Category Archives: China

Happy Qing Ming Festival.

Happy Qing Ming or grave sweeping festival. Not only is this holy week, but today is actually a day off in Hong Kong for Qing Ming festival.

Image from Emily’s Secret Passion.

People take this holiday quite seriously. They visit their family tombs and leave gifts. Traditionally a full chicken was left, but now people bring all kinds of food as well as paper money and paper versions of cars, books, cell phones, etc.–things people will need in the afterlife.

Maybe you’ll need a villa?

Or maybe just a pack of cigs?

Bottom images from CNNGO.

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Catgut embedding acupuncture.

What is catgut embedding you ask? So did I…. here’s what Groupon had to say.
  • Catgut is a type of cord that is made from the natural fibre in the walls of sheep or goat intestines. It is embedded on the acupuncture points, which enhances the points’ stimulation for 7-10 days. The catgut is later completely absorbed by the body (about 8-10 days).
  • Registered Chinese doctors use 0.6mm needle to embed the catgut, so it’s less painful and easier to absorb
  • The embedding depends on the body-type of the customer and the process includes one-time medical consultation
  • The catgut embedding is done on acupuncture points, which enhances the points stimulation for 7-10 days
  • The process conditions the body and is very effective for weight loss and improved body-immunity
  • Its implantation is a kind of acupuncture, where specific acupuncture points are gently and continuously stimulated till the ailment is cured and desired results are achieved. Prolonged stimulation of acupuncture points can effectively enhance weight loss, shape breasts and promote metabolism, amongst other benefits.

These days with my morning sickness (or all-day sickness rather) I’ve gotten really into acupuncture, but I think I’ll stop short of having catguts injected into my stomach. Thanks anyways Groupon for the lovely offer. (They have seriously the most bizarre offerings here!)

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Our dragon baby.

Aren’t these dragon babies cute?! And so appropriate for this the year of the dragon!

Amigurumi dragon from sofiasobeide.

Dragon from Binkys.

Qinyao the Happy Dragon by Ann Marie Ivins.

A fierce but really friendly dragon from Angry Angel on Crafster.

And while we’re on the subject of dragon babies… some exciting news: we are expecting our very own dragon baby to arrive in early August! In fact the due date we believe was actually 8-8, a very auspicious date as dragon babies are very lucky (the luckiest of the Chinese zodiac signs) and so is the number 8… but we think our Dr. may have pushed it to August 10th as the hospitals were likely quite booked with c-sections from people hoping to lock in the lucky date!

Hospitals all over Hong Kong are said to be booked solid through October, thanks to the influx of dragon babies. Here are some more interesting stats about how seriously people take procreating in the year of the dragon:

  • “A poll in Hong Kong showed that 70 percent of couples there wanted children born under the dragon sign, while South Korea, Vietnam and China all report similar enthusiasm about dragon-year childbearing.” —CBS News.
  • “Hong Kong experienced a birth rate increase of 5 percent during the last Year of the Dragon in 2000.” –BBC.
  • “In 2000, the last dragon year, the rate increased to 1.7 children per Taiwanese woman of childbearing age from 1.5 the previous year.” —CBS News.
  • “The Los Angeles-based Agency for Surrogacy Solutions and sister company Global IVF Inc. have seen a 250% increase in business from Chinese or Chinese-Americans so far in January.” —WSJ.
  • “Officials at the Chengdu Women’s and Children’s Central Hospital say that 294 babies were born in the first seven days of the Chinese New Year, one-third more than in the same period in 2011.” –Asian Correspondent.

The race is on…. couples must conceive by May in order to have a dragon baby before February 9th, 2013… after that it will be a snake baby.

ALSO, stay tuned for more exciting dragon inspiration tomorrow!!

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Shanghai: Around town.

There are some really exceptional flea markets around Shanghai.

They make you feel like they haven’t thrown away a thing in twenty years!

We really enjoyed walking around town and seeing everyday life.

These gentlemen are making those rattan-type carpets, one string at a time.

Isn’t this a great shot? The Mr. took it!

And that’s all from Shanghai…. I do hope we get to go back again soon!

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Shanghai: Walking the city.

Last weekend, 16 of us headed to Shanghai to celebrate our friend Kim’s (far left) birthday. I absolutely fell in love with the city!!

While the boys slept in and ate dumplings and drank beer… us girls got in some shopping, walking and lunching. It was so much prettier and less polluted than I had expected.

The city is so full of contrasts… old and new… Chinese and Western.

I think this is anice shot of the old on the Shanghai side, and the new on the Pudong side across the Huangpu river. The building with the hole in it is the Shanghai Financial Center–at 93 floors, with the Park Hyatt at the top, it was until very recently the highest hotel in the world.

Aren’t these brushes beautiful? I was tempted to think of how one might decorate with them…

I got such a kick out of these GIANT xiao long bao — you suck the pork soup out with a straw they’re so big!

I also got quite a kick out of this woman getting her hair dyed in the middle of a bustling marketplace — I think it was a free demo. You couldn’t pay me to get my hair dyed in front of thousands by a complete stranger!

And there’s the famous Pudong skyline right on the Bund.

It’s such a pretty place to walk along… I loved all the historic, European buildings along the water’s edge. All proudly flying their red flags.

Shanghai is home to 23 million people and has been the commercial center of China since the 1930s, thanks to its great port and special status as the Shanghai International Settlement, which established it as a British settlement after the first opium war ended in 1842. Land deals with the Americans and French followed soon after… and the French concession is still intact and one of the prettiest parts of the city. The lands were returned to the Chinese in 1943.

I was so surprised that it has one of the world’s largest number of Art Deco buildings as a result of the construction boom during the roaring 1920s.

A Sex in the City – esque shot!

Being a group of six girls, we did a lot of hotel lobby hopping and as such enjoyed fabric napkins at every pit stop! Don’t miss a walk through the stunning lobby of the recently refurbished Waldorf Astoria on the Bund.

What an amazing hotel!! Image from CNTraveler.com

And here’s a view from the top of the Ritz from Pudong back to the other side… which seems to stretch on forever. I still can’t get over how old but yet futuristic the tv tower looks!

And of course what would be on top of a bridal Bentley pulling into a wedding at one of the nicest hotels in Shanghai? Why a Hello Kitty couple of course. Naturally.


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