BigWorldAndSmallWorld Blog

China’s Avatar Zhangjiajie Forest National Park

Posted in Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the August 3rd, 2019

The first time I went to Zhangjiajie was thirty years ago. It was a fun and memorable trip with some of my high school friends. Even today I remembered many things about the trip. The place was so rural and so different than the big city Shanghai where we lived. I remembered for the first time in life we had to stone a chicken for supper outside a restaurant. I remembered we stayed at a farmer’s house for a couple of nights because at that time Zhangjiajie was not a tourist place yet so there were no hotels. The farmer’s family was so nice to us and they yield their wedding bed for us to sleep. I remembered one time we were hiking on the mountains and all a sudden the rain poured down like cats and dogs, we had no place to hide so we kept walking on the muddy slippery road until we hit a small hut. We entered the hut for shelter and dried our clothes at a fire place. I remembered at the hill foot there is a small town called Furong 芙蓉镇 where a famous movie was shot there. When we arrived at the town, I got fever and our travel group was nice enough to stay an extra day there so that I can rest and feel better again to continue our adventure.

Thirty years later, this time I took a tour. So much has changed I almost could not recognize the place. It is very commercial now. Unlike before the only transportation is on foot, today there is a cable car taking you high above the mountains where you can view the misty mountainous outside from inside the car. The view is awesome and scary at times. The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park, like the rocks we see in the movie Avatar. In the park, Tianmenshan 天门山is probably the most well-known sight. The name came from the arched rock high above the mountain looks like a window in the sky. I walked the 99 steep stairs down; it was quite an experience and I think you definitely should try. Besides the rock formations, there is a cave called 黄龙洞,a waterfall at the entrance to a lake called 宝峰湖, and a show at night called 湘西魅力 are worthy to see.

Even though I like the rustic nature before Zhangjiajie was a popular tourist attraction much better, I have to admit that among the new things I do like the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon opened the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge in 2016, it’s the longest (430 m (1,410 ft)) and highest (300 m (980 ft)) pedestrian glass bridge in the world. Walking on the see-through glass bridge high above the canyon, the feeling was a mix of awesome and scary. At times I felt like I had to sit down instead of stand on the bridge. The other new thing I like is the cliff side glass walkway where you walk along the sharp and steep cliff side via a see-through glass walkway attached to the cliff wall. I highly recommend the experience, it’s very awesome.

Finally you may ask where is Zhangjiajie? It is located in Hunan province in central China. It is the province where famous Chairman Mao Ze Dong was born.

Hidden Gem Guizhou

Posted in Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the August 3rd, 2019

Guizhou province located in southwest China is known for its traditional rural villages such as the 14th century Qingyan ancient town and the 74m-high Huangguoshu waterfall one of the largest waterfalls in China and East Asia. Its capital city Guiyang is a vibrant city. If you ask me ten years ago what do I think about Guizhou? I would not hesitate to say it’s poor. But after I visited Guiyang and Huangguoshu waterfall last year, my impression of this place has changed. Because I like nature, I really like the natural resources this province has.

There are two well-known Guizhou food I tried and liked: Si Wa Wa 丝娃娃and Suan Tang Yu酸汤鱼。Si Wa Wa, I take it gets its name from many dishes of thinly julienned vegetables and you wrap them in a thin pancake like a doll, then you put any sauce you like on top and eat it. Suan Tang Yu, you pick a live fish, several complements and a broth. The restaurant cleans the fish for you and brings the broth in front of you so you can cook the fish and the complements on your table in a big pot by yourself. Besides tasting good, I like the way you wrap or cook food by yourself, it makes you feel involved in the process and it’s very interesting.

Suantangyu picture credit to

Huangguoshu waterfall is huge and truly amazing. Nowadays you can get to Huangguoshu waterfall rather easily by train and then after you get to the nearest town you can take a taxi. Plan to stay 1-night is a good way to see all three parts of Huangguoshu National Park. There are a couple of decent and cheap hotels near Huangguoshu. The three parts of Huangguoshu are Dou Po Tang 陡坡塘,Da Pu Bu 大瀑布,and Tian Xing Qiao 天星桥。If you arrive Huangguoshu after noon on day 1, I recommend visiting Dou Po Tang in the afternoon. Day 2 I recommend visit Da Pu Bu first because this is the largest scene in the park and normally it gets a lot of people in the afternoon. After visiting Da Pu Bu, then you can visit Tian Xing Qiao. You will be able to finish these two parts by the afternoon and it’s time to head back. If you plan to follow my recommendation, then you will need to buy 2-day tickets. All three parts are beautiful and easy to walk around. Inside the park, you will feel close to the nature and the air is fresh. It’s definitely a relax vacation place.

