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Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Late Night Tangerines in Ganzhou

You can't always find tangerines for sale around 11 p.m. But tonight in Ganzhou I got lucky.

tangerines for sale in a motor-tricycle cart


Good tangerines . . .

Monday, July 30, 2018

A Cat and Dog Debate the Best Peppers for Steaks in a Restaurant Chain Ad in China

Houcaller (豪客来) is a widespread Western-style steak restaurant chain in China, and I have seen it, and some imitators, in numerous cities. A recent promotion of theirs recently caught my eye as I was passing a bus stop in Shenzhen.

Houcaller ad for red pepper and black pepper steaks


The ad features a red pepper steak with bones and black pepper steak without bones. The ad asks who is more correct in their tastes. The cat apparently prefers the red pepper steak and the dog prefers the other. I would have associated a preference for bones more with dogs, but maybe the black pepper would win them over after all.

Beside the dog is a Chinese phrase which can be interpreted as "Dare to be black" or "Of course, black". But it's also a bit of pun, presumably intended, because in slang the phrase means "dare to mock yourself".

I haven't tried either of these steaks, so I can't help settle this debate. I think the last, and perhaps only, time I went to a Houcaller was about 8 years ago far to the north in Anyang, Henan. It was a fascinating experience. I'll save that short story for another day. No cats or dogs were involved.

Friday, May 11, 2018

A Sign of the Donkey and Goat Food Street in Qingyuan

Earlier this evening while standing on a pedestrian bridge I looked for a particular bank. I didn't see the bank, but I did notice a sign for an eating establishment which reminded me of yesterday's post about a butcher shop in Yunfu, Guangdong province, which offers goat, donkey, rabbit, dog, and cat meat.

View from the Qiaobei Road Overpass (桥北路立交) in Qingyuan including a sign for "Th Donkey and Goat Food Street"


I will go ahead and translate the "驴羊食街" that appears on one of the signs in the above photo as "The Donkey and Goat Food Street", though as mentioned before the second character may be for sheep instead of goat. In China sometimes animals in restaurant names doesn't mean they are on the menu. Sometimes it does. In this case I would expect the latter.

Two years ago I shared an example of a restaurant I had seen the year before in Zhuhai, Guangdong, that featured the same combo. The sign was more explicit about the animals being on the menu since the Chinese character for "meat" appeared as well. I see I interpreted "羊" (yáng) as "lamb" then. That was before I began exploring what the character alone often represents in such cases in Guangdong.

Finally, the above scene isn't from Yunfu, nor is it from the city I visited next — Zhaoqing. Yesterday after an unexpectedly scenic bus ride I arrived in Qingyuan, yet another city in Guangdong. Specifically, I took the photo from the Qiaobei Road Overpass (桥北路立交), and this view looks down one side of Qiaobei Road as traffic slowly makes it way from the south.

Oh . . . and no, I didn't try the donkey and goat place. No food reviews for today.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

From Donkey to Cat: The Selection at a Butcher Shop in Yunfu

A variety of shops line historic Jiefang Road in Yunfu, Guangdong province. One which especially caught my eye sells meat.

butcher shop with signs indicating it sells goat, donkey, rabbit, dog, and cat meat


It was specifically the selection of meat available listed on its signs that I found notable. I have seen all of these types of meat sold and on restaurant menus in China before, but seeing them all together listed so prominently isn't a daily event for me.

The first meat listed is identified with the Chinese character 羊 (yáng), which can refer to sheep or goats (and some other animals as well). Given how I have found the term used in many parts of Guangdong province, including in Jieyang, I presume it refers to goat.

Donkey meat is next, which I saw on the menu at a restaurant in Huizhou — another city in Guangdong province.

Then comes rabbit meat, which I most strongly associate with Zigong in Sichuan province since it is especially popular there. A couple of relevant dishes I had in Zigong appear in a post where I offer spicy evidence that family-sized portions of rice are quite common in parts of China.

Next up is dog meat. I have seen this for sale in many regions. A post including photos of seven restaurants in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang province, that feature dog meat comes to mind.

The last item listed, cat meat, is the one I come across the least in China. I don't have any relevant posts about it. I have photos of various sightings though — potential material for a future post.

