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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Some Hongkou Clouds in Shanghai

Since I shared a photo of clouds above a famous skyline in Shanghai, the wonderfully pleasant weather and relatively good air quality has continued — a welcomed change from the many smoggy days I have experienced here in the past. This has significantly helped me not regret having not yet moved on to my next destination. To continue the cloud theme, I will share a few photos taken today in Shanghai's Hongkou district of scenes not as famous as Shanghai's towering buildings in Lujiazui.

Two photos taken in front of Hongkou Plaza that include the elevated tracks for Line 3 of the Shanghai Metro:

clouds appearing above and below Line 3 of the Shanghai Metro


clouds and Line 3 of the Shanghai Metro


Two photos taken under rather different lighting conditions at nearby Lu Xun Park:

clouds above lake at Lu Xun Park in Shanghai


clouds reflecting on lake at dusk at Lu Xun Park in Shanghai


And finally, a sign at Sida Road of how Shanghai's light pollution makes it easy to spot clouds even at night:

clouds above Sida Road street sign in Shanghai


Not sure how long the current weather and air quality here will last, but I recommend making the most of it if you can.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Clouds Above an Iconic China Scene

I saw some nice clouds today, so I took a photo.



Oddly enough, a lot of other people seemed to be taking photos of the clouds as well. So it might not be hard to find photos similar to the one above. Who would have guessed?

On a slightly more serious note, I hadn't planned to share a photo of such an iconic and familiar scene to announce my arrival in this city. But I really do like clouds. And the weather was wonderful today. I am not even going to bother with the "guess the city" game. Too easy. Yes, my two days of travel and multiple cities ultimately ended with me arriving in Shanghai — the city in China where I have spent the most time, though it has been a while since I was last here. More about that and other topics, including returning to some things I have left hanging, soon.

Friday, September 13, 2019

It's a Bird . . . It's a Plane . . . No, It's Grilled Cheese & Ham Sandwiches in Guangdong

Apparently at least one aspect of my recent travel adventures raised some eyebrows, and amazingly it wasn't the duck-dog. In regards to me questioning the cutting style of a grilled cheese & ham sandwich I ordered at a Cafe de Coral restaurant at the airport in Zhuhai . . .

grilled cheese and ham sandwich arranged like a plane


One reader tweeted:

Another reader emailed:
Maybe this will be more obvious after some sleep, but the airport restaurant cut your sandwich to look like an airplane.

Both readers make an excellent point about the airplane similarity. I wouldn't be surprised if there was an airplane element to what happened to my sandwich at the airport. It sounds so neat and simple. But . . .

But . . .

I was careful to say I questioned how the sandwich was cut. I didn't mention the arrangement. The importance of this distinction should become clearer with a photo of the same sandwich I ordered at another Cafe de Coral — this one in Zhongshan last year:

grilled cheese and ham sandwich not arranged like a plane, though the cut would've permitted it


OK, yes, I didn't mention this important detail before. Aha!

OK, yes, I ordered two sandwiches that time. Aha!

It was a wild and crazy day, and both sandwiches came with drinks. I went with a coffee and a tea to mix things up, because why not. The pork chop is pathetically small, but that's something to rant about another day. Just pay attention to the grilled sandwich on the right for now. Yes, ignore the corn too. It's just corn.

The sandwich cut is roughly the same as the sandwich I ordered at the airport in Zhuhai. The arrangement of the pieces is different though. This Zhongshan Cafe de Coral is far away from any airport. And I didn't see anybody flying around there.

So, I'm not completely ruling out an airplane theory yet. But I think we need more to explain the cut of these innocent grilled cheese & ham sandwiches. The arrangement of pieces could be another story.


Added important note: I'm now wondering if I changed the arrangement of the sandwich in Zhongshan in order to display its insides. I'm not sure, but this is something I might do. And it would explain why much of the plate is empty in the photo. So it is possible the sandwiches in Zhongshan and Zhuhai were arranged similarly. But the Zhongshan sandwich would still complicate the "they made it look like an airplane cause you were at an airport" story, since I wasn't even near an airport then.

Needing Sleep: Four (or Five) Chinese Cities in Two Days

Early Tuesday morning I was surprised when my phone's alarm woke me up at 5:10 a.m. It was supposed to wake me up a 5:00 a.m. Presumably I had slept through the first round of the alarm, and it had tried again.

