城市漫步 珠三角英 文版 12 月份
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that’s PRD 《城市漫步》珠江三角洲 英文月刊
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Editor-in-Chief Matthew Bossons 马特 Guangzhou Editor Ryan Gandolfo 甘德发 Shenzhen Editor Phoebe Kut 吉蓁蓁 Senior Staff Writer Tristin Zhang 张岳烽 National Arts Editor Bryan Grogan Contributors Gary Bailer, Ned Kelly, Mia Li, Herlina Liu, Barnaby Lofton, Naomi Lounsbury, Cristina Ng, Valerie Osipov, Jesse Pottinger, Dominique Wong
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Distribution across the Pearl River Delta: 63,000 copies
And another one bites the dust: 2019 is just about over and we’ll soon be welcoming a new year on the Gregorian calendar. Prep those resolutions, folks!
In short, 2019 was a hell of year for me, personally; there were lots of grand adventures, new friends and
colleagues and some difficult goodbyes (here’s looking at you, Byron). At That’s, we had some great cover stories
and long-form features over the past 12 months, as well as some fantastic news, sports, lifestyle and arts coverage. On pages 34-43, we recap the year that was – the highs, the lows and the downright absurd.
Elsewhere in this issue, we provide an introduction to legendary writer Paul French’s newest project – a multi-
episode podcast titled Murders of Old China (page 12). We also have a rad Christmas gift guide (page 20) and an informative Harbin travel guide (page 22) in our Lifestyle section, both of which are worth checking out. I’d like to wrap this up by thanking everyone that attended our 2019 That’s Food & Drink Awards in
Guangzhou last month, it was an absolute riot and I think I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say
that we’re already looking forward to next year’s event. For those of you in Shenzhen: The 2019 edition of the
prestigious awards ceremony will be rolling into town this month, so be sure to snag your tickets quick – before they’re all gone.
Until next month,
Matthew Bossons Editor-in-Chief
Hourly updates on news, current affairs and general weirdness from around the PRD and China.
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34 COVER STORY
2019 CHINA YEAR IN REVIEW
9 HEAD OF THE PACK
The good, the bad and the ugly.
China’s unicorns dominating the world.
12 MURDERS OF OLD CHINA Author Paul French gives us 12 gruesome crimes in very different times.
20 TIS THE SEASON
16 LIFE & STYLE
Festive gifts for the holidays.
22 EXPLORE HARBIN
China’s northern frosty city.
Caspian China Tour 2019
29 SINO CELEB Meet China’s kung fu genius and actor.
33 MUSIC CORNER
Three homegrown albums this month.
44 EAT & DRINK 46 WE TRY IT
ALL MONTH Bird Watching Festival MO
Baozza: A cheesy pizza snack with Chinese characteristics.
48 THE GOLDEN FORKS
Introducing the Greater Bay Area’s first dining guide. 6 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
ALL MONTH Macao Light Festival
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Murders of Old China, p12
Lippi Loss P10
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TALES OF THE CITY
HEAD OF THE PACK
China the World Leader for Unicorn Startups By Ryan Gandolfo
hina is home to the most unicorn startups in the world, beating the US with a total of 206. That’s three more than their Western counterpart, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2019. For those who don’t follow the venture capital industry or have yet to watch HBO comedy series Silicon Valley, here’s the definition of ‘unicorn’ courtesy of Investopedia: “A unicorn is a term used in the venture capital industry to describe a privately held startup company with a value of over USD1 billion.” Last month, the Hurun Research Institute released the first edition of its Hurun Global Unicorn List, which included 494 startups based in 24 countries and 118 cities. This elite group of startups is “leading a new generation of disruptive technology,” according to Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf. The top three unicorns are in China, with Hangzhou-based Ant Financial in a league of its own with a valuation of USD150 billion. As an affiliate company of the Alibaba group, which just concluded another record-
breaking Singles’ Day, Ant Financial’s main business is online payment app Alipay, which serves more than 1.2 billion users around the world. Beijing-based companies ByteDance and Didi Chuxing round out the top three, with valuations of USD75 billion and USD55 billion, respectively. Bytedance is perhaps most famous for its viral video-sharing app TikTok (known as Douyin on the Chinese mainland), which launched in September 2016. Aside from TikTok, ByteDance also owns Jinri Toutiao, an AI-powered news aggregation app that has taken measures to “sanitize content” as a result of mounting pressure from China’s cyberspace administration, according to Tech in Asia. Didi Chuxing, the Chinese company that effectively held off Uber and now dominates China’s car-hailing industry, bought Uber’s business in the PRC in 2016. The company has demonstrated a concerted effort to making their service safer for passengers and drivers after multiple murders involving Didi drivers and passengers were reported last
year. Other notable unicorns that made the top 10 include US-based companies SpaceX, Airbnb, JUUL Labs and WeWork. Aside from claiming the top unicorns, China also has two of the biggest unicorn investors in Tencent and Alibaba. Both Chinese firms are ranked in the top 10, with Tencent at No. 2 and Alibaba at No. 7. These two companies have invested in a combined 68 unicorns. The top industries for unicorns include e-commerce, fintech, cloud and AI, which account for 42% of all privately owned billion-dollar startups and 43% of unicorns’ total value. China’s e-commerce industry is robust, with 33 unicorns based in the Middle Kingdom. The Hurun Research Institute is also known for their annual rich list, which ranks China’s wealthiest individuals by their estimated net worth. This year, Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive year.
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THE BUZZ RANDOM NUMBER
DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?
‘Marcello Lippi’ The Italian football coach resigned from the position of the Chinese national team head coach (for the second time this year) six months after taking the job on again. The Lippi-China experiment appears to be done for good after the Chinese side were beaten 2-1 by Syria in a Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier. He threw serious shade at the players on his way out, saying: “For any team, players should give their all once they are on the pitch and execute what the head coach had planned for.” Zaijian, Lippi.
…is how many seconds it took for Alibaba to hit RMB10 billion in sales during Singles’ Day last month. In another record-shattering year, the e-commerce giant concluded what is arguably the world’s biggest online shopping event with RMB268.4 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV). Unfortunately for some online shoppers, they’ll have to wait longer for their orders after a truck containing over 7,000 Singles’ Day express packages burned to a crisp en route to delivery.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“Without us to begin with you would still wear rice heads” So said one long-term China expat, Mark Kolars, whose racist comments on LinkedIn went viral on the Chinese internet last month. Aside from his ‘rice heads’ reference (What is a ‘rice head’ and how do you wear it? We have no idea…), the Austrian claimed that China will never reach the benchmark of Europe as a result of “inbreeding for too long.” Kolars, who was working at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing at the time, was kicked out of China, and we cannot imagine he will be invited back anytime soon. 10 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
E D I T E D B Y M A T T H E W B O S S O N S / C I T Y @ U R B A N A T O M Y. C O M
qiushengyu / qiu shèngyú / 求生欲 noun. the willingness to come up with torturous and innovative ways to please one’s significant other, friends or family members I’m off to my job interview.
But I already used up all my luck the day I met you.
Aw! You’ll nail the interview with such a strong qiushengyu.
e all know that the best way to make someone prove his or her love for you is to torture them. A wife makes her husband spend six hours in a mall on a Saturday so she knows how much he loves her. A boyfriend travels to the other side of the city to get the kind of bubble tea his girlfriend likes to please her. You prove your love for your mother by buying six feetwashing machines and returning five of them. Besides doing things, we also say things to please our loved ones. Any good boyfriend knows to tell his girlfriend that she is the prettiest girl at a party. You won’t hesitate to tell your father he looks the youngest at his high school reunion. We endure mild torture and tell boldfaced lies in broad daylight to please our loved ones because we won’t be able to live without them and can’t bear to lose them. Literally meaning “the will to survive,” qiushengyu is the willingness, and often ability, to please those important people in our lives by whatever means possible.
Your qiushengyu can be tested in many ways. Sometimes it’s in the form of a tricky question like: “Who would you save first if your mother and I both fall into a river?” (Hint: The right answer is “you,” regardless of who you are speaking to, and you must answer in no more than two seconds.) Sometimes it’s compliment-fishing comments like, “I wonder if last year’s dress will still fit me…” (Correct answer: “You are beautiful no matter what!”) Sometimes it’s straight up torture, like making you sit through a four-hourlong French film. Those who are very good at pleasing their loved ones are said to have a strong qiushengyu. They know exactly what to say when presented with tricky questions and can answer in a timely fashion. Those who have weak qiushengyu often don’t know the right answer or are unable to say it at the right time. But don’t worry, once you’ve endured enough of this sweet torture by the significant people in your life, your qiushengyu will only get stronger! Mia Li
China’s 5G phone owners are now able to put their devices to work, but prices for data packages are shockingly high. What do you think about 5G technology in China? XIONG, 40
“Of course, I value new technology such as 5G very much, but still it’s nothing but a tool. It may bring us closer and may separate us more, that’s the point – it’s always up to the human being, the user. In my opinion, 5G is supposed to make communication more open and more effective, bringing greater diversification, tolerance and appreciation, not only between people, but also between nations. Anyway, my hope is that with the new technology, we’ll have more opportunities to learn how to respect others.”
“I think 5G will be more popular in the future. Just like when 3G was updated to 4G, 5G should become very common in the future, but it is not very popular yet. It is only in trial operation in some areas, and it is much more expensive than ordinary 4G. I will not use it now; I will wait for when 5G is standardized and more accessible – then I will use it. I hope that the cost of 5G will not be too expensive in the future.”
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MURDERS CIT Y | F E AT URE
OF OLD CHINA An Audible Original from Paul French
t’s way past Midnight in Peking and Shanghai is a City of Devils. The Middle Kingdom has seen its fair share of trouble. In the first half of the 20th century foreigners bludgeoned, shot, stabbed, strangled, poisoned and hatcheted their way through China. A new Audible Original from Paul French (available exclusively through Audible online) contains 12 cases of murder, revenge killings and crimes of passion, in places ranging from the sedate American tennis club of Tianjin to a remote island bay off Hong Kong, the Tibetan borderlands and the Shanghai Badlands. Justice was slanted, rapid and, often, rigged. All of these cases uncover new evidence overlooked, ignored or simply unknown at the time – murderers who got away with it are identified and long-hidden corruption and lies revealed. You could kill and get away with it in 20th century China for
An American Murderer in Tibet In May 1907, while passing through a village in China’s Yunnan province near the Tibetan frontier, the well-known and wealthy American adventurer Henry N. Demenil killed a Tibetan Buddhist lama by shooting him in the eye. The Demenil case came before the American Court in Shanghai in December 1907 – the firstever case of an American accused of killing a Chinese subject. But the trial was highly suspect – the judge dispensed with a jury, witnesses were unreliable, evidence was doctored and Demenil’s claim that he had shot to scare the lama away looked untenable when it seems he fired at point blank range into the man’s eye socket. It was a case that tested the limits of foreign justice in China and enraged Chinese seeking equality before the law.
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myriad reasons; the racism of the times, combined with the chaos and political turmoil surrounding the fall of the Qing Dynasty, warlordism, rampant espionage, the Japanese invasion and civil war. Extraordinary times meant extraordinary crimes – rough justice at best, no justice often. Specially commissioned by Audible, Murders of Old China, written and narrated by Paul French, is a way to understand China’s last century through its crimes, criminals and murder victims. Thanks to Big Data, digitization and document releases in Europe, North America, Russia and China, we can investigate many crimes of old China, sleuthing by hindsight, to know more now than the cops, judges or journalists knew at the time. Here, French gives us a introduction to 12 gruesome crimes in very different times…
The Death of a Rickshaw Man In 1908, Briton Thomas Stevenson became one of the first white men to stand trial in Shanghai for the murder of a Chinese rickshaw puller. It was a full jury trial, and, if convicted, Stevenson faced the hangman. After a long night drinking, Stevenson hailed a rickshaw heading into Hongkou. He claimed the rickshaw puller attempted to rob him and that, while fighting, they both fell into a creek. Stevenson claimed he killed the Chinese man in self-defence. Local residents and even the police thought differently. What did happen on the banks of the creek at dawn that August day in 1908? Why did the men fight? How did one of them end up dead?
Trafficked to Her Death In September 1907, a Russian woman was found strangled near what is now Shanghai’s Lu Xun Park, but was then a notorious red light district. The detectives of Shanghai’s Hongkou Police Station knew her to be a sex worker and a trafficked woman. The prime suspects were an Indian man – a known local pimp – and, Meena, the woman’s closest friend. But both the man and woman had an alibi. When the case came to court, it was about who killed the Russian woman. But other questions also had to be answered – what was the murdered woman’s real name? Where did she come from? And how did she come to be a sex worker in Shanghai?
F E AT URE | CIT Y
The Indiscreet Putnam Weale Bertram Simpson (aka the scurrilous journalist BL Putnam Weale) was hatcheted and shot to death in Tianjin in 1930. There were many who would have liked to kill him – he was an irritant, a thorn in the side of many officials in China, both Chinese and foreign. He was a muckraking journalist who mocked the Chinese government, British diplomats and warlords alike, making numerous enemies. He could never resist an intrigue and involved himself in the dark machinations of warlord politics. But was his assassination revenge for some prior slights given? For his satirical writing? Or was it due to his role in the murky world of Chinese warlord politics?
A Strange Shooting in Tai-O In 1918, at a remote police station on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, a cold-blooded killing by a police constable left a baby without a father and a young mother widowed. Both men worked in Hong Kong’s remotest police station keeping watch for pirates. A Sikh policeman was accused of the murder. At the time, accusations of lunacy and racial character stereotyping flew about. Later investigations tended to focus on institutional racism in the Hong Kong Police Force. But now, sleuthing by hindsight and looking at more documents and sources, we can perhaps see deeper causes behind the horrible killing that were overlooked at the time.
A Deadly Dinner in Shanghai’s Gangster Mansion In the early 1930s, the French Concession police, perhaps unwisely, tried to wrestle back control of Frenchtown from the legendary gangster Du Yuesheng. They thought he had conceded defeat when he invited the leading cops and politicians of the district to a banquet at his mansion. On February 11, 1932, the five men sat down to dinner with Big Eared Du. Within a few days, four of the men present were dead. Accidental food poisoning, Du claimed, but others thought it a determined, and very public attempt to wipe out of all the remaining opposition to his complete control of Shanghai.
Murder in Inner Mongolia
Slain by his Best Friend
Welshman Gareth Jones was a fearless journalist, having exposed the crimes of Stalin, the Nazis and the Japanese militarists. In 1935, Jones headed to remote Inner Mongolia, where he was kidnapped and eventually murdered in cold blood. His murder could be as simple as bad luck and some opportunistic but deadly Chinese bandits. But perhaps it is a hidden tale of intrigue, espionage and double-dealing. Did they kill Jones on the orders of the Nazis in Berlin, the Soviet secret police in Moscow, or senior Japanese army officers in Tokyo?
In June 1932, 25-year-old American Rodney Heim was found shot dead by the side of the road in the then remote Shanghai district of Hongqiao. The Shanghai Police immediately sought Heim’s closest friend in Shanghai, New Yorker John Hansen. But Hanson took his own life before the cops could question him. What, or who, drove one man to cold-bloodedly murder another, a victim who also happened to be his closest friend in Shanghai? WWW.THATSMAGS.COM | DECEMBER 2019 | GZ | 13
CIT Y | F E AT URE
The Good Doctor Colbert – Wife Poisoner? Dr. John Colbert was a well-liked medical professional from Albuquerque living in Tianjin with his much younger – and fourth – wife. He was a WWI veteran and ran an orphanage for poor Chinese kids, but in 1935 he was put on trial for the attempted murder of his wife. Was Colbert a wife murderer? Some doctors gave evidence that he was poisoning his wife, but he maintained these were simply medicines to combat exhaustion in the Chinese heat. Questions surfaced about his former wives and, perhaps, the woman he planned to make wife number five. Just who was John Colbert? Good doctor or wife poisoner?
Who Killed the Baron of Frenchtown? Baron Reginald d’Auxion de Ruffe was a Paris-born aristocrat who lived in an elegant villa in the heart of Shanghai’s French Concession. On a June morning in 1941, as he climbed the stairs to his office on Jingling Lu, two Chinese men shot him three times in the back and then fled. There were wild rumours about the Baron and his many enemies: that his execution could have been arranged by a high-ranking Frenchman with whom he had had a business dispute; that his assassination was linked to his fascist politics or his racy private life. So, who did order the killing of the Baron – a business rival, a political rival or a jealous lover?
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The Sikh They Couldn’t Hang There was no doubt about who killed the Sikh Shanghai policeman Bawa Singh – he was found hacked to death with a chopper by his fellow policeman (but no relation) Atma Singh in a police station bathroom. Atma was sentenced to hang for murder and sent to the city’s Ward Road Jail in Tilanqiao, known as the ‘Shanghai Bastille.’ Atma had the noose around his neck and dropped through the trapdoor to the end of the rope… which then snapped! He woke up some time later in the prison hospital. What had happened? A genuine error by two very experienced hangmen? A sympathetic Sikh prison warder weakening the rope? Had the rope been cut? Was it divine intervention? And what now to do with Atma Singh – hang him again?
The Death of A Shanghai Gold Dealer The war was over; Shanghai liberated, the Japanese defeated. But around Shanghai the Chinese Civil War was raging and the city full of American army GIs and the remnants of the gangsters that had infested the city before the war. It was 1947, but the Badlands of Shanghai still had a few more years to run. What became known in 1947 as ‘The Gold Bar Murder Case’ was indicative of the times. It seemed obvious that two men – one British, one American – murdered a Chinese gold dealer out in the western suburbs. But in court, each man accused the other of the killing. Meanwhile the gold itself had not been recovered. Who was the murderer? And what happened to the victim’s Shanghai gold?
