Rice and Beans

20141019_125941Yifei is about 14 and stops by for lunch sometimes.  He helps me learn Chinese and I teach him English.  On a Sunday we cooked rice and beans, and talked about the process in both Chinese and English.  It is a good learning experience and good food.20141019_130023

First we went shopping and picked up some ingredients. Then we fried the meat with mushroom and onions. We added some peppers, both Chinese and American. Finally, we mixed the beans and bean juice, which I had bought (already cooked) in the local grocery. While this was going on we cooked the rice. It all was really nice.

 

Wine Expo Video — Alco-tourism

The Guizhou Wine Expo had a promotional video detailing the attractions of Guizhou.  I captured part of it on my cell phone camera.  Then I pulled out an old video from when I visited the Miao countryside.  The song of the Miao Women when they ask you to drink their sweet rice wine is really extraordinary, and in no way exaggerated by the promotional video.  I’ve added a couple clips . . .

 

 

Octoberfest at the Kempinski Hotel

The Octoberfest celebration is finished and it was a good time. The Paulaner brew pub on the sixth floor of the Kempinski brewed an Octoberfest beer that was very good. It was very German, but not too heavy and not too dark. The happy hour (two for one) prevailed all night, rather than cutting off at 8 pm. The Manager, Aynur Ozcan, has put together a friendly and competent staff. A fine time was had by all.

The menu is very cool, with many items for 58 RMB, which includes a salad bar. There were two bands, who alternated to keep the evening lively. . .

For more information about the Guiyang Kempinski, go to:
http://www.kempinski.com/en/guiyang/hotel-guiyang/welcome/

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR ENLARGEMENT 

There were many good times and good songs.

Burger King 汉堡王 in Guiyang,June 2014,at Hongtongcheng shopping center 鸿通城购物中心 near Guiyang Railway Station 贵阳火车站

Burger King  汉堡王 in Guiyang,June 2014,at Hongtongcheng shopping center 鸿通城购物中心 near Guiyang Railway Station 贵阳火车站

A Burger King opened in Guiyang, Guizhou province a couple of months back, along with a Baskin-Robbins, and soon a Starbucks. KFC and Pizza Hut have been here for several years. No McDonald’s yet, though.

I visited the Burger King today for the first time (I got a fish sandwich) with this teacher of English who I had met when he was a student at the college in Fuyang, Anhui where I was teaching last year. At the Burger King I saw a couple from Oklahoma with their two adopted Chinese kids (the husband does translation and business advising, and goes to the English corner at the local Protestant church), plus a group of about 10 American college students studying Chinese for several weeks at Guizhou University. Two of this group were from Kentucky.

Beckie’s Bistro for Great Pizza

We just had a tremendous pizza at Beckie’s Bistro.  It is all homemade and fresh. The menu has a lot of weird and wonderful kinds of pizza. We had fish and meatballs, sausage, hamburger and cheese, avocado

and shrimp, and  a Turkish Pizza.

We are in the housing development with the purple clock on the south side of Da Ying Lu. You go inside the development.  It’s a great little place and serves pizza only Thursdays through Sundays.  The rest of the week they make bread and prepare the ingredients for the weekend.  The menu has an English translation.  Delicious!

The Bakerman Location

Ray has posted about the man who imports foreign food and cooking equipment at reasonable prices.  He is on the 25th floor of a residential building. It is unit 2507 to be specific. You can go there by taking the #61 bus and exiting on Wan Jiang Xiao Qu bus stop.  I have photos of the relevant bus stop. From the bus stop you walk down the hill two or three hundred meters to the arch entryway of a development.  Go through the arch, go past the basement parking entrance,  turn left and walk up the stairs. The first building on the left has two towers.  Take the tower on the right and go to the 25th floor.  You may have to wait for somebody to unlock the foyer door to get to the elevators.  Turn right off the elevator and go to the end of the hall.  Bakerman is open until 6 pm most days.

