Archive for stuff foreigners like

last week of skiing!

Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Slopes will close on March 7th, so hurry out if you haven’t been yet! More information on the link about how to get there.

I know some families going out tomorrow to take the kids ski tubing one last time.

The good news is, if the ski slopes are closing, it means the golf course will be opening soon!

公告

太伟滑雪场本年度雪季结束,将于2016年3月7日全面封场。

What about you? Will you make it out again? Did you make it out at all?

Papa John’s

The opening of a Papa John’s in Hohhot was news to me. Did you know about it already? Are you excited or indifferent? leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.
The dine-in restaurant is open, but delivery service hasn’t started yet.

Location is the east corner of Zhong Shan Lu and Xilingol Road. (south of the Da Tian hotel, east of Hailiang)
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market finds

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If you’ve been away for the holiday, as you return to your regular shopping routine, you may notice something like this at your local supermarket. Most of our American friends in the US weren’t very excited about a Chinese company buying Smithfield Foods in 2013, but for those of us living on this side, the case above is what that acquisition means to us here in Hohhot: US style bacon and ham readily available at local markets for local prices. The pork is not imported, but is processed by Smithfield and whatever local affiliate they’re partnering with.

Read more about that buy/merger here.

and here.

What do you think? Does the Smithfield label make you more likely to choose this bacon over another? Have you tried any or all of the products yet?

I tagged this in “stuff foreigners like” because of bacon. Am I right?

Free Meat!

A local beef and mutton company has a fantastic promotion going on now: GET FREE MEAT!

The full details are in Chinese below, but the basics are you go to their store on January 30, scan their QR code, take a photo in the store and share it on your moments, and walk out with 2 boxes of mutton (a 118 RMB value).

There are other promotions if you spend 500 or 1000 RMB, or just get your free meat.

Here are the two addresses: (maps are on the link below). Click here if it doesn’t display properly.
呼和浩特市前进巷双树海鲜市场对面,蒙高丽亚牛羊肉专营店

This one is near dong wa yao.

2店地址:呼和浩特市展东路博尔顿广场对面,蒙高丽亚牛羊肉专营店(党校门脸房)

This one is a bit south and east of the exhibition center.
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Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Area

All you need to know about the 2015-2016 Ski Season is right here!

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This could be you!

The slopes at Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Area open on November 28th!

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map of the slopes

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Skiing at Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Area

Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Area is located north of Hohhot on highway S101. See this map:

map to tai wei

the green area near the arrow is the ski and golf resort

 

Here is the price list for the 2015-2016 season:

Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski and Golf Resort Skiing Prices

If the image doesn’t display correctly, use this link: Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski and Golf Resort Skiing Prices

 

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snow sledding

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skiing

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ski lift

 

 

You can follow the public account on wechat for information about skiing at wechat ID: twhxjlb and for information about their other activities at wechat ID: nmgtw_djc.

 

If you need service in English, contact Sanny at 13674814130.

 

Get a group of your friends together and make some cool memories!

 

TO GET THERE:

Shuttle service is provided from Inner Mongolia Exhibition Center to Tai Wei at 9:30 am, 11:30 am, and 3:00 pm.
Shuttle service is provided from Tai Wei to Inner Mongolia Exhibition Center at 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 5:30 pm.

 

Inner Mongolia Exhibition Center is located on the south side of Xinhua Road, east of City Mall (Mo Er Cheng)

 

*photos are property of Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Golf and Skiing Marketing Department, used with permission

 

 

another wechat group

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There are a few wechat groups for foreigners in Hohhot already, however, the largest one is apparently full according to the last few people I’ve sent invitations to. I created another one today, so feel free to join us to ask questions about the city, meet other foreigners, and for those of you who have been here longer, to help the newbies out.

A Tour of Wanda: The Center of Hohhot!

Wanda

Shopping malls dot the map all over China as a symbol of growing cities and more global influence over the culture. It is always a bit funny to wander China and see giant posters of Lebron James, Justin Bieber and George Clooney everywhere next to KFCs and Stradivarius stores. Shopping malls are usually a nice escape for foreigners go back home for a few hours, enjoy a movie in English and familiar food.

A local television commercial calls the Wanda complex in Hohhot the center of the city! with the loud voice reserved for monster truck rallies back home. My wife always rolls her eyes when she hear this because it is far from the geographical center of the city. Despite this I do find myself at Wanda a lot.

The Wanda area of coWandaurse has the Wanda Shopping Mall but also has several large cookie cutter apartment complexes, in classic China fashion, right behind it. There are a few schools in the vicinity as well as some international businesses so there are clusters of foreigners that live in these complexes.

It is where I work, amazingly my wife as well works next door to the complex, a lot of my friends live in the apartments behind Wanda and in general there just seems to be a lot going on all the time. Im not saying Wanda is busier than the areas near other shopping malls such as Victory or City Mall/Mo Er Cheng but when combined with everything else Wanda does give off the air of being the center of the city.

To start the Wanda mall itself is 3 stories with a very large ground plan. It alone dwarfs most shopping malls outside of the largest cities in the United States. There is a supermarket, multi-screen cinema, all of the major fashion outlets including Zara, Pull & Bear and Levis (the only notable exception is H&M, youll have to go to Victory for that), several electronics and phone outlets and an entire floor of Chinese and other Asian themed restaurants. Pizza Hut, McDonalds and KFC each have a two story representation to round out your belly.