CI T Y | P HO T O E S S AY
Explore China: Harbin
Discover the Frosty Capital City of Chinaâ€™s Heilongjiang Province, p22
Foldable Sauna P18 16 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
Holiday Gifts P20
Co-Founder and Principal at Laguarda.Low By Phoebe Kut
Despite the advent of the ‘Age of E-Commerce,’ physical commercial and retail developments in China continue to thrive. With projects from Guangzhou to Dalian and everywhere in between, Laguarda.Low is an international architecture firm that is no stranger to rapid development in China. We sat down with John Low, co-founder and principal at Laguarda.Low, to chat about some of his major projects in Shenzhen and the cultural differences of working in the East versus the West. Can you tell us how the firm initially entered the Chinese market? Prior to making the move to China, I was working in Japan for over 10 years. Japan will be one of the first countries to go through a demographic shift; there’s a larger elderly population, so there will be a limit to growth. Around the 2000s, China was starting to pick up. Naturally, it was a good move, so that was sort of the impetus. In the last 10 years, close to 70% of our projects are in China, but we still stay global with projects in Brazil, Japan and Europe.
What was Shenzhen like 20 years ago? Back then, obviously, it wasn’t as developed; Nanshan was filled with a lot of old residential buildings. Shenzhen as a city has grown a lot; it’s probably one of the fastest-growing cities. We were really fortunate that Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) hired us for OCT Harbour. The project first started as a competition; OCT had previously worked with other foreign international firms and in the end it was down to us and another Spanish firm competing for the job. We won and, as they say, the rest is history. Which project in China has been your favorite so far?
That’s kind of like asking a parent who is your favorite son or daughter. But, I would say the one with the most social impact is OCT Harbour. That was a project where I was the principal, and I worked on it for well over five years, from beginning until completion. How long does a project usually take from start to finish?
It depends on the scale. For example, OCT Harbour was a fairly significant project. The lake itself was man-made and had to be excavated, and it’s over six meters deep. I remember when I visited the site seeing all the workers scattered across it like ants – it was a huge undertaking.
There is more room for innovation in China. Developers are much more open-minded, experimental and aggressive compared to developers in the US, Europe or Japan. Projects in the West have much less margin for error; as the market is very fixed, developers cannot afford to take as much risk. Additionally, people in China are very innovative – when presented with a problem they always try to find a solution. Whereas in the West, we will be told something is too difficult and cannot be completed. Could you touch upon some exciting projects that are in the works right now?
Our next biggest project is Hongshan 6979, which is a major transport-oriented development (TOD), meaning it is built next to a major metro system. Hongshan 6979 in itself is a little city, so it is quite exciting. It’s a new neighborhood and over 300,000 square meters, a huge project. It will open in December of this year. The other major project is the Bao’an waterfront project, perhaps opening next year or the year after. With these largescale projects, we’d like to think we’re positively contributing to the daily lives of people. To visit the Laguarda.Low website scan the QR code
Your firm has various international projects; what is something interesting or different about the ones in China?
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STYLE RADAR HOT ON TAOBAO
TAP THAT APP
Everyone deserves a spa day. Fortunately for folks with less kuai to spend on spa packages at the ritzy hotels around town, they can ‘spa’ it up at home with this foldable sauna. This in-home sweat box is your one-stop shop for decompressing after an exhausting day or expelling toxins after a long night of boozing. And best of all, it’s easy to fold up so you don’t have to sacrifice much space in that humble abode of yours. Although the product appears to be geared towards women, technically anyone can sweat it out in this single-person sauna (if you can fit, of course). The foldable sauna also has a two-person model, but instead of two people hopping in, one person can only insert their legs into the hot box. Think it looks ridiculous? Yes, we agree, but over 40,000 of these home saunas have been purchased in the last month alone (and that’s just from one of many similar product listings). One aspect of this goofylooking sauna that seems to have a leg up on the competition is the hand zipper – letting you sweat and text at the same time. So, if you’re thinking of what to get your partner or friend for the holidays, nothing says ‘I value you as a person’ like giving them a sauna – so we’ve been told.
We all have a friend who has lived in China for years but whose Chinese level maxes out at ‘bu yao.’ They sign up for lessons, but then back out due to a heavy workload. Or receive tutoring from a native speaker, but then start a relationship with said tutor and then things don’t pan out – learning nothing but a new curse word or two as they walk out the door. The language-learning struggle is real, but it doesn’t have to be. While there’s an abundance of apps for learning Chinese, Memrise is a particularly fun learning tool. The app helps build your Chinese vocabulary with user-generated flash cards that include short and clear video pronunciation from native speakers. But instead of speeding through flash cards and taking on massive chunks of this very complex language, the app takes a methodical approach, with built-in review sets after you’ve just taken in a sizeable dose of putonghua. Memrise also has a grammar feature – still in beta – to help tie together all the new words and phrases that users are learning.
> The foldable sauna is available on Taobao from RMB199-279 (Search ‘汗蒸箱家用单人蒸袋’ on Taobao to shop.)
While Memrise is a freemium app (meaning some features require a subscription), users have a lot to gain without spending a dime. Set up a profile and get your friends involved for some healthy language-learning competition. The app also offers courses in more than 15 other languages, in case you need to xiuxi from Mandarin. > Memrise is available on iOS and Android devices. Visit memrise.com to learn more
UNDER THE LENS
Designed for Success Zurita, a Shanghai-based sustainable fashion brand, has launched a new campaign that stays true to its philosophy of ‘making fashion human(e) again.’ Their new campaign features various women with disabilities, beautifully modeling the ensembles. The campaign was shot at the Inclusion Factory, China’s first manufacturing company dedicated to the employment and training of people with intellectual disabilities. As such, 25% of campaign proceeds will be donated back to the factory. The idea behind the campaign is that ‘we are designed for success.’ Zurita further explains, “We all worried our parents at some point, we all had that awful teacher who told us we would never be who we wanted to be, we all have failed at some point. And yet we keep trying. That self-improving nature, that fight, makes us alike.” The post garnered over 10,000 views, and responses from the WeChat community were overwhelmingly positive. > wearezurita.com
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LIFE & STYLE | FASHION
n o as e S e Tis th of Giving
s fro m Th oughtfu l Holida y Gift Loca l Designers Compiled by Phoebe Kut
Shanghai Men’s Wood Watch RMB1,088 A wooden watch can add a touch of traditional elegance to your wrist for your next festive family gathering. Scan QR Code to purchase.
Big Mug RMB290 Perfect for the lady laoban in your life. Scan QR code to order.
Natural Soy Wax Candle RMB331 Esnabox’s 100% natural soy wax candle will have your space filled with the cozy scents of sandalwood, chestnut, cinnamon and nutmeg. Scan QR code to purchase.
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Baozi Bobble Hat RMB105 Make someone smile with this adorable baozi-patterned toque. Scan QR code to order.
FASHION | LIFE & STYLE
Loop Swim Boomi
Kids Organic Moso Bamboo Toothbrush RMB37 Keep cavities out of sight this holiday for the lil’ ones. Scan QR code to purchase.
Coral Loop Bikini Top RMB450 top, RMB450 bottom Hey, maybe you’ll be heading to a hot destination this holiday, so suit up. Follow Loop Swim on WeChat, shop via their mini program.
Enamel Cups RMB78 These enamel cups decorated with vintage Shanghai fabric prints are perfect for sipping peppermint hot chocolate. To shop, scan QR code with the Taobao app.
Christmas Socks RMB89 for a pair Let your personality shine with some funky Christmas socks! To shop, scan QR code with the Taobao app.
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L IF E & S T Y L E | T R AV E L
he capital of China’s Heilongjiang province, Harbin was founded in 1898 with the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway. Since then, the city has evolved from a small rural settlement on the Songhua River into one of the largest cities in Northeast China. Nicknamed ‘the pearl on the swan’s neck’ due to the shape of Heilongjiang resembling a swan, Harbin is blessed with dry and freezing-cold winters, making it an ideal winter destination. This is largely thanks to the city’s annual ice festival: a months-long extravaganza featuring giant, lit up ice sculptures. One of the four largest ice festivals in the world, Harbin’s iteration is a must-see for sheer spectacle alone. But there’s plenty more to the ‘Ice City’ than, well, ice. For example, locally brewed Harbin beer and music (the city is home to China’s oldest symphony), or hearty Dongbei food alongside European cuisine. Indeed, the city encompasses a curious mix of cultures, with Russian and Jewish heritage featuring prominently. 22 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
These influences are evident from the streets – which wind in typical meandering European fashion – to the table, where local Harbinstyle smoked savory red sausage is more akin to a mild German style than Chinese. Aesthetically, the city boasts formidable historic architecture, ranging from temples, churches (including the famous Russian Orthodox Church of St. Sophia) and synagogues. These mark Harbin’s Daoli district, a popular tourist spot. Meanwhile, those looking for quiet and authentic Chinese culture can visit ‘Old Harbin’ in Daowai district. Yet there’s something undeniably modern about Harbin. Take a look at the sculptural Harbin Opera House and Grand Theater. Better – or at least higher – yet, hop on Harbin’s Ferris wheel for views of the whole city (just remember to bring your coat and an extra pair of gloves). For more to see, taste and do in the ‘Ice City,’ check out the pages that follow.
T R AV E L | L IF E & S T Y L E
SAINT SOPHIA CATHEDRAL
Laochujia This third-generation-owned restaurant is a favorite of Harbin locals and visitors alike. Its specialty dish, guobaorou (deep fried pork cutlet with sweet and sour sauce), is a popular Dongbei dish that’s made special by an old family recipe that’s been passed down through generations. The menu features pictures alongside each meal and visitors can order from a tablet – a great hack for non-Chinese readers and speakers. > 318 Youyi Lu, Daoli 道里区友谊路 318 号
Portman Western Style Restaurant
Russian influences permeate Harbin culture. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the city’s food. Enter Portman. One of the oldest – and most loved – Russian restaurants in Harbin, Portman’s offerings have expanded to include fusion dishes. However, the guanniu/guanxia/ guanyang (beef/shrimp/lamb) and borscht are both outstanding choices for a taste of Russia.
Located in central Harbin, Saint Sophia Cathedral is a former Russian Orthodox Church and prime example of NeoByzantine architecture in China. Founded in 1907, the crossshaped cathedral stands at 53.3 meters tall and covers over 721 square meters in area. A striking green dome tops the main center hall, while four different tent roofs surround the center dome. After periods of expansion, closure and restoration, the church now serves as an art gallery, showcasing the city’s architectural developments. A large musical fountain sits in front of the church, providing a pretty scene for photo opportunities. The church – hailed as the largest Orthodox Church in the Far East – looks especially majestic at night under bright lights and a dark sky.
Dongfang Dumpling King Dumplings are a classic Dongbei food and Dongfang Dumpling King is the most prolific – and arguably, tastiest – dumpling joint in Harbin. Dumplings are made to order, with flavors ranging from classic (sanxian, pork, sea cucumber and scallop) to the more adventurous (songhua jitui, chicken leg wrapped in thousand-year egg). > Various locations
Looking for more expert guides to China’s biggest cities and hottest destinations? Scan the QR code now to purchase our Explore China travel guide, which offers insider tips, detailed city guides and awesome day trips.
> 12 Xidazhi Jie, Nangang 南岗区西大 直街 12 号
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L IF E & S T Y L E | T R AV E L
HARBIN INTERNATIONAL ICE AND SNOW FESTIVAL
he glittering ice-jewel in Harbin’s metaphorical ice-crown, Harbin’s annual months-long ice and snow sculpture festival is not to be missed. Attracting millions of visitors, both local and international, the festival comprises astounding ice sculpture exhibits that are jaw-dropping in both size and artistry. Taking place across multiple venues, the festival has a different theme every year and is the largest of its kind in the world, boasting the world’s biggest ice sculptures. Marvel at life-sized buildings and dreamy castles and enjoy the snow sports on offer, like sledding and ice-skating. Be sure to visit at night – when you can view the structures lit up in multi-color by thousands of colorful LED lights fitted inside each sculpture. Established in 1985, the festival’s exhibits are crafted by ice sculpture experts from all around the world. As such, the festival is not only a place of wonder but also an opportunity for cultural exchange. The three major venues are Sun Island, Ice and Snow World and Zhaolin Park. Sun Island houses the Snow Sculpture 24 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
Exposition and the world’s largest indoor ice and snow art museum. Ice and Snow World was built in 1999 and is a massive ice architecture park. Its design was inspired by world-famous architecture such as the pyramids of Egypt, as well as traditional Chinese tales. Last but not least, Zhaolin Park is a mustvisit for its beautiful ice lanterns, which are made by carving and decorating piled up snow. A multitude of objects are carved from the ice, like European-style churches, gardens, fantastical creatures and waterfalls. The festival typically takes place from the end of December to the end of February. Accordingly, the weather is cold – scratch that, freezing – at temperatures ranging between -25 and -10 degrees Celsius – so it pays to bundle up. Thermals, a warm coat and wind jacket, thick boots, gloves, scarf, earflaps and a wooly hat are all par for the course. Altogether, the ice festival ensures that Harbin is enveloped in a magical cloak of joy during the coldest months of the year. It’s a spectacle that must be seen up close to fully
appreciate its magnificence. Tips: If the festival falls within Chinese New Year period, it’s likely the parks will be extremely crowded and accommodation hard to come by – and expensive. Tickets must be purchased for each venue of the festival, with different prices for different tickets (free up to RMB330). Zhaolin Park offers tickets at a discounted price in the morning and early afternoon, but note that this is arguably not the best time to view the ice lanterns.
How to Get There The festival is spread across different venues, with each easily accessible via bus or taxi. During the festival, special buses run across the city, shepherding tourists to each venue. To save time getting around and for more privacy, try hiring a private driver.
New Movies P28 26 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
In The Open
American Post Rock Band Caspian on Taking Chances, p32
Camping Out P30
New China Albums P33
Peter Leong Talks About the Renowned Art Book Publisher’s Mainland Expansion By Bryan Grogan
Globally renowned art book publisher Taschen launched their Chinese mainland operations at 2019’s West Bund Art & Design fair in Shanghai. The launch comes with an e-commerce site, which will act as a means for Taschen to explore the reaction to its books on the mainland. The launch also coincided with Taschen’s latest collaboration with David Hockney, a new picture book with drawings made using an iPhone and an iPad. We caught up with Taschen Asia’s General Manager Peter Leong to talk a bit more about Taschen’s expansion into the Chinese mainland and what this will mean for the company’s Asian output.
Could you tell us a bit more about Taschen and give us some background both on the company’s history and its relationship with China? The company is headquartered in Cologne and Los Angeles and has regional offices in Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Milan, New York and Paris. Taschen is co-managed by Benedikt Taschen and his eldest daughter, Marlene Taschen. We’ve had a regional office in Hong Kong since 2005 to focus on working with our book distribution partners in the region. In June 2018, we opened a dedicated Taschen store in Hong Kong. It’s a shop with an objective to continue developing our presence and positioning in Asia. How long have you been planning to get into the mainland market, and why did now seem like the right time to launch?
Given the increasing interest in Taschen from Chinese buyers at other art fairs, our participation in the West Bund Art & Design in Shanghai is a natural progression, and we are all very excited about being able to interact more with the local art communities here. When we opened the Hong Kong office in 2005, our global retail structure was not as developed as it is today. The combination of both the store and the office has proved to be essential to exploring new collaborations and business opportunities. The timing now was simply right and things fell into place.
In the past, Taschen has been criticized for its Basic Art Series focusing too much on male artists, while the series tends to revolve around European and Western artists. Should expansion to China be seen as
a sign that Taschen will be placing a larger focus on Asian and Asia-based artists? Absolutely. Although Taschen originated in Europe and many of our titles are therefore focused more on European art, we are developing a more global vision, especially under the new leadership of Marlene Taschen. Hong Kong was our first store in Asia, and we hope to have more of a dialogue with Asian artists with our presence here. Taschen, through our collaborations with artists and photographers, sees this as the perfect time and place to continue our work as cultural ambassadors with the growing interest in art both locally and regionally. Can you talk about the scope of Chinese mainland operations? What do you have planned for the coming months and years in terms of specifically Chinese projects? I think it’s a very exciting start for Taschen this year, with our first participation at a China art fair as well as the opening of our Taschen-dedicated Tmall shop and WeChat. A physical store is definitely on our radar, though we would need further time to study.
weeks ago at the Musee D’Orsay, and there was an exhibition of a Chinese artist named Yan Pei-Ming. In this globalization of art, Chinese artists are finally getting the recognition they deserve, slowly but surely.
Being a brand that specializes in visual art and creativity, it makes sense that Taschen has built a reputation, obviously, for being aesthetically very pleasing. Can you talk a bit about how you will leverage social media to expand the brand in China? Through our Tmall shop, we feel it is important for us to introduce the full extent of our program. This shop, together with our WeChat channel, will be invaluable in that both these channels allow for a direct dialogue with customers and with the local community. The insights shared permit us to adapt our way of doing things in any specific market, but also shape our company as a whole: We get new sources of inspiration for our editorial program and a fresh push to think bigger and broader. Scan the QR code to access the Taschen Taobao store.
While this certainly could be seen as an economic move, in terms of entering a generally lucrative market, it can also be seen as a move closer to the Chinese art world. How important are Chinese artists today? The Chinese art market began to grow on an international scale in the last 10 years. There is an increased interest in contemporary Chinese art that is being reflected in museum and gallery programs. I was in Paris two WWW.THATSMAGS.COM | DECEMBER 2019 | GZ | 27
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COMING TO A THEATER NEAR YOU
“I like Taylor as much as you, and I look forward to seeing her in China again” DEC 13
Downton Abbey The smash-hit British TV series movie spinoff comes to Chinese cinemas this month. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith and many of our favorite members of the Crawley family and staff, the film takes place in 1927 with the impending visit of the British king and queen to the family’s estate. Tensions break out between the Crawleys and the royal family’s party over things like inheritance issues (aka rich people problems), as well as the presence of an assassin.