getting imported cheese and canned soups in Guiyang: Youyou Baking 优优烘焙 (Youyou Hongbei), in 25th fl apt/store in Dayingpo, northern part of Guiyang

store in Guiyang with foreign brand food products–cheese, soups, imported butter, etc – from a 25th fl  apt/store

store name: Youyou Baking 优优烘焙 (Youyou Hongbei), tel: 86-189 8511 3035, email: 32634666@qq.com,  http://q.weibo.com/1150041, website: http://youyouhongbei.taobao.com/shop/view_shop.htm?user_number_id=651370963&ssid=r11, youyouhp.taobao.com, address: 贵阳市大营坡营通花园E座2单元2507号, Room 2507, Unit 2, Bldg E, Yingtong Garden, Dayingpo, Guiyang

Nov 2013 photo is of store owner with expats in Guiyang hungry for a taste of home. From right: Yaacov Ben-David (a Canadian/Israeli/Iranian biologist researching cancer drugs at the Guizhou Medical Plants Botanical Garden / Key Laboratory of Chemistry for Natural Products of Guizhou Province under Chinese Academy of Sciences, from Toronto),  Jack Porter (Guizhou Normal University, from Michigan), Hal Wolowitz (Guizhou Finance and Economics University, from New York City), Ray Mahoney (Guiyang American-Canadian International School, from Kentucky).

Guiyang, Guizhou overview, from Wikitravel, http://wikitravel.org/en/Guiyang

from Wikitravel, wikitravel.org/en/Guiyang (last modified on 10 April 2013)

Guiyang overview
(Asia : East Asia : China : Southwest China : Guizhou : Guiyang)

Guiyang (贵阳; Guìyáng) is the capital of Guizhou province, China. While not the most spectacular of Chinese cities, it has much to offer as an introduction to the history, culture and natural splendor of Guizhou and China’s southwest. Moreover it is drastically cheaper than the more touristed and developed provinces. It makes an excellent base for exploring mountains, caves, rivers, and minority cultures (including traditional Han Chinese culture lost in many areas) of the province.

Get in

By air
Guiyang is relatively easy to get to by air with multiple flights daily coming in from Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing as well as other cities in Southwest China, particularly Kunming and Chengdu. The airport (KWE) is officially an international airport but options are extremely limited. There is weekly service to and from Hong Kong, Macao, and Bangkok and perhaps Singapore and Malaysia. Travelers flying in from abroad will most likely transfer to a domestic flight to Guiyang in Kunming, Guangzhou, Shanghai or Beijing. From the airport, taxis (¥60 flat rate) or the airport shuttle bus (¥10, drops off in a few locations around town) take fifteen to twenty minutes to reach downtown. Those interested in saving money may opt to catch a taxi from the bus stops in town rather than directly from the airport. Doing so brings the total for a solo traveler to ¥20 from airport to hotel.

By train
Guiyang straddles the trunk rail line linking Chongqing (12 hours) with Kunming (overnight) and points south. Train tickets to Chengdu are also readily available (17 hours). Train tickets, including for hard sleepers, are relatively easy to acquire, given the size of Guiyang’s population and its significance as the commercial hub of the province. Heading in from Hunan, the train passes through Kaili before arriving in Guiyang. Tickets to Zunyi (hard seat only) cost ¥17 for the three and a half hour trip.
The area outside the train station can be a bit chaotic, but taxis are readily available. There is an officially recognized taxi queue across the street from the station, although some taxis will stop in mid-traffic to pick you up. Guiyang police have tried to crack down on picking up passengers in crowded areas where it will obstruct traffic, so the queue is probably the best (and safest, given Chinese driving standards) option. The train station is also the terminus for many public bus lines.

By bus
The long distance bus station (金阳汽车站) is now located in the new JinYang development area. Buses to Jinyang leave from the train station and pass by peoples square, opposite the school. From here you can get buses to several destinations, including Guilin and Guangzhou.

Long distance buses arriving in Guiyang will likely stop at a different station near the airport where you can take a taxi into the city. The driver will probably not use the meter and will take as many passengers as he can, bargain for the price.
The long-distance bus stations are also the best location to get buses to Anshun (60-90 minutes), the gateway to Guizhou’s signature Huangguoshu Waterfall. Buses north to Zunyi (two hours) depart every 30 to 60 minutes.