While it significantly differs from what is available at typical grocery stores, I wouldn't consider this selection of meats especially exotic for Guangdong. In terms of what I have personally come across, the winner for that is probably a live animal market I visited a number of times in Shaoguan — more material for a future post. The bamboo rats did not look happy.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Golden Visit to M8 Langhe Dumplings in Zhaoqing

Previously, I shared a photo of a wonton restaurant in Zhaoqing with a logo very similar to the McDonald's Golden Arches. The next day I happened to pass by yet again. I also happened to be hungry this time. So I took the opportunity to have dinner there.

After sitting down at a table, I noticed the M8 logo appeared in a number of locations, including signs featuring one of their ice drinks.

tables and signs for drinks at M8 Lianghe Wontons


As indicated by their menu, in addition to wontons they offer a variety of other items, most common Cantonese fare.

M8 Langhe Wontons menu in Zhaoqing


The choice for me was easy. For 8 yuan (about US $1.25) I ordered a medium-sized bowl of the item featured in the name on their storefront sign — langhe wontons (塱鹤云吞).

medium sized bowl of Langhe Wontons at M8 in Zhaoqing


The wantons are named after Langhe village in Zhaoqing (reference in Chinese). Some other restaurants I have passed in Zhaoqing similarly feature "langhe wontons" in their names.

I also ordered a plate of Chinese broccoli, but they were out. So for 7 yuan I had the usual choi sum — much healthier than the Big Mac I had earlier suggested pairing with the wontons.

plate of choi sum at M8 Langhe Wontons in Zhaoqing


In short, the wontons were better than I expected. They are a smaller type of wonton which I have found at some places not to be especially flavorful. But these were tasty. The choi sum was a little overcooked for my tastes, not uncommon, but for 7 yuan I was still pleased.

And just to make sure . . . I asked the high school boy who took my money while the woman who had taken my order was back in the kitchen about the eatery's name. He said "M8" and also said this was their only location.

If I were living in Zhaoqing, I could definitely see myself returning. For comparison, I would also be curious to try some of the other restaurants in Zhaoqing which similarly feature langhe wontons.

But none of them will have the golden M8.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Political Art: Trump Gives Orders to Japan's Prime Minister at an Aircraft Carrier Restaurant in Jiangmen, China

While looking across the street at the Rongji Plaza shopping center in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, one of the signs perched on its roof especially caught my attention. I soon felt compelled to check out the Jin Li Ao Aircraft Carrier Restaurant (金利奥航母主题西餐厅). A dining experience with aircraft carrier ambience could be something to behold.

The 3rd-floor restaurant features Western-style food with a heavy emphasis on steaks. I assume this is not standard fare on China's single combat-ready aircraft carrier, but admittedly I have never eaten there.

In addition to a variety of steaks, the restaurant in Jiangmen includes a large structure with features similar to a miniature aircraft carrier. At the ship's bow sits a jet.

mock fighter jet with child inside


And a helicopter is ready for takeoff on the stern.

mock aircraft carrier helicopter


Both the jet and helicopter are open to visitors. Set between the two on the aircraft carrier's flight deck is seating for diners. There is also seating next to the carrier and in another section of the restaurant with a tropical theme. The servers and hosts all wear sailor uniforms.

To me, the most remarkable aspect of the restaurant isn't the aircraft carrier or the two vehicles on it. Or even the extensive variety of steaks on the menu. Instead, that honor belongs to some artwork in the restaurant's lobby area.

mural of Donald Trump pointing from a ship and Shinzo Abe made to look like a shrimp


After pondering the piece a couple of times, I asked a host who had earlier invited me to take photos about the intended meaning. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: What is happening here?
Host: Oh, it's just a picture. There's no meaning.
Me: Is that Trump?
Host: It's just a picture. It could be anybody.
Me: Um, how about the other person. Is that Japan's leader?
Host: Nobody in particular. It could be anybody. It's just a picture.
At this point, I figured the conversation wasn't going anywhere. I strongly suspected he was deliberately avoiding an explanation and appreciated that this was far more than "just a picture".

A minute or so later he asked, "Oh, do you think that looks like Trump?".

After I confirmed I did he replied, "Well, it could be anybody."

He smiled throughout our conversation.

Good times.

