Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Xiangqi for One in Taiyuan

I have seen many people in China playing xiangqi outside, and often a crowd will gather to watch the two players match wits. Onlookers aren't necessary for the game though, and this afternoon in Taiyuan I noticed that some don't even need a second player.

man playing a game of xiangqi alone next to a donuts & bread stand

I didn't try the donuts nearby. I will wait until I come across what I like to call Chinese donuts, otherwise known as xián jiānbing (咸煎饼) — something I won't miss whenever I am next in Guangzhou.


  1. I won't lie - I probably would have tried one of those donuts/pastries if I were there. Then again, I have always been curious and intrigued about Asian interpretations of Western food. It's sort of akin to how American cuisine adapts foreign cuisines to our tastes, only in reverse.

    As for the Xiangqi player, I myself have always been curious about the game, and I like to casually watch the people play it near the Chinese/Vietnamese markets here. I wanted to learn how to play it, but those players typically spoke very little English, and when I asked a friend, he responded with "It's just chess", even though I thought a number of rules were different between the two.

    1. They may have been good but didn't look tempting enough to me. Those "donuts" in Guangzhou, which I don't think count as interpretations of Western food despite some similarities, are truly glorious though.

      An earlier post here includes some links for how to play xiangqi. Definitely different from Western chess.