Jumanji: The Next Level With largely the same cast as the first Jumanji reboot, but with notable additions like Awkwafina, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito, Jumanji: The Next Level sees Spencer and friends (and family) enter the world of Jumanji once more. With new tasks and new avatars, this sequel to the fun family adventure film will see the crew attempt to defeat and escape from the game forever.
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Taiwanese host Andy Chen apologized to Taylor Swift fans on Weibo for what some were calling ‘咸猪手’ or ‘salty pig hand,’ a Chinese term which has been used to describe sexual harassment. Chen was criticized for getting handsy with the pop singer, with netizens also taking aim at the fact that the host kept interrupting Swift as she talked. His reported shoddy effort at translating for the performer didn’t go unnoticed either.
HAO BU HAO
Hao November was a big month for art museum openings. UCCA Center announced their plans to expand into Shanghai, with a museum in the city’s Jing’an district proposed for early 2021. Elsewhere, the developers of 798 Art Zone in Beijing are joining forces with France’s National Picasso Museum and the Giacometti Foundation to open a space dedicated to the two artists from 2020 to 2025. Staying on the topic of France, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, was present to launch Shanghai’s new West Bund Art Museum, which will team up with the Parisian cultural center, Centre Pompidou, for five years.
Jay Chou may well be the biggest music star in China, lord forgive us. Recently his star power caused a lawsuit between music streaming giants Tencent and Netease, as the latter was sued by Tencent for infringing on their copyrights of 178 of the pop singer’s songs. Netease was reportedly forced to pay out RMB850,000 as a result. Not a huge amount for a company reportedly worth USD9.8 billion at the end of the 2018 fiscal year, but this story is concerning considering Tencent’s continued monopolization of music copyrights, and the power that tech companies have within the music industry.
E D I T E D B Y B R Y A N G R O G A N / A R T S @ U R B A N A T O M Y. C O M
‘Kung Fu Kid’ Having started practicing kung fu at a young age, Wu won multiple titles at various martial arts competitions throughout the 1980s, for which he was eulogized as ‘Kung Fu Kid.’
Multiple Injuries Like many action movie stars, Wu has endured countless ‘boo-boos’ during filming. Among his worst injuries, his right eye was wounded once from an explosive and one of his arms bears a scar left by an axe. His Son Is… Never Mind! Wu’s firstborn arrived in 2014, and was named Wu Suowei, which translates as ‘never mind’ in English.
From Chinese box office smash Wolf Warrior 2, which he directed and starred in, to the highly-acclaimed sci-fi The Wandering Earth, Wu Jing has really nailed it with his movie choices. The Beijingborn actor is a kung fu genius who entered the world of martial arts at 6 years old and started acting in action films and on TV in his early 20s. Here are five facts about the versatile Chinese actor.
Soft Power Paladin Since the success of the Wolf Warrior series and The Wandering Earth, Wu has appeared in many other patriotic films such as My People, My Country and The Climbers. China’s No. 1 Celebrity This August, Wu topped Forbes’ China Celebrity 100 list, which takes personal performance and influence in each person’s industry into account.
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ARTS | MUSIC
CAMPING CAMPING OUT OUT Eating Music Founder Cookie Zhang Talks About the Patient Development of the Shanghai Label By Bryan Grogan
n late August or early September of this year, you might have stumbled across a bedraggled group of young producers playing with kendamas, the classic Japanese ball and string game, in Shanghai. An ominous sight for sure, a bit like a scene from Walter Hill’s film The Warriors, with baggy pants and untucked sweaters as far as the eye could see. The kendama, which is known as the antithesis to video games, is a simple, wooden toy that challenges you to land a ball on a cupped hammer or crosspiece. It turned out to be a fitting representation of 2019’s Eating Music Camp, as the crew of attendees eschewed traditional mobile phone games and the chaos of urban living, during their twoweek sojourn to the countryside. In deepest Pudong, nine students linked
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up with friends and mentors from Eating Music over the course of two weeks to experiment, form personal connections and learn about music from one another. The camp is a novel idea, much different from the usual business meetups that accompany label negotiations. As Eating Music founder Cookie Zhang puts it, “Lots of people don’t really understand why we do this. For me, it’s a good way to meet new artists, but the most important part is to be with musicians together, so we can get to know each other very quickly. After that we can talk about more cooperation with my label. I think that’s a very good way to start.” The second annual Eating Music Camp resulted in at least one new artist signing for
the label (Sdewdent), as well as a few upcoming releases from the producers who were in attendance. Another by-product of the two weeks in the countryside is the label’s new Campilation Vol. 2 release. The album provides a platform for the young artists to dabble with different sounds, collaborate with new people and to release their music into the world. These are all principles that are very important to Zhang when dealing with young artists. “Our artists are still growing; they’re not superstars. They’re still experimenting with their music, so I want to give them space to grow in that way,” she tells us, speaking about her approach to the label’s signees. “I don’t want to attract too much attention to our releases, because that will cause more stress. I don’t want to release music by people very fast, so that they will have many fans very quickly and earn lots of money in one day.” Zhang’s musical pedigree is well known in Shanghai. She started Daily Vinyl with her business partner Endy Chen five years ago, before the vinyl boom took off in China. That platform allowed the pair of music-obsessed record collectors to sell vinyl while also expanding into hosting events, distributing and pressing vinyl for other artists. It also informed Zhang of the need to create a label that really solidified both the Daily Vinyl sound and her own musical preferences. “After some time, I realized that more and
MUSIC | ARTS
more new stores were opening that were similar to ours. We still thought that Daily Vinyl was special, and we knew it was based on our own taste, but to other people it’s just a store,” she says, describing the thought process which led to the founding of Eating Music. “Once I realized that, I began to think that we needed to change. I wanted to build something of our own creation, based on what we want to show to people, that will express our musical taste. So I thought, starting a label is a good choice.” The label, which specializes in a mixture of soul, funk, instrumental hip hop, lo-fi hip hop, boombap and everything in between, took off in 2018, with a flurry of records by the likes of Taiwan producer Kool Klone, alternative jazz crew Little Happiness Group and prolific Shanghai-based beatmaker Cruel Buddhist. “I think building a label is harder than building a record store. With a record store, you can learn from what people purchase, and learn what people like by talking to your customers, but a label can’t learn from anyone else,” Zhang says, adding, “You need to create your own style. You can’t think about whether people will like your music before you make a release.” It was in the aftermath of Eating Music’s first camp, however, that the label scored its biggest releases, with Jiafeng, StrawberryPapa and Knopha all contributing records to the crew’s growing discography. The latter of those three, Nothing Nil by Xiamen producer extraordinaire Knopha, was a notable hit. “I imagined that the Knopha release would be successful, because, after listening to it, I believed that many people would like it. It’s not a release just for our Chinese fans, it’s the kind of release that can be enjoyed worldwide,” Zhang
says. “We started with 300 copies for that, and we sold out pretty quickly. After a month, we did a reissue and made another 200 copies, and that also sold out.” The release represents, in a way, the interesting approach taken by Cookie Zhang to new music. While on the one hand, albums by the likes of Knopha and Jiafeng have helped the label grow fast within China music circles, Zhang is adamant about not rushing the label’s young producers to be world-beaters, preferring instead to allow them to grow at their own pace. Her relationship with more established artists helps give Eating Music’s younger pro-
ducers room to breathe and to grow. Her eye is set on the long game rather than short term success. “The first step is to really know each other and to trust each other, so these musicians can learn the way I think and why I do certain things,” she says. “Then, maybe they will decide to stay with me for a long time. That relationship lasts longer than a business relationship.”
For more on Eating Music Label’s release, scan the QR code.
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A R T S | FMI UL M SIC
IN THE OPEN
American Post Rock Band Caspian on Capturing Vulnerability and Taking Chances By Cristina Ng
ormed all the way back in 2003, Caspian made key connections fast. Some of their earliest performances saw them supporting Japanese post rock legends Mono. Since then, they have played alongside the likes of God is an Astronaut and This Will Destroy You, and have solidified themselves, after four fantastic studio albums, as one of the best post rock bands in the world. The band are no strangers to their fans in China, having come through the Middle Kingdom on three previous occasions. We linked up with the band’s guitarist, keyboardist and synthesizer player Philip Jamieson to talk about their experiences in China, their new album and their ever-evolving sound. Having toured in China previously, what have you learnt about the country?
China is a culturally emerging country and it’s been wonderful to see people permitted to open up more and more to Western music and the live concert experience. When we first showed up in China in 2011, we got the sense that American bands coming over and being expressive onstage was a very recent phenomenon, and to see it grow with each subsequent visit is exciting. I usually describe the Chinese [people] as very friendly, curious and openminded. They are always a joy to perform for, and equally wonderful whenever we get to meet and talk to people, which we hope to do more of in December. Fans had to wait three years for your last studio album, Dust and Disquiet, and have been waiting four years now for its follow up. What has the band been doing in that time?
We took a hiatus for a year following our final show for the Dust and Disquiet tour, which 32 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
actually happened to be in Beijing. We all decided that it would probably be a good idea to take an emotional inventory that was essentially 14 years overdue. We had never taken a real break and after the very long and emotionally involved process of writing, recording and touring an album like Dust and Disquiet, it felt like the appropriate time to step back and take some time for ourselves. Back in May, you told fans on Reddit that you would be in the studio for an entire month after four separate, week-long full band recording sessions. How has your time in the studio increased or decreased throughout the course of your career?
This studio recording experience was very unique for us since we spent the first week entirely devoted to developing the songs more with an outside producer and collaborating with someone outside of the band, in this case Will Yip. We brought Will about 80 minutes of music and he suggested edits, changes, different approaches to melodies, chords and song structure. Once that week was finished we had whittled it all down to about 70 minutes and we then spent three weeks recording everything. To work with an outside influence that we all trusted was essential to this album sounding the way it does. We really, really wanted to get over our possessiveness and sense of selfimportance with this collection of songs and be more open to outside opinions. That was ultimately a very liberating experience for us. Dust & Disquiet was a departure from the instrumental sound you are known for, with commentary focusing on the use of some vocals on the track ‘Echo and Abyss.’ Will there be lyrics on the forthcoming album?
Yes, absolutely. We have two songs on this new album that feature clear, articulated vocals and we are all really excited about it. One features our friend Kyle from Pianos Become The Teeth, and the other was my first actual vocal performance (besides ‘Gone In Bloom and Bough,’ which was fairly processed and effected. It was extremely vulnerable to open up vocally and come out from behind the curtain, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I simply felt like I had a period of my life that demanded to somehow be articulated lyrically, and I feel good about capturing it, warts and all. You’ve been touring extensively this year through the US, Asia and Europe. Have you been testing the new material?
We have performed one of the songs on the album live for the last year simply because we just love performing it live and it makes everything feel fresh and robust. This summer in Europe, we introduced people to another new song every night that we felt rounded out the set dynamically, and is also a hell of a lot of fun to play for people. In China, we’ll be playing even more new songs from the album and premiering two or three brand new songs that have never been performed for anyone yet. Sat Dec 14, 8.30pm; RMB120 presale. B10 Live, North side of Building C2, North Area, OCT-Loft, Xiangshan Dong Jie, Nanshan District 南山区香山东 街华侨城创意文化园北区C2栋北侧 (showstart.com)
Sun Dec 15, 8.30pm; RMB220 presale, RMB260 at the door. T:union, 361-365 Guangzhou Dadao Zhong,Yuexiu District 越秀区广州大道中361-365号东 方花苑1层凸空间 (newnoise.cn)
CHINA MUSIC CORNER
ALBUMS | ARTS
Three New Homegrown Albums on Our Radar This Month By Bryan Grogan
Little Dragon Palace by Linfeng Shanghai producer Linfeng returns with a stellar conceptual release, Little Dragon Palace via label JADECRAFT. Based around Western ideas of China, Linfeng packages a lot of mystique that regularly goes hand-in-hand with Hollywood depictions of the Middle Kingdom for a record that is full of intricate musical ideas beautifully realized. ‘Little Dragon Palace’ employs twanging electric guitars and prodding drum beats for a scenic depiction of this seemingly secretive palace. Notice, throughout, how song names play on cliches of China, such as ‘Fan in Chinatown,’ ‘Bamboo Dialogue’ and ‘Smog.’ ‘Sid’s Magic Sid’ is one of the more entertaining song titles we’ve come across in a while. The track resides in shadows, with insidious beats playing out a sense of magic realism (a genre of literature often associated with cultural otherness around the world). The conceptuality of the record reminds us of everything from Howie Lee to Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf, David Lynch films and the books of Eileen Chang. The album closes with ‘Smog’ and ‘Love Me Like This,’ the first of which varies a bit from the romantic Eastern ideas previous songs summon, trending more towards downbeat and atmospheric electronica a la Four Tet in 2009. ‘Love Me Like This’ has a tropical lo-fi vibe which brushes us off, pats us on the head and sends us back into the world. Scan the QR code to listen:
Xun Dao Jianzhi Shige Yishupin by Wayne’s So Sad Taiwanese punksters Wayne’s So Sad return in 2019 with a powerful new record, just a couple of years removed from their previous effort Haishi Ou’er Xiangyao Weida. The artwork and the album title itself play on the band’s self-deprecating humor, portraying the album as a work of art (tongue-in-cheek of course). Despite the joke, there’s a reason the band have gained a cult following, both in Taiwan and further afield. The intro sets the scene for the record, with dissonant feedback and drumbeats playing before ‘Ruguo Ta Likai Ni, Ni Hui Bu Hui Feng Diao A’ takes the tempo up a notch. Guitar sounds swirl against a backdrop of the old punk/Greek tragedy cliche – a choral backing vocal section. ‘Fuxinde Jiaohui’ threatens to take the intensity down a notch before turning everything up again, with the guitars and vocals speeding across a tightrope to form a plateau of sound that threatens to fall at any moment. ‘Xia Yibu Jiewang,’ which was released as a single earlier this year, is a departure from the preceding songs, slowing down considerably and introducing woodblocks and a reflective atmosphere. The title track provides the outro, with the band channeling the guttural blues vocal stylings reminiscent of Minutemen and The Gaslight Anthem (a very different pair of bands). Scan the QR code to listen:
AI (love) by Yadae It’s been three long years since CLVB ZVKVNFT, Duck Fight Goose’s most recent record, came out on D Force Records. In that time a lot has changed. For one, the group has decided to change their name to Yadae, the Chinese pinyin representation of their previous English name. Their new record, AI (love), also comes via a new label, Merrie Records, who recently received funding from ONES Ventures and have big plans for 2020 (more on that at a later date). Yadae here seem wistful, worn-out and exhausted by years of exploring the future, posthumanism and cyborg-listening habits. While the name of the album (AI - artificial intelligence?) initially summons more of what we would expect from 33EMYBW and Han Han, the duo assure us the record is, rather, about love. ‘Shanghai Rain’ opens the proceedings with laidback piano beats and staccato synthesizers, with Han Han’s vocals reverberating in space immeasurable. We’re immediately led to believe that this is comfort. ‘Mixed Reality’ is like a babbling brook of romantic vocals and xylophone keys. ‘Silver Wilderness’ builds on the first two songs, picking up the intensity with more vocals from Han Han as well as more obvious emotional climbs and drops. We finish on ‘The Dark,’ a stunningly enjoyable seven-minute track, which again begins with piano keys and includes lyrics like “Ni bu shi zhongyao,” or “You’re not important.” It’s the culmination of a gorgeous, addictive four-track record. Scan the QR code to listen:
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Top News sto HUAWEI POSTS NYE TWEET VIA IPHONE The year got off to an amusing start for tech watchers. Huawei lost some serious credibility after publishing a New Year’s Eve post on Twitter using an iPhone. The post, which was made by the company’s official Twitter account at 11.31pm on December 31, wished everyone a happy new year and gave their resolution for 2019: “To give you more reasons to connect to those you care about.” Directly under the video in the right-hand corner read ‘via Twitter for iPhone,’ an automated message that is displayed whenever content is posted through the social media platform’s iOS app. The internet promptly blew up. Oops. By the That’s Team
The good, the bad and the ugly. The weird and the wacky. As is the That’s tradition, we’ve compiled this year’s most unforgettable stories in news, sports, arts, fashion and food.
CLONED POLICE DOG REPORTS FOR DUTY Eight-month-old Kunxun passed the police’s dog assessment trial in August. What makes it something to woof about? Kunxun was cloned from a 7-yearold police dog, Huahuangma, a Kunming wolfdog described as an “outstanding canine detective” and celebrated for helping to solve 12 murders and 20 other criminal cases (if you’re gonna clone, clone from the Sherlock Holmes of hounds, right?). And as if that was not cool enough, the Kunming wolfdog breed is the result of selective interbreeding between a wild wolf and domesticated dog in China in the 1950s for military and police use. Criminals – beware of the dog!
WATER PARK TSUNAMI
Swimmers in Northeast China’s Jilin province saw their lives flash (and splash) before their eyes in July when a colossal swell crashed through a crowded wave pool at a local water park. As the video went viral, rumors circulated that a drunk old wave machine operator “hit the wrong switch.” Whatever the cause, 44 people were injured, with seven hospitalized for injuries ranging from fractured ribs to a broken foot. Fortunately, nobody was killed as a result of the incident, the horror of which you can relive by scanning the QR code.
ories of 2019 HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHINA The 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was observed with a series of ceremonial events, including the largest military parade in Chinese history on National Day, October 1. All the big guns were out in Beijing; former General Secretaries of the Communist Party Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin were in attendance, Premier Li Keqiang was official master of ceremonies for the parade and President Xi Jinping addressed the nation before inspecting the formations along Chang’an Avenue. Shengri kuaile Zhongguo!