By car
The highway infrastructure in Guizhou is undergoing continual upgrading as part of China’s Western Development Effort. Once completed, an expressway will link Guiyang to Chongqing, allowing relatively easy travel and an alternative to the train. The highways leading west and east out of Guiyang are modern and well maintained making for easy access to the western reaches of the province or east to Kaili. It is possible (although expensive, so it may be better to take the bus or train) to hire a car and driver between Guiyang, Zunyi, and other cities.

Get around

By bus
Guiyang has a well developed bus system, although it is entirely in Chinese and takes some getting used to. A local can help you if you know where you are going. All bus fares cost ¥1. Small local buses pick up passengers at various points around town and can take you to Huaxi or more distant districts of the city for ¥2 per person. These buses can get crowded and are forbidden (technically) to carry standing passengers. As a result, all of the standing riders are asked to duck when passing the police [??!].

By taxi
Guiyang taxis charge ¥10 at flagfall. Short trips within the city should cost ¥10. This is an excellent way to get around, as taxis are everywhere. Note that taxis charge extra late at night (¥12 starting rate although for short trips the driver may let you off with the ¥10 flat rate). Taxis heading into or out of the city center may pick up extra passengers.

By motorcycle
As elsewhere in China, motorcycle taxi services are available. Large intersections or areas with concentrations of bars or restaurants will attract a crowd of motorcyclists. Negotiate a price in advance (¥5-10). Unlike in other areas, the driver is unlikely to have a helmet available for you. Hold on tight.

By foot
Although not the smallest town in China, many of Guiyang’s neighborhoods and sights can be seen with a little patience and footwork. This is also a great way to experience life in a still emerging town. The city abounds with small workshops (often in what would normally be locations for small shops or restaurants), delightful street-side restaurants, and small shops selling everything from local handicrafts to new business cards (next day availability) and sheet metal.

See

Qianling Park (黔灵公园). This large city park is well worth an afternoon. Sample local food and crafts from vendors, see curious and very brave wild monkeys (accustomed to people), as well as take in the view from the hilltops near Hongfu Temple. Qianling Park also includes a zoo and small amusement park as well as tea gardens.

Hebin Park. This park is by the side of the river. There is a Egyptian feel to the square in the park, which has towering pillars lit by yellow light at night, and a gigantic UFO-shaped restaurant in the centre, help up by both bamboo and metal pillars–an apt symbol of the fusion of chinese culture and modernity. Near the restaurant, there is a recently built bridge across the river, shaped like a Helix, and lighted up a brilliant red. Take a romantic stroll through this peaceful square at night.

* Hongfu Temple (弘福寺), (It is 40-60 minute walk to the temple, but there is also a cable car (stops at 5:00PM), and sedan chair rides.). The temple, built as a monastery in the early Qing Dynasty, is comparable in extent to the Lama Temple in Beijing. Surrounded by woods, the buildings have elaborate ornaments (roof corners and eaves, etc). There are several large diety figures, a pond with carp, water well for coins for good luck, incense burning pits, a large bell you ring, some shops, and a restaurant there.

Tianhetan
Tianhetan (天河潭). An easy day trip from Guiyang, Tianhetan is a pleasant cave, canal and waterfall park in Huaxi township. The park includes flooded caves which guides take you through in boats, canals which weave through minority farm areas and a spectacular cascade through a narrow opening in the mountain. Following the trail into the mountain leads to a massive sinkhole and the starting point for the cave and canal boat trips. If you are feeling adventurous, rent bikes for the day from Huaxi Park, and then cycle 11km to tian he tan on the country roads. It takes about 2 hours to get there, but the biking journey would be rewarding for backpackers who enjoy roughing it through and appreciate rural scenery. You can rent a motorcycle to take your bicycles back for 10 yuan each, while getting on a rented ven to get back to Huaxi Park, a the same price. Admission to the park is very reasonable although you will pay extra for the zip line across the gorge..

Huaxi Park (花溪公园). Another popular day trip south of Guiyang in Huaxi township, Huaxi Park is an excellent escape from the heat and bustle of the city. The park with its streams, pavilions and tea gardens is popular for Guiyang residents who enjoy setting up their own barbeques and enjoying a picnic. Of historical note, former Premier Zhou Enlai and his wife visited Huaxi Park in the 1950s. A billboard sized photograph of the couple enjoying a boat ride graces the main entrance to the park.