The day I went to Qingyan ancient town was a rainy day. From Guiyang city, I took a bus to get there. Strolling around the town, I like the small village feeling. There are many interesting small shops along the streets where you can look around or buy all kinds of merchants and art-work. I like the street-food the most; there are many options you can choose from. I felt like wherever I went, I could find something to eat, it’s so hard to resist the food temptation. The town has several gates, there is even a small wall like the Great Wall of China where you can climb up and have a good view of the town and surrounding areas.

Today Guizhou Huangguoshu is becoming a very attractive tourist place even for Chinese people.

Ancient Village Hongcun and Scenery Mount Huangshan

Posted in Hongcun,Huangshan,Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the January 3rd, 2017

People say one must see Huangshan in one’s life time, how true it is. I was lucky to see it not too long ago. Huangshan is a mountain range in southern Anhui province in eastern China. The area is well known for its scenery, sunsets, peculiarly-shaped granite peaks, Huangshan pine trees, hot springs, winter snow, and views of the clouds from above. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Huangshan and the scenery has been the frequent subject of poetry and artwork, especially Chinese ink painting and, more recently, photography. Even though Chinese people like to take pictures with rocks that are painted or carved with words or poems, I normally just like to see it and move on. I like nature stuff much better. To me Huangshan is impressive with its beautiful sunset, sea of clouds, many strong and different shapes pine trees, and unique rock formations. Climbing up and down the 1-person-wide ladders on the mountain is truly memorable, it was scary but exciting. The memory of being on the mountain was still vivid as I go over my pictures a couple of years later.

Hongcun is a charming small village at the foot of Huangshan. I enjoyed the architecture and the market; this place truly is a gem of Hui culture. If you are like me who like the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon then you will be pleased to know that scenes from the film were filmed on location in Hongcun. It was a nice walk around the village seeing old residences and old furniture, people painting on the street, a nice pond in the middle of the village and walking over some very old stone bridges.
While in the area, visiting a market is a must. I enjoyed stroll along the street and window shopping. So many special local food and artifacts to taste and see on the market, it’s hard not to buy anything.

Korea Experience

Posted in Korea,Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the January 3rd, 2017

May 2016 I went to Seoul for Rotary International Conference. It was a super inspirational experience for me the first time attendee. Our district folks stayed at an Ibis Hotel. The hotel has a nice rooftop restaurant where I got a good view of Seoul.

The hotel is near Seoul’s famous shopping street Myeong-dong. It’s pleasant to stroll around, do some shopping and have a Korean mango ice.

After the conference, I took subway and Korea rail and took about two hours to get to an Incheon hotel where I started my 6-day Korea tour with a group.

Among all the places I went to in Korea, I like the Korea Cutural Village where Dae Jang Geum 大长今was filmed. In the village one can see Korea style old and relatively recent residences, wedding ceremony and other performance.

Another place I like is Namiseom南怡岛 a small half-moon shaped island. If you like the movie Winter Sonata then you will like this place and its pines.

景福宫Gyeongbokgung, also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Built in 1395, it is located in northern Seoul.

On the trip I ate some traditional Korean food such as many different hot pot, ginseng chicken noodle, seaweed rice, BBQ, kimchee and other, they were good.

New Shanghai

Posted in Food,Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the January 3rd, 2017

Shanghai is my hometown. Each time I visit home, I try to see one or two new places. After all, Shanghai changes so fast, it’s all new to me. But no matter how it changes, Shanghai will always be the city I love.
A day in Shanghai May 2016
In the morning I walked from the place I stayed near Nanjing Road to Shanghai Exhibition Hall to attend a travel trade show. Two hours later I was at one of the 嘉里中心 building and seeing Shanghai’s busy street from above. A friend treated me for a delicious lunch at a Japanese restaurant and then I hop on a subway heading to Pudong to see another friend.
Later in the afternoon my friend took me to see the back stage and theater of a show she was putting on. Seeing actors and actresses was eye opening for me.
The next morning I went to Tianzifang 田子坊,I like the old Shanghai nostalgia atmosphere. On the way to lunch passed by a farmer’s market we called 小菜场. Nowadays farmer’s market is much cleaner and nicer. After some delicious Yunnan style lunch, I flew to Guangzhou for my next destination.

Sinan Mansions October 2015
Sinan Lu is a residential stretch of road located in the Luwan district and walking distance from both Tianzifang and Xintiandi. Most of the mansions there were built in the 1920s and 30s and housed Shanghai’s elite – including the political figures of Sun Yatsen and Zhou Enlai. In fact, Sinan Mansions is located right around Zhou Enlai’s house where now it’s a museum. The day when my brother took me there, Shanghai had a rare blue sky, it was a nice day.

The Old Pier老码头 October 2015
Near the Bund is the Old Pier. It was fun to visit the Old Pier with many restaurants, old buildings and even saw people taking wedding pictures there.