A viral video showed a white car precariously perched upon a concrete barrier in the middle of an elevated highway in Shanghai. The scene was so bizarre that passing drivers couldn’t help but record the spectacle and wonder how the car got there. It turns out it was the result of a drunk driver’s sudden acceleration, causing his car to climb onto the barrier. Luckily, the driver was the only person to suffer slight injuries. Watch the bizarre video by scanning the QR code.
COSTCO CARNAGE Anticipation ran high when Costco announced they would open their first China warehouse in Shanghai earlier this year. And, when it opened its doors on August 27, people went wild. Quite literally. By 11am, there were so many people at the store – snarling and snatching at products like their lives depended on it – that workers started regulating the number of shoppers allowed inside, forcing many to wait in line for up to two hours just to get in. By 11.29am, members (tens of thousands of people signed up) received a message warning them to avoid visiting the outlet. And by 2.13pm, Costco was forced to shut up shop.
THROWING COINS INTO PLANE ENGINES In February, a 28-year-old man was kicked off a plane in Anqing for throwing coins in an aircraft engine. In March, two female passengers were detained in Jinan for the same superstitious and perilous behavior. In April, a man was caught in the act in Wuhan after his mother told him to do it for good luck for his daughter’s first flight. The list goes on… but why? It’s rumored that the coin-tossing superstition is borrowed from the Western tradition of throwing coins into fountains. How exactly the jump was made to coins in aircraft engines is not clear, but what is apparent is that a number of misguided Chinese air travelers believe throwing a circular piece of metal into a jet engine will bring good luck (rather than premature death).
CHINA OPENS 5G FOR COMMERCIAL USE China’s three main mobile carriers began offering 5G mobile services to the public this fall. The lightning-speed service arrived for consumers just months after China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom were granted commercial 5G licenses by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. China will be among the first in the world to provide the technology for mobile phone users. Carriers in South Korea and the US have already launched 5G services; however, industry executives have said China is gunning for nationwide coverage in 2020.
Scan the QR code for our full 2019 China Year in Review Series, which will be published throughout December
Kim K Perfume In 2018, Kim Kardashian West quite literally bared all for her new fragrance line. The perfume bottle for KKW Body certainly doesn’t leave much to the imagination, as it is a mold of her body. This year, Chinese beauty bloggers had a bit of fun with the bottle on social media and e-commerce site Xiaohongshu. The fashion KOLs covered up the cheeky bottles, adorning them with ribbons and other textiles.
FASHION LOOKS FROM DESIGNER YANG YANG
We’re kinda loving this Victoria’s Secret vibe inspired by Wahaha water.
Chinese Redbull’s distinct yellow can has been turned into a dramatic canary-colored coat.
Tea π looks like the friendly girlnext-door – she’s sporty and chic.
See the Nongfu bottle as a purse? The detail!
Coca-Cola is definitely an edgy fashionista.
Scan the QR code for our full 2019 China Year in Review Series, which will be published throughout December
IN DAZED GETS A CHINA EDITION British style and culture publication Dazed partnered with Nanjing-based streetwear guru and media platform Yoho! to launch a Chinese edition of the influential magazine. Dazed China brings focus to the cultural exchange between the two indie content creators and China’s young trendsetters.
FENTY BEAUTY LANDS IN CHINA Riri fans were blessed when Fenty Beauty dropped in September, hitting the shelves of various stores across Hong Kong, Macao and South Korea. The wildly popular cosmetics line has been praised for its inclusivity of a wide range of skin tones, which can be summed up by the brand’s motto, ‘Beauty for All.’
CRAZY COLLABS Earlier this year, Uniqlo released a collection with American artist and designer Kaws, and as expected, Chinese shoppers went bonkers. Another cool team-up came from candy brand White Rabbit and perfume creators Scent Library, who debuted an entire line of sweet skincare products.
FOREVER 21 CLOSURES
IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER ZARA FRECKLE-GATE
A promotion for Zara’s new line of lipsticks caused controversy in February. The series of close-ups of model Li Jingwen’s ‘natural’ look was meant to draw attention to the lipstick, but her freckles distracted Chinese netizens. While some saw them as Zara’s deliberate attempt to make Asian women look ugly, others applauded the authenticity showcased in these photos, adding that Li’s freckles are actually quite cute.
Earlier this year, Forever 21’s Chinese website announced that the retailer would be ceasing its online operations. Shortly after, Tmall and JD.com released statements that the affordable, trendsavvy clothing store would also be taken off their respective platforms. Additionally, Forever 21 had already closed several of its stores in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Hangzhou.
BEIJING BIKINI BAN
VOGUE INSTA BEAUTY
Vogue came under fire in March after posting a picture of Gao Qizhen, a Shanghai-born model whose looks challenge the conventional standards of beauty, on Instagram. One popular fashion blog on WeChat, called Shiliupo Baogao, wrote that netizens were up in arms over how some Western fashion brands are ‘uglifying’ Chinese people through ‘beauty bullying,’ a form of discrimination where Westerners inflict their own ideas of beauty onto Chinese people.
This summer, Jinan authorities began cracking down on the trending phenomenon of the ‘Beijing bikini,’ where men roll up their T-shirts to expose their bellies, citing that it was uncivilized to the point of lowering the image of the city.
HIGH-FASHION T-SHIRT SCANDALS Another hot scandal this summer involved several designer brands: Versace, Coach and Givenchy all went viral on Weibo after releasing similar T-shirts with offensive design errors that undermine the ‘One China’ policy.
CANCELATIONS CRAIG DAVID
First, let’s re-rewind all the way back to February when the ‘7 Days’ singer filled us in on visa-related issues that forced him to cancel his Shanghai and Beijing dates. Alas, the crowd never had the chance to say Bo Selecta.
SCANDALS FAN BINGBING AND GAVIN GAO SCRUBBED FROM TV SERIES ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Quentin Tarantino has had a rough go of things in China, and 2019 was no different. His depiction of Bruce Lee stirred controversy among the martial artist’s family and loyal fans, which eventually led to the Chinese release of his ninth film being pulled from cinemas.
GANG OF FOUR
Often called China’s most famous foreigner, Dashan, or Mark Rowswell, has enjoyed overwhelming fame in the Middle Kingdom. His pristine image was dealt a blow this year after the comedian posted images of himself wearing blackface on Twitter. In both his Twitter apology and in a statement emailed to That’s, Rowswell asserted that he and his friends donned black makeup to emulate their heroes and role models.
Workers at a hospital in Jiangsu province were caught attempting to sell medical products that had been used by Singaporean Mandopop singer JJ Lin. Disturbingly, a WeChat post offered up items like a drip bag and syringe. The workers were promptly suspended from their roles.
CONCRETE & GRASS
The Splitworks-run festival made the proactive decision to cancel its 2019 iteration to respect the celebrations of the PRC’s 70th anniversary. The beloved festival will return again next year, we hope, for more underground, alternative music vibes.
JJ LIN MEDICAL WASTE
While we might have expected this band’s tour to be canceled due to their Cultural Revolutionrelated name, in fact it was guitarist and founding member of the band Andy Gill’s severe chest infection that caused the band to cancel their China shows. They rescheduled and eventually rocked out in China.
After being mired in a tax evasion scandal for much of 2018, Fan Bingbing’s return to our screens was cut short after the creators of TV series The Legend of Ba Qing, announced that they would spend around RMB60 million to erase the X-Men: Days of Future Past star, as well as fellow controversial actor, Gavin Gao. Gao was accused of raping a woman in Australia in March 2018.
A 14-year-old girl in Shandong named Zhou Zhe died after she tried to mimic a popular Douyin stunt, whereby video blogger Zhou Xiaohui made popcorn using a soda can and an alcohol burner. The girl and her friend, 12-year-old Xiao Yu, were unsupervised while attempting to remake the video, causing Zhou Zhe’s death and severe injuries to Xiao Yu.
ZHAO LIXIN A number of celebrities were ‘canceled’ this year for questionable behavior, including entertainers Roy Wang (smoking in a Beijing restaurant) and Yico Zeng (causing an airport ruckus). Perhaps most noteworthy was Chinese-Swedish actor Zhao Lixin’s comments about Japan’s invasion of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The actor’s comments seemed to downplay atrocities like the Nanjing Massacre, and led to his Weibo account being closed.
COLLABORATIONS JIA ZHANGKE X MOMO
Momo the dating app may well be a place where notions of romance and love wither, but Momo Pictures, sponsors of Jia Zhangke’s Pingyao International Film Festival (PYIFF), are seeking to make a big splash. The celebrated filmmaker announced at this year’s version of PYIFF that he will executive produce The Best is Yet to Come, a co-production with Momo Pictures and his own film company, Fabula Entertainment.
DISNEY X TENCENT
Ahead of the final release in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Disney and Tencent’s China Literature announced plans to team up to develop a new Chinese online novel, as well as release 40 e-books based around the classic franchise. Optimism is strong for the new online novel, with a popular Middle Kingdom novelist drafted in to make a Disney book with Chinese characteristics.
SVBKVLT X NYEGE NYEGE TAPES
Celebrated Kenyan producer Slikback came to China in April with Shanghai label SVBKVLT. He eventually teamed up with the label for a pair of releases. The first was called Slip A and featured contributions from Slikback, 33EMYBW, Osheyack and Yen Tech, while the second, called Slip B, saw Slikback team with SVBKVLT producer Hyph11E. The two labels linked up again at Nyege Nyege Festival and later at Unsound Krakow.
MARVEL X NETEASE
UCCA X MUSÉE NATIONAL PICASSOPARIS (MNPP)
Beijing went bezerk for China’s biggest ever Picasso exhibition at UCCA earlier this year. Working together with Musée national Picasso-Paris (MnPP), the exhibition meant big ticket sales for the continuously expanding UCCA. In the aftermath of the exhibition’s success, it was announced that a Picasso and Alberto Giacometti-themed museum will soon open in the capital.
It was announced that Marvel Studios and NetEase will partner up to bring original content such as video games, comics and TV shows to China, broadening the already wide appeal that Marvel enjoys in the Middle Kingdom. That news came before Marvel announced the cast of their upcoming film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which caused much controversy online after one of the characters was deemed to resemble Dr. Fu Manchu, generally perceived as a racist stereotype.
Scan the QR code for our full 2019 China Year in Review Series, which will be published throughout December
Chinese international Wu Lei made the move from Shanghai SIPG to Espanyol at the beginning of the year. And the 27-year-old made his mark, scoring a dramatic goal in the last game of the 2018/19 season that sealed the Barcelona team’s place in the Europa League, and secured them European football for the first time in over a decade. Wu then made history by becoming the first Chinese national to score in the main stages of European competition, by scoring in an Espanyol 2-0 away win against CSKA Moscow in the Europa League. Jiayou!
Brazilian-born striker Elkeson, known in China as Ai Kesen, became the first player of non-Chinese heritage to play for the Chinese national team. The Guangzhou Evergrande striker scored twice on his debut in a 5-0 win over the Maldives in a World Cup qualifier, just a month after becoming a Chinese citizen. Elkeson was the second naturalized citizen to play for the national team after Beijing Guo’an’s half-British, half-Chinese Nico Yennaris, now known as Li Ke. The pair is believed to be the vanguard of a new generation of naturalized talent in the Chinese national team, with Brazilians Ricardo Goulart, Alan and Fernandinho all expected to follow suit.
Linsanity has hit China, with former NBA superstar Jeremy Lin having joined the Beijing Ducks. And he was dubbed “the face of the Chinese Basketball Association” before he had even scored a point. Lin has been considering feeling the Asia love for some time now, stating in the summer, “About five years ago, I began to consider whether I should play basketball in Asia, because every year when I visit the region, I see so many fans.” So can Lin inspire the team named after the juiciest meat in all the land to the CBA title? He scored 25 points as he led the Ducks to victory in his first CBA game… we say watch this space.
GUANGDONG SOUTHERN TIGERS ZHANG WEILI
Forty-two seconds was all it took Hebei-born Zhang Weili to make history, dethroning strawweight champion Jessica Andrade and becoming China’s first UFC champion. After losing her first official MMA fight, Zhang’s victory over Andrade was her 20th consecutive win. The newly crowned champ took to Weibo, saying “I did it. The belt is in China. Thank you everyone for all the support. I love you all.” We love you too, Zhang!
After finishing the regular season with a leaguebest 42-4 record, the Guangdong Southern Tigers annihilated their competition in the playoffs without losing a single game. First up for the Dongguan-based team was a quarterfinals matchup against the Jiangsu Dragons who were dispatched 3-0 in a five-game series with a point differential of over 30 points on average. In the semifinals, the Tigers faced provincial rivals Shenzhen Leopards, who also proved to be no match: 4-0. After advancing to the CBA finals for their 14th appearance, the Southern Tigers were more than capable of handling the Xinjiang Flying Dragons, winning the first three games by 10 or more points. The team completed their third playoff sweep after winning game four 103-98 for their 9th CBA Title.
China’s first women’s 4x100m final in 22 years ended in tears at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, with quite possibly the worst baton pass (or non-pass) in history. With the team in the running for a medal going into the final leg of the relay final, Kong Lingwei failed to pass the baton to Ge Manqi in the correct zone. While every other nation was sprinting to the finish line, the pair instead ran backwards to the change zone to try again. They eventually did pass the baton over to finish in 1:05:97, almost 25 seconds behind the gold medal-winning Jamaica team in 41:45. China were initially praised for going back to finish the race because the top eight teams were guaranteed a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics next summer. But insult was added to injury when it later transpired that they were disqualified for “passing the baton outside the takeover zone,” leaving the ladies in tears on the track.
CHINA WOMEN’S 4X100M TEAM
CHINA BASKETBALL AT FIBA
Head of the Chinese Basketball Association and former China basketball superstar Yao Ming’s face said it all as China lost to Venezuela by a score of 72-59 to crash out of the FIBA World Cup on home soil and at the first hurdle. The result, coupled with defeat to Poland, left fans in tears and the Chinese team contesting 1732 classification spots against Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria and South Korea. Ah well, time to focus on qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
After seven years of Guangzhou Evergrande winning everything (seven Chinese Super Leagues, four Chinese Super Cups, two Chinese FA Cups and two AFC Champions Leagues), Fabio Cannavaro took over the team in 2018 and won… NOTHING. Oh well, surely the Italian would put it right in 2019. First up, he resigned as China coach after just two games in charge – losses to the mighty Thailand and Uzbekistan. He then carried that form over to Evergrande; defeat to Shanghai SIPG in the FA Cup was followed by a disastrous run of just one win in nine games that saw them squander a commanding CSL lead and get knocked out of the AFC Champions League.
NBA MARCELLO LIPPI
Italian World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi said arrivederci to the China National team not once, but twice in 2019. The former Guangzhou Evergrande boss first resigned in January after China lost 3-0 to Iran in the AFC Asian Cup. Brought back in after the disastrously short reign of compatriot Fabio Cannavaro (see above), Lippi managed just four competitive games – wins against the Maldives and Guam, a draw against the Philippines and a nailin-the-coffin 2-1 defeat to Syria. “When we encountered stronger teams like the Philippines and Syria, we could not play our own football,” Lippi said on his departure. Stronger teams like the Philippines and Syria, eh?
It all kicked off when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted improper remarks regarding Hong Kong. In response to comments made soon after by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Chinese broadcaster CCTV decided to temporarily suspend the broadcasts of NBA preseason games and investigate all cooperation with the NBA. A number of high profile Chinese celebrities and companies also came out in opposition to Morey’s tweet and Silver’s comments, with online stores such as JD.com and Taobao removing Houston Rockets merchandise.
THERMOMETER HOT - Plant-based OmniPork burst onto the scene with menu items at Grand Hyatt Beijing and Wagas stores nationwide (including sister brands LOKAL, Funk & Kale and Baker & Spice). Expect the alternative protein at Taco Bell and Tsui Wah next. - Homegrown Luckin Coffee’s rapid growth resulted in the chain matching Starbucks store-for-store in November 2019. - A documentary highlighting Chaoshan (in eastern Guangdong province) fare called Flavorful Origins hit Netflix. Chinese morning meals also got some love with the inaugural World Jianbing Day and the Tencent/Haixia TV documentary Breakfast in China. - Shake Shack continued its expansion into China with two new stores in Shanghai and the announcement of the first Beijing location – due in 2020.
STRANGEBREWS Throughout China the craft brewing revolution is going strong. As a result, we sample and review a lot of unique beers. While it’s always nice to crack open a cold one, some suds are better than others. Here are a few of our 2019 favorites, in no particular order.
- Michelin Guides launched its first Beijing edition in November. - The Chairman in Hong Kong and Shanghai’s Ultraviolet were the only China eateries featured on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019. Similarly, Shanghai bars Speak Low and Sober Company were the only two China entries on the World’s Best Bars 2019. - In a surprise announcement, popular Shanghai F&B hub Zhang Court venues were told to move out. Since then, Logan’s Punch, Oji Cocktail & Whisky and Tomatito have been the only ones to resurface. Down south, redevelopment forced 150,000 tenants out of Baishizhou in Shenzhen, taking a wealth of local restaurants and bars out in the process.
- China’s pig population has been ravaged by African swine fever, leading to rising pork prices this year.
21 Jag: Hops Typhoon American Pale Ale This is a fun and flavorful beer by the brewmasters at Zhuhaibased 21 Jag. After cracking open a cold one, a hoppy scent fills the air and hits your nostrils like a lightning-fast jab from ol’ Floyd Mayweather. The wellbalanced APA has floral hints followed by a hoppy and bitter aftertaste.