South River Grand Canyon (南江大峡谷), [1]. Grand Canyon area with typical development, the majestic Karst Canyon scenery and a variety of types, different attitude waterfall group features, the magnificent, majestic and grand, for aesthetic value and tourism value of the scenic area high. The canyon span more than 40 km, steep peak, the depths of three hundred and ninety-eight meters.

Do

Buy

Maotai Liquor (茅台酒) – produced in Maotai Town of Renhuai County in Zunyi Prefecture, Maotai holds itself to be one of the world’s three most famous distilled liquors. In 1915, Maotai won global fame at the Panama World’s Fair. According to Maotai lore, the booth at the fair was largely overlooked by the liquor judges because of the cheap labels and black bottles. In frustration one of the attendants smashed a bottle of Maotai releasing the distinct aroma attracting the judges who later awarded the drink a gold medal. Since 1949, it has won 14 international gold prizes and has been exported to over 100 countries and regions. It is officially known as China’s national liquor and served at state banquets. At 106 proof (53% alcohol by volume) or stronger, it is not for the faint of heart. Maotai is clear and offers a lingering mild and mellow fragrance some liken to soy sauce. For foreigners it can be a bit of an acquired taste but no visit to Guizhou would be complete without trying the province’s most famous product.

Anshun Batik (安顺蜡染画) – Batiks are a traditional handicraft of the Buyi people in the Anshun region to the west of Guiyang. Traditional ethnic designs include flowers, birds, fish and insects on indigo-dyed cotton cloth. More recently artisans have produced more colorful silk and wool batiks. There are over 1,000 different types of batik products now produced including whole cloth, bedding, tapestries, caps and purses. Anshun Batiks can be purchased at expensive tourist shops in Guiyang or for more reasonable and negotiable prices in Anshun itself.

Guiding Yunwu Tea(贵顶云雾茶) – Produced in Yunwu Mountain in Guiding County, this tea was offered as tribute to the early Qing court. The leaves resemble fishhooks, thin and soft, with whitish hairs. This green tea is much favored for its low caffeine and high catechol content.

Yuping Flutes – These elaborately carved flutes are made of local bamboo and produce a clear and beautiful sound. Yuping flutes are traditional local products that have gone on to win international prizes.

Ethnic Silver Articles – Two ethnic groups, the Miao and Gejia, are famous for silver smithing. Both groups produce headgear, necklaces and bracelets. Each type has its distinct shapes, patterns and motifs. Miao ornaments mainly use dog, cat, horse, insect, flower or bird motifs. The Gejia prefer sun, stars, dragon, phoenix, bat and certain plant motifs. Both styles give Huangping silver ornaments great artistic value.

Embroidery and Cross-stitch – Miao embroidery is a traditional local handicraft. Design motifs are typically butterflies, birds and interestingly enough marine animals. Cross-stitch patterns follow the warps and wefts of the cloth and the most popular ones are colorful geometric figures.

Exotic stones and fossils – Guizhou’s limestone hills yield a wealth of valuable stones and fossils. As the province also has impressive and commercially exploitable deposits of gold, silver and other minerals, there are a wide variety of mineral stones and samples available. Fossils of Missippian Crinoids and the Guizhousaurus (贵州龙 – a small semi-aquatic dinosaur) are available in many tourist shops. The Guizhousaurus is a common fossil and often found intact and complete so there is actually a fair chance the fossils are legitimate! The buyer will likely notice, however, that the fossils are painted to show the bones more starkly against a darker background of stone.

Eat

People in Guiyang like those throughout Southwest China love spicy food. Use of red chilies of various temperatures and salty dried chili powder dips for hot pots is ubiquitous. Food can be prepared mild (不要辣 buyaola) according to your tastes but the best way is to settle in and eat the way the locals do.

With a brave stomach, you could eat something new everyday for a week just by walking along the streets of Guiyang and sampling the street foods of Guizhou’s minorities around the night markets. Most of these offerings come heavily spiced by default, but you can ask for a little or no spice.

Be sure to try Bean Hotpot (豆米火祸 dōumǐhuǒguō) which is available all around the city. Just as with other hotpot styles, you choose whichever ingredients you want and cook them at your own pace. The difference is in its soup of pinto beans, bacon, and onions. You should get a bowl of spices that you can mix with the soup base for dipping.