Those 10 minutes mattered a lot. So I ended up taking a taxi to the Nanning East Railway Station instead of the subway. The taxi cost less than expected, just 35 yuan (a little less than U.S. $5 at the moment), and I arrived at the station with just enough time to pick up a sausage mcmuffin with egg for breakfast.

After about three hours on a high-speed train, I arrived at the Guangzhou South Railway Station.

Guangzhou South Railway Station departure hall


Less than 15 minutes later I boarded another high-speed train, and in little more than an hour I arrived in Zhuhai. Not long after checking into my hotel there, I crossed the border to Macau by foot. Soon I was at favorite cafe for a grilled onion pork chop bun where I noticed a Hong Kong channel was broadcasting a police news conference.

Hong Kong police news conference on TV at a Macau cafe


The sound was off but text on the screen indicated it was about the responsibilities of off duty Hong Kong police. Presumably this was in response to the protest-related news which broke the day before about the issuing of extendable batons to off duty police.

Later in the day, I spotted an animal that taxonomically baffled me for a very brief moment. But then I realized it was just your everyday Macanese duck-dog.

dog wearing a duck bill muzzle


Honestly, the animal attracted my attention to such a degree at the time I didn't even notice the "Do not sit on the staircase to avoid blocking" sign above the sitting-on-the-step woman until now. This raises the question of why, presumably, people like to sit there. Could it be related to the duck-dog?

As this animal experience suggests, as usual I enjoyed my time in Macau. I would've happily stayed longer, but that evening I had to cross the border back to Zhuhai.

young man wearing an "Obey Obey Obey" shirt


After a successful crossing where I learned a key fact from an immigration officer, I was at my favorite place for post-midnight razor clams.

yummy razor clams


I didn't sleep much that night. Actually, I'm not sure I really slept at all. In any case, at 5:30 a.m. I boarded a shared van to Zhuhai's airport.

Soon after arrival, I noticed my plane was already at its gate. So that was nice.

China Southern Airlines airplane at gate at Zhuhai Airport


Since I had plenty of time to spare, I ordered a grilled cheese & ham sandwich at a popular Hong Kong chain restaurant.

grilled ham & cheese sandwich cut unusually (for the US)

I'm not clear why they cut the sandwich that way. I probably shouldn't, but I'm still pondering it.


Anyway, soon I was in the sky and presented with an airplane snack.


Not so thrilling flight snack

The steamed bun on the far left was stuffed with some sort of meat-like substance. I will just say I have eaten many, many different types of steamed buns in China, and this one may have been the worst. But at least the turtle shell herbal jelly was decent enough, though I wondered whether it actually had any turtle shell in it.

Whatever the case, the flight was otherwise uneventful, which I mostly count as a very good thing.

After about 2 hours in the air, I found myself much farther north in China than I have been in nearly two years. Yet incredibly I am still in what they call the south.

So I would say in two days I was in four cities, though if you want to count Guangzhou (I wouldn't) you could say five. I need to sleep now. A lot. Once that happens, at some point I hope to mention the fourth (or fifth) city.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bernie Sanders Political Campaign Shirts Sold and Worn in China

In the previous post I shared a photo of a "Clinton Gore '92" shirt I recently saw somebody wearing in Nanning, China. Last year I shared a photo of a "Jesse Jackson '88" shirt I saw for sale in Jiangmen. And that's not all. There is yet another U.S. presidential campaign shirt I have seen in China.

Last year I saw a "Bernie" shirt for sale at the Paifang Pedestrian Street (牌坊步行街) shopping center in Zhaoqing:

"Bernie" shirt for sale in Zhaoqing, China


I also saw one for sale at the Dongji Xintiandi Shopping Mall (东急新天地购物广场) in Guangzhou:

"Bernie" shirt for sale in Guangzhou, China


And at the Lilian Sun Plaza & Department Store (太阳广场 • 太阳百货) in Shenzhen I saw a young woman wearing one:

young woman wearing a "Bernie" shirt in Shenzhen, China


The Bernie logos on the shirts aren't an absolutely perfect match to the common logo on shirts at the official store for Bernie Sander's presidential campaign:

"Bernie" shirt for sale at the Bernie Campaign Store
Image from the Bernie Campaign Store


But the similarities are clearly not a coincidence, and most people probably wouldn't even notice the differences. In any case, I highly doubt the Sanders campaign is getting any money from the sales of these shirts.

