Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Friday Food 145 – Soy Pickled Chilli Garlic


Friday Food is an occasional article about one of the more unusual food items to be found in Liuzhou that week. This week we’re getting pickled.

I recently came across these.

They are soy pickled garlic cloves with chilli. A speciality of Shandong province in the north-east of China, they are sold in 200 gram bags for ¥5.80. The packaging give it the English name ‘Flavor Garlic’ and in Chinese 风味泡蒜.

Northern and central China’s restaurants often have a bowl of raw garlic cloves on each table for customers to munch on. These are just a variation on that.

They are pungent and very more-ish. Ingredients are just garlic cloves, soy sauce, white pepper and chillies. Not recommended eating before a date! They are powerful.

The garlic can be added to rice, noodles, rice porridge etc or just eaten as they come. The pickling juices also make a great garlicky, salty dip for jiaozi (dumplings) or even sushi.


Liuzhou Axe Murder

Suspect held

Suspect held

A 41-year-old man, named Wei, is in custody after a rampage in Liuzhou’s Machang village in which one person was killed and seven injured.

 Yesterday evening, just after 5 pm, a group of people playing cards on a street corner were apparently randomly attacked by the axe-wielding man. A 60-year-old woman was killed. The seven others, who include a 3 year-old-child, are said to have non-life-threatening injuries.

No motive for the attack has been given, but it has been suggested that the attacker may have rented a room from the woman who died. Police are investigating.


Attack site

Remembering the Past and Building a Peace


Liuzhou museum is holding a temporary exhibition of photographs and calligraphy from around 1944-1945 as part of China’s marking of what they call “The Chinese war of resistance against Japanese aggression and the victory of the world anti-fascist war seventieth anniversary”.

They exhibit, which is on the first floor, covers the evacuation of the city as the Japanese approached, the US Flying Tigers and Liuzhou Old Airport, the destruction of the city and the return of the evacuees.

Despite the uber-nationalist propaganda and the anti-Japanese rhetoric, but mindful of the atrocities Japan did inflict, the exhibition is of interest. Many, but not all, of the pictures are also on my website here. I also seem to have some they don’t have.

Here are a few from the exhibition


Liuzhou Airport 1944. Home to the Flying Tigers

Rolling the runway - Liuzhou Airport

Rolling the runway – Liuzhou Airport

Accommodation for Flying Tigers

Accommodation for Flying Tigers


Refugees fleeing Liuzhou as the Japanese army advance from Guilin

Refugees fleeing Liuzhou as the Japanese army advance from Guilin

Refugees fleeing Liuzhou as the Japanese army advance from Guilin

Refugee camp in Liuzhou

Refugee camp in Liuzhou

Bridges bombed to prevent the Japanese using them

Bridges bombed to prevent the Japanese using them


For once, all images are captioned in both Chinese and English.

Liuzhou 1945

Liuzhou 1945

This exhibition runs until September 13th.

The museum is open from 9.00 to 17:00 every day except Mondays. Last admission 16:00.

Liuzhou Hostage Drama

No other d0c48e3d73bd485f94c2f6713c02cba1

Three people were injured during a five hour stand-off with a man who had taken a woman hostage yesterday in Liuzhou. Two of the three were police officers. The identity of the third has not been reported. The hostage was rescued unharmed.


No other details have yet been given.

Shameful Sushi

Last week I mentioned that I had had probably the best meal ever in Liuzhou. Yesterday evening, I had one of the worst.

I’m partial to a bit of sushi and sashimi from time to time and there is no shortage of places to go. I’d recently spotted a newish one, so thought I’d check it out.


Hejiu Sushi and Teppanyaki (和久|寿司-铁板烧) is at the southern extremity of the city centre pedestrian street. It isn’t so much a room as a corridor along the edge of the building overlooking the pedestrian street. No conveyor belt here. There isn’t room.

I settled down and was quickly handed a menu and a cup of tea. After ploughing through pages of sushi smeared with sweet Kewpie mayonnaise (yuck!), I ordered their medium sushi set and their medium sashimi set. And a serving of ‘goose liver and mango sushi’.

Within minutes, someone arrived with the news that they had run out of one of the fish in the sashimi set and would I mind of they doubled up the amount of one of the other fishes instead – the salmon. How can they run out of one of their specials at 7 pm? Couldn’t they substitute a different third fish? But I said ‘OK’.

The sushi arrived first. Ten pieces of five different types. Salmon, surf clam, shrimp,  Pacific saury and something else. I forget. Served on a plank of wood. The fish was all warm and dried out. I’m sure it had been sitting out for a while before it came to me. The rice was OK. The surf clam was inedible. Shoe leather suddenly seemed attractive.

The sashimi arrived.


Sashimi – One of those two sets of salmon was meant to be something else.

Well, at least it was cold. The salmon was fine if a bit flavourless, but again the surf clam was inedible. Old boot tough.

The goose liver and mango was nearly OK but the mango overpowered the goose and the portion was stingy to say the least.

I gave up and called for my bill. It was twice the price of any other sushi place I’ve been in Liuzhou.