Minority cuisines are also readily available throughout Guiyang (look for wait staff in brightly colored outfits clapping, dancing and playing oversized pan-flutes at the door). One of the most common and delicious varieties available is the Miao Minority’s Suan Tang Yu (酸汤鱼) a hot pot centered around a hot and spicy broth with a large whole fish chopped up inside. Like all hot pot restaurants veggies, meats and other delicacies are purchased a la carte to be added. The dipping bowls contain the ubiquitous chili paste but also add a cube of fermented tofu (non stinky) that makes a wonderful compliment to the fish. Be sure to wash it down with Mi Jiu (米酒) a sweet purple rice wine. A row of reasonably priced restaurants specializing in Suan Tang Yu can be found on Shengfu Lu near the intersection with Fushui Lu near the Beijing Hualian supermarket.

For a Guizhou snack unavailable elsewhere try Silk Babies (丝娃娃). For a few kuai, you are given a stack of thin rice pancakes and chopsticks. You sit at a low table covered in bowls of raw and pickled vegetables with a small dish for mixing chili sauce and vinegar. Load the pancakes according to taste, spoon in a little sauce and enjoy.

Among Guiyang’s street foods, Guiyang Style Beef Noodles (牛肉粉 niuroufen) is a staple. It can be prepared in a hot red broth or a mild beef broth according to your tastes – although not all establishments offer a choice. Fresh whole garlic cloves, crushed dried red pepper, salt, MSG and Sichuan Pepper (花椒 huajiao) can be added to taste. Don’t miss this one – it really hits the spot, especially after a night of drinking! Huaxi Wang Jia Niuroufen is the best and operates a chain of franchises throughout the province but for late night munchies, just follow the crowds.

A peculiar local delicacy (given the fact that Guizhou is landlocked) is Fried Chili Squid (鱿鱼: youyu). Chopped squid is skewed and deep fried before being cooked on a separate metal plate in a bath of sizzling chili sauce. This snack is served hot from carts congregating along Zhonghua Zhonglu. The dish is safe to eat despite the distance from the ocean. One stick costs ¥1. The 鱿鱼 carts are often found in close proximity to other snack carts selling grilled tofu, mutton kabobs, spicy pickled radishes and other munchies.

For excellent Guizhou cuisine at very reasonable prices try Siheyuan (四合院). The restaurant enjoys a good bit of local fame and is popular with the (very) small expat community as well. The story goes that the owners were laid off from their factory jobs some years ago. Without work, they opened a street side restaurant with a single table. The food was so good that business boomed. Some 15 or 20 years later they serve a bustling lunch and dinner crowd in a multilevel but still rustic and homey restaurant. Siheyuan doesn’t have a sign so finding it without a guide can be a bit of a trick. It is located a few feet down the alley opposite the Protestant Church on Qianling Xilu.
Night markets are popular in Guizhou for midnight munching, particularly in the warmer months although even the winter does not shut them down. Varieties of street foods particularly grilled freshwater fish, crayfish, snails, chicken, pork, mutton, cabbage, garlic greens, onions, eggplants, mutton, chili peppers and just about anything else that can be skewered is available. For the adventurous whole marrow bones can be grilled up, cracked open and served with a straw. Try the market on Hequn Lu. Vendors set up shop around 7 PM.

However, Hequn Lu charges very high prices for streetside food that is mediocre in many instances. It is perhaps a little too touristy for an authentic street food sampling experience. Locals would recommend that you take a bus to Hebin Park instead, and walk down the road to another night market, where the food is much cheaper, and sumptuous local food like the spicy barbequed fish can be sampled.

Drink

South Park (南方公园 nan fang gong yuan): This is currently the main hangout for the English teaching community and English-speaking local residents. The staff speak excellent English. Local beer starts at ¥5 per bottle and imports start at ¥40. South Park is fairly laid back and unpretentious. Newcomers are always welcomed into the community. (out of date information, this has been closed down for a few years)
Although there are hundreds of bars in the city (many of them hidden away in large buildings) the main concentration is on Qianling dong lu (黔灵东路).

