Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Archive for November, 2013


A woman named Sun has been charged ¥1,000 for a scalpel which was required for an operation on her hand at Liuzhou Workers’ Hospital, one of the city’s top three hospitals. The woman went to to have surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome on her hand. She paid 5,000 yuan (£500 – $820) for the surgery but […]

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Friday Food 101 – Bitter Hemp

Friday food is an occasional article about one of the more unusual food items to be found in Liuzhou that week. This week, we are getting bitter about hemp. Bitter hemp (苦麻菜) is actually a variety of lettuce, grown mainly in Yunnan province. It grows to around 50cm long. (Those tiles below are 30cm².) The […]

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Being of the British persuasion, Thanksgiving is just not something that ever occupied much of my attention. It always amused me when Chinese acquaintances would wish me a “Happy Thanksgiving”, blissfully unaware that Thanksgiving was largely a sign of a rejection of Britain. But they are cunning, the locals are. They appropriate holidays from the […]

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Starbucks Opens – Again

One week after half opening , but still two months behind schedule, Starbucks finally got its act together, took delivery of fittings, finished building, and officially opened today (Thursday, November 28th).

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Building Bus Stops

A couple of people have asked me about the odd looking constructions being put up around the city centre, particularly around the People’s Square. No. They are not gallows for hanging the ebike riders who charge around at night with no lights on while sending text messages. Or for the drivers who think the sidewalk […]

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Vegetarian or Vegan in China?

Perhaps the food-related question I get asked most is “What’s it like for vegetarians and vegans in China?” The same question came up again recently, so I put this together. Hope it’s useful. For the sake of typing convenience I’m going to conflate ‘vegetarians and vegan’ into just ‘vegetarian’, except where it’s really necessary to […]

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One More Cup of Coffee

Well, that’s it. Liuzhou can now proudly hold its head up in polite society and boast that it has truly joined the 21st 20th century. Yesterday, in a blaze of no publicity, only a week short of two months behind schedule, Starbucks finally opened its hallowed doors in the Dragon City. They have even paid respect […]

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Bridge History

For no particular reason that I can detect, Liuzhou Evening News decided yesterday to run a story on the history of Liujiang Bridge (柳江大桥 – also known as No 1 Bridge). This is the one at the end of Longcheng Road (龙城路) leading over to Yufeng district (鱼峰地区). I did know it was the first road […]

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Guangxi’s Biggest Erection

As of Wednesday (20th November), Liuzhou is officially (if temporarily) the proud possessor of Guangxi’s tallest building. Although, it is nowhere near completion, the Diwang (地王) building on the northern side of Liuzhou People’s Square has reached a height which outstrips the previous record holder (in Nanning). The previous record was 303 metres. The building’s […]

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Following Ho

Years ago, I lived in London and found out that the Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh had lived in the same street way back around the time of the first world war and had worked as a waiter in a London hotel. Just a bit of local lore, and not that interesting, but I filed […]

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