So my best current take on what is going on here. . . Well, it sure looks like a deliberate depiction of President of the U.S. Donald Trump and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe. Abe's appearance as a shrimp may be connected to a politically provocative meal served to Trump during his visit to South Korea last November:
The menu at South Korea’s state banquet for Donald Trump has left a nasty taste in Japan, after the president was served seafood caught off islands at the centre of a long-running territorial dispute between Seoul and Tokyo.

Japanese officials have also complained about the decision to invite a former wartime sex slave to the event, held earlier this week during the second leg of Trump’s five-nation tour of Asia.

Conservative media in Japan labeled the banquet “anti-Japanese” for featuring shrimp from near Dokdo – a rocky outcrop known in Japan as Takeshima. Both countries claim sovereignty over the islands, which are administered by Seoul.
China makes no claim regarding these islands, but it does have a similar dispute over the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China, currently controlled by Japan. Many in China would applaud the meal served to Trump in Seoul.

The island in the background looks like a possible match to the Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands (would be easier to confirm if Trump weren't blocking a portion of it). Perhaps Trump is ordering Abe to deliver an apology (big in China) and hand over the islands. Although I wouldn't bet on this scenario happening, even forgetting the shrimp part, many Chinese probably find it far more plausible. At the very least, Trump would certainly gain a huge number of fans in China if he achieved something like this or even tried.

So perhaps the restaurant dreams of a visit by Trump. Maybe that is why they feature steak. It is one of his favorite foods after all. They better have some ketchup though.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sun Drying Flowers & Peels in Jiangmen

Yesterday shortly after going outside in Jiangmen, I saw more red silk-cotton flowers. These, though, were being dried in the sun.

Bombax ceiba (red silk-cotton, kapok) flowers drying on a chair


Around the corner from there, more red silk-cotton flowers were drying.

Bombax ceiba (red silk-cotton, kapok) flowers drying on the ground


Possibly some people are planning to use them to make herbal tea. The flowers are also used for soup and congee.

Next door, another item was sun drying.

tangerine peels sun drying on the ground

Xinhui, a nearby district in Jiangmen, is known for its dried tangerine peel, used in a variety of foods, soups, and teas. So it wasn't surprising to see these tangerine peels on the ground, even outside a mobile phone repair shop.

I saw these three examples of drying during a brief outing which didn't cover a lot of ground. Undoubtedly, more could have found on that sunny day in Jiangmen.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

To Be Fed or Not To Be Fed on Two Wheels in Jiangmen

A moment from today on Xingning Road (兴宁路) in Jiangmen:

man and small girl riding an electric bicycle


A similar moment with an edacious contrast:

man feeding a boy a snack while they ride a motor scooter


Perhaps the girl had already finished her food.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lunar New Year Lo Mein in Jiangmen

During the Lunar New Year holiday in China many restaurants close and many red signs with messages of good luck appear. Some places remain open, though, or reopen before the end of the holiday period. And the eating goes on . . .

二十杆 in Jiangmen (江门)


I stumbled upon the above small place, Èrshí Gǎn (二十杆), on Taiping Road in Jiangmen yesterday. The XO sauce lo mein (XO酱捞面) was recommended, so I gave it try.

XO sauce lo mein (XO酱捞面) at 二十杆 in Jiangmen


The noodles might not look like anything special, but they were rather flavorful and quite satisfying — perfect fuel for a game of xiangqi.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

McDonald's Brings Out the Prosperity Burger in Taiwan

Last night in Taipei I had local food on my mind and had no plans to eat at a McDonald's. But as I passed by one of their restaurants something caught my eye. It couldn't be.

It was.

The glorious Prosperity Burger, a special offering from McDonald's for the Lunar New Year holiday, was beckoning. Curiously, the burger is unavailable in mainland China, where McDonald's typically offers other holiday food items that change from year to year, such as the Year of Luck Burger (not at all my thing) or shrimp burgers (meh). I knew I'd be soon departing Taiwan in the near future and wasn't sure I'd be in any of the other areas that typically offers the Prosperity Burger, such as Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, or Indonesia, before the holiday ends.

So I changed plans and went inside the McDonald's to examine the options.