Highlands Coffee (高原咖啡 Gao Yuan Ka Fei), Bo Ai Lu Liu Dong Jie No.1 (A 2 minute walk from Walmart at the People’s Square. Behind Customs Building.), ☎ 0851-5826222, [2]. The only American owned and run coffee house in all of Guiyang/Guizhou. The American owner (Chris) has lived in Guiyang since 2003 and can be of help with practical information regarding the local area. Espresso based beverages, tea, smoothies, chai, as well as genuine American pastries and panini’s are available. Customer service is bi-lingual (Mandarin and English) and wifi is also available.

Sleep

Nenghui Jiudian On the airport bus route, 2 bars, 2 restaurants, good staff, comfortable rooms, free in-room broadband, basic business facilities, rooms usually heavily discounted. 125 rooms, Telephone: (0851) 589 8888 Fax: (0851) 589 8622, at Ruijin Nan Lu 38, website: [3]

Shenfeng Jiudian A fine hotel with high service, large rooms, and a breakfast buffet. 260 rooms, Telephone: (0851) 556 8888 Fax: (0851) 556 9999, at Shenqi Lu 69, website: [4]

Guizhou Karst Hotel Nearby the Peoples Square and face the Nanming River. A new 4 star hotel with high quality service.
Telephone:(0851) 8196888, at South Ruijin Road 25.

Learn

Guiyang has four main universities that host foreign teachers and students, as well as a few others. The three universities that have foreign students are Guizhou University (贵州大学), Guizhou Normal University (贵州师范大学), and Guizhou University of Nationalities (贵州民族学院).These three universities all have foreign teachers usually teaching English. Guiyang University (贵阳学院) also employs foreign teachers.

Work

Guizhou, like much of central and western China, lags far behind the dynamic coast in economic, industrial and social development. As a result, the main opportunities for work are teaching English. Several private schools in the area are licensed to hire foreigners: English First, Aston, Tian Tian, and Interlingua being among the most established.

For those not interested in teaching, Guiyang is home to several industrial and high-technology development zones seeking foreign investment, partnerships and experts. These include the industrial and enterprise zone in the south (Xiaohe Qu near Guizhou Normal University) and the Guiyang High-Technology Development Zone in the north. The main industries are aerospace technology and heavy industry.

Get out

Huangguoshu Waterfalls – The waterfalls are on the Baishui River, 15 kilometers From the Zhenning county seat, and 137 kilometers from Guiyang. It measures 74 meters high and 81 meters wide and boasts the biggest of its kind in China and also one of the world’s most magnificent. The water billows down into the Xiniu Pool, sending up great spray and creating rainbows. A visit to Huangguoshu Waterfalls is a must for all visitors to Guizhou. It has become a holiday resort where you can forget the outside world and enjoy fabulous scenes and sights, including limestone caves and stone forests. The trip is also tainted with ethnic flavor with a visit to the local Buoyei people. Local legend says that in ancient times the sky suddenly cracked open, causing part of the Milky Way to smash to pieces on the ground. The largest piece hung on the verge of a cliff and became the Huangguoshu Waterfalls, which, in the process of crashing down the cliff, broke into several dozen cascades. When the Milky Way fell, numerous stars came down with it, which were converted into stone forests, crystal-clear pools, bridges and caves. Admission to the park is steep but the scenery is spectacular. The falls can be reached by direct bus from the bus station next to the train station on Zunyi Lu.

Zhijin Cave – As the national scenic spot, the cave is located in Guanzhai Township, 14 miles northeast of Zhijin and 93 miles from Guiyang. It is a gigantic karst cave with the length over 6 miles. Although it looks still primitive in appearance, its karst landform is imposing and magnificent. Covering an area over 74 acres, its widest part is 574 feet and its height exceeds 328 feet. The cave consists of 47 halls and 150 scenic spots in its 11scenic areas.

Longgong Cave (Dragon Palace Cave) – As the national scenic spot, the cave is located in Matou Township, 130 kilometers from Guiyang. Longgong refers to over 90 karst caves linked up like a chain of beads that run through 20 hilltops. Within these 4,000-metre-long caves there are also underground karst lakes. Tourists can enter Longgong Caves at Tianchi (Heavenly Pool) by taking a small boat.

