Posts Tagged ‘Nile’

The Sphinx: Didn’t the Egyptians think to Trademark it in China?

China's fake Great Sphinx of Giza, in Hebei province, close to Beijing

China’s fake Great Sphinx of Giza, in Hebei province, close to Beijing

 

China has been investing large sums into Africa to take advantage of the continent’s vast natural resources and build diplomacy. In 2012 alone, China dropped $27.7 billion between Cairo and Capetown and is showing no signs of slowing down. But even with China bringing all sorts of new infrastructure, mobile networks, sports stadiums and more productive farming to the continent, one country that isn’t looking too fondly on the Middle Kingdom is Egypt.

 

Egypt’s tourism industry, which accounts for 40% of the country’s non-commodity exports and is one its main employers, stands to benefit significantly from the rise of Chinese outbound tourism.  With 200 million Chinese expected to travel abroad in 2017, once Egypt settles a little, big-spending Chinese tourists will come flooding in.  So it is in Egypt’s best interests to keep China on side, but a couple of recent incidents by Chinese nationals will certainly be testing their patience.

 

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157 Cities in China with more people than Berlin, 110 with more than Sydney

Most people have heard of Shanghai and Beijing, but I bet there’d be very few Westerners who could name 50% of the 113 cities with more people than San Francisco’s metro area. Every month in China, there is a city the size of Brisbane added to the landscape. On the Yangtze River alone, 18 cities have more people than New Zealand.

 

What’s remarkable, is the number of China’s mega-cities that most people have never heard of.  Consumers in those cities are becoming increasingly wealthy, and their tastes are going to increasingly influence the whole world.  To bring some perspective to the scale of China’s cities, my marketing and research agency, China Skinny, has created a simple tool, The City-Nator, where you can enter your city, or a population over 1 million and see how many Chinese cities have more people.  It’s quite fun, try it out at chinaskinny.com/tools/city-nator.

 

Below is a little infograph to warm up…

The rise of China's cities means are going to influence everyone, everywhere

The rise of China’s cities means are going to influence everyone, everywhere


 
See how your city compares to Chinese cities, try out the City-Nator

Chinese in Greenland – Good News You May Not Have Expected?

I visited Greenland about 10 years ago, and it still ranks among the most fascinating places I have been to. It made quite an impression on me, keeping me curious enough to read the odd article I stumble across about the world’s largest island.   One article that recently caught my attention was that 2,000 Chinese workers would be shipped to the freezing land to build an aluminium smelter.

 

Chinese in Greenland

The Chinese in Greenland. Background by Gerald Zinnecker

 

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Lamb Love in Shanghai

As a youngster in New Zealand, it wasn’t unusual to return home to the sweet aroma of roasting lamb. Over the years, Kiwi cuisine evolved to mouth watering lamb shanks, gourmet lamb burgers, lamb racks, lamb medallions and many other cuts that make your taste buds tingle and tummy twitter.  With almost 10 sheep for every New Zealander, there’s a bit of lamb to go around.

 

Fast forward a few years and 9,735 kilometres across the Pacific, where we found ourselves craving a little lamb love in Shanghai.  While lamb and mutton are the meats of choice for the sparsely populated western China provinces and Inner Mongolia, and is a popular dish in Northern China, finding a nice cut in Shanghai is needle-in-a-haystack kind of stuff.

 

A sheep pulling a cart in China

Various uses for sheep in China. Source: squierj.freeyellow.com

 

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Koh Rong Island, Cambodia: Paradise … for the Time Being

Something I love about travelling in places like Asia, the Nile River and even New Zealand, is discovering those jaw-droppingly-magical places that are still unspoiled from the tentacles of development.  We were lucky to stumble upon another gem, Koh Rong Island, in a recent trip to Cambodia.

 

One of Koh Rong Island's 23 beautiful beaches

One of Koh Rong Island’s 23 beautiful beaches

 

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Chinese Chicken Love

There are an infinite amount of staggering China statistics. One of my favourites is the quantity of meat. Over a billion pigs are in China, more than every other country combined, and 12 million of them are eaten every week. On average, a small Chinese village eats more hog than Egypt’s entire population living along the Nile. But to think that China is just about animals that oink would be unnecessarily underselling that other well-known white meat, the chicken.

