While these images represent only a fraction of China’s 56 official ethnic groups (there are scores more unofficial ones), we hope they give you a better feel for the various people who call China their home. Continue Reading »
Málà – numbing and hot – that’s Sichuan cuisine. The wild Sichuan peppercorn (huājiāo), a little bit pink, a little more purple – really sets Sichuan cuisine apart. Take a bite of one and your mouth tingles as an addictive numbness makes its way to your lips. This is the má. Combine it with the characteristic hot blanket of chili peppers – the là – and you have discovered the magic of Sichuan cuisine.
While Sichuan food is available around the world, Sichuan dishes take on an almost electric quality – in both color and flavor – when served in China. Here’s a sample from our travels. Continue Reading »
Clinging to the theme of sweaty, shirtless men, we bring you our reflections on hot pot in China.
Women, don’t be repulsed. Men, don’t toss your shirts just yet. Continue Reading »
In zoos all over the world, crowds battle to catch a peek of one of the world’s most recognizable and rarest animals, the giant panda. During our visit to the Chendgu Panda Breeding Research Center, tourists were so few that the pandas actually invited us to join them and granted us an interview. Here’s what Jing-Jing, their spokesperson, had to say: Continue Reading »
Friendly people, delicious food, green parks, active temples – even pandas. Why Chendgu doesn’t get more coverage in the tourist press, we don’t know. It quickly became our favorite big city (population over 10 million) in China. Although Chengdu is not stocked with high-profile tourist sights like Beijing and Xi’an, to quote another tourist: “There’s something that just feels right about the place.”
We arrived in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, in early June 2008, not long after the devastating May 12th earthquake. Many questioned our judgment to visit so soon, but guest houses assured us the city was safe. Our flight there from Nepal via Tibet carried around 20 passengers. It was clear most people were staying away. Continue Reading »
Once you get past the mounds of chili-marinated chicken feet and the rows of village dogmeat vendors, Chinese food in China is terrific.
Regional Chinese cuisines and ethnic minority specialties deliver a diversity of flavors and texture. The vast array of peppers, spices and sauces ensure that taste buds rarely grow tired. Continue Reading »