So what's going on with these and other U.S. presidential campaign shirts? Why were they designed? Why did stores decide to sell them? Why are people buying them? I feel safe saying the full story has some twists and turns. More about that later.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The 1992 Clinton-Gore Campaign Lives On Through Fashion in Nanning, China

Most shirts with English messages I see in China don't cause me to reflect further on an event 30 years ago. Sometimes they cause me to reflect on an event only 27 years ago.

"Clinton Gore '92" shirt worn by a girl in Nanning, China


I spotted the back of this shirt hearkening back to the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton today in Nanning, Guangxi. I wasn't surprised to discover that the text on the shirt's front wasn't closely related.

front of shirt with message "1980 Original"


During my brief interaction with the girl wearing the shirt, I discovered (also not to my surprise) she understood at least some simple English. Since she was with a group of people, I refrained from asking her whether she was at all familiar with the Clinton-Gore campaign to avoid risking any potential embarrassment. But when I expressed approval of the back of her shirt she didn't seem confused or concerned — just very amused.

I can now only wonder if she has one of the "Jesse Jackson '88" shirts I have seen elsewhere in China as well.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

A Suggestion About Rights on a Chinese Clothing Store's Employee Uniform

Several months ago I saw a shirt for sale at a Uniqlo store in Yulin, China, with a message that caught my attention all the more since it was the 30th anniversary of the crackdown at Beijing's Tiananmen Square and elsewhere in China. Nearby at a store for the Chinese menswear brand Cabbeen another shirt had a similar effect. In this case, the store's employees were all wearing it. When I asked if I could take a photo of any of their shirts, an employee said I could not. Despite my best efforts to then buy the shirt, they insisted it wasn't for sale and was only for in-store employee use.

So unlike with the Uniqlo shirt, I had to pass on sharing a photo of the Cabbeen shirt.

However, more recently while passing a Cabbeen store in Nanning, China, I happened to notice another employee wearing the shirt. I once again asked if I could take a photo of it, and this time without hesitation they said it would be just fine. Excellent.

So without further comment, I will finally share a photo of a notable shirt in China that I would've shared several months ago had it been possible:

"Exhaust your rights" Cabbeen shirt
Exhaust your rights
*ACHIEVEMENT IS WONDERFUL WHEN YOU KNOW WHY YOU ARE DOING IT*
Cabbeen

Monday, September 2, 2019

No Piano Bench, No Worry at a Walmart in China

Can't find any suitable piano benches to use at a Walmart in Nanning, China? No problem. Just improvise with a shopping cart and a wooden stool.

girl playing an electronic keyboard while sitting on a wooden stool in a shopping cart


While I admired how the setup was a more creative example of people using stools in China, the man stood next to the shopping cart helping to keep it steady while he used his mobile phone and the girl played the keyboard. By chance I was around when they arrived and returned just as the girl wrapped up her 15+ minutes of making music and they left sans keyboard.

This Walmart in Nanning currently sells the wooden stool the girl sat on (or one that look just like it) for 29.9 yuan (about U.S. $4.15). I don't know if the pair ultimately bought the stool, just borrowed it for their Walmart shopping experience, or already owned it, but I did see the girl was still sitting on the stool when we later crossed paths in the produce section.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Malaysian American Drinks for Sale in China

American Punch, Lemon Lime, and Orange drinks for sale in Nanning, China:

American Punch, American Lemon-Lime, and American Orange drinks for sale at a supermarket in Nanning, China


Imports, of course.

Made in Malaysia, of course.

Friday, August 16, 2019

A False Sign of Free Meals at a Roast Duck Restaurant in Nanning

"免费加饭 - Free meals" sign at a restaurant
"Free meals"

No readers have insisted to me that they expect a free lunch, but I still feel bad about the extreme lack of posts here recently. I certainly can't blame things on a shortage of potential material.

In regards to the photo above, I took it last night at a restaurant in Nanning which features local-style roast duck noodle and rice dishes. I wasn't surprised to later discover that both Baidu's and Google's translation tools translate "免费加饭" as "Free meals", as seen on the top sign on the window. Google Translate, which is freely accessible in China, at least does a better job if the phrase is separated in half.

In short, no, you can't really expect to get a free meal at this restaurant. But you can expect "Free additional rice". Their rice dishes come with plenty for my needs, but many people in China appreciate an opportunity to load up on it.