Strand Brewing: Wuyang IPA Nothing tells you you’re drinking beer faster than a hoppy kick to the mouth. If this is a mantra you can get behind, David Strand, one of Guangzhou’s pioneering brewers of craft suds, has a palate-kicking Wuyang IPA with a clean malt profile along with notes of citrus and pine that you have to try.
Shangri-La Highland Craft Brewery: Fat Dolma This number will take you on a wild and flavorful ride to the Himalayas. At 8.2% ABV, Fat Dolma is a goldencolored beer that boasts a malt and honey aroma and succeeds at being both heavy-hitting and smooth at the same time. Capped off with a sweetish aftertaste, thanks in large part to the hints of banana and mango, this beauty of a beer is highly sessionable.
Master Gao: Baby Jasmine Lager The brewery is headed up by the master himself, Gao Yan, who has been hailed by many as one of the founding fathers of China’s fast-growing craft beer scene. His Baby Jasmine Tea Lager offers a complex herbal slash hoppy taste that has us hooked. Floral hints, courtesy of jasmine tea, keep things interesting.
Yong Master: Cha Caan Teng Gose According to Conde Nast Traveler, Young Master kickstarted the Hong Kong craft brewing revolution back in 2013. Their Cha Chaan Teng Gose combines the tartness of lime with the salty, mid-range alcohol level of a gose, creating a refreshing, delicious brew that tastes something like a cider.
WE TRIED IT Off-Beat Snacks and Beverages We subject ourselves to a lot of wacky food and beverages for the benefit of our readers, and this year did not disappoint. Read on to see which ones have been seared into our mental hall of fame (and shame) for eternity.
Coca-Cola Chicken Wings “For what they are – an unusual fast food-soft drink fusion – McDonald’s Coca-Cola chicken wings are tasty and you should definitely give them a try.” -Jesse Pottinger
Lychee Rose Oreos “The taste is best summed up like this: Imagine a couple of plump red roses evaporating in your mouth, releasing a flavor so prevailing that it overpowers the chocolate biscuits.“ -Naomi Lounsbury
Coca-Cola Apple “Coca-Cola Apple has a pleasant – yet not overpowering – apple flavor, and has a similar flavor balance to Coca-Cola Vanilla or Coca-Cola Cherry.” -Barnaby Lofton
NBeer Bloody Mary “It’s good and certainly unique, but fails to truly capture the bold flavors that a Bloody Mary often exhibits.” -Matthew Bossons
“The first thing that hits you is the smell, which is that of artificial banana used in bubble gum and children’s medicine. On the tongue, the flavor is one of synthetic sweetness followed by a hint of... orange(?!) in the aftertaste.” -Ned Kelly
“This was hate at first bite, and then it got worse. The overly sweet white chocolate shell has a lemon-like flavor best compared to dish soap. The caramel and nut filling is the same as the normal, better Snickers, but it doesn’t save the day.” -Cristina Ng
We Try It
Baozza: A Cheesy Pizza Snack with Chinese Characteristics, p46
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The Golden Forks P48
From Beyond the Wall By Matthew Bossons
Winter is almost here, which means Christmas, New Year’s, Spring Festival and a whole host of other holidays are upon us. If done right, these celebrations have the potential to descend into an unhinged onslaught of boozy fun with friends and family – which means you need to stock up on beer.
resumably brewed with the power of fire and ice, NBeer’s ‘Winter’s Coming Weizenbock’ is a beverage fit for a Westerosi king, with a pleasant 25 IBU and 8% ABV. It’s also a beverage that will make your nerdier friends envious and – for the night, anyway – you the king of the keep (read: barbecue stall outside your friend Dave’s apartment). Lightly hazy and amber in color, this beverage delivers a sweetish flavor coupled with malty notes and an elusive spicy taste that just barely makes itself known on the ol’ palate. It’s tasty, sessionable and – most importantly
– different from other Chinese beers we’ve sampled of late. It’s also strong (strong enough for Tyrion Lannister, by our assessment), which is a massive bonus. Not convinced this brew is worthy of your time and hard-earned dollars? Well, rest assured that it’s not just us squawking on about this beverage like a pack of ravens: NBeer’s Winter’s Coming Weizenbock managed to pick up not one but two awards at the 2019 World Beer Awards. For those that are new to this column or China’s craft beer scene in general, NBeer
is a Beijing-based brewery known for bold experimentation (Bloody Mary beer, anyone?), quality suds and rad can designs (the Winter’s Coming Weizenbock included). In South China, the company has a brewpub located in Shenzhen’s popular OCT-Loft area. You can purchase NBeer’s Winter’s Coming Weizenbock for RMB150 per six-pack on Taobao
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BEER OF THE MONTH
NBEER’S WINTER’S COMING WEIZENBOCK
GRAPE VINE THE SCANDALOUS SCOOP
The arrival of a new bar manager at Hooley’s, bar guru Paul McMaster; a new bar at China plaza, Out of Of�ice; the fact Baozza now offers nationwide delivery; the new Christmas mugs at Starbucks; The Paddy Field’s big move from the second floor of Yuexiu’s Central Plaza to the first; the sudden and unexpected return of Brez’n; and, of course, all of the epic holiday dinners set to grace our fair city this month!
We’re done with:
The fake alcohol ring busted in Zhongshan; Pig Out’s shockingly irregular hours, get it together team; and Urban Grill’s lack of a food menu – a grill needs meat!
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WE TRY IT
Baozza While folks in Shanghai and Beijing can pop in for a fresh and gooey baozza anytime, the rest of China has been deprived of the cheesy pizza snack with Chinese characteristics. However, in October, Baozza announced that their Westernstyle baozi were available for nationwide shipping, much to our delight. We seized the opportunity to give them a try, sampling the pepperoni and margherita baozza, although other flavors include roast duck and spinach cheese. On the box, you’ll see five main ways to cook baozza – steam, bake, pan fry, deep fry and, of course, microwave. We opted to nuke ’em for simplicity (and speed). While we must admit that it’s difficult to replicate that freshness of a store-bought baozza when shipping the beloved snack 2,000 kilometers away, nearly our entire office thought that the snack was a winner. What does it taste like? Well, each baozza is essentially a mini calzone albeit with a softer, mantou shell. Who’s eating them: baozi bosses, pizza players Price: RMB44 for two boxes (each box contains two bao; shipping not included)
E D I T O R . P R D @ U R B A N A T O M Y. C O M
Return to Life Bandidos serves what is arguably Guangzhou’s most authentic Mexican cuisine, with a kitchen headed by Chef Jorge from Mexico City. This month, the popular Zhujiang New Town-based restaurant is launching a new menu and we’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak peek. Among the new edibles that will be available: Vuelve a la vida, a traditional seafood cocktail from the Mexican coast. Featuring shrimp and oysters, this dish is a popular hangover cure in the beautiful North American nation (translating roughly as ‘return to life’ in English). Bandidos Mexican Cantina, 2 Huaxun Jie, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District 天河区珠江新城华讯 街2号 (3803 8557)
WIN! Free Tickets to the That’s Food & Drink Awards in Shenzhen Looking for an excuse to get away from Guangzhou? Our biggest party of the year in Shenzhen, the Food & Drink Awards, will take place on Thursday, December 19 at the Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen. Themed ‘A Galaxy Far, Far Away,’ all the city’s movers and shakers will be there (and presumably dressed up as iconic Star Wars characters, like Han Solo, Kylo Ren or the iconic Darth Vader). The event will feature free flow beer and wine, as well as a delightful selection of high-quality edibles provided by the culinary Jedi at the Hard Rock. Come for the food and booze but be sure to stay for the awards, entertainment and lucky draw – which is sure to be the highlight of the night! We will be giving away an array of amazing prizes, including five-star hotel vouchers and dining packages at some of Shenzhen’s hottest F&B spots. To win free tickets, scan the QR code below. Thu Dec 19, 6.30pm. Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen, 9 Guanlan Gao'erfu Dadao, Longhua New District 龙华新区观澜高尔 夫大道9号 (0755-3395 2888)
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E AT & DR INK | F E AT UR E
THE GOLDEN FORKS Introducing the Greater Bay Area’s First Dining Guide
ollowing on the massive success of the third edition of our Explore China travel guide, we’ve decided to turn our attention to a new project… We’ve heard, we’ve listened and we’re responding: You want a food guide by local experts, a guide that looks beyond Cantonese food to examine the amazing range of world cuisines available in the Greater Bay Area – and now we’re delivering with our first-ever foodie guide book: The Golden Forks: A Greater Bay Area Dining Guide 2019-2020. Our comprehensive dining and drinking guide is set to inform expats, visitors and locals alike on the myriad of food and beverage options available in the Greater Bay Area. From Turkish and Indian food to Italian, French, Mexican and Americanstyle cuisine, we’ll have you covered in our 150-page perfectly-bound book. Set to coincide with our 14th annual Food and Drink Awards, The Golden Forks: A Greater Bay Area Dining Guide 2019 -2020 will organize restaurants based on city and district and cover establishments in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Zhuhai. This month, we are beyond excited to give you a sneak peek at a few of the awesome eateries featured in the book. Each and every spot was assessed and included for their commitment to service, originality, food quality and presentation, cleanliness and good ambiance.
Qiuda 6 Zaiji
You can’t visit Guangzhou without experiencing dim sum and Qiuda 6 Zaiji is unquestionably our favorite spot to indulge in the world-famous cuisine. Helmed by celebrated Cantonese chef Qiu Weiguo, who has served such notable figures as Deng Xiaoping and Queen Elizabeth II, the food here ranges from authentic to experimental and all of it is top quality. The xiaolongbao here are exemplary, as are the xiajiao and shaomai. The real highlight at Qiuda 6 Zaiji, though, is the danmai chashao bao – an in-house specialty perfected by Chef Qiu himself. 523 Binjiang Dong Lu, Haizhu District 海珠区滨江东路523号丘大6仔记 (020-3432 0604)
Hailing from Los Angeles, chef and owner Nick Siu took his love for American-style dining and founded the first Westwood location in Hong Kong back in 2010. Westwood specialize in prime rib and demonstrates an expertise with the unofficial ‘king of beef cuts.’ Prime rib is a type of classic roast beef made from the beef rib primal cut, usually roasted bone-in and served with a tasty reduction called au jus, a sauce made from the drippings. Westwood also offers a fisherman’s seafood pasta filled with fresh Alaskan king crab, tiger prawns, mussels, clams and bacon simmering in an umami-rich, no salt added, sauce. Delicious? You betcha. Shop NL119, Block 2, Nanshan Mix City, Shennan Lu, Nanshan District 南山区深南 大道9668号华润万象天地2栋NL119铺 (8668 7399)
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F E AT UR E | E AT & DR INK
Italian fine dining on the 71st floor, LaBrezza checks all the boxes for quintessential views and delectable eats. Their dishes by Chef Michele Tenzone impress fine-food lovers with his expertise in authentic Southern Italian cooking methods paired with high-quality products. With a rich variety of fresh seafood, fine meats, pasta and more, the culinary team at LaBrezza take diners on a gastronomic experience not easily repeated outside of the Southern European peninsula. The open kitchen and tableside experience are not to be missed, and neither is the wine room – with over 400 labels from some of the world’s most wine-centric countries. The culinary experience is evenly matched by LaBrezza’s finely orchestrated service, making every meal a pure delight. Area E, 1663 Yinwan Lu, Wanzai, Xiangzhou District 香洲区湾仔银弯路1663号E区 (0756-2999 888)
Looking to snag a copy of The Golden Forks: A Greater Bay Area Dining Guide 2019-2020 ? Order yours today by scanning the QR code!
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Let’s Shuck Tonight By Tristin Zhang
In creating new Pazhou haunt Flambé, Justin Wong – along with his partners – decided to utilize their business prowess and connections, which they cultivated running a wine import company. Their goal? To offer the burgeoning Pazhou area top-notch oysters and steak from overseas. Conveniently located along a major thoroughfare that runs through Pazhou, Flambé seems to have struck a chord with the local expat community. On a Friday evening when we visit, the eatery is packed with Englishspeaking patrons. The restaurant accommodates roughly a dozen tables and a bar on the first floor, while the second floor accommodates private rooms that are ideal for wine tastings or company gatherings.
The bill of fare here is still taking shape, but there is a good range of scrumptious edibles available, including pastas, salads, soups, steaks, New Zealand mussels and snacks. Oysters here vary from batch to batch, depending on what’s being imported. When we visit, North American varieties such as Canadian ‘pink pearl’ (RMB21/115/200 per one, six or a dozen) and ‘kusshi,’ (RMB24/130/225) are on offer, and they are as fresh and juicy as it gets. To wash away the salty, aquatic flavors, Flambé pours several fairly-priced Australian white wines. Prefer a glass of red? Your options are abundant here. Moving on to steaks: Flambé offers tender cuts of Triple-A Canadian beef, primarily rib eye and short rib (RMB198 each), both of which are served with veggies and mustard on the side.
With a contemporary and minimalistic setting, Flambé offers patrons a casual and relaxing ambiance – perfect for a romantic rendezvous or an intimate dinner with close friends. Its stylish furnishings declare that it is a place of uncompromising taste. Price: RMB200-300 Who’s going: expat families, Pazhou dwellers Good for: farm-fresh oysters, date night Nearest metro: Wanshengwei (Exit D), 10 minutes’ walk
Open daily, 5.30pm-late; Shop 1019, 10 Chenyue Lu, Pazhou, Haizhu District 海珠区琶洲宸悦路10号1019铺 (191 2869 5532) 50 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
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You’ll Be Happy About the Wait By Matthew Bossons
The Place Open for two months on Meiyuan Xi Lu, an up and coming street running from near Fenghuang Xincun Metro Station towards Taigucang Wharf, Happy Wait has an unquestionably silly name. In all fairness, ‘Happy Wait’ seems to be an approximate translation of the restaurant’s Chinese name, Deng De Xi, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s a bizarre moniker (who the hell is going to be happy about waiting in an F&B venue?). What the restaurant lacks in creative branding, however, it makes up for with hospitable service, tasty eats and a clean, eclectically designed interior. Inside, you’ll notice a large colorful mural on the back wall, an artistic choice that contrasts mightily with the other interior walls, which are predominantly gray. There’s also a mini arcade machine, a jumbo teddy bear, neon signage and even four seemingly out-of-place car tires stacked near the restroom. You’ll find a small patio area outside, but, since we are heading into the winter months, you may want to snag a spot inside.
When we walk by on cool November evening, a sign outside Happy Wait proudly promotes what we initially think are lobster rolls. It turns out we’re wrong, though, and that the seafood stuffed inside the buns on the advertisement is actually shrimp. The eatery serves two different styles of shrimp rolls, one made with a punchy garlic sauce (RMB23) and the other with a Sichuan-style mala sauce (RMB19). We decide to order one of each. Both sandwiches arrive in crunchy, toasted baguettes and are damn near 30 centimeters in length. Unfortunately, the amount of shrimp in each roll leaves something to be desired. The Sichuan-style shrimp roll lives up to its name, numbing our mouths with a lingering heat that has us reaching for the drink menu (at RMB15, we recommend the delicious passionfruit lemon tea). Our favorite of the two sandwiches, though, is definitely the garlic shrimp roll. Much like the interior design, the menu here is all over the place, and features everything from hot pot to sizzling, spicy pepperstrewn meat dishes. We order the mala zhe ji (RMB88), a dish of chicken bits, peppercorns, spicy peppers, garlic and onions. When it arrives at our table, our server pours a clear oil over the edibles and sets them alight. It’s a hell of a show, and the tender – albeit zesty – mor-
sels of chicken are cooked to perfection in the process. For those not interested in lemon tea, Happy Wait does offer a limited selection of bottled beer, including 1664, Corona and Blue Girl (RMB12-18).
Happy Wait is pretty much as casual as it gets, and that’s okay – it’s not pretending to be anything that it isn’t. In conclusion, we reckon this spot is a decent destination for folks who are living in the neighborhood and looking for reasonably priced spicy edibles. Is it family and kid friendly? Absolutely. Would we recommend this shop for an important date or dinner meeting? Probably not. Price: RMB200-300 Who’s going: local families, spice fiends Good for: spicy shrimp rolls, cheap beer Nearest metro: Fenghuang Xincun (Exit A), 7 minutes’ walk
Open daily, 11am-10.30pm; Shop 104-01, 7 Meiyuan Xi Lu, Haizhu District 海珠区梅园西路7号104铺自编 01 (8092 7913)
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24/7 BY SECOO Cocktails on Tap By Ryan Gandolfo
Who needs bartenders when you’ve got cocktails on tap? Draft cocktails are the theme of a new bar on Xingsheng Lu called 24/7 by Secoo, a premium premixed cocktail brand owned by China-based Secoo Group. The boozy establishment appears to be in some partnership with Lotus Lounge – a decadent cocktail bar located directly upstairs (you can walk through the bar to enter Lotus Lounge). Guangzhou is the newest city for 24/7 by Secoo to call home, as the bar concept has set up shop in Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and Suzhou. (For once, Guangzhou has beaten Shanghai to a new opening.) As we mentioned, 24/7 serves their cocktails the new-fashioned way – substituting the bartender for cocktail kegs. Aside from fun and tempting draft concoctions, you’ll also find a couple craft brews on the menu (which is clearly visible above the taps). One aspect of the menu that catches our eye is the craft cocktail credits below each drink, which give a shout out to the creator of each beverage. When we visit early on a Thursday evening, we order the Peking Mojito (RMB58) and the No to Criticism Session IPA (RMB38). Suanmei (preserved plums) are utilized to add a subtle tartness to the mojito with Chinese characteristics, which is otherwise a water-y 52 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
beverage. But given their selection of other drinks on tap, we wouldn’t be so quick to write them off. As for the No to Criticism Session IPA, the brew’s lackluster flavor and weak hoppy notes leave us disappointed. Sessionable IPAs as a variety of beer are unquestionably let down by this brew. 24/7 by Secoo has a long and narrow layout with seating aligned in the front of the venue, while the bar is tucked away in the back. Mosaic tiles with Chinese characters take up a large portion of the left wall while other artwork is visible throughout the space. The lighting is dim with neon signs illuminating parts of the establishment, while the music helps set the tone for a relaxing atmosphere. This new spot is definitely worth a gander, although we encourage you to avoid the two bevvies we sampled.