 

Chairman Mao KFC China

Who's the Colonel in China?

 

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Winter in Tibet – the best time to visit?

Mention Tibet and most people will picture snowy ranges, icy-bearded mountaineers and hardy locals wrapped in yak hides.  That’s with good reason; generally the higher you go, the colder it gets, and Tibet is high.

 

Tibet isn’t called the Roof of the World for nothing.  The Tibetan Plateau is the highest and largest plateau in the world with an average altitude of 4,500 metres (14,800 feet).  Just 36 countries have a mountain that reaches that height. Yet at that altitude, even in January, much of Tibet is surprisingly pleasant.

 

Winter sun in Tibet

Winter sun in Tibet

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Chinese Year of the Dragon – The Top-6 Reasons to go Shopping

The new moon on 23 January 2012 will welcome in the Year of the Dragon and see another round of the largest human migration on the planet, billions of boiled dumplings, gargantuan fireworks and enough red decorations to plaster the Great Wall of China 87-times over.

 

While doomsayers have been stocking up on tinned asparagus in preparation for the world-ending catastrophe of 2012, the Chinese have been preparing for the biggest of their 12 zodiac years.  The Year of the Dragon is the most auspicious year of the Chinese lunar cycle and the one that is associated with wealth and power.

 

Chinese Year of the Dragon Cartoon

China's having a baby boom in the Year of the Dragon

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China’s One-Child Policy Shaping the Cars of the Future

While most of the world’s major economies splutter along, China’s blistering economic growth has businesses everywhere salivating for a piece of China’s increasingly wealthy middle class.

 

Everyone peddling something from adventures down the Nile River to skin-whitening face cream are redefining their strategies to get a piece of the Chinese pie. Even Porsche chose Shanghai for their world debut of the 4-door family wagon Porsche Panamera – its biggest launch in years.

 

Launch of the Porsche Panamera in Shanghai

Launch of the Porsche Panamera in Shanghai

 

But it seems ads with backdrops of Chinese skylines are for beginners, when you see the lengths the world’s biggest auto manufacturer is going to get their cars on Chinese roads…

 

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Trincomalee – Home to Sri Lanka’s best beaches

Trincomalee on Sri Lanka’s east coast is my new favourite beach.  There are more dramatic bays, and seaside spots serving tastier margaritas, but something about Trincomalee’s beaches hit my sweet spot.

 

What makes it my favourite beach?  It’s raw, rustic and the first cheap, sunny, beautiful place that I’ve been to in a long time where the locals aren’t trying to peddle their wares.  Its people are wonderful, architecture charming, history fascinating and it ticks every box that I love to tick when I’m travelling…

 

Tamil fisherman overlooking Trincomalee Beach

Tamil fisherman overlooking the Indian Ocean at Trincomalee Beach

 

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Datong, China: Diamond in the Coal

Suggest a weekend of travelling to Datong and almost every Chinese man will screw up his face. Ye Dirty Olde Coal Town is officially China’s 4th most polluted city and is just down the road from the world’s most polluted, Linfen 7VFQXJHKFEKP. But with a history spanning 22 centuries, including two as the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty, there is much more to Shanxi Province’s City of Coal than soot-swathed buildings. There’s a 1,500 year-old temple that hangs from a cliff face, China’s oldest and tallest wooden structure and caves chock-full of tens of thousands of ancient Buddha statues – some rivalling even those on the banks of the River Nile for scale and awe.

 

Datong sprawls across a coal-rich basin surrounded on three sides by golden-coloured mountains. The settlement was founded around 200BC and grew as a thriving pit stop for camel caravans transporting their wares north to Mongolia. At its peak as the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty from 366-494, Datong saw many labourers construct some of China’s most magnificent sites.

 

Xuan Kong Si Hanging Temple, Datong, Shanxi Province, China

The gravity-defying Xuan Kong Si Temple 'hanging' from a cliff 17-stories up

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64 years of Hard Labour to Marry Your Traditional Chinese Bride

If you were born in China post the 1979 One-Child-Policy, you’d better hope you’re a karaoke crooner or have a lot of cash.  Getting a wife in China is becoming increasingly difficult.