So there will be more soon, both in terms of posts and of rice.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Dropping at Night in Nanning

Drop bar & cclub at the Minge Lake (Folk Song Lake) Bar Street in Nanning
In front of Drop at the Minge Lake (Folk Song Lake) Bar Street in Nanning

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Unreal Seaside Life in Guangxi

Today in Nanning I had a number of experiences with nature I rather enjoyed. This experience probably wouldn't count though:

Diorama with dolphins and egrets at the Guangxi Planning Exhibition Hall
Diorama at the Guangxi Planning Exhibition Hall in Nanning


I think that one bird might be looking at me on porpoise, despite the dolphins.

OK, another post, another day. I egret there there haven't been more lately.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A Wheel of a Sunset in Nanning

Happy Ferris Wheel (幸福摩天轮) at the Fengling Children's Park (凤岭儿童公园) in Nanning before sunset
Happy Ferris Wheel (幸福摩天轮) at the Fengling Children's Park (凤岭儿童公园) in Nanning

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Token Story from Nanning

Today in Nanning a family exited a train at a stop near the western end of the Line 1 metro. One of them, a young girl, paused just before exiting and turned around. For a brief moment she looked conflicted. Her grandmother (I presume), also still on the train, seemed to recognize the issue and hollered something in a local dialect. She and the girl then quickly exited the train just before the doors closed.

The family remained together.

Two of their subway tokens did not remain with them though.

two tokens left on a subway train bench in Nanning


I wondered if the girl could have retrieved the tokens in time if she had acted immediately. I also wondered what they would now do without them. I'm not sure about the former. It would have been close, but I think she had a shot. Still, a risk. Regarding the latter, my first guess was they would have their two kids duck under the turnstiles to exit the station and hope nothing came of it. Or they could just report the problem before exiting and hope for the best.

I left the tokens where they sat. They probably couldn't serve much use now, but at least they had each other.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Enjoying the Water Not Far from Nanning's Changyou Pavilion

Oh boy, I definitely didn't plan on taking such a long break since my previous post, which explained how a photo of the Changyou Pavilion in Nanning could be mistaken as a view of Nanchang. So to get back into the swing of things, hopefully, here is a view of the Changyou Pavilion from the other side of the Yong River.

people swimming and boating in the Yong River with the Changyou Pavilion in the distance


This photo was taken from a designated swimming area at the Jiangbin Leisure Park. As the photo suggests, people were taking advantage of it on yet another hot and sunny summer day in Nanning.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Deceptive Pavilion: The Answer to Latest "Which City in China is This?" is Nanning

I was going to wait longer until revealing the answer to the most recent edition of "Which city is this?", but I will provide it now since I already have the most excellent answer:


The answer is excellent because Arnauld chose the option I provided which could have tripped me up before too and he chose it for the same reason.

Nanchang's iconic Pavilion of Prince Teng stands next to the Ganjiang River. I last visited Nanchang in 2011, though I am not sure whether I visited the pavilion then. I definitely visited it in 2008. The nearby bridge in the photo I shared might have given me pause, but China can build a lot of bridges in 11 years. Off the top of my head, the pavilion in the photo would have looked quite similar. And the river!

But instead, I took the photo in central Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Yesterday when I first saw Nanning's Changyou Pavilion (畅游阁), which stands next to the Yong River (邕江), it puzzled me because I had no memory of it. This later made sense when I discovered the pavilion wasn't opened until 2016 (link in Chinese). The last time I was in Nanning was 2011.

So a genuine congrats to Arnauld on his most excellent wrong answer.

And now you can see why I went with a set of cities to choose from that all began with "nan". I first thought of Nanchang as what I might guess instead of Nanning and then decided to stick the "nan" theme. And yes, I made up Nannannan'nan.

To continue the theme of tough photos, here is a one of one of the first scenes of Nanning I saw during my most recent return to the city:

a view of central Nanning, Guangxi


I definitely wouldn't have been able to identify the city from this photo.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Which City in China is This?: The First Multiple Choice Version

I haven't been posting as much as I would've liked lately, but I hope to change that soon. More on the way about my last full day in Yulin, which very much didn't go as planned, and some things from my more recent time in Macau, which also didn't go as planned but all still went quite well.

To make sure I post something pronto, today will be a return to the "Which city is this?"* challenge — fitting since it is a city I returned to after several visits years ago. I arrived yesterday afternoon and have kept myself rather occupied since.

Here we go:

Nice try


I chose this photo I took today in part because the scene struck me as one that shouldn't be too hard to figure out, yet I suspected I wouldn't have recognized it even yesterday. So I will make this a little easier than past challenges by making it multiple choice.

Here we go:

A)  Nanchang
B)  Nanjing
C)  Nanning
D)  Nanyang
E)  Nannannan'nan
F)  Nan of the above

Super-smart readers will notice a pattern in the options. One wrong answer first came to mind because it would have especially tempted me.