Lunar New Year special menu at McDonald's in Taipei


Last year in Macau I personally found that adding a hash brown "didn't do much for the burger except add intense caloric mass while diluting the taste of the Prosperity Sauce", so I avoided those options this time. That left a choice of either beef or chicken. I ordered the beef version, and very quickly I had a Prosperity Burger box in front of me.

McDonald's Prosperity Burger box in Taipei


Even better, as promised there was a Prosperity Burger inside.

McDonald's Prosperity Beef Burger in Taiwan


So black-peppery good.

If you've never had one, you're not just missing out on a delightful fast food holiday treat, you're also missing out on ensuring you aren't salt-deprived for the day.

nutritional information for the special Lunar New Year burgers at McDonald's in Taiwan


According to the McDonald's Taiwan website, the beef Prosperity Burger has 1320 mg of sodium. In comparison, the website indicates a Big Mac has 880 mg of sodium. Notably, the McDonald's U.S. website indicates a Big Mac has 950 mg. Perhaps this difference is due to Americans preferring more salt. Or perhaps this is due to Taiwan having a lower daily value for sodium (less than 2000 mg) than the US (less than 2400 mg). Whatever the case, the Prosperity Burger will have you well on your way to blasting through your sodium ceiling. You're really set if you layer on a hash brown or add a side of fries.

Regarding fries, I didn't bother getting any since curly fries, which have been part of the McDonald's Lunar New Year menu in other areas, weren't available. I suppose there is both good and bad in that.

And if you're still not convinced to try a Prosperity Burger, perhaps this McDonald's Taiwan promotional video, which emphasizes the hash brown option, will do the trick:


Anyway, I'm glad I was lucky enough to enjoy a Prosperity Burger this year. And I managed to still include a Taiwanese treat last night, though I had to head down a nearby alley. The small bowl of noodles with large intestines, not available at McDonald's even during holidays, was great as well. I don't want to know how much sodium they included though.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Recommendation in Taipei

"In order to keep the Meat juicy, we strongly recommend not to slice the chicken fillet." sign

I didn't try their chicken, partly because I had already eaten river eel with onions, ginseng chicken soup, and a gua bao at other vendors around the Huaxi Street Night Market in Taipei. But if I order it someday, I plan to heed their strong recommendation.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Phones, Noodles, and Massages: A Taipei Trifecta

One of those places perfectly suited for buying a phone, eating Tokyo-style noodles, and getting a massage:

building with Phone world, a Tokyo-style noodle restaurant, and a place for massages
Alongside Linsen North Road in Taipei


Admittedly, the building's design, which significantly differs from the other buildings around it, is what catches my eye when I have walked by in the past. Also admittedly, I have not taken advantage of any of the offerings now there.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Hearty Perfume in Taipei

Over six years ago I wrote about some similarities in Taiwanese and Italian food culture. Today in Taipei I saw a promotion reminding me of that post.

Dolce & Cabbana poster in Taipei


More soon. I'm definitely eating well, though I don't now have anything special to report about perfumes.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What's the Sichuan Pepper Frequency, Kenneth?

dish of numbing and spicy bullfrog
Spicy bullfrog with numbing Sichuan peppers at a restaurant in Chongqing

Like many others who enjoy Sichuan cuisine, I am a big fan of Sichuan pepper, which has a hard-to-miss numbing effect. So I am happy to (belatedly) link to a fascinating and informative piece by Taylor Holiday about why Sichuan pepper is difficult to find in the U.S. But there is one small part with which I disagree:
Even more than other spices, endowed by evolution with defensive odors and tastes, Sichuan pepper seems designed not to be eaten. Once you get past the thorns, the taste of a fresh or freshly dried berry leaves your mouth, tongue, and lips buzzing and numb for several minutes. It is literally electric: The active ingredient, sanshool, causes a vibration on the lips measured at 50 hertz, the same frequency as the power grid in most parts of the world, according to a 2013 study at University College London.
Sichuan pepper's vibrating effect is rather notable. But that the vibration has been measured at a frequency similar to the frequency of many electrical grids doesn't make it "literally electric". It doesn't even make it figuratively electric in any particularly meaningful way. (Just to be clear, the referenced 2013 study doesn't mention this similarity.)

