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ChimeLong - Guangzhou E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Peter
Zoos in China, usually a foreigner walks in and feels like an angry animal activist; because of the sad animals on display living in squalid shelters with little or nothing to play or look at. So the few hours spent walking around looking at the different enclosures, is time spent commenting on every animal about how sick or bored it looks.

Well I have good news for those people interested in Zoos, Guangzhou has the largest Zoo in China, ChangLong Zoo, and it is amazing! I was hopeful but optimistic with the idea of visiting another zoo in China. However, this zoo is dubbed the largest in China, and with a 1 billion RMB invest from the Chinese government, it has potential on paper. Arrival to the zoo was easy, there is a Metro station on Line 3 (Hanxi Chimelong Station) that will drop you close to the front door, or for more luxury a RMB70 taxi ride from downtown.

3 Billion New Capitalists E-mail
Reviews - Books
Written by David A. Dayton
Better than Freidman’s “The World is Flat” because it has more research and less left-leaning political solutions. Clyde Prestowitz’s “3 Billion New Capitalists” is a more complex read and of more value since it looks at both the causes of America’s decline/Asia’s rise and the numbers behind the trends. While Freidman regales us with anecdotes, Prestowitz tries to overwhelm with statistics.

The two general themes make up the case for the potential fall of the US from world dominance and the rise of Asia, and to a lesser extent the EU and Brazil in it’s place. While Prestowitz groups these issues together, I think that there are really two different issues:

One is the fall of America and the Dollar from the top spot in the world economic-political hierarchy and the rise of Asia, and the Euro, in it’s place. The decline in the quality of American education, the lack of government support/encouragement for both economically strategic industries and maths and sciences gets most of the blame. Conversely, the willingness of other countries to see specific types of education and industries as keys to national security has made the “free trade” playing field anything but level.

All roads lead to Xi'an's terra cotta warriors E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by David Kootnikoff
As the full moon rose above the Drum Tower like an enormous tangerine, my wife and I stopped to catch our breath. We had just finished a 14-kilometre bike ride on top of the walls that surround the ancient Chinese city of Xi'an. It had been an exhilarating few hours, but all that jostling over the cobblestones had taken its toll. And we were starving.

A few steps away lay the bazaar and the Great Mosque—one of China's oldest, dating back to the eighth century. As we zigzagged on foot through the narrow alleyways and streets looking for a place to eat, a little girl in pigtails pulled on my shirt, trying to sell wilted roses before the market closed for the day. Two buskers leaned against a wall, filling the air with Chinese pop songs.

We passed stalls selling everything from stuffed Olympic mascots to tiny terra cotta warriors. Pressing on, we finally found what we were looking for: De Fa Chang, one of Xi'an's oldest dumpling restaurants.
Trip to Cui Hua Mountain E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Sew Sung
Wake up call at 8.10 am on a Sunday is never a pleasant thing for me. But that day, what lay ahead for me to discover, though I had not much idea about the trip, geared me up and in no time our small adventure group was gathered. It's 9 am on a bright Sunday morning, when we, a group of 9 young foreigners finally set out to experience what Xi'an and its surrounding regions had to offer.

It being our first ever trip to CUI HUA Mountain, we had little idea about how to get there .Fortunately with the help of the local people we finally got on the wright bus. However standing nearly on tip toes in an overcrowded bus, I could feel my enthusiasm level going down drastically. That’s when the real journey started. Slowly, we left the crowded city area n entered a more eye soothing environment. Blocks of concrete buildings were now replaced by endless green fields, trees and cattle!

Xiang Zi Men Youth Hostel E-mail
Reviews - Hospitality
Written by ND
Dieses Hostel ist eines der besten in Xi‘an. Wie man sieht, gelingt es hier ganz vorzüglich typisch chinesische Elemente mit der Moderne zu verbinden. Dazu kommt eine perfekte Location und eine gute Portion an Historie und Mystik. In dem selben Gebäude soll vor 200 Jahren der Bruder des damaligen Kaisers übernachtet haben.

Dieses, im Stile der Ming-Dynastie erbaute Gebäude, ist daher von der Verwaltung stets gepflegt worden und steht heute unter Denkmalschutz. Es ist das einzigste seiner Bauart in ganz Nordwestchina. Man sieht also, dass das beste Zutaten für ein ganz besonderes Hostel sind. Soviel zum angenehmen Äußeren. Ausstattungsmässig braucht sich dieses Hostel nicht vor X-Sterne Hotels zu verstecken. Wie man auf deren Seite lesen kann sind sie supermodern eingerichtet: Klimaanlage, TV, Zentralheizung, kostenloser DSL-Zugang, kostenlose WC-Utensilien wie man sie auch in „richtigen“ Hotels erwartet, Badelatschen etc. Die Preise bewegen sich zwischen umgerechnet 4-45€ pro Nacht. Nachzulesen sind die Preise hier.

Xi'an E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Niamh and Cathal
We arrived early in Xi'an on the overnight train from Pingyao. We haggled a bit with the touts at the station and blagged a double ensuite room at a hostel for 100Yuan - that's about 7 pounds. We took it easy the first day - shocked at how much hotter it was. The old part of Xi'an is surrounded by a wall and has a drum and bell tower. We wandered around the Muslim quarter for a while and got our bearings.

When it cooled down a bit we headed out again to find some dinner and discovered a weird fountain light show thing going on - the fountains were literally holes in the pavement spewing forth in time to Chinese pop music (which I must admit to quite liking). It was quite nice. We wandered off and tried to find something which didn't involve meat on sticks for dinner. This was surprisingly difficult but we managed to secure some stuffed pancake-type things and some bread.

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