Nogitaro Sushi on the 7th floor of the Bubugao building is a hundred times better and half the price.

To be fair to the staff in Hejiu, they were friendly and efficient (but failed to ask why I hadn’t eaten the clam – typical in China.)

By the time I got home, I was feeling decidedly unwell and spent most of the evening in the smallest room of the apartment.

Decidedly not recommended.

hejiu door

A doorstep never to be darkened again.

Anti-Japanese Traffic

traffic cop

You will be delighted to learn that, on the 15th of July, Liuzhou’s tragically over-worked traffic police have been ordered to get off their collective backsides and do some traffic policing. This will last until December 31st when they can all go for a nice lie down for next year.

The reasons cited for this astonishing change of policy is not, as you might expect, to protect poor pedestrians like me from being mown down, but to ensure safety for the “Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese War and the World Anti-Fascist War commemoration”.

They also throw in the ASEAN/China Expo, ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, and the  International Folk Song Festival, none of which are held in Liuzhou, but in Nanning.

We are told that the targeted major infringements will be drag racing, drunk driving, driving under the influence of unspecified drugs, the use of forged or altered vehicle license plates, deliberately concealing plates,  overcrowding, speeding, driving while fatigued, lane indiscipline, illegal occupation of emergency lanes , and violation of road traffic lights etc.

In other words, what traffic cops all over the world do every day, anti-Japanese war or not.

Liuzhou’s drivers are already looking forward to the new year, when they can do anything they like again.

Chunji Roast Goose

logo2At the beginning of the week I had a banquet with 16 old friends, most of whom I hadn’t seen for around 14 years.  A sort of reunion party. One friend whom I last saw ten years ago came all the way from Australia for the event!

Apart from the great company, it also turned out to be probably the best banquet I have ever had in China (and I’ve a few). The food was stunningly good. Every dish was a winner and we got through eighteen.

As usual it began with some cold dishes.

blackfungus.jpgBlack Fungus

lizardtail.jpgLizard’s Tail Cordata Houttuynia 鱼腥草


Then the serious stuff arrived

goose.jpgRoast Goose

ribs.jpgPork Ribs

soup.jpgMushroom Soup

charsui.jpgChar Siu

maw.jpgStewed Fish Maw

scallops.jpgScallops with Vermicelli

egg.jpgBaked Egg

prawns.jpgButterflied Shrimp

fish.jpgStewed Fish


durian%20rolls.jpgDurian Rolls

danjiao.jpgEgg Wrapped Dumplings 蛋饺

snailsduckfeet.jpgStewed Snails with Ducks’ Feet

There was also a plate of stir fried greens and, of course, rice. The restaurant is called 椿記燒鵝 and can be found opposite the People’ Hospital on 文昌路 on the third floor of this building.

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The full address is 柳州市文昌路3号南亚名邸21栋3楼. Telephone: 0772-3816188, 3816988. Highly recommended.

The company has seven restaurants in Guilin and this is their first venture outside that city. the restaurant is large, but very popular, so booking is advised.


Emergency Barrier

Back at the end of May, I mentioned that the authorities had put down signs to inform idiots drivers that the sidewalk outside the Chinese Traditional Hospital is also an access route for ambulances and it might not be a good idea to park in it.

As I believe I predicted, that didn’t work.

So now they have installed a barrier at one of the two only practicable entry points and have up to three guards at a time posted there to tell morons to urinate in a direction opposite to on.





Now all they have to do is remove all the unlicensed traders in shoddy crap  – and the e-bike donkeys.

Man Proposes to Woman Shock!


It’s all a bit Mills & Boon, but this  has gone global in the last few days so I’d better mention it.

I first read the story back in January when Liuzhou man, Ding Yizhou,  set out with his girlfriend Lai Min to make a trip around China. What was different about this is that Lai Min suffers from  hereditary cerebellar ataxia, a disease characterized by difficulty walking.

So Ding Yizhou modified his girlfriend’s wheelchair and with his motorcycle truck and dog for company they headed off with a tent to make a heart-shaped  trip around China, surviving by Ding doing odd jobs and hair cutting en route.


This week they arrived in Lhasa, Tibet where Ding proposed to Lai Min by the Potala Palace. This has been reported around the world.


Apparently, Lai Min accepted to the delight of the 200 or so spectators.

They now plan to return to Liuzhou to marry and settle


Thirteen Trees

Liuzhou is very much a tree city. Trees are everywhere.

I have a second home in the countryside north of the city, in the middle of a forestry park. Lucky ole me!

But even in the city centre where I am usually to be found, there are trees aplenty.

Now, I am no arboreal expert – I recognise big trees and little trees, but Liuzhou’s kind people often label trees with with their Latin names so I can work out what they are (So all that time in high school learning Latin did come in useful, after all!)

Here are a few trees . Most are from Liuhou Park.

michelia alba

mangifera indicaMango Tree

livistona chinensis
gossampinus malabarica
ginkgo biloba
ficus microcarpa
eucalyptus citrodora
Cinnamomum camphora

cinnamomum burmannii

celtis sinensis

Prunus Persica

Osmanthus Fragrans

Bauhinia blakeana

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