Nanjing Dapai Dang 南京大牌档 October 2015
If you haven’t tried this food chain, I highly recommend it. The hosts, waiters and waitresses wear old Chinese costume. The food comes in smaller dishes so that you can eat many different kinds. They have a thick menu and a ton of items to choose from. While you dine, you can listen to Pingtan评弹. Pingtan also known as Suzhou Pingtan, storytellers or Southern word, is storytelling performance use folk art forms and Suzhou dialect.

Taiwan Impression

Posted in Taiwan,Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the January 3rd, 2017

As 2013 turning to an end, I went to Taiwan for a 7-day around the island tour. I saw many attractions and ate a lot of good food. Taiwan people are nice and warm. I like Taiwan, it was a delightful experience.
Since I like nature, Taroko National Park, Sun Moon Lake and Island’s Most Southern tip gave me deep impression. Taroko NP located in Hualien County, it is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan and was named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park carved by the Liwu River. The name, Taroko (formally as Truku), means “human being” in the Truku language of the Truku indigenous tribe. Long ago a Truku tribesman saw the beauty of the azure Pacific when he walked out of the gorge. On seeing the magnificent scene, he cried “Taroko!” And so it became the name of the place, in a fashion not dissimilar to how the island, Formosa, got its name.

Sun Moon Lake is the largest body of water in Taiwan, located in Nantou County. The area around the Sun Moon Lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake surrounds a tiny island called Lalu. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name. Taking a break to watch local Taiwanese people sing and dance at the pier was delightful.

Eluanbi Park is located at the southern tip of Taiwan and part of Kenting National park. The name ‘Eluan’ (鹅銮) is derived from Paiwan language meaning “sail” while the Chinese word ‘bi’ 鼻which means nose, refers to the shape of the cape. Though a little windy, the view of the seashore was amazing.

When you go to Taiwan, you must visit a night food market, there are so many delicious foods to choose from, it’s a foodie’s heaven. I went to Kaohsiung’s Liu He Night Market 六合夜市 and tried some tasty snacks including grilled squid and other delight. When you are in Tainan, be sure to eat the well-known Tainan noodle, it’s yummy.

Some of the other things I enjoyed to do are: visiting the National Palace Museum, it has some of the most beautiful jade collection in the world. Going to the top of Taipei 101, 360 city view from there was superb. Visiting Teresa Teng’s museum and listening to her album, Teresa Teng is my favorite pop singer of my time, her sweet voice and songs are timeless. I like many of her songs, too many to name a few.

Gourmet Guangdong

Posted in Food,Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the January 3rd, 2017

A friend and I went to Guangdong in 2016 for two purposes: indulge in their mouth-watering delicious food and search for family root because our ancestors were from this region. Guangdong (formerly Canton), a coastal province of southeast China, borders Hong Kong and Macau. Its capital, Guangzhou, sits within its industrial Pearl River Delta region. While I don’t remember all the places we went on the 6-day gourmet food tour around Guangdong, I certainly remember some of the tastiest food we ate and I’m glad I took some pictures. Cantonese cuisine is one of China’s Eight Traditional Cuisines, it is also popular in the western world . Roast pigeon, egg custard, abalone, duck, crab, double-skin milk, dim-sum, roast suckling pig, and Foshan Chen-village noodle are among the favorite, too many to name the others.

Below are some of the pictures I took around the region. Best of all, I got to see two college friends whom I haven’t seen since we graduated from Fudan University many many years ago. It was delightful to see them and chat with them, even though it was a short time. The other fun thing I got to do was being drafted as a temporary actress for a show and I got to dress up and be on stage acting as an empress, it was so much fun and totally unexpected.

A Funny Story of One Yuan Becomes Billions in China

Posted in China business,Money by Administrator on the November 19th, 2012

I saw this on the internet, I thought it was quite funny. I had no intention to encourage you to do the same, nor did I like any of the doings. I translated it so that you can laugh about it and trash it. I didn’t mean to offend anybody.
One person got 1 yuan, he found a friend in the black market and bought a 50 yuan fake money. He used the 50 yuan to make a phone call at a small magazine stand on the street. The stand owner an old grandpa could not tell fake money from real money, therefore he gave the person 49.6 yuan change in real money.
The person went to an underground CD store, bought 9 CDs at less than 5 yuan each. Then he took a 5 yuan long-distance bus ride to a nearby town where he sold his CDs for 15 yuan each for a total of 135 yuan. After returning to the city, he used the money to buy 260 pens, sold them at 1.5 yuan each thus to make a total of 390 yuan…He used this way buying and selling different merchants, now he got 2000 yuan.
The person went to amusement park to look for a prostitute, negotiated 300 yuan for the service but he gave her 1000 yuan. This pleased the lady so she introduced more prostitutes to him. Then he found a close-out printing shop and used 500 yuan to print many flyers, posted them everywhere in the city. The flyer said 10 prostitutes could make you 5000 yuan per day, 150000 yuan per month, subtract 100000 yuan rent, you gain 50000 yuan per month, do you want to make the big money?
…Now the person had more money to make bigger deals. He went on making variety of deals such as buying special goods from Yunnan and sold it elsewhere for big profit, registering a real estate company, hiring employees, bribing local officials, gaining contract for government road constructions, becoming representative for foreign companies in China, building a website to lure investor’s money, rounded 200 million yuan in funding, IPOed the company and the company valued at 200 million in US dollars. On the first day in the stock market, the stock price multiplied 10 times, the next day he sold the stocks and made 1 billion US dollars. From there on, the person became China’s Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Haha, the end.