Basically, this is because hertz is simply a measure of the number of cycles per second and there's nothing special about the measurement of 50 hertz on its own. For example, on a standardly tuned piano tuned there is a key for the musical note G (Contra octave) which will produce a sound at 48.9994 hertz. In this case, the hertz measurement reflects the fundamental frequency of that note. If you wanted, you could retune the piano so that the key produced a sound at 50 hertz. In either case the note isn't any more electric or Sichuan peppery than the other notes on the piano, even if it's an electric piano. Similarly, 50 hertz electrical grids aren't literally the musical note G.

For another example, a strobe light could be set to flicker at 50 hertz. Again, this wouldn't be any more electric than if it flickered slower or faster.

And countries such as the U.S., Canada, and Guatemala have electrical grids with a frequency of 60 hertz. Is Sichuan pepper less electric there?

So enjoy some Sichuan peppers. But unless you're also sticking your finger in an electric outlet while grounded (note: do not do this) or something similar, the experience won't be literally electric because of the exact frequency of the vibrations. The buzz is grand nonetheless.



Additional note: For those who don't understand the reference to Kenneth, see here.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Thanksgiving in Wuhan

I didn't have any rats running up my leg like I did in Changsha five years ago, but Thanksgiving this year was still a success. Although a holiday-special pulled turkey breast burger with cranberry BBQ sauce took way too long to arrive at lunch, the delay led to a free slice of dark chocolate cake (thank you, Sunny). The cake was more impressive than the burger, so it felt like a net win. For dinner I chose a Western upscale hotel with a buffet that I figured would be serving turkey today. Not only was I correct, but I arrived in time to score a leg. It took a little extra effort to communicate that, yes, I really wanted the whole leg. Early bird scores the worm and all that.

I won't be sharing any photos of the pricey food since none of it would be remarkable for Thanksgiving fare. Part of the reason for my choice in dining location tonight was that it would offer the opportunity for a late walk somewhere I hadn't visited before. So in that spirit, for a photo here is a scene from tonight in Wuhan's Hanyang District including the Yingwuzhou Yangtze River Bridge (鹦鹉洲长江大桥):

People near the Yingwuzhou Yangtze River Bridge (鹦鹉洲长江大桥) at night


Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Holiday Patriotism and Mooncakes in Zhongshan

Today at the Dasin Metro-Mall (大信新都汇) in Zhongshan there were patriotic signs of the ongoing National Day holiday.

patriotic flag and star display at the Dasin Metro-Mall in Zhongshan, China


Chinese flag at the Dasin Metro-Mall


Today is also the Mid-Autumn Festival. Like elsewhere in Zhongshan, the conjunction of holidays apparently inspired some "Buy One Get One Free" sales at the mall. Perhaps because of the overlap, I noticed just one sign which only mentioned today's holiday.

sign with "Happyiness mid-autumn festival"


Mooncakes are a popular feature of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Unlike last year, this year I have no sightings of Hello Kitty mooncakes or mooncakes for dogs & cats to share. I saw both of those in Macau, so maybe a short trip would have fixed that.

Instead, for some mooncake spirit here is a photo of an advertisement for mooncakes from Starbucks at Lihe Plaza in Zhongshan:

Starbucks ad for its Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes


A single Starbucks mooncake costs 59 yuan (which at the moment equals U.S. $8.88 — how lucky). A barista pointed out it came in a fancy box which looks like a lantern. It isn't hard to find even pricier mooncakes for sale in China.

Or you could go somewhere like Walmart and buy tiny mooncakes for about 2 yuan (about U.S. 30 cents) each. The ones with black sesame filling and salted egg yolk aren't bad.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reflection, Sweetness, and Rest in Foshan

Charming Bridge (韵桥) at Liang Garden (梁园)
Charming Bridge (韵桥) at Liang Garden (梁园)


Durian and black glutinous rice with frozen coconut milk (榴莲忘返)
Durian and black glutinous rice with frozen coconut milk (榴莲忘返)


man sleeping on a stone bench at Zhongshan Park in Foshan
Zhongshan Park


And to those who will be celebrating a new year, Shanah Tovah.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Story of Mangosteens, Wood Canes, and a Stealthy Thief in Guiyang

On a recent sunny day in Guiyang, some people sold fruit along a road leading to an entrance to Qianling Mountain Park. One woman sold mangos and mangosteens.

woman selling mangos and mangosteens alongside a street in Guiyang


Despite their similar names in English, the two fruits look very different, taste very different, and aren't closely related. Their names aren't at all similar in Mandarin Chinese. Still, the pairing caught my attention.

