Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Barrier! Do Not Cross! Go Round!

This has been amusing me for a few weeks. One of the few places in Liuzhou you can get respite from the hideous silent killer e-bikes, or e-donkeys as the popular Chinese name means (something of a misnomer, I feel. The donkeys are usually the idiots who ride them) is the pedestrian street in the centre of town.

This, as you may know, is bisected by 公园路 which does carry motorised traffic. In order to prevent the hard of thinking ride their dumb bikes through the pedestrian area, the local authorities have installed these barriers which allow pedestrian access but challenge the intelligence of the donkeys..


Unfortunately, despite the wisdom displayed by the utilisation of these cunning devices, they would probably be more effective if they hadn’t left unfettered access right next to them.


Full marks for utter stupidity.

Fill ‘Er Up


These electric car recharging outlets are popping up across the city. Those pictured here are in the car park of Liuzhou museum.

China is strongly committed to electric vehicle development with the government actively supporting moves away from dependency on fossil fuels and the associated pollution. Both Chinese and foreign car manufacturers are developing vehicles for the Chinese market.


That said, when I visited,not one of the vehicles parked in the museum, including those blocking access to the rechargers, were electric. Indeed, I have have seen very few in Liuzhou, but that may change. One day it will have to.


I am slightly amused to see that the recharging units are designed to resemble filling station pumps.

Song of the Sirens


Japanese troops entering Tsitsihar, Northern China, September 18th, 1931

Those in Liuzhou this morning, Sunday 18th September, may have wondered what the wailing sirens were about. No, we aren’t under immediate threat.

The sirens wail to commemorate the Japanese invasion of China which started on September 18th 1931. They don’t do this every year, but only on significant anniversaries such as those ending in zero or five. Today is the 85th anniversary.

Everest Exhibition

Stuck for something to do over the weekend? like photography, mountains or climbing?


Liuzhou Museum us holding yet another of its free temporary exhibitions. This time it is a record of China’s 60 years of attempts to conquer what they know as 珠穆朗玛峰, but you possibly know as Mount Everest, which lies on the Tibetan -Nepalese border (the Chinese name is a phonetic representation of the Tibetan name, ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ .) Among the many climbers to attempt the ascent, a few have been from here in Liuzhou.


The exhibition has some stunning photography from the Himalayas including mountain scenery, and wildlife shots, but also there is also a load of equipment as used on the various exhibitions.


The exhibition on the first (ground floor) of the building and is open all weekend from 9 until 5 pm (last admission 4 pm) and is free. A book of the photos is also available for ¥198.

Cheese Tea?

The hopeless, so-called “Italian Pizza” place which had no Italian pizzas, as I mentioned in July, lasted even less long than the average Italian government.  It has gone – unmourned – after just two months.

In its place, has arisen a branch of the chain of “royaltea” shops which seem to be all the rage. (I hope the pun was deliberate but I expect not.)


They seem more confused than the non-Italians. They are suffering from the delusion that cheese is a drink. Alongside their offerings of milk tea and lemon tea, they will also sell you a variety of drinks from sections of their menu entitled “Royal Tea Cheese”, “Cheese Tea” and for the non-tea drinkers (tea-totallers?), “Cheese Drink”.

I haven’t sampled these wonders and probably never will, but they seem to be tea, something they imagine to be cheese and matcha powder (more tea).


There is also a clone called “Royal Style” in the basement of Bubugao (near the supermarket entrance) selling the same thing.

Whatever next?

If The Old Doesn’t Go

There is a Chinese idiom 旧的不去,新的不来 which can be translated as “If the old doesn’t go, the new can’t come.”


Zheng Junkang

Yesterday, Liuzhou announced the results of its elections for the new city leaders. Chances are you didn’t know there was an election. Few people ever do. The party just vote for themselves. The People’s Republic doesn’t let the People choose!

Surprise of the day was the news that we have a “new” Party Secretary taking his place the top of the tree.  The new secretary is Zheng Junkang (鄭俊康) who replaces Zheng Junkang (鄭俊康) who was first elected Party Secretary in February 2013 after six years as city mayor. No, I haven’t made a mistake. They are the same man. Nothing has changed. But we are being told he is “new”.

Other announcements list the names and responsibilities of those appointed to various committee, while adding notes as to which gender and ethnic minority they belong to – unless of course they are male or Han or both. The party secretary and deputy are, of course, Han males. They always are.

If you are really interested,here is a list in Chinese. I can’t be bothered to translate it. It
won’t make a bit of difference to anything. Yesterday Once More.

中共柳州市委书记 – 郑俊康

中共柳州市委副书记 –  吴炜 刘友谊


郑俊康 吴炜 刘友谊 徐斌 杨义 焦耀光 陈鸿宁 钟山(壮族) 黄丽娟(女)
向军(壮族) 袁东升(土家族)




副书记:覃应霜(壮族) 韦冠武(壮族) 苏学常(壮族)


钟山(壮族) 覃应霜(壮族) 韦冠武(壮族) 苏学常(壮族) 梁东强 罗庆
锋(壮族) 覃莉(女,回族) 覃家茂 戚纯(壮族)



Random Photograph No. 90 – Blue Sky

Random Picture No. 90 is one in a series of pictures, taken in Liuzhou, which amuse, baffle or otherwise interest me.

Liuzhou - San Zhong Road - Saturday 20th August 2016 - 13:22

Liuzhou – San Zhong Road – Saturday 20th August 2016 – 13:22

Crayfish Warning


Nanning Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning regarding crayfish aka crawfish, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters or mudbugs. Whatever you call them, you may want to take heed.

They have said that there is a possibility that “eating [crayfish] may lead to rhabdomyolysis”, a muscle disease which, in extreme cases,  can lead to liver failure. This follows cases reported in Nanjing and Beijing, which the relevant authorities are claiming to be Haff disease, a development of rhabdomyolysis.  The connection between Haff disease and crayfish remains unproven. No cases have been reported in Guangxi.

Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include muscular pain and darkened urine. The symptoms may not appear for between 12 to 24 hours after consuming crayfish. They advise that anyone suffering such symptoms be immediately “rushed to hospital”.

In the meantime, they advise against eating the heads (which some consider the best part) and internal organs. It is believed that the crustaceans are infested with heavy metals, pesticide residues, antibiotic residues, hormones, parasites, etc.l

Crayfish (小龙虾)  have become very popular in China in recent years, usually in a spicy “má là” sauce. This is basically Sichuan pepper and chilli. Look out for 麻辣小龙虾. Alternatively, they are sometimes served simply boiled.


4th Liuzhou Arts And Crafts Masters’ Exhibition

Stuck for something to do over the weekend?

Liuzhou museum is hosting the 4th annual arts and crafts masters’ exhibition until Sunday. And an odd affair it is, too.

“Arts and crafts” covers a wide spectrum and this is reflected in the exhibits. Everything from ethnic minority dresses and jewellery, through paintings, lampshades, wooden models and er, a motorcycle. And much more. Well worth a look though.







The exhibition is in the temporary exhibits gallery on the first (ground) floor and entry is free.

The museum, on the People’s Square,  is open from 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4 pm).

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