Price: RMB50-100 Who’s going: Xingsheng Lu strollers, casual cocktail drinkers Good for: cocktails on tap, something new Nearest metro: Liede (Exit B), 10 minutes’ walk Open daily, 8pm-2am; 1/F, No. 107, 7 Xingsheng Lu, Tianhe District 天河区兴盛路7号107铺一楼 (156 2603 0913)
Traditional Chinese Music Concert
Lisa Ono Bossa Nova
Caspian China Tour 2019 Post Rock
New Noise is proud to end this year with an eight-date China tour for American post rock band Caspian, who will be performing works from their upcoming album. Through passionate songwriting, the band carves through the darkness and allows all to be bathed in light. Even when the band is at their heaviest, there are still feelings of peace and catharsis that hang in the air. Caspian transcend post rock norms to create some unique music that is emotive, well-written and utterly enthralling. Sun Dec 15, 8.30pm; RMB220 presale, RMB260 at the door. T:union, 361-365 Guangzhou Dadao Zhong, Yuexiu District 越秀区广州大道中361-365号东方花苑1 层凸空间 (newnoise.cn)
Japanese-Brazilian bossa nova singer Lisa Ono was born in Sao Paulo and started creating magical sounds with her natural voice and a guitar at the age of 15 before becoming a popular bossa nova singer in Japan. She’s been active on stage in New York City, Brazil and Asia. On Christmas Day, Ono will grace Guangzhou with a repertoire of melodic songs with a bossa nova touch, such as ‘La vie en Rose’ and ‘Quizas, Quizas, Quizas.’ Wed Dec 25, 8pm; RMB280-1,280. Xinghai Concert Hall, 33 Qingbo Lu, Ersha Island, Yuexiu District 越秀区二沙岛 晴波路33号星海音乐厅 (ticket-easy.cn)
Hand in Hand International Children’s Music Festival
Hand in Hand International Children’s Music Festival is a music fest intended for the whole family. Disappointed in the lack of new children’s music in China, Chinese singer-songwriter and author Liu Jian and his American wife Rebecca Kanthor created Hand in Hand so that their children, and all kids in China, could have a chance to hear the best live music for families from around the world and learn about different cultures through music. Hand in Hand’s Guangzhou stop will feature Grammy and Emmy-winning husband and wife duo Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, as well as Hippe Gasten from Holland. Fri Dec 27, 7.30pm; RMB120-560. Guangzhou Beilei Theater, 875 Renmin Bei Lu, Yuexiu District 越秀区人民北路875号蓓蕾剧院 (damai.cn)
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At this New Year’s Eve concert, talented soloists will display the wonders of China’s homegrown instruments, including the pi-pa, the erhu and the suona. No idea what any of these are? There’s no better way to find out than to see them in action! Accompaniment will be provided by the Guangdong National Orchestra. Tue Dec 31, 8pm; RMB280-1,280. Xinghai Concert Hall, 33 Qingbo Lu, Ersha Island, Yuexiu District 越秀区二沙岛晴波路33 号星海音乐厅 (ticket-easy.cn)
Richard Clayderman Piano
Clayderman’s distinctive style has earned him superstar status all over the world. He has recorded over 1,300 melodies and clocked up a massive worldwide sales record of approximately 150 million as of 2006 (this number is presumably higher now). Come out to hear this distinguished ‘prince of piano’ while he’s in town. Fri Jan 3, 7.30pm; RMB580-1,580. Guangzhou Opera House, 1 Zhujiang Xi Lu, Tianhe District 天河区珠江西路 1号广州大剧院 (gzdjy.org)
Notre Dame de Paris Musical
Swan Lake Ballet
SEE Art Canton – Contemporary Art Fair
Art Canton, a large-scale art fair widely recognized by collectors and academia, will be held at Guangzhou Liuhua Exhibition & Trade Center. This year, more than 60 art institutions and galleries and nearly 100 artists from China and abroad will participate in the Art Canton – Contemporary Art Fair, where visitors can expect a great number of artworks representing the creme de la creme in the contemporary art sphere. Fri-Mon Dec 6-9, 10am-6pm; RMB35 early bird, RMB50 at the door, RMB100 multiple days. Guangzhou Liuhua Exhibition & Trade Center, 117 Liuhua Lu, Yuexiu District 越秀区流花路117号广州流花展贸 中心 (damai.cn)
Directed by legendary Broadway director Hal Prince, Evita embarks on an international tour this year. The musical charts the story of Eva Peron, second wife of Argentine dictator Juan Peron, from her humble beginnings to the extraordinary wealth, power and status that ultimately led her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation’ by the Argentine people. Featuring some of the most loved songs in musical theater, including ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ and ‘On This Night of a Thousand Stars,’ this is one show you do not want to miss. Fri-Wed Dec 13-18, 2.30pm, 8pm; RMB280-1,080. Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center, 10391045 Baiyun Dadao Nan, Baiyun District 白云区白云大道南1039-1045号广州白云国 际会议中心 (damai.cn)
The bell of Notre Dame de Paris will be ringing in Guangzhou this December, as the internationally acclaimed French musical comes to town. Following its debut in 1998, the original production of Notre Dame de Paris was so popular that it actually set a world record. The story, adapted from French novelist Victor Hugo’s namesake book, follows the love of a hunchbacked bell-ringer for a gypsy girl. Having celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, a special edition of the play has been created and will be staged in Canton this December for the enjoyment of Guangzhouers. Thu-Sun Dec 5-8, 2pm, 7.30pm; RMB280-1,280. Guangzhou Opera House, 1 Zhujiang Xi Lu, Tianhe District 天河区珠江西路 1号广州大剧院 (damai.cn)
Titanic the Musical
Direct from London, this musical takes on the tragic sinking of the world’s most famous ship and brings passengers’ stories to the stage. The original production of this musical came earlier than the film, placing a focus on the personal narratives of the ship’s passengers rather than a love story. On April 14, 1912, the ‘unsinkable’ RMS Titanic departed with thousands of travelers aboard, all unaware that many of them were heading to a watery grave. Follow characters based on real people as they navigate the journey of their lives. Thu-Sun Dec 12-15, 2.30pm, 7.30pm; RMB80-880. Guangzhou Opera House, 1 Zhujiang Xi Lu, Tianhe District 天河区珠江西路1号广州大剧院 (gzdjy.org)
Over the last 20 years, the Russian State Ballet Theater has remained one of the leading ballet companies in Russia, enjoying international acclaim. Its repertoire includes masterpieces of classical ballets as well as some of the world’s finest examples of modern choreography. With its elaborate costumes, vivid set and breathtaking stunts, Swan Lake promises audiences a world-class experience. Wed-Thu Dec 18-19, 7.30pm; RMB180880. Guangzhou Opera House, 1 Zhujiang Xi Lu, Tianhe District 天河区珠江 西路 1号广州大剧院 (gzdjy.org)
Spanish Ballet of Murcia – Flamenco Carmen
Since its inception in 1985, the Spanish Ballet of Murcia has been striving to bring Spanish dances, most notably flamenco, to the world’s audiences. Their choreographic recreation of Carmen, a timeless tale of love, jealousy, death and individuality, is acclaimed for its choreography, stage effects and skilled dancers. Sun Dec 15, 8pm; RMB180-680. Guangzhou Arts Theater, 1229 Guangzhou Dadao Zhong, Tianhe District 天河区广州大道中1229号广州艺术剧院 (damai.cn) WWW.THATSMAGS.COM | DECEMBER 2019 | GZ | 55
TA S T E
Holiday Celebration at Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou
Holiday Celebration at Langham Place, Guangzhou
To help celebrate Christmas and ring in the new year, the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou will host a number of special dinners, buffets, afternoon teas and parties. The hotel will also be offering festive hampers. For more information, call 8883 3901. Various times and prices. Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou, 5 Zhujiang Xi Lu, Tianhe District 天河 区珠江西路5号广州四季酒店 (8883 3901)
The Christmas season is upon us once again. To mark the occasion, enjoy an array of festive food from the award-winning restaurants at Langham Place, Guangzhou. During dinner, be delighted by Santa Claus, live performances, a clown magic show and a fabulous lucky draw. And, don’t forget to pamper yourself at Chuan Spa. For more information, call 8916 3388. Various times and prices. Langham Place, Guangzhou, 638 Xin’gang Dong Lu, Haizhu District 海珠区新港东路 638号广州南丰朗豪酒店 (8916 3388)
Guest Chef Pam at Imperial Springs, Guangzhou
A Thai guest chef, Pam, will be spicing up the culinary offerings at Imperial Springs, Guangzhou. Having worked in an array of dining establishments over the course of her career, including a Michelin three-star restaurant in New York, Chef Pam is popular in her home country. She is an expert at creating appealing and creative Western dishes. Fri-Sun Dec 13-15. Imperial Springs, Guangzhou, 1 Congdu Dadao, Conghua District 从化区从都大 道1号广州从都国际庄园 (3108 8000)
Clay Pot Goodies at Wuu’s
DO AmCham Winter Ball
Straight out of Hong Kong, Wuu’s is a tea restaurant that serves one-of-a-kind hot pot as well as luscious Cantonese dishes and desserts. Its signature iced pineapple bun, with a freezing cold slice of butter stuffed inside, boasts a unique mouthfeel. Wuu’s also dishes out dim sum in the evening. For this winter, Wuu’s will have a variety of clay pot rice and dishes on offer. Pop in for their Cantonese culinary highlights served in a traditional Hong Kong setting. Daily ongoing, 10.30-3am (Mon-Fri), 9-3am (Sat-Sun). Wuu’s Hong Kong Cuisine, No. 103-107, B1/F, Huifang, 75 Tianhe Dong Lu, Tianhe District 天河区天河东路75号汇坊B1层103-107号铺 (8757 0062)
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AmCham’s signature ‘Winter Ball’ is back! With over 20 glorious years of history, AmCham Winter Ball is a blockbuster evening and is billed by the chamber as their ‘most glamorous signature event.’ Attended by consuls general and the city’s business elite, this event is the perfect opportunity to network and rub shoulders with the who’s who of Guangzhou. Themed ‘Peace & Love’ (cue the That ’70s Show theme), guests can expect classic Motown tunes to whisk you back to a time when everything was ‘cool’ and ‘groovy.’ To purchase your ticket, scan the QR code. Sat Dec 7, 6pm-late; RMB850-2,000. LN Garden Hotel, Guangzhou, 368 Huanshi Dong Lu, Yuexiu District 越秀区环市东路368号广州花园酒店 (thmart.com.cn)
HONG KONG & MACAO CALENDAR HK
UNTIL DEC 8
Business of Design Week, various times; free entry. Various venues (bodw.com/en) This special weeklong event, which includes over 100 events from November 30 to December 8, is a prime opportunity for those interested in exchanging ideas, networking and exploring new business opportunities. Some of the world’s best design masters and influential business figures will help provide a platform to learn and grow, including workshops, exhibitions and a creative market. The Business of Design Week runs across Hong Kong, so expect events at Sham Shui Po and Wan Chai, among other locations.
DEC 7-8, 14-15, 21-22 SAT-SUN
You should have no worries when viewing this month’s production of The Lion King in Hong Kong. Fresh in everyone’s heads after its silver screen reincarnation earlier this year, come to AsiaWorld-Expo to see the vast savannahs of Africa on the big stage. And remember – hakuna matata!
DEC 18-JAN 12 VARIOUS DATES
The Lion King, various times; various prices. AsiaWorld-Expo (discoverhongkong.com)
Macau Light Festival, 7-10pm; free. Ruins of Saint Paul’s, Anim’Arte Nam Van Featuring glamorous 3D architectural projection mapping, light installations and various interactive games, this year’s Macau Light Festival allows tourists and locals alike to enjoy mesmerizing sights at two different locations in the historic city.
UNTIL DEC 8
DEC 28-29 SAT-SUN
Creamﬁelds Hong Kong 2019, all day; RMB988-1,488. West Kowloon Art Park (247Tickets.com) Remember Clockenflap 2019? Neither do we, but we’re still holding out hope that this major dance music festival won’t be canceled. Creamfields Hong Kong 2019 has an uber talented lineup this time around, with DJ Snake, ILLenium and Key4050 leading an A-list group of well-known artists. Pro tip: Don’t buy tickets anywhere other than oﬃcial ticketing platforms, as this event may suffer a Clockenflap fate.
UNTIL JAN 1 Stanley Plaza Christmas Market 2019, various times; free entry. Stanley Plaza (linkhk.com) “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” This song was first recorded back in 1963 and is still quoted to this day. But seriously, there’s something purely blissful about Christmas markets, and Stanley Plaza is the place to go in Hong Kong to pick up that Christmas spirit. Check out the festivities, along with an array of festive gifts, treats and deals.
MO International Parade (formerly called Parade Through Macau) has attracted local artists, residents, tourists and performing groups from around the world since its inception in 2011. Showcasing the unique culture of the international city, the parade takes the crowd through its distinct streets and alleys, bringing song and dance to the historical quarters.
Bird Watching Festival, various times; various prices. Hong Kong Wetland Park (wetlandpark.gov.hk) This month, flock with the pack to Hong Kong Wetland Park for the Bird Watching Festival happening throughout the month of December. Have a passion for birds that your friend Karen simply doesn’t understand? If so, leave her to Candy Crush and meet new bird enthusiasts as the park is offering workshops, guided walks and other ‘edutainment’ activities. Grow your knowledge of our winged friends by exploring the beautiful wetland reserve.
DEC 5-10 DAILY
4th International Film Festival and Awards, Macao, various times; MOP60. Various locations (macauticket.com) The International Film Festival and Awards encourages the use of art as a tool for dialogue to freely share and exchange ideas and learn about different cultures. It also aims to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of Chinese language and East Asian and international cinema, while educating the public on the history of cinematography. A great mix of international films will be screened at various theaters in the city over the course of the festival.
DEC 8 SUN
Macao International Parade, 3pm; free. Ruins of Saint Paul’s As an annual celebration of Macao’s handover to China, Macao
Lingua Franca – Annual Arts Exhibition Between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries, 10am-7pm; free admission. Green Townhouses, Avenida do Coronel Mesquita A number of photography and video works by 22 artists from 10 countries and regions will be displayed at Lingua Franca, an exhibition instituted as part of this year’s Macao Arts Festival. Visitors can enjoy these artistic creations in the Portuguese-style Green Townhouses located near the historic district downtown.
DEC 17 TUE
The Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macao 2019 Gala Dinner, 7pm; MOP4,888. City of Dreams (cityofdreamsmacau.com) Celebrating the 12th edition of the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macao, its oﬃcial partner Melco will be hosting a gala dinner at City of Dreams to offer culinary delights prepared by six renowned chefs and a patissier from two- and three-Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. Foodies can partake in this once-in-a-lifetime dining experience where a sevencourse wine-pairing dinner will be served.
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HOTEL NEWS NEWS
Fam Trip Hosted at Imperial Springs
Belt and Road Sun Trip
Imperial Springs is the epitome of prestige, having played host to over 100 former heads-of-state. The manor’s Tang Dynasty-inspired architecture, accompanied by the picturesque rolling hills of Conghua district, make a stay at Imperial Springs an experience to treasure. On November 8-9, the elite hospitality venue hosted a successful media trip.
In concert with French company Sun Trip, Lingnan Group is planning to launch an intercontinental bicycle trip from Leon, France to Guangzhou next May. More than 40 cyclists are expected to participate in the 12,000-kilometer odyssey.
Ritz-Carlton Lion Leo Art Collection on Offer
Marriott South China Media Appreciation Event Marriott South China hosted a special media appreciation event last month on November 15. The event included a bowling competition that would have left ‘The Dude’ and Walter Sobchak jealous.
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The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou has collaborated with Kui Yuan Gallery to jazz up the look of the hotel’s mascot, Lion Leo, with a festive costume. The ‘Lion Art Collection’ is available for purchase at the hotel’s concierge counter on the first floor or business center on the second floor. The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou, 3 Xing’an Lu, Tianhe District 天河区兴安路3号广州 富力丽思卡尔顿酒店 (3813 6688)
TRAVEL DEALS Enjoy Two Nights at Huangshan Starting from RMB1,488 Anhui’s celebrated Huangshan, known in English as ‘Yellow Mountain,’ is renowned for its stunning scenery and – this time of year – for its lovely autumn leaves. If witnessing the fall colors of Huangshan is on your bucket list, then you’ll be excited by this awesome hotel package on thMart: Spend two nights in the beautiful Huangshan Yeechoi Hotel starting from only RMB1,488. Enjoy a clean and comfortable stay in a double- or twin-bed room, which includes daily replenishments of the complimentary mini bar, buffet breakfasts for two people each day and a complimentary hot springs experience for two people, among other perks.
For more details on this package and booking, scan the QR code.