Behind the mall is where the fun begins. Its referred to by most people I know from the area as Waking Street although signs call it King Street. Once you exit the back door you will find a never ending stream of places to eat. Your standard dry pot and hot pot places dot everywhere with different degrees of price and quality along with neverending noodle shops and other Asian ethnic cuisine like Korean and Japanese.

Wanda

Inner Mongolia is famous for its BBQ cuisine and it shows at night when the streets behind Wanda come alive with charcoal. While Beijing shuts down by 9:30 Hohhot stays up all night. Everyone chomps down on metal skewers and washes it down with cheap beer. Every third establishment it seems will bring out their grill pits and you can feel free to pull up a cheap plastic chair anywhere you want and order round after round of burnt pork, chicken and mutton sticks as well as mushrooms, tofu and noodles until the sun comes up.

There are more than enough Mahjong parlors, KTV clubs and billiard joints lining the street to wander into to keep things interesting.

Because of the cluster of foreigners as well as being the center of the city Wanda has some of the more famous Western style eateries. Now, I love Chinese food and I love saving money even more so I frequent these places less than some, but we all get a little homesick eventually.

I met my first little group of expat acquaintances when I arrived in Hohhot at Piri Piri, an (as far as I can tell) unlicensed rip off a famous South African based chain, Nandos. It specializes in burgers, wraps, chicken and deep fried Western staples as well as a few vegetarian meals. The service is very good, English friendly, prices just about right (35 RMB for a burger, little more for the french fries, Western prices) and the atmosphere is a cut above the noodle shops I tend to frequent.

Wanda

Next door to Piri Piri is Marc Starry Diner. I am a big fan of Marc Starry and I think the food is delicious. They have pizzas, brugers, pasta dishes, it tends to feel like a more formal experience with large booths and a million fake plants everywhere. It is of course pricier but they actually know how to make spaghetti (hint, dont use brown wheat noodles). Marc Starrey is a place to take a date on a Friday night after work with its calm interior.

The Cheese Factory is not far and I would say this offers the most authentic Western (Im biased towards the United States in this regard) dining experience. The menu is quite large and has steaks, pizzas (you should be seeing a trend by now), cheesecake and other deserts and a large selection of imported beer and wine. The decorations and theme are very authentic to TGI Fridays type places and you can feel yourself disappearing back home if only for an hour or two.

Across from this little strip is a sign that says American Rodeo. It immediately brings to mind memories sloppy buffets on the outskirts of town with one type of meat deep fried in the juices of other meats and enough potatoes for a small nation. When I finally found myself there I was verrrrrrrry dissapointed.

In China, when eating Western food, you will either get Western food or Chinesey Western food. Pizza made with mayonaise, wheat pasta with garlic sauce presented as spaghetti and shoestring thin french fries served in a large bowl for everyone to dip their hands in are examples of the latter.

The American Rodeo is over priced, has very slow service and food is just above edible. I would not advise anyone to try it out.

Farther up the street is one of the most famous places in Hohhot for foreigners, Yummy Box. They have a screen that plays a massive playlist of Western hits round the clock as well as showing Daily Show reruns in a little TV in the corner. The menu is totally Chicago oriented with deep dish pizzas being the star along with deep fried everything you can imagine. A large selection of imported beer, a lot of it for very good prices or Buy One Get One specials, round out the menu.

Yummy Box Hohhot

Many will argue that Yummy Box is the best foreign food place in town. I think Marc Starry has better actual food but Yummy Box transports you the Midwest with ease and Im amazed they havent tried to cater to western sports crowds.

The last place I have to point out is a new micro brew called Small Kidney. It is located a little out of the way, if you exit Wanda from the back and take a right past the all night fruit and vegetable market and hug the fence with the construction you will find a nifty little bar. It is two stories and feels incredibly Western on the inside. It is new to the area but they are lining their shelves with all the imported beer you miss from home.

This article barely scratches the surface and doesnt even mention the loud as hell night club, Milk, located in the front of Wanda. There are merchants selling clothes, shoes, toys, purses, etc. next to greasy food vendors on the sidewalk. About a dozen wine stores will satisfy your tastes with bottles from all over the world. Even pharmacies are across from your favorite hot pot restaurant to fill a prescription for the sore tooth the spicy food gave you.

Places like this are located everywhere and only stand to show how large and diverse even a small city like Hohhot is.

Steven Ayy writes for The Culture Bum Blog and Podcast series. He has lived in China for a year and loves to write about places to go and see in Asia, tips to save money, ESL methods and advice and anything else that comes to his mind.

a rookie mistake

Carrefour on Children's Day

Carrefour on Children’s Day

Just as I know not to travel on/around May 1st and October 1st holidays, I should have known not to try to go to a newly opened supermarket on a public holiday, especially not Children’s Day. It was crazy. I saved half of the things on my list to pick up close to home because I couldn’t handle the crowds. However, at least there were lots of nice “treats” there to console myself for my mistake.

However you’re spending Children’s Day, I hope it’s enjoyable!

Carrefour Xin Hua location opened today!

I should have snapped a pic as we drove by, but I didn’t. It appears that today is truly the opening of the Carrefour on the north side of Xin Hua just east of Dong Ying Nan Lu, diagonal from Mo Er Cheng/Victory Mall.
I was told a few weeks ago that the opening date would be May 29th, however, I was hesitant to post it since we had also been told December 2013, April 2014, July 2014, and so on and so on.
But today there are milk displays, balloon archways, lots of traffic and folks walking out with goods in Carrefour plastic bags. I can only assume that means it did, in fact, open today.
Happy grocery shopping!

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