I will divert back to earlier topics next, so you have some time.

Nan.


Update: Answer here.



* I thought about whether to go with "which" or "what" here. I first went with "which" based on instinct. I then found an article on the topic that offered support for my choice, at least for today.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

More Macanese Casino Architecture: A Mocha at Night

Some recent posts include photos of architecturally intriguing buildings, such as the Morpheus Hotel, that if I were seeing them for the first time in Macau I would guess they must be part of a casino resort. There was a building in Macau Peninsula I recently passed at night, though, with a design that caught my eye yet I didn't even consider it might be a casino.

Mocha Inner Harbour casino in Macau at night


Honestly, if people hadn't entered the building while I was near the front door I might have not paid attention to the Chinese name over the door "摩卡娛樂" and left assuming it only had a cafe inside based on its English name "Mocha". But after getting a peek of the interior, I realized there was a bit more going on than I had thought. The Mocha Inner Harbour, one of several Mocha locations Macau, does offer coffee that "can refresh the senses and relax the mind", but presumably the casino makes much more money from people gambling.

Nifty building either way.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A Girls Power Mural Outloud in Macau

Recently I shared some art on display in Taipa, Macau. For a contrast, here is a mural I stumbled across at night on the street Travessa da Assunção just off of Rua do Almirante Sérgio in one of the historic areas of Macau Peninsula that feel like another world from the casinos not far away:



The artist Rainbo was born in Hunan and now lives in Hong Kong. You can find out more about her and her work here.

Friday, July 12, 2019

A View of Academics and Casino Architecture from the Grand Taipa Hiking Trail in Macau

The view from next to the Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperança Wetland Ecological Viewing Zone in Avenida da Praia, Taipa, isn't the only one which includes the uniquely designed new Morpheus Hotel. In fact, the more elevated Grand Taipa Hiking Trail offers a perspective from which the hotel's external voids can be better appreciated.

view of the Macau University of Science and the Morpheus hotel from the Grand Taipa Hiking trail


In addition to the Morpheus hotel, the above photo also captures other casino-related buildings, but the nearest structures, including the sports field, are part of the Macau University of Science and Technology (M.U.S.T.). I visited the University Hospital (the greenish building on the far left) there multiple times four years ago thanks to gashing my shin down to the bone in neighboring Zhuhai — a story I may tell in greater detail another day.

In any case, for a better look at the hotel's architecture, here's a cropped version of the above photo:

view of Morpheus hotel from the Grand Taipa Hiking trail


I ended up spending far more time on the Grand Taipa Hiking that I had planned (actually, I hadn't even planned to go there in the first place) so here's the same view at night:

view of the Macau University of Science and the Morpheus hotel from the Grand Taipa Hiking trail at night


And once again, here is a cropped image for a better look at the Morpheus Hotel:

view of  Morpheus hotel from the Grand Taipa Hiking trail at night


Honestly, I thought the hotel would be lighted in a way to better feature the external voids and the bridges which connect the towers. Perhaps it works better from ground level close up.

Finally, another cropped version of the nighttime photo:

cable car passing in front of Wynn Palace's Performance Lake at night seen from afar


I share this one because not only can you see the fountain at Wynn Palace's Performance Lake but you can also see one of the Wynn Palace's cable cars passing in front of it. I didn't realize I had captured such an exciting moment until taking a closer look at the photo.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Changing Gambling View at a Wetland in Macau

More than seven years ago in a post about Macau's gambling world I shared a photo of several of Macau's casinos as seen from the other side of the Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperança Wetland Ecological Viewing Zone. Here is another photo I took at the same time from a slightly different vantage point:

Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperança Wetland Ecological Viewing Zone and casinos in the distance in 2012
2012


I chose the above photo because it captures almost exactly the same perspective as a photo I took last week while walking in Avenida da Praia, Taipa, where I also saw some colorful artwork on display.

Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperança Wetland Ecological Viewing Zone and casinos in the distance in 2019
2019

The photos were taken at different times of the day under different lighting conditions and with different cameras and lenses. The more recent photo includes more greenery and Macanese clouds as well. But perhaps the most remarkable difference is the additional buildings in the second photo. Most notably, the architecturally intriguing Morpheus Hotel on the far left now blocks the view of another building of the City of Dreams resort and casino.