Two-Night Hainan Resort Stay Starting from Just RMB3,588 Nothing helps cure those winter blues like some fun in the sun on a warm, sandy beach. Jet off this month to beautiful Sanya on Hainan Island to enjoy some well-deserved R&R at the stunning Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Sanya, Hainan. Spend two nights in an ocean-view room for only RMB3,588 and enjoy some awesome benefits, including: daily breakfasts for two adults and two children, high tea for two people and a scuba diving or boat excursion! Additionally, the hotel boasts amenities for kids, including slippers, bath supplies and sand toys.
For more details on this package and booking, scan the QR code.
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CITY SCENES British Day 2019 (Supported by
Held at the Canton Place, this year’s British Day offered attendees an English feast and three raffle rounds, with prizes worth RMB147,000. Participants enjoyed some classic British edibles, including fish-and-chips, as well as Indian, Chinese and Mexican dishes. Proceeds from the event went to support the Hopeful Hearts charity.
Urban Family 2019 Writing Contest (Supported by and
Organized by That’s PRD’s sister magazine, Urban Family, this writing contest profiled written work by students aged 6-18 from around the Greater Bay Area. A total of 23 finalists read their work at a live reading party on November 10, an event that was – by all accounts – a rousing success. Congratulations to our young scribes!
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CITY SCENES The 5th Electric City Shenzhen Craft Beer Fest (Supported by and ) The 5th Electric City Shenzhen Craft Beer Fest, presented by Bionic Brew, took place from November 8 to 10 at HALO Place, hosting 23 breweries from cities all across China. The sold-out event featured a great mix of local and international DJs and we’re already excited to attend next year’s event!
BSG International Day 2019 (Supported by and
Fourth Anniversary of Kanai Japanese Cuisine )
Roughly 2,000 people were invited to BSG for the school’s International Day event, which saw guests enjoy fun activities, music, prizes and great F&B offerings. The event was open to all foreign nationals living in Guangzhou and all funds raised at the event were donated to Hopeful Hearts.
Guangzhou-based Japanese restaurant Kanai celebrated its fourth anniversary on November 15. At the event, the restaurant’s head chef butchered a gigantic, Japan-imported Atlantic bluefin tuna right before invitees’ eyes. Diners at Kanai were treated to free tuna sashimi from November 16 to 30.
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PRD FOCUS L
N Garden Hotel, Guangzhou played host to an Oktoberfest celebration from October 14-20, offering attendees a spectacular menu of classic German edibles, beer and Bavarian music.
n November 11, InterContinental Guangzhou Exhibition Center hosted a dinner party to express gratitude to the hotel’s partners.
rom November 4-9, W Fashion Week’s fourth edition took place at W Guangzhou, where prominent domestic and international brands showcased their trendy new collections.
aikoo Hui in Guangzhou’s Tianhe district hosted an ’80s-themed tree-lighting ceremony on November 22, which was attended by many distinguished members of the community. Until January 1, 2020, Taikoo Hui will host a series of performances, activities and benefits to pay tribute to the 1980s. 62 | GZ | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
ovember 1 saw the Consulate General of Mexico in Guangzhou celebrate the Day of the Dead at Canton Club.
HE A LT H
REWRITE YOUR STORY
Changing the Perception of Depression in the Modern World By Dr. Alfred Chambers
‘Depression’ is just a word. Yet, it has come to have a very negative connotation in our modern language. It has become a catchall word, so to speak, for people to describe themselves or others when life is not going as planned and they’re not happy about it. Of course, life rarely ever goes according to plan, so does that mean we are living in a constant state of depression? Maybe. But perhaps we can look at this whole idea in a different light. But first, I have some ‘depressing’ news: Not only does life seldom go according to plan, it can even get worse than we can imagine. And forget about ‘true happiness,’ which is just a fleeting state of euphoria reserved for moments of neurochemical release in the brain. Actually, the long-lost natural state of humans is relaxation and community connection intermingled with the odd burst of adrenaline when a bear attacks our village – not happiness. We long ago lost our natural state of peacefulness. Nowadays, we are constantly in ‘bear attack’ mode with our systems either hyper-alert or long ago overwhelmed and shut down. Let’s call these two interwoven states the ‘evil twins’ Anxiety and Depression. When we are in ‘bear attack’ mode, which is most of the time, we are not only losing track of our big plans, we are also dealing with stress, confusion, anger, selfpity, low energy, obsession, compulsive behaviors and other ‘fun’ things that are all part of what we call depression. So, maybe we should call what now seems normal (feelings of depression) something less judgmental than depression. Why not just called these feelings ‘being human in the modern world’? We are constantly expected to work
more, do better, compete with each other under pressure and, of course, succeed. Is the world a better place from all of this striving? I don’t know. But I do know that we have more mental health problems than ever before and that the planet itself is in very bad shape. Something is not going right. I recently heard a very distinguished and wise psychology professor from an Ivy League school say that after his years of research and attempts to unravel the secrets of being human, his answer was simple: “Let’s stop judging each other.” I would add to that: Let’s stop judging ourselves. Contrary to what some people think, self-hate is not a good motivator. Instead we need to learn to enjoy a good challenge, while remembering that our plans will one day be lost and we’ll be dead. ‘Depression’ is a word that’s used to describe a set of arbitrary subjective experiences within a person’s internal world. If we change our inner stories from themes of ‘poor me’ to ‘what an adventure,’ our view of ourselves and others will also change
and over-used human constructs such as ‘suffering’ and ‘depression’ will fade. Perhaps we’re all depressed, maybe nobody is, or maybe we’re all just being who we are, like every other beautifully imperfect tree in the forest. Is it all worth it, to go through all the disappointments and struggles and pain? I don’t know. I guess that is something we must all figure out for ourselves; however, my answer is that since we’re here anyway, let’s at least give life our best shot.
Dr. Alfred Chambers holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is the section chief of Mental Health Services at Guangzhou United Family Hospital. Guangzhou United Family Hospital, 31 Pazhou Dadao, Haizhu District 海珠区琶洲大道31号广州和睦 家医疗 (4008 919 191)
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FOOD & DRINK
卡布里西餐厅 1) 天河区兴盛路 8 号 119 铺 ; 2) 越 秀区建设四马路天伦花园首层 Polaris Bar and Dining Address: 87 Huangpu Dadao Xi, Tianhe District. 天河区黄埔大道西 87 号
Aroma Bistro Shop 117, 1/F, Voka Street, 460 Tianhe Bei Lu, Tianhe District (185 0200 1416) 天河区天河北路 460 号沃凯街首层 117 铺
Rebel Rebel 42 Tiyu Dong Lu, Tianhe District (8520 1579) 天河区体育东路 42 号
Slow Life An organic, healthconscious Western restaurant that excels in Spanish cuisine, Slow Life aims to be a place where guests can take a break from their busy schedules to visit with friends and family over a feast of delicious fusion dishes. Shop 107, 1/F, Gaozhi Dasha, 120 Huangpu Dadao Xi, Tianhe District; Shop 205, 2/F, Kaihua International Center, 5 Xiancun Lu, Tianhe District 天河区黄埔大道西120号高志大厦首层107铺 (3788 7173, 3788 7172); 天河区冼村路5号凯华 国际中心二楼205铺 (2818 7263)
MR. ROCKY Cowboys, Epic Steaks and More Mr. Rocky is a popular, cowboy-themed chain restaurant that has won over many fans in Guangzhou. A notable restaurant brand in South China, Mr. Rocky offers patrons food, music, wine and good times. Top choices here include the Angus steak grilled over wood pellets, as well as a wide selection of cocktails, wine and German craft beer. Every evening, different foreign bands take the stage at the establishment to entertain patrons, who also enjoy interactive games, a bull-riding machine and American billiards. No. 06-07, Area B, Party Pier, 118 Modiesha Dajie, Haizhu District 海珠区磨碟沙大街118号琶醍B区 06-07号铺 (8908 0018)
Join the Bravo Mug Club to enjoy the following benefits: 1) points earned on every RMB1 spent at Bravo; 2) an exclusive pint glass; 3) four E-vouchers that can be redeemed for house brewed beer; and so much more! Annual membership costs RMB288. Visit Bravo for more details. Bravo Shop 114-115, 6 Huajiu Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District 天河区珠江新城华就路 6 号 114-115 铺 Buongiorno 1) 3/F, Yi An Plaza, 33 Jianshe Liu Malu, Yuexiu District (8363 3587); 2) A7, Xinshijie Haoyuan Diyi Ju, 168 Dongcheng Nan Lu, Dongguan (0769 2339 6499) 邦奴意大利餐厅 1) 越秀区建设六马路宜安广场 3 楼 ; 2) 东莞市东城南路 168 号新世界豪圆第一居 A7 号
Element Fresh 1) Shop L302, TaiKoo Hui, 383 Tianhe Lu, Tianhe District (3808 8506); 2) G/F, 42 Qingfeng Jie, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District (3828 8482) 新元素 , 1) 天河区天河路 383 号太古汇广场 L302 店 ; 2) 天河区珠江新城清风街 42 号首层 Gail’s American Cuisine & Bar Shop 11, 2/F, 6 Xingsheng Lu, Tianhe District (8928 0920, 3759 4226) 天河区兴盛路 6 号尚东君御二楼 11 铺 Happy Monk 1) Back of Yi'an Plaza, Jianshe Wu Malu, Yuexiu District (8376 5597) ; 2) No. 109, 7Xingsheng Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District (3877 8679); 3) Outdoor Plaza, Happy Valley Mall, 36 Machang Lu, Tianhe District (3832 5317) 1) 越秀区建设五马路宜安广场后门 ; 2) 天河区珠江 新城兴盛路 7 号 109 号铺 ; 3) 天河区珠江新城马 场路 36 号太阳新天地户外广场
10 SHANGHAI Lamb for the Win Upscale Huaiyang cuisine restaurant 10 Shanghai has several nutrition-packed lamb dishes on offer this winter. Highlights include a lamb casserole, mutton simmered with daikon (a radish variety commonly used in Eastern cuisines), as well as a lamb and fish dish that fuses the distinct aroma of both proteins when simmered and fried. The latter dish comes in two flavors, pandering to different palates: a delicate broth and a flavorful stew prepared with a variety of spices. Shop 702, 7/F, K11 Art Mall, 6 Zhujiang Dong Lu, Tianhe District 天河区珠江东路6号K11艺术购物中 心七楼702铺 (8883 5323)
Summer House Directly behind the Marriage House, Xietian Li, Lingnan Tiandi, Chancheng District, Foshan (133 9223 6374, www.summerhouse.com.cn) 佛山市禅城区岭南天地协天里（嫁娶屋正后面）粤 天地 112-116 号铺
Sultan Restaurant Turkish BBQ 1) 1-3/F, 367 Huanshi Dong Lu, between Baiyun Hotel and Friendship Store, Yuexiu District (8349 4170, 8349 4171); 2) Shop 102 & 114, Zhonghai Jinghui Huating, 31 Xingsheng Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, TianHe District(3801 5002) 1) 苏坦土耳其烧烤餐厅 , 越秀区环市东路 367 号 1-3 楼 ( 白云宾馆与友谊商店夹位处 ); 2) 广州市 天河区珠江新城兴盛路 31 号中海璟晖华庭二期商 铺 102 & 114
Hooley’s Irish Pub and Restaurant 1)101, 8 Xingsheng Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District (3886 2675); 2)Section 2, Yijia Yuan, 7 Xingzhongdao, Zhongshan 1)爱尔兰西餐酒吧, 天河区珠江新城兴盛路8号101; 2) 中山市兴中道7号颐嘉苑2卡
Morgan’s Public House Traditional English style bar that fosters a cosy intimate atmosphere. Both Taverns offer an extensive menu of Western favorites and different theme nights throughout the whole week. Poly 108, 6 Huajiu Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District (8550 3038) 致盛 , 天河区珠江新城华就路 6 号保利 108 公馆
Tairyo Teppanyaki 1) 2/F, Zhizhunhui, 263 Huasui Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe Dis- trict (8559 8937); 2) 2/F, Guangyi Bldg, 34- 38 Huale Lu, Yuexiu District (8360 1371) 大渔铁板烧 1) 珠江新城华穗路 263 号至尊汇二楼 ; 2) 越秀区华乐路 34-38 号广怡大厦 2 楼 ;
Oggi Pizzeria 1) Shop 119, 8 Xingsheng Lu, Tianhe District (3805 1282); 4) 1 Tianlun Garden, Jianshe 4 Lu,Yuexiu District (8356 1196) www.oggirestaurant.com
Zapata’s Shop A21 Party Pier, Located in Party Pier, just a stone's throw away from the Canton Fair complex, the hot venue also comes with an out-
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OPEN DOOR standing riverside terrace, which is perfect for an evening of drunken merrymaking. Yuejiang Xi Lu, Haizhu District (8977 9596) 海珠区阅江西路珠江啤酒厂琶醍文化区 A21
HEALTH All Smile - Dr. Lu Int’l Dental Clinic Rm 603-604, 6/F, Metro Plaza, 183 Tianhe Bei Lu (24-hour hotline: 8755 3380). Mon-Sat 9am-6pm (other times by appointment) 大都会牙科，天河北路183号大都会广场六楼 603-604 Bellaire International Clinic Rm 302D, Fuli Park, 28 Machang Lu (3891 0511/ 24-hr 152 1881 8990), Bellaireclinic.com 贝利尔诊所， 天河区珠江新城马场路富力公园28 商业区302D Deron Dental 3905-3909/F, Tianying Plaza East Tower, No.222 Xingming Lu, Tianhe (3886 4821,www.kaiyiyk.com) 德隆齿科诊所，广州市天河区兴民路 222 号天盈广 场东塔 39 楼 3905-3909 Dr. Sherily Xiao Master of Medicine. 23years in TCM & Acupuncture & Physiotherapy & Massage in Clinic and Classes 5 years International Clinic Experience. Only for appointment. Nr.3 Jian She Wu Ma Road De An Building Yue Xiu District Guangzhou（Tel: 137 1052 6617; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) 广州市越秀区建设五马路3号德安大厦 Eur Am Medical & Dental Center 1/F, North Tower, Ocean Pearl Bldg, 19 Huali Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng (3758 5328, 24hr urgent care: 137 1041 3347, www. eurammedicalcenter.com) 广州康辰医疗 , 珠江新城华利路 19 号远洋明珠大厦 北座首层 Guangzhou Narcotics Anonymous Meetings: Monday 6.30pm and Friday 7pm. (For help: 188 9857 0042 (French, Chinese & English), 133 3287 0750 (Persian), 185 8876 4470 (English), www.nachina.com) Hanfei Plastic Surgery Hair transplant, liposuction, anti-aging treatments, breast augmentation/lift, face fift, Botox, hyaluronic acid, SVF-gel and more. For free consultation, add WeChat: robin5779 or call 176 2094 5779. 35 Qifu Lu, Baiyun District (www.hanfeiplasticsurgery.com) 韩妃整形 , 白云区齐富路 35 号 H&H Dental Center 1/F, Mingmen Building, 4 Huacheng Dadao, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District (3808 0700, 3808 0729; 24-hour hotline: 139 2516 2826; E-mail: email@example.com) H&H 牙科中心（嘉茜医疗门诊 ), 天河区珠江新城 花城大道 4 号名门大厦正门首层 iBorn Clinic Rm 2202-2203, Qiaoxin Kingold Century, 62 Jinsui Lu, Tianhe District ( 3736 2020/ 24-hr 3736 2110; Job seeking: 185 2031 1686, Lyan) 爱博恩综合门诊 天河区珠江新城金穗路侨鑫金融 中心2202-2203
TORITAMA The Land of the Rising Skewer Since the establishment of the first Toritama in Tokyo in 1999, this skewered chicken restaurant and bar chain has opened branches across Asia and won numerous honors, including four Michelin Bib Gourmand awards. The chain specializes in grilling up every part of a chicken you can imagine – even bird testicles. At the flagship eatery in Tokyo, there are 40 different chicken skewers that can be ordered, according to Matsuzawa Jun, the head chef at Toritama’s Guangzhou branch on Tianhe Dong Lu. The must-order dishes here are the momo, or chicken thigh skewer, and the chicken meatball. Another hot order is the chicken intestine, which comes with eggs attached and is apparently in limited supply. To wash your protein down, consider diving into Toritama’s drink menu, which features beer, wine, whiskey, sake, cocktails and soju. Shop 107, 75 Tiyu Dong Lu, Tianhe District 天河区天河东路75号107铺白金酉玉 (3849 8210)