 

If you’re one of those boys who does find your Chinese bride and grows old with her talking about sunsets on the Nile River, you’re one of the lucky ones.  Tens of millions will be without.  Yep, for every 100 boys born in China these days, there’re only 81 Chinese girls to woo.  And with those ratios, it just pushes the stakes up.

 

One of the lucky ones - A handsome Chinese groom in pink with his lovely bride prior to their traditional Chinese marriage in Shanghai

Not so traditional Chinese marriage outfits worn by a lucky groom and his Chinese bride

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Who Wants to be a Billionaire in China? Early Death and Lack of Sex

Their mansion cellars are chock-full of the finest burgundies. Their gift cupboards, packed with luxury European goods. As they play real-life monopoly with central London property, their offspring purr around the cities in orange Lamborghinis. In this land of China, where the authorities have traditionally strived for a classless society with common property ownership, the number of US$ billionaires are growing like Jack’s beanstalk.

 

Billionaires in Beijing, China with their toys

Chinese Billionaire’s toys : the Lamborghini and Rolls in Beijing

 

As much of the world suffers through their financial crises, China’s rampant economic growth continues to pump out billionaires. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of Chinese billionaires grew 45% from 130 to 189, from 2010 to 2011, 43% to 271.  China’s tally is now second only to the United State’s 413 mega-wealthy.

 

But China’s actual Billionaire count could be more than double the official figures. Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher from Hurun Rich List 2011, estimates there are a further 300 ‘hidden billionaires’ lurking amongst China’s financial underworld.
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Rugby in China: The Chinese team will be playing in the 2019 Rugby World Cup

In less than 20 days, New Zealand will be overrun with striped jerseys and empty beer vessels as the rugby world converges for the third largest sporting event on the planet, the Rugby World Cup

 

20 nations will be competing for rugby supremacy in the Nile River of rugby tournaments.  Yet in China, the world’s most populous nation, the dedicated following of the rugby will be limited to a few smoky expat bars and a handful of committed Chinese rugby heads (most of whom will be supporting the All Blacks)

 

Chinese rugby fans of the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup. Click here if you’re in China where You Tube Videos are blocked 中国橄榄球的人

 

Rugby: Banned by the Chinese Government

Rugby was once like a Class A drug in China, the bad boy of sports that was banned by the PRC National Sports Council who deemed “the meeting of sullied bodies in physical contact cannot be approved”.

 

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Yangtze vs Nile – Which river runs supreme?

I’ve lived beside four rivers in my life.  As a youngster, Wellington’s mighty Hutt River was my favourite spot for sitting in inner tubes and doing ‘bombs’ into.  Then there was Dublin’s River Liffey, the resting place of more pint glasses than any other river in the world.   Preparing for our paddle down the Blue Nile, I lived in Khartoum, Sudan where the Blue Nile and White Nile meet.  It was there I caught the bug for the world’s longest river.

 

Since moving to Shanghai on banks of the Yangtze River Delta, my fascination with rivers hasn’t tempered and I’ve become curious about how two of the world’s greatest rivers compare.

 

Yangtze River Compared to the Nile River

China’s enchanting Yangtze River and Africa’s magical Nile River

 

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My wife Ellen and I are currently living in China, bumbling our way around this fascinating and fast-changing country. We kicked off our stay with a semester of Intensive Mandarin studies at Beijing Language and Culture University and are now living in Shanghai. These posts cover some of my experiences, views and curious facts in and around the Middle Kingdom. Please let me know what you think!


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  • User AvatarMark Tanner { Thanks Catherine, a little hot for lamb right now, but when things cool down I will be trotting down to Fields for some of their... } – Jul 12, 6:12 AM
  • User AvatarCatherine { You can buy Lamb at Fields online store, I have yet to try but I have heard the general quality at this store is excellent. } – Jul 12, 4:15 AM
  • User AvatarMark Tanner { Hi Reina, Treetop's email address is treetopselnido@yahoo.com, the owner's name is Dave. } – Jun 05, 3:09 AM
  • User AvatarBeatrice { Hello Mark, Thank you to both of you! We really wish to meet you and your wife again somewhere else in the world. Take care,... } – Jun 04, 5:46 PM
  • User AvatarReina { Hey Mark, I read through your blog, as I am preparing for a trip to Palawan paradise myself. I have been trying to get in... } – Jun 04, 1:29 PM
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