- Dealing with food allergies in China can be a daunting task, particularly for the short-term visitor who's grasp of the language is minimal or non-existent. Explaining that you need a gluten-free meal in your native tongue can be more complicated than you might think, and next to impossible with gestures and poorly pronounced Mandarin. That's why it's extra helpful that there is now this bilingual card for Celiac travelers that explains the severity of the situation and exactly what gluten-free is in Mandarin. Eat without anxiety!
- There are few things in this world that are grander than a fleet of aircraft carriers. The sheer scale is magnificent, awe-inspiring and menacing. If you've never visited a decommissioned aircraft carrier before, I would urge you to do so at your earliest convenience. And if you're near Tianjin, I would further recommend that you spend an evening aboard the Soviet-era Kiev, which now boasts a hotel on the aircraft carrier. As an added bonus, the rooms feature round beds, futuristic lighting fixtures and gaudy cow-print rugs. In a word: awesome.
- With most of the world fascinated by China's vault into a future of skyrocketing skyscrapers and glamorous consumer culture, it's refreshing to remember some of the more quaint, antiquated monuments of old. Time Out Beijing has pounded the pavement and revealed some of their favorite things to do in Old Bejing.
- The state of the Internet in China isn't the world's freest or the fastest, but it does hold the title of being the world's largest Internet community. So it was with great enthusiasm and speculation last week that netizens across China realized that Great Firewall seems to have been a mistake, or a glitch, or something otherwise explainable in non-policy terms, as the sites were shortly inaccessible again (Google+ lasted about a week; the other three less than a day). Whatever the cause, it prompted much discussion about the freedom (or lack thereof) of the Internet in China, and was further reminder to get yourself a proxy or VPN.
Until we meet again next week, happy travels!Photo courtesy of Toby Simkin