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iBorn Women’s & Children’s Hospital No.6 Longkou Dong Lu, Tianhe District (2811 6375/185 2018 8335; Job seeking: 185 2031 1686, Lyan) 广州爱博恩妇产医院 , 天河区龙口东路 6 号 Sing Health Medical 2 Xian Cun Rd, Zhu Jiang New Town, Tian He District, Guangzhou, Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm, Tel: 3739 2500 Open Every Day 广州新宁门诊， 天河区 珠江新城 冼村路 2 号 United Family Guangzhou Clinic 1/F, Annex Bldg, PICC Bldg, 301 Guangzhou Dadao Zhong (4008 919 191, 24-hr urgent care: 8710 6060) 广州越秀和睦家门诊部 , 广州大道中 301 号人保大 厦南塔副楼首层 Guangzhou United Family Hospital Open 24/7. 24-hr Service Center: 4008 919191, 24-hr Emergency Hotline: (020) 3610 2333 No. 28, Fangyuan Lu, Haizhu District, Guangzhou 广州和睦家医院 广州市海珠区芳园路 28 号
LIFESTYLE Guangdong Int’l Volunteer Expatriate Service (GIVES) Contact Rosaline Yam (8778 2778; givescn@ yahoo.com) www.gives.cn Guangzhou Women’s Int’l Club (GWIC) For contact information, visit www.gwic.org SO’ O LK (Hair Salon) 1) G/F, 545 Binjiang Dong Lu, Haizhu District (3425 7429); 2) Shop 103A, World Trade Centre, 371-375 Huanshi Dong Lu, Yuexiu District (8760 6299); 3) Shop101, 712 Binjiang Dong Lu, Haizhu District (8419 1022); 4) Shop101, Fuli Edinburgh Apartment, 2 Huali Lu, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District(3826 3718); 5) Shop 15 2/F, Chateau Star River Hotel, Yingbin Lu, Panyu District(3479 0641); 6) Shop81-82, G/F, New City Plaza, Olympic Garden, Luoxi New Town, Panyu District(3452 1826); 7) Shop 21, Agile Phase II, Fenghuang Bei Lu, Huadu District(3692 8686) 苏豪路易士，嘉玛发廊，1) 天河区天河北路 366 号 都市华庭 13 铺 ; 2) 越秀区环市东路 371-375 号世 界贸易中心首层 103A; 3) 海珠区滨江东路 712 号 101 铺 ; 4) 天河区珠江新城华利路 2 号富力爱丁堡 公寓 101 铺 ; 5) 番禺区迎宾路星河湾酒店 2 楼 15 号铺 ; 6) 番禺区洛溪新城奥园城市花园首层 81-82 号铺 ; 7) 花都区凤凰北路雅居乐二期 21 号铺
EDUCATION American International School of Guangzhou (AISG) 1) 3 Yanyu Nan Lu, Ersha Island (8735 3393); 2) 19,Kexiang Road Luogang District,Science Park, Guangzhou (3213 5555) 1) 广州美国人 ，二沙岛烟雨南路 3 号 ; 2) 广州罗岗 区科翔路 19 号 Baioo International Infant Care & Preschool No. 301, 3/F, Utopa, Goldchi Building, 120 Huangpu Dadao, Tianhe District (8565 3625) 天河区黄埔大道西 120 号高志大厦优托邦驿站 3 楼 301 号百奥国际幼教中心 Canadian Foreign Language School Cambridgshire Garden, Panyu District (39191868 ext. 0) 广州市番禺区剑桥郡加拿达外国语学校，广州市番 禺区剑桥郡花园 Canadian International School of Guangzhou Merchant Hill, Dongyi Lu, Panyu District (3925 5321, www.cisgz.com) 广州加拿大人国际学校，番禺区东艺路招商金山谷 Canadian Internatioanal Kindergarten Agile Garden, Yinbin Lu, Panyu District (8456 6551). 加拿大国际幼儿园，番禺区迎宾路雅居乐花园 Canton Global Academy 4 Chuangjia Road, Jinshazhou, Baiyun District, Guagnzhou (180 2401 1757) 广州寰宇外籍人员子女学校 , 广州市白云区金沙洲 创佳路 4 号 Clifford School International International Building, Clifford School, Clifford Estates, Shiguang Lu, Panyu District (8471 8273; 8471 1441; 8471 1694) 祈福英语实验学校，番禺区市广路 Eclipse English Education 18D, Center 1: No.368, Tianhe Bei Road, GZ (Tel:38780382,18922769713) 学习中心1: 爱誉英语, 天河北路, 368号, 18D Center 2: No.33, Cuifu St, Chaotian Rd,GZ 学习中心2: 越秀区朝天路崔府街33号首层 Center 3: Apt. C, 15/F, Office Building Xinhe Square, No.211-8, Chang Gang Zhong Road, GZ 学习中心3: 海珠区昌岗中路211-8号，信和 中心，15楼C Guangzhou Nanfang International School No. 1, Yucuiyuan North, Yinglong Lu, Longdong, Tianhe District (3886 6952, 3886 3606, Fax: 3886 3680, www.gnischina.org) 广州 南方外籍人员子女学校，天河区龙洞迎龙路瑜翠 园北一号 ISA International School Guangzhou Block C2-2, 128 Yuancun Siheng Lu, Tianhe District (8890 0909, firstname.lastname@example.org) 广州爱莎国际学校, 天河区员村四横路128号红专
Stone Eden Nursery School A316, Guangzhou Opera House, 1 Zhujiang Xi Lu, Tianhe District (8852 6503, info@stoneedennursery. com) 英诺儿英国早托 , 天河区珠江西路 1 号广州大剧院 A316
Chimelong Circus Hotel Hengqin New District, Zhuhai (0756-299 3399, www.chimelong. com) 长隆马戏酒店, 珠海市横琴新区
The British School of Guangzhou 983-3 Tonghe Lu, Baiyun District (8709 4788) 广州 英国学校, 白云区同和路983-3 Trinity International Kindergarten 663 Huacheng Dadao, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District (8558 3287) 圣心国际幼稚园, 天 河区珠江新城花城大道663号 Utahloy Int’l School www.utahloy.com 1) 800 Shatai Bei Lu, Baiyun District (8720 2019, fax 8704 4296); 2) Sanjiang Town, Zeng Cheng (8291 4691 fax: 8291 3303) 广州誉德莱国际学校，1) 白云区沙太北路 800 号 ； 2) 增城三江镇
HOTEL Aloft Guangzhou Tianhe 365 Tianhe Bei Road, TianheDistrict (3802 8888; aloftguangzhoutianhe.com) 广州天河雅乐轩酒店 , 天河区天河北路 365 号 Chimelong Hotel Panyu Dadao, Panyu District (8478 6838, gz.chimelong.com) 长隆酒店 , 番禺区番禺大道 Chimelong Hengqin Bay Hotel Hengqin New District, Zhuhai (0756-299 8888, www. chimelong.com) 长隆横琴湾酒店 , 珠海市横琴新区 Chimelong Penguin Hotel Hengqin New District, Zhuhai (0756-299 3366, www.chimelong.com)
China Hotel 122, Liuhua Lu, Yuexiu District (8666 6888; www.chinahotelgz.com) 中国大酒店 , 越秀区流花路 122 号 Conrad Guangzhou 222 Xingmin Lu, Tianhe District (3739 2222) 广州康莱德酒店，天河区兴民路222号 DoubleTree by Hilton Guangzhou 391 Dongfeng Lu, Yuexiu District (2833 7215; 2833 2888) 广州希尔顿逸林酒店 , 越秀区东风路 391 号 Grand Hyatt Guangzhou 12, Zhujiang Xi Lu, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District (8396 1234 www.guangzhou.grand.hyatt.com) 广州富力君悦大酒店 , 天河区珠江新城珠江西路 12 号 Guangzhou Marriott Hotel Tianhe 228 Tianhe Lu, Tianhe District (6108 8888) 广州正佳广场万豪酒店，天河区天河路 228 号 Langham Place Guangzhou 638 Xingang Dong Lu, Haizhu District(8916 3388) 广州南丰朗豪酒店 , 海珠区新港东路 638 号 LN Garden Hotel, Guangzhou 368, Huanshi Dong Lu (8333 8989, www.thegardenhotel. com.cn) LN Garden Hotel, Guangzhou, 368 Huanshi Dong Lu, Yuexiu District 广州花园酒店 , 越秀区环市东路 368 号花园酒 店 (8333 8989) LN Garden Hotel Nansha Guangzhou, 1 Dajiao Er Lu, Nansha District (3210 8888) 广州南沙花园酒店 , 南沙区大角二路 1 号 LN Hotel Five, Guangzhou 277 Yanjiang Zhong Lu, Yuexiu District （8931 0505） 广州岭南五号酒店，越秀区沿江中路 277 号 Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou 389 Tianhe Lu, Tianhe District (3808 8888) 广州文华东方酒店 , 天河区天河路 389 号
bassy.gov.au 澳大利亚领事馆，临江路 3 号珠江新城发展中心 12 楼
Park Hyatt Guangzhou 16 Huaxia Lu, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou (3769 1234) 广州柏悦酒店 天河区珠江新城华夏路 16 号
Belgium Room 0702, 7/F, R & F Center, Unit 2, 10 Huaxia Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District (Tel: 3877 2351; Fax: 3877 2353) 天河区珠江新城华夏路 10 号富力中心 7 楼 0702 室
Shangri-La Hotel Guangzhou 1, Huizhan Dong Lu, Haizhu District (8917 8888, www. shangri-la.com) 广州香格里拉大酒店 , 海珠区会展东路 1 号 Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich 988 Guangzhou Dadao Zhong, Tianhe District (3883 8888) 广州圣丰索菲特大酒店 , 天河区广州大道中 988 号 . www.sofitel.com The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou 3, Xing’an Lu, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District (3813 6688, www.ritzcarlton.com) 广州富力丽思卡尔顿 酒店, 天河区珠江新城兴安路3号 W Guangzhou 26 Xiancun Lu, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District (6628 6628) 广州 W 酒店 , 天河区珠江新城冼村路 26 号 White Swan Hotel 1 Shamian Nan Jie, Liwan District (8188 6968) 白天鹅宾馆 , 荔湾区沙面南街 1 号
CONSULATES Argentina 2405, Teem Tower, 208 Tianhe Lu, Tianhe District (3888 0328, cguan@ mrecic.gov.ar) 阿根廷共和国领事馆 , 天河区天河路 208 号粤海天 河城大厦 2405 单元 Brazil Rm 1403, 10 Huaxia Lu, R&F Center, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District (02083652236; cg. cantao.itamaraty.gov.br) 巴西驻广州总领事馆 , 珠江新城华夏路 10 号富力中 心 1403 室 Australia 12/F, Zhujiang New City, Development Centre, 3 Linjiang Lu (Tel: 3814 0111; Fax: 3814 0112) www.guangzhou.china.em-
Cambodia Rm 802, The Garden Hotel (Tower), Huangshi Dong Lu (Tel: 8333 8999 - 805; Fax: 8365 2361) 柬埔寨领事馆，环市东路花园酒店大楼 808 室 Canada 26/F, Tower 1, Taikoo Hui, 385 Tianhe Lu, Tianhe District (Tel: 8611 6100, Fax: 8667 2401) www.guangzhou.gc.ca 加拿大领事馆，天河区天河路 385 号太古汇一座 26 楼 Colombia Unit 12, 36/F No 5, Zhujiang West Road, Tianhe, Guangzhou (8883 4826, email@example.com) 哥伦比亚驻广州总领事馆，珠江西路 5 号广州国际 金融中心主塔写字楼 36 层 12 单元 Cuba Rm 2411, West Tower, Huapu Plaza, 13 Huaming Lu, Zhujiang New Town (Tel: 2238 2603 / 2238 2604; Fax: 2238 2605) 珠江新城华明路 13 号华普广场西塔 2411 Denmark Rm 1578, China Hotel, A Marriott Hotel, 122 Liuhua Lu (Tel: 2829 7300; Fax: 8667 0315) 丹 麦 领 事 馆， 流 花 路 122 号 中 国 大 酒 店 写 字 楼 1578 室 Ecuador Room 1801, R&F Building, 10 Huaxia Lu, Zhujiang New Town (Tel: 3892 7650; Fax: 3892 7550) 厄瓜多尔共和国驻广州领事馆，珠江新城华夏路 10 号富力中心 1801 室 France Rm 1901-1907, Central Tower (Kaihua International Center), 5 Xiancun Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District (www.consulfrancecanton.org; Tel: 2829 2000; Fax: 2829 2001) 法国驻广州总领事馆，天河区珠江新城冼村路 5 号凯华国际中心 1901-1907 室
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Harris Corporate Solutions Ltd Guangzhou | Shanghai | Beijing | Hong Kong Established since 1972 • WFOE & Rep. Office Set Up • Accounting & Tax Compliance • Payroll, HR & Visa Solutions • Hong Kong & Offshore Company Registration • Hong Kong & China Bank Account Opening Serving all your business needs for investing in China. Call us for a free consultation. Tel: (86)20-8762 0508 Mobile: 135-703-48815 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Romeo Lau & Co. work visa, WFOE, JV, RO, HK company, auditing, car rental,driver license. www.romeolawoffice.com Mobile: 13570993252, 020-38865269, dmc_ email@example.com
BUSINESS SERVICES BRIGHT BUSINESS CONSULTANT Improve your business performance and solve the problems you concerned for your business. Website: www.bright-bc.cn Contact 86 20 38032507 Ms. Lau HiTouch Consulting • Hong Kong Company • Company Registration • Tax & Accounting • Trademark & Patent • China Visa Tel: 400-9999-793 Website: www.hitouch.com Guangzhou丨Shanghai 丨Yiwu CENTURY, a Comprehensive Office Services Company 1. Office Relocation, Personal Relocation 2. Second-hand Office Furniture Resell 3. Office Cleaning Services 4. Landscaping/Indoor Plant
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EDUCATION Hanbridge Mandarin School 翰语桥语言学校 80RMB/H～ Daily Chinese/Business Chinese/ HSK Kids Chinese/Cantonese/Company Training Zhujiang NewTown ,Tianhe ,GZ. www.han-bridge.com TEL&Wechat 189 9838 3060，18102729662 Native English teachers needed Online courses available
JOBS OFFERED CANTON GLOBAL ACADEMY (CGA) is an international school in Guangzhou operating the UK National Curriculum. It is part of the Canadian International Educational Organisation. Currently it has recruited students from Nursery (aged 3 years) to Year 6 (aged 12 years) and the school is growing quickly. Required for January (or sooner) Fully qualified and experienced Primary Years teachers. Preference will be given to applicants who have knowledge of and experience in teaching the UK National Curriculum Primary programme and to those who may have specialist qualifications for example in ESL, science and Music. CGA OFFERS
*Initial two-year contract *Competitive salary *Annual flight allowance *International Health insurance *Benefits including accommodation allowance, end of contract bonus Applicants should send a full CV listing two independent educational referees and a letter of application on/by 31 December to Charles Chao, Chief Operations Officer, on email@example.com from whom further information may be obtained. South China HR English Website (English.job168.com) China's most famous & professional job hunting website 8/F, Nanfang Jingdian Building, No. 198 Tianhe Road, Guangzhou 1/F,Huapu Building, No.104 Tianhe Road,Guangzhou (Tel: 85584676) 南方人才网英文站(english.job168.com) 广州市天河路198号南方精典大厦八楼 广州市天河路104号华普大厦西座一楼
TRAVEL Free N Easy Travel An International Travel Agency in GZ, offers you the most competitive airfares, best discounted hotels worldwide and great getaway packages. Call our Toll free no.800-830-2353 or Tel 3877 2345 or email us at Guangzhou@ fnetravel.com or visit us at our travel center at 218 Sky Galleria, CITIC PALAZA, 233 Tianhe North Road or check for more details at our website---www .fnetravel .com Turkish Airlines Rm. 6107, Citic Plaza, 233 Tianhe Bei Lu, Tianhe District (3877 1690, 3877 1691, www.turkishairlines.com)天河区 天河北路233号中信广场6107室
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WWW.THATSMAGS.COM | DECEMBER 2019 | GZ | 67
That’s zhou Guang
Finally, a horoscope that understands your life in China. BY BRYAN GROGAN
You’ve been sitting on a new business idea. The month of your birth is the best time to share it with would-be investors. Stock up on baijiu, Saggy, we’ve got a feeling you’ll be having a lot of business meetings in 2020.
3.21~4.20 December means plenty of excess energy, Aries. Go figure, you’re not taking the annual pilgrimage back home in 2019, which means no pesky jet lag. Use this energy to paint the town red this Christmas season, but be aware that an old relationship may enter back into your life.
7.23~8.23 Sure, everyone wants to know the future, but in China, that’s becoming increasingly difficult. Forget about gambling on the next big Shenzhen start-up, and instead devote some time to contemporary art. Expanding your mind by way of Anish Kapoor or Li Binyuan will work wonders in your professional life.
68 | DECEMBER 2019 | WWW.THATSMAGS.COM
This is a month of benevolence for you, Capricorn. Adopt a cat, dog or a turtle, and the universe will reward you for it. If you go for the latter, here are some name options we recommend: James, Franklin, Bryan.
You’ve been paying more attention to the news lately and have become deluded into thinking that you should leave Guangzhou for growing economic powerhouse Chengdu. Stop this craziness, spend an evening at your local Sichuan hot pot spot and relax yourself, Taurus.
8.24~9.23 In your more dramatic moments, you believe you’ve contributed at least 10% to the waimai boom in China. Put an end to your lunchtime Burger King and California Roll habits, and start preparing lunch at home. Your wallet, and your waistline, will thank you for it.
2019 has come and gone, and your gym membership card has largely lain forlorn on your bedside table. With that, health issues have abounded. Put aside the crispy duck for lunch, eat fruit and a yogurt instead. It’s hard, we know, but it will all be worth it.
5.22~6.21 You’re dreading the Alipay annual account statement, which will force you to reevaluate your life choices. Take the month of December to marginally sort out your ﬁnances and set yourself up with good habits for 2020. It’s never too late to be ﬁscally responsible (we hope).
9.24~10.23 December is a good creative month for you, Libra. Take some time to ﬁgure out what you want to do. The stars may push you towards writing, but don’t do it, there’s no money there. Take a dive into the world of podcasts.
2.20~3.20 You’ll start the year believing you want to start a rock band, but it’s more likely that you’ll end up producing music on your computer. Stay inspired by checking out the local underground club scene. With your stellar personality, you’ll make key friends in no time.
6.22~7.22 T h e re ’ s o n l y ro o m f o r s o m u c h crabbiness in a relationship, Cancer. Ensure that your significant other is being honest about their needs. Additionally, decide whether you should drop your study of tarot cards or ancient Taoism. 2020 will be another hectic year and you need to have your priorities in order.
10.24~11.22 In December, you will be passion personified, dear Scorps. This comes at a good time, as you point your nose towards home for the holiday season. Take the opportunity to meet old friends, lovers and long-lost family members.
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Cover Story: 2019 China Year In Review