Red Maple Lake – As a national scenic resort, Red Maple Lake is located in the suburb of Qingzhen, 33 kilometers from Guiyang. Covering 57.2 square kilometers, it is the largest man-made lake on the Guizhou Plateau. The lake consists of the North and South lakes. It’s renowned for the 170 isles, the numerous caves, the clear water and the quiet bays. Folklore of the Dong and Miao people is demonstrated in the resort.

Wuyang River – Lying in Zhenyuan and Shibing counties, the national scenic area consists of Zhuwan Gorge in Shibing and the Three Gorges in Zhenyuan and extends 50 kilometers. Wuyang River is famous for it picturesque mountain scenes and crystal-clear water. It flows among mountains in eastern Guizhou, creating secluded caves, gurgling springs, rugged rocks and spectacular waterfalls.

XiJiang – Ethnic Minority (Miao) village which is about an hour and a half journey from kaili. There are beautiful rice terraces on which you can stroll and climb. all the way to a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding paddy fields. Jump across huge drains, admire the rich variety of wild flowers, and take in the smell of cow dung and fertilizer along the way. There will also be daily performances, centred around wedding rituals, conducted in the morning and evening (5pm) which are free to watch. You do have to pay an entrance fee to get into the village though. Stay overnight at one of the hotels on the hill, so that you can open your windows to a vista of fog-shrouded houses on the hills opposite you stretching into the distance.

(from Wikitravel, wikitravel.org/en/Guiyang, last modified on 10 April 2013)
= = =

Links to sites about Guiyang / Guizhou’s culture, history, sightseeing, life as an expat, schools, visas, maps, etc. that may help foreign visitors to Guiyang, foreign students of Chinese, and new English teachers here more quickly get familiar with the area include:

Flickr “GoGuiyang,” photostream at: www.flickr.com/photos/98531730@N02/ , and its organized photo sets at:www.flickr.com/photos/98531730@N02/sets/ .

Tour Guizhou (started by current Guizhou Normal U. teacher Jack Porter), www.tourguizhou.net/ .

“GoGuiyang” (put together by former Peace Corps teacher Erik Myxter): http://goguiyang.weebly.com/
and “GooGuizhou” (spelled “goo..”):http://googuizhou.weebly.com/

The Trouble with Rats Update #3

 

Well I have bowed to requests and removed one picture of a rat. After all my experiences with rats I get kind of a warm fuzzy feeling when I see a dead rat, or even a live one that is hopelessly trapped. So my perspective is a little different. This blog about living in Southwest China is supposed to cover what life is really like, what we struggle with, what we like.  So this is the definitive story on rats, at least in my life.

Mickey

http://www.tourguizhou.net/the-trouble-with-rats/

http://www.tourguizhou.net/the-trouble-with-rats-update-1/

http://www.tourguizhou.net/the-trouble-with-rats-update-2/

I haven’t seen a rat in my place for over a month now. I think the problem is solved. I have a macho mentality on many issues here in China.  “I can handle it” is my attitude and it works for most things. A little over  month ago I caught two rats, large ones, and drowned both of them. Then I called the “Waiban’s office” (Foreigner Boss) and told them that this was out of control and needed to be taken care of. I am a teacher at Guizhou Normal University of Guiyang, and the school is responsible for providing suitable housing. A day later a worker came by and we put a new secure plastic tube on the kitchen sink drain, where we figured they were coming in. It worked, for a few days.  Another rat came up and ate the soft plastic of the tube and came through the hole in the pipe.  I never caught that one.  He left right after he invaded.

I got the worker back the next day and we put a screen device in the plumbing to stop the rats from getting to the soft pipe inside the home. Problem solved.  No more mice or rats. I learned something. When dealing with a health and safety issue, it is probably a good idea to ask for help sooner, rather than later.

I’ve learned some interesting things that may be useful for people in my position:
1) Rats tend to stay in the kitchen area, wherever there is food . . . crumbs, etc.
2) The squeak of a rat sounds a lot like the chirp of certain kinds of birds.
3) Last week I found a bag of rice that was on top of the fridge.  It had a hole in it. So if you think you have a rat in your kitchen, don’t just look down at the floor. Rats can be up high too, even above your head, wherever there is food.