After taking a few photos, a man behind me got my attention and expressed amusement over my interest in the fruit seller. He also opportunistically asked if I was interested in buying one of the wood canes he was selling. I wasn't, although I knew one could soon come in handy for defensive purposes. After a brief friendly chat, the man was happy when I asked to take his photo.

man selling wood canes in Guiyang


I then decided to buy some mangosteens from the woman. After the bargaining was over — mangosteens aren't cheap — I had three promising-looking purple orbs. I gave one of the mangosteens to the man. He initially refused but soon cheerfully accepted the fruit. Mangosteens are really good.

I attached the clear plastic bag holding the two remaining mangosteens to my camera bag and headed into the park.

After checking out a zoo in the park, I cracked open one of the mangosteens. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed it before it was possibly stolen. Already there had been several attempts — some involving direct confrontations and others involving stealthier strategies. I had expected this since the fruit were so clearly visible. One needs to be aware of such things when roaming around Qianling Mountain Park.

Then just when all seemed clear I felt a very strong pull on my camera bag. As people yelled, I spun around reacting as quickly as I could. I knew a mangosteen was at stake here. It was all a blur, but at the end I had maintained possession of my camera bag despite the strap somehow disconnecting. And to my surprise the plastic bag remained attached as well.

The culprit quickly fled to a tree for safety. From there the monkey looked at me . . .

monkey in a tree in Guiyang


Looked at me while eating its prize.

monkey eating a stolen mangosteen in Guiyang


Well done, monkey. You succeeded where many had failed. And your reward was a glorious mangosteen.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

From Texas Burger in Hunan to a Scenic High-Speed Train Ride

Towards the end of last week I hailed a taxi and told the driver I needed to go to the Hengyang East Railway Station. He asked for 40 yuan (about U.S. $5.80). I felt confident 40 yuan was too high, but I wasn't sure what to target for bargaining. I just told him to use the meter. He clearly didn't like that idea, so I prepared to get out of the taxi.

He turned on the meter.

The fare turned out to be 27 yuan.

I hadn't had time to eat much that day, and I hoped to grab something at the station. I suspected the options were minimal and the McDonald's there would be my best bet despite my fondness for Hengyang's local dishes. But I worried I wouldn't be able to go down to the arrivals level, order food, and then return to the departures level to go through the ID check and security in time for boarding. So I went straight into ticketed-area of the station and hoped to find something there.

Once inside, I saw something I expected — a lack of a McDonald's — and I saw something I hadn't expected — Texas Burger. I hadn't recently seen any of the once common New Orleans roasted chicken vendors in Hengyang. I figured it was now time for some not-quite-Texas fare in Hengyang.

Texas Burger (德州汉堡) at the Hengyang East Railway Station


I quickly scanned the menu and didn't see anything named a Texas Burger, so I ordered a burger which looked like a Big Mac. I didn't go for the full meal.

item on Texas Burger menu which resembles a Big Mac


The burger I soon received looked far more compressed than the one displayed in the menu. And the taste . . . well, the patty made me think of an overcooked old high school cafeteria-style burger. It definitely didn't make me think of anything I had ever eaten in Texas. Without a doubt, I would take New Orleans roasted chicken over that any day.

But at least I wasn't hungry anymore. And soon I departed Hengyang on a train route I had never traveled before. This meant I could enjoy some new views and attempt to photograph them through a dirty window while moving at about 200 kilometers per hour.

view of mountains from high-speed train


In about 2 hours and 40 minutes I arrived at my destination 342 kilometers (213 miles) from the station in Hengyang. Not bad for 100 yuan (U.S. $14.50).

My first view of the city from high up included a McDonald's but no Texas Burgers.

view of a Chinese city with a McDonald's


The city is more well known than Hengyang and popular with tourists, though, no, the glass pyramid in the photo isn't the entrance to the Louvre. For those familiar with China, this is a relatively easy one to figure out. Guesses welcome. Let me know if you want some Texas Burger as a prize.