Tag Archives: china

Male topic.

Hi folks!

Ok. After yesterday’s brief female topic, today, logically… yes – you’ve read the title of this post.

No, this isn’t locker room talk. Nor is it about football, or fishing, or fast cars… Not even about beer or (computer) gaming. Nope, it’s about a particularly curiously shaped Danxia rock formation. Yes – it’s about 阳元石, or Male Rock!

Oh my Guangdong! So this will be another 18+ rated blogpost!

Read on: Keep your sniggering to yourself, children…

Up, down and around Danxia – all before noon.

The Danxia Range of rocky outcrops in Goangdong, China, is so insanely beautiful that it for sure deserves inclusion in my Top100 Must-See Places in the World. Massive lumps of red rock with vertical sides some several hundred meters high, scattered over a territory stretching some 10×15 kilometers.

Our first glimpse of Danxia came early morning, when none of the redness is visible; actually, there was redness, but only of the sensational skies as the sun came up. Then the redness gets bizarrely transferred to the rocks, which we set off to get closer to…

If ever you fancy getting here yourself, be warned: checking out all the beautifulness here entails a lot of walking – and that includes a lot of ups and downs on steep steps. In a day you could be looking at some 15 to 20 kilometers. Then you need to take into account the extreme climatic conditions too. Not only can it be 28-35 degrees Centigrade, it also gets horrendously humid. But what else do you expect in the tropics?! Just make sure to wear breathable sporty kit for your trekking; regular cotton shorts and t-shirts just get soaked through (even breathable kit gets soaked too, but it’s much more bearable somehow).

Read on…

Up at the crack of danxia.

Hi folks!

Herewith, I continue may tales from the Chinese side…

As per the template, this won’t be a simple photographic mini-series with explanations of the pics, but also a how-to guide for folks who might want to visit the place one day themselves, which, as is often the case, I heartily recommend.

Today I start with the Danxia landforms. Now, Danxia in Chinese means ‘red hills’; that is, any hills that happen to be red or reddish-colored. And in China there are dozens of different sets of red hills all over the southeast, southwest and northwest of the country. However, there is a specific Danxia Shan – Mount Danxia (confused?!). I wonder what came first – the egg or the chicken Danxia – the mount, or Danxia – the general term for red rock formations in China? The internet returns contradicting results. And locals don’t seem to know themselves. In short: one of China’s many mysteries.

Btw, Danxia is pronounced ‘Dansya’. Danxia isn’t an English term; it’s Chinese in the Latin alphabet – pinyin. There!

So, where do I begin my narrative? There are so many options – so much to show. Ok, let’s keep it simple and logical – let’s start with the break of dawn…

Read on…

Rock teapot.

Howdy folks!

Now, you know I’ve a soft spot for cliffs

…So you can imagine my rapture upon arriving at these here beauties – the Danxia rocks in China. But, ohhh was it hot – 35 degrees Centigrade and tropically humid. Harder to take than a sizzling sun in the desert!

This somewhat… odd shaped formation is called… Male Rock )).

The formation above is called… Teapot! The fable goes something like this: there were two sisters who brewed up some too-weak tea for some companions, then something happened to them. That’s all I recall. Anyway, the moral to the legend is, kids – never be mean when adding the loose-leaf tea to the teapot for guests…

This is just the appetizer folks. As per custom – a lot more to come…

A Chinese gastronomic enigma.

Many of you may have noticed that I rarely write about food. Photos of food or meals on Instagram are not my strong suit :) However, it would be wrong to say I’m indifferent to food. Absolutely not! These are my favorite kinds of cuisine:

  1. Chinese cuisine. To be more precise, all types of Chinese cuisine, and above all, South Xianggang cuisine (is that the proper name for it?).
  2. Japanese cuisine. To be more precise, all types of Japanese cuisine with their fresh, fried, grilled, roasted, boiled, etc. food. (Which reminds me of this video about the mysteries of Japanese cuisine.)
  3. All other Asian food.
  4. The entire culinary spectrum of the Caucasus. (The challenge here is to stay within the confines of lunch and dinner rather than succumbing to all-out gluttony…which I don’t think is right.)
  5. Borscht.
  6. That’s probably enough, or we may descend into the aforementioned gluttony :)

So now, I need the help from the audience.

There is a remarkable vegetable that grows in China (or, more correctly, on Hainan island). When cooked, it looks like this:

Its name in Mandarin is 四角豆.

“Four-cornered beans” according to my translation tool. Indeed, this veg has a very distinct four-cornered stalk. When preparing it, they chop the stalk at an angle (which results in rectangles with sharp corners) and pour on some seasoning.

I’ve never seen this vegetarian dish anywhere outside Hainan, and that includes Hong Kong which is just next door. This vegetable only grows in Hainan, and that’s where it all seems to get eaten.

So, two questions.

  1. What’s the proper name for this vegetable in Russian and English?
  2. Just in case I’m wrong, does anyone know if this tasty veg is on sale anywhere outside China? Would be great to know.

Thank you all in advance!

// After all that I have a strong urge to go and have lunch :)

Pleasant News from China.

Privyet all!

I’m lying low in MOW at the mo, but that doesn’t mean life comes to a standstill – far from it!

While I sit here in my office looking out the window at the falling snow, over in China, in the city of Wuzhen, the annual World Internet Conference is taking place (which I was at last year). And this year the organizers have decided to give awards to the best (in their opinion) cyber-projects. And guess who featured among the winners?!

Here’s congratulating all project members! Our solution for protecting industrial installations and critical infrastructure – KICS – won the award for ‘World Leading Internet Scientific and Technological Achievements’, alongside Tesla, IBM Watson and Alibaba!

The contest was entered by 500 companies, and we were in among the 15 winners – and the only one from the IT security field.

Three Gorgeous Gorges of Energy.

Let’s continue the electricity theme…

Actually, more specifically, in this post it’s a hydroelectric theme; more specifically about a hydroelectric power station; more specifically – the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world. It’s so gigantic you can stare at it for hours, hypnotized: massive majestic concrete walls, vast open spaces… extraordinary in the extreme. And the best bit is the flowing water – which acts as a magnet for the attention of Homo Sapiens.

It’s called the Three Gorges Dam. It’s around 30km from the city of Yichang, and around 300km – or 2½ hours on a train – to the west of Wuhan.

A dam more than two kilometers (2300m!) long, 180 meters high, with a width of the dam wall at the top of 50 meters, and at the base – 120m (as we were told by the girl who was our excursion guide for the afternoon). I mean – just how much concrete was needed for all that?! Oh my gorges.

Read on: More crazy numbers…

Chinese Rail – Non-Fail.

Wuhan is a city in central China. And ‘Wuhaa!’, I thought when reading about the place on Wikipedia…

Turns out it’s a ‘sub-provincial city’ despite being (i) thoroughly massive, and (ii) the capital and main administrative center of the Hubei province.

The city covers an area of 8500 square kilometers (five times bigger than London!), and has a population of 10 million (almost equal to London). Even for China, the rate and volume of construction in Wuhan are kinda crazy. Mammoth new districts appearing like mushrooms after the rain… actually more like trees of a forest growing up as everything is (really) high-rise. For now the brand new residential skyscrapers are empty, but when they do get filled up, I reckon the population will easily overtake London + suburbs. That’s ‘sub-provincial’ China for you, folks!

dsc02615-pano

Read on: Security for the people…