There are many other similar significant additions to this part of Macau, including the boxy MGM Cotai, the Wynn Palace with its gondola lift, and The Parisian Macau. If you know what to look for, you can find slivers of each of those three casinos resorts as well in the second photo. I'm not sure what this view will look like in another seven years, but the casino resort construction in this region of Macau certainly continues — just not in the wetland.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Colors of Macau and Hong Kong by Artist Francesco Lietti

I will be continuing the theme of recents posts about Yulin, but I suspect some readers would appreciate a break from all of the dogs and such. I know I could use a change of pace. So for the next two posts or so I will share a bit from Macau, a city I have visited many times and where I spent a couple of days recently. To say the least, Macau and Yulin are quite different.

So for today, here are two of the mixed media paintings by the Italian artist Francesco Lietti on display at the Taipa Houses Exhibitions Gallery as part of the Art Macau International Art Exhibition. The first painting below captures a side of Macau and the second Hong Kong. Lietti has lived in Hong Kong since 2006 and many of his pieces feature the city. More about Lietti and his art can be found online at his website.

Mixed media on canvas "Macau International" by Francesco Lietti
Macau International - 2019


Mixed media on canvas "A Palette of Flavours" by Francesco Lietti
A Palette of Flavours - 2019

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Camphorwood Dog Meat Rice Noodles Food Cart in Yulin

After checking into my hotel the first night I arrived in Yulin, Guangxi, and before finding a special location, one of the first things I came across when I set out to explore the city were several outdoor food carts. Appropriate for the city, a couple of them served dog meat.

Camphorwood Dog Meat Rice Noodles (樟木狗肉米粉) street food cart


Like the restaurant I later saw in Yulin that had Budweiser advertising, the food cart in the above photo featured camphorwood dog meat, though in this case with rice noodles (樟木狗肉米粉). And though the food cart is smaller than that restaurant and much smaller than Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant, it is yet another sign of the everyday nature of eating dog meat in Yulin.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A Brief Look at Yulin's First Crispy Skin (Dog) Meat Restaurant

Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant on both sides of Xinmin Road

While walking around Yulin on a Wednesday in May I stumbled upon a restaurant which has locations on both sides of Xinmen Road (新民路) at the intersection with Jiangbin Road (江滨路). The signs indicated the name of the restaurant was Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant (玉林第一家脆皮肉馆).



In many parts of China the Chinese character for "meat" (肉) without any specific indication of the animal would suggest the restaurant features pork. But Yulin isn't one of those parts, and it is common, though not universal (for example, a dog meat restaurant with Budweiser advertising), for restaurants that feature dog meat (狗肉) to not explicitly indicate the animal involved in their name. Soon I had little doubt that this was a dog meat restaurant, though, since there were several locations where they were carving dog meat outside.

men bringing out cooked dogs to be carved


The restaurant's website is more explicit and uses the name Yulin's First Crispy Dog Meat Restaurant (玉林第一家脆皮狗肉馆).

Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant website explicitly using "dog meat" in its name


And the website also provides info about their dog meat.

information about dog meat


It was probably too early for big crowds at the time, but the plentiful outdoor seating in addition to the seating inside the restaurants indicated they were prepared for them.

outdoor tables at Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant


I later learned that the intersection where I found this restaurant is not so surprisingly a popular location for people to celebrate the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in June.

So some simple points that are relevant in general and will provide some context for a story I will tell about my experiences at that festival:
  • The restaurant is one of many signs that dog meat is plainly available year round in Yulin.
  • Of course, the restaurant having two locations at the same intersection and the ample seating suggests it is (or at least was) doing quite a bit of business. And it is far from the only dog meat restaurant in Yulin.
  • The hanging dog meat at outdoor carving tables shows the degree of openness about eating dog meat.

cooked dogs hanging at an outdoor carving table at Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant

  • At no point was I asked not to take photos. I never even had a sense there was concern. In fact, the photo above captures a moment during which one woman who works at the restaurant was laughing about my interest. She soon jovially invited me to order some dog meat. I declined, politely saying I was already full. Later, based on my actions she apparently recognized I was wondering whether the locations on both sides of the street were truly the same restaurant. It's not something I see everyday and imitators aren't exactly uncommon in China. She helpfully approached and said they were indeed the same restaurant.

I wasn't surprised to find a big dog meat restaurant in Yulin. And I wasn't at all surprised to see dog meat hanging outside. These are both things I've seen plenty of times elsewhere in China. But what happened during my next visit to this location and what followed did surprise me.

I definitely didn't take as many photographs. More about that later.