How to Tell: You are dealing with a factory or a trading company in China?

Posted in China trading,factory,Tips for business by Administrator on the October 24th, 2012

Whether you go to a conference or exhibition in China, or search for a Chinese company online, many people worry about or don’t know if they are dealing with a factory or a trading company. How to differentiate these two? I am sharing some important tips here and I hope it is helpful. It is essential for you to learn them. In fact both factory and trading company have its own advantage. In the end, who you decide to work with largely depends on your experience and what kind of risks you are willing to take. Each circumstance is different; therefore we don’t recommend one solution for all.

1. This is the most import one among all tips: Only a few large factories in China have the licenses to trade with overseas companies directly; therefore most factories must rely on trading companies as the middle men to carry out the transactions. License to export is required by China’s policy and the policy has been in place for a long time. So ask a factory or a trading company to show you the license, this is a must.

2. Of course the product is what you want. Find out how good the quality is early on will help you make decision and save big in the future. So ask a lot of questions.

3. Ask for a business card, normally the business name will be on it. If it is a factory (厂或工厂), it will say so. If it is a trading company(贸易公司、外贸公司)or import or export company (进出口公司), it will say so too. Therefore you can tell from the name, it’s the easiest way.
Note: If you don’t know Chinese, I recommend you to learn some key Chinese words for your business. You will find it to be very beneficial!

4. A factory is able to provide you the original product certificate (CE) while a trading company normally doesn’t have it. The CE would clearly state which factory this certificate is issued to, match the name on the certificate with the business name.

5. Ask for pictures of how the product is made, again a trading company normally doesn’t have that information while a factory may be happy to show you.

6. A trading company may provide products from various different industries while a factory may provide products for only one industry. This may not be true for all factories, however a large percentage of the factories fall into this category.

7. Ask to visit the factory to see it by your own eyes how the product is made and the factory environment. A true factory would be happy to arrange a visit fairly quickly while a trading company may take a while because it has to go through contacts to make this special arrangement for you. So you can test the business to see what the reply will be.

8. It is always a good idea to get a quote from three vendors regardless it’s a factory or a trading company. Only then, you will have a better handle of pricing.

9. You should know that even though a factory may give you the lowest price and it usually has some rooms for you to negotiate to lower the price furthermore, while a trading company may give you a higher price because it needs to make a profit, a factory may ask you to purchase the product in a huge quantity. Do you need that much quantity?

10. A trading company may be more responsive to your request when issues occur because it wants to treat you their customer nice thus to confront with the factory on your behalf, while a factory may be somewhat difficult to deal with or delay responding you.

11. Unlike a trading company who is very familiar with overseas orders in terms of communication, negotiation, goods in stock, custom form and shipping, a factory may not have the experience or resources thus a factory is more likely to make mistakes.

I would recommend you to consider all facts and balance pros and cons; then you will have a good feel for what’s the best for your situation. As you acquire more experience dealing with Chinese companies, your preferred method may change too.

What are the Chinese most interested in doing besides making money?

Posted in Chinese people by Administrator on the September 13th, 2012

I read a blog on this topic recently. One comment said that the other four things the Chinese like to do are: buy house, eat, play mahjong, and travel. Even though this is very true to the common people, in the business world however, the blog said there are four other important things for the Chinese business people. Because the blog I read is in Chinese, I now summarize it in English below. It’s interesting to know that young Chinese business people today are not that much different than western business people. Or at least, they are learning from the westerners.
1. Low key is the number 1 attitude a good business person should have. Always respect others and put others above yourself.
2. Your values are essential in everything you do, from small action to big decision-making.
3. Patience and persistence will make a big difference in your business’ success or failure. People respect businesses that last 100 years, but forget businesses that lasted only three or five years. Time will put your patience and persistence to test. One of the lasting Chinese wisdoms is: do things slowly but do it right.
4. Having a sharp and correct vision for the future is a must. It’s also critical to find the right partners along the way. Owners may have to do things not directly contribute to the revenue of the business such as supporting disaster relief, or being Good Samaritan to the society.
So what do you think about the above four points?

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