China 48: Best of China - Part #1

9 March 2009

Sorting through 5200+ pics of the China trip, I quickly realized that many seem too good to lay unseen, forgotten and lost in my hard drive. So here goes a first try at some sort of “Best Of” more or less reviewing the past two months.

1. Best Odd Ritual

Getting your earwax removed while drinking tea (People’s Park teahouse in Chengdu, Sichuan province.) And all you hear while the cleaners are not digging out somebody’s earwax are their long metallic tongs beaten on one another, the dinging sound advertising their cleansing services.

2. Best Tasting Supper

Eating Sichuan food in a high-end Sichuan restaurant in Sichuan. You can’t get more authentic—nor tastier—than this. We ordered mostly traditional classics of the Chinese western spicy cuisine, all of which were tweaked and prepared with a more contemporary style, yet without forgetting its historical and gastronomical roots.

3. Best Beer

Tsingtao beer, a must to accompany any hot dish (like the ones above). The beer making has been directed by German tradition since the brewery’s establishment it 1903, initially made for Germans and other westerners living in China. By the end of the trip I was blatantly snubbing all the others beers. Best in in 600ml bottles, priced less than a dollar per bottle.

4. Best exotic animal

Seriously, what were you expecting?

5. Worst Air Quality

Looking through all the pictures documenting the trip, Xi’an was probably the worst large metropolis we visited in terms of smog and general visibility. On the opposite side of the smog-trum, being on the side of the sea with a constant breeze and regular showers, Shanghai’s air was noticeably better, but still a far cry from the great healthy Canadian outdoors.