What Taxi Drivers Have to Say in Hohhot

I’ve been noticing recently how much the conversation I have with taxi driver’s has changed over the last few years. Read what I wrote about it for the Beijing Review:

During both of my previous stints living in Hohhot (2002-04 and 2006-07), every time I took a taxi the conversation between the cab driver and myself was largely the same. He or she would ask where I was from. I would respond that I was from America. He or she would then say that America is so prosperous and developed—why would I come to such a backward, undeveloped city like Hohhot? I would generally respond that I thought it was developing very quickly, he or she would agree, and then move on to inquire about why I wasn’t yet married.

Read the rest of the article by clicking this link.

 

hohhotinfo.com is one!

Today is officially one year since our first post went live. Happy Anniversary to us!

Here’s a brief look at our year in review:

Last year when we began on July 18th, we had 67 viewers those remaining two weeks in July. This year, we generally have 4000-5000 viewers a month.

We started with that first blog post and have been slowly increasing our content since then. We now have 20 pages and 189 blog posts.

The pages that get the most views (other than the home page/blog) are the forum and the travel page.

The post that received the most comments was this one (Although we lost those comments when we moved servers, so you’ll just have to take my word for it). Who knew used furniture would be such a hot topic?

The funniest thing that someone typed in a search engine that actually found this site was: Hohhot belly dancing. Crazily enough those words are actually in this post I wrote about finding a gym.

 

What would you like to on the site in the next year? Or, did you have a favorite post from the past year that didn’t get mentioned? Leave us a comment to let us know.

 

 

 

away for a bit…

Well, my family and I made an unexpected trip back home to the States. We’ll be here through the summer. I’ll try to continue updating, but the posts will decrease in frequency for a bit.

I’ll also try to work on updating some of the other pages, and I’ll post here when I get something accomplished.

I hope you summer travelers enjoy our city and province and continue leaving comments and sending emails if there’s any question I can answer for you.

 

health care in Hohhot (and beyond)

I wrote a post last year about getting medical care in Hohhot. (Click link to read it)

Unfortunately, we’ve had to access the Chinese medical system even more since then, so this post is to update some of our thoughts and opinions.

This is what we’ve learned about the medical system in Hohhot. This post just represents our opinion and experience so if you have other suggestions or experiences please leave a comment.

  • It seems to us that very few locals just walk in and see a doctor that they have no prior relationship with. They call friends until they know someone who knows someone who is the kind of doctor they need. You too, should use relationship when possible. Ask a local friend who they know and that will go a long way toward having a better experience.
  • Find out what each hospital specializes in or is known for being good at. For example, we’ve recently learned that the 356 Hospital (Wu Jing Yi Yuan) supposedly has the best doctors and equipment for treating kidney stones using ESWL. And the 253 Hospital is known for good cosmetic surgery. (No, I didn’t have cosmetic surgery, but my daughter did get stitches in her face. :( We were recommended to go there to lessen the chance of a scar). We have found that many times once you get to a doctor, they will generally tell you clearly if you are at the right place or not. If you chose the wrong department, they’ll tell you. If they don’t have the skill to diagnose or treat your condition, they will tell you and refer you to someone/somewhere who can. It is frustrating to have to go to more than one place, but it’s better in the end to get better, more skillful care.
  • In our experience, getting any test (blood work, MRI, CT, etc) is easy and cheap. Getting the proper diagnosis and/or treatment plan is more difficult. (especially if you’re not interested in Chinese or Mongolian medicine) We’ve had good experience with getting the test here then sending the the results to a doctor we trust in Beijing or at home in the US to make a diagnosis or make a treatment plan.
  • Overuse of antibiotics is a big deal. They pass out IV antibiotics before any tests are run, before it’s known if the condition is even caused by a bacteria in the first place. Here are some articles that address this problem’s causes and solutions for improvement better than I could. My simple advice is don’t take them until you are certain they are necessary.

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/China-faces-great-risk-due-to-overuse-of-antibioti-30207488.html

    http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2103733,00.html

    http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g1083

    http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/06/24/jac.dkt223.abstract

  • My basic advice about getting medical attention in Hohhot is this: Avoid it when possible. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and avoid high-risk behaviors. Next, if you must seek medical care, the system here is adequate for routine tests, minor illnesses, or situations that need to be addressed quickly (the stitches in my daughter’s face, for example). For anything else, my advice is to get to Beijing or another large city.

If you are in the situation where you have an issue that needs to be addressed with a greater standard of care, I highly recommend OASIS INTERNATIONAL HOSPITAL in Beijing.  Oasis opened in 2012 and they were so great to us when we were there in February. They provide an international level of care in an English-speaking environment, for prices lower than Beijing United in most cases. (And much more willing to work with us on prices than BJU ever was). They’re also been great to let us send results and provide consults via the phone and we’re grateful for the care they’ve given us.

I hope you don’t need to use it, but here is their contact information if you do:

OASIS HEALTHCARE
No. 9 Jiuxianqiao Bei Lu
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015 China

北京明德医院有限公司
北京市朝阳区酒仙桥北路9号

Telephone 400 UR OASIS (876 2747)
Office (+86 10) 5985 0361 | Mobile (+86) 138 10700199
24-Hour Emergency Service (+86 10) 5985 0333

looking for a house (apartment) in Hohhot

Our family is considering a move in the coming months. I wrote a lengthy post on finding a house in Hohhot last year. It’s no fun process, and I can’t imagine trying it without Chinese, so my post today is an offer of help.

If anyone else happens to be looking for a new place right now, leave your desired qualities in the comments and as I scour internet ads, get hounded by realtors, and view homes that aren’t right for us, I can pass those along to you.

Please remember, I’m a mom of two small girls first, so I’m not offering to be your realtor, but if I see something that fits what you’re looking for as we search, I’m happy to pass the contact information to you.

Also, I think that in a year’s time since I wrote the linked post above, rental prices have probably risen 5-10%. I don’t have any official statistics, just my guess from what we’ve already seen.

 

View of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Today

Today three things happened simultaneously to result in the photos below.
First, it was the clearest day we’ve had in a long time. (Thanks to the rain, I suppose).
Second, both me and handsome hubs were home with not too many pressing things to do.
And third, the door to the roof of our apartment was unlocked. By “unlocked” I mean that the lock had been previously broken my someone else.

Anyway, here’s what Hohhot looked like today from just east of city center, 27 floors up.

 

Looking northeast:

hohhot northeast 2

You can see Inner Mongolia Museum in the center and Wanda just to the right.
Hohhot northeast

Looking southeast:
hohhot south east

Looking south:

Bolton Plaza under construction on left, International Mongolia Medicine Hospital just to the left of center

 

hohhot south south east

Looking west:
hohhot west 2

Hohhot west

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