Tag Archives: Beijing

Extraordinary Eats, Historical Wonders, Strange Tourism / ,

Video of the Cultural Revolution Restaurant

I gave all the juicy details of this restaurant where you can make merry, while celebrating the best of the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, earlier this week.

But here, for your pleasure, is some video of the mad show and the flag-waving audience.

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Extraordinary Eats, Historical Wonders / ,

Relive the Cultural Revolution (aka The Weirdest Dinner Theater in Beijing)

Update: read the story below, but don’t miss the video of the performance!

“Two foreigners in the RED restaurant?” Reverb howled, “I think this will be more fun than the restaurant itself!”

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / 6 Comments
Historical Wonders, Sweet Movies and Wild Books / ,

Red Detachment of Awesome

This Wednesday thru Friday, if you’re in Beijing, you shouldn’t miss the best of the “model operas,” The Red Detachment of Women (红色娘子军). Playing for three nights only at Poly Plaza.

It’s called a model opera, but it’s actually a ballet. The eight model operas were, during the height of the cultural revolution, the only artistic performances allowed. Five operas, two ballets, and a single symphony, all of them micro-controlled by Mao’s psychopathic wife, Jiang Qing.

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Comments Off on Red Detachment of Awesome
Historical Wonders, Holy Curiosities / ,

19 Incredible Taoist Gods at Beijing’s Dongyue Temple

So the rapture left you behind, eh? Feeling cheated? Looking for a new deity?

Try Taoism. These gods will kick your ass!

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / 4 Comments
Offbeat Museums / ,

Chinese Tunnel Warfare and Sexual Escapades, Together!

Jiao Zhibing is 70 years old. He’s spent his entire life in a tiny village called Jiaozhuanghu (焦庄户). As a child, he handled missives and reconnaissance for liberation fighters. Today though, carrying wood-carved grenades and a red-tasseled spear everywhere he goes, he’s a living tourist attraction.

null

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Strange Tourism, Theme Parks / ,

Fiendishly Fun Photo Ops at World Park

While we were busy on our own adventures, Chinese tourists flocked to Beijing’s glorious World Park of their own accord. Some of them with entire camera crews in tow. Wedding photos, engagement photos, bff shots, they were costumed, posed, and so immaculately arranged. Here’s a couple of our favorites!

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Events / , ,

AsiaObscura at World Park: The Experience

Rickety rollercoasters, useless tour guides, and rather offputting cross dressers. Everything you could want in a Chinese theme park!  What an absolutely glorious & outlandish day!  Thanks to everyone who made it to AsiaObscura’s inaugural event, A Trip to Beijing World Park!

世界公园, where Fengtai brings you the world!

(A few pix nicked from A cuppa and a pikelet… Hee hee.)

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Events / , ,

A Trip to Crab Island – Sun, June 12th!

When the summer hits Beijing, there’s nothing like the feel of the sand, waves lapping at your feet, sweet dolphins hopping at the horizon.  Yep — this summer, it’s time once again to visit Crab Island, the best beach in Beijing!

“But Beijing’s in the middle of the desert,” I hear you cry.  “There are no beaches here!”

Aha, but you’re wrong!

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Cute & Kawaii / ,

Amazing Skull Haircut on a Four-Year-Old

From the front, our 4-year-old neighbor appears to be sporting just another Mandinka warrior buzz….

But from the back….

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Chinglish / ,

“Watch Out!” 13 Unique Ways to Say Be Careful

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Our Weird Projects / ,

Vodka Bottles Taxidermied Into Mice

Now that we have our Chinese taxidermy certificates, Woo and I needed to get stuffing.

A woman in Qingdao, after hours of discussions, agreed to send a friend to Beijing with a box of frozen rats.  He took the all-night bus, and showed up with a dripping styrofoam box.  “I got confused, and lost, and they melted a little,” he said.

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Chinglish / ,

Cute Subway Sign

I thought this was so endearing….

“Please take care oldster and child” on the Beijing subway escalators.

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Modern Ruins, Theme Parks / ,

Another Abandoned Beijing Amusement Park

What is it with these half-built, then abandoned, Beijing amusement parks? We’re old fans of The Romance Park of the Heart, which is filled with Swiss chalets, Siamese pagodas, and packs of wild dogs looking to tear your legs off. But we kept hearing about another one, in the opposite direction… Wonderland!

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / 2 Comments
Chinglish / ,

16 Awesome Menu Items

A sampling from the menus we’ve seen in the last year….

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / 2 Comments
The Taxidermy Diaries / , ,

Easter at a Chinese Taxidermy School

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
The Taxidermy Diaries / , ,

The Chinese Taxidermy Diaries: The Last Few Days

The taxidermy school days ended as they began: just plain weird.

On day seven, Teacher Liu defrosted four squirrels, patchy black and white rodents frozen together in a block of ice.  They looked a little like they were caught spooning in an ice storm.  But as they defrosted, and we worked on them, their hair fell out in large patches.

“They’ve been frozen too long,” said apprentice Xiao Long. 

Continue reading »»

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Modern Ruins, The Occult / ,

Fake Graveyards outside Beijing

The Beijing suburbs are expanding like mad.

We spent the last ten days living in a small Tongzhou village, an hour east of Beijing, and construction was non-stop. Every day we were there, a ramshackle house was torn down and replaced by a building site. New walls would go up in hours. Bricks and dust were everywhere. Often, a 4′ pile of sand would block our driveway. If we wanted to drive anywhere, the six of us would have to pick up shovels and move it ourselves. (The builders would hide around the corner, leaving only their shovels behind.)

Just beyond the village, though, there were mostly fields. At the ends of many of the fields were graves. Conical mounds of dirt, with an inscribed gravestone, sitting on top of the plough lines. Old women were squatting at the ends of the fields, planting new crops.

It seemed a strange place for graves, so we asked a local friend about them.

“Ha,” he laughed, “I don’t think those are real graves. There probably are no bodies down there.”

Fake graves? Outside our Tongzhou village??

“Yes. The villagers know that the land is going to be developed, and the government will only give them so much money. But if it’s a graveyard, they may pay more. So the local villagers build fake graves on their fields, to get more money. You know the expression ‘shǎjīng?’I didn’t.It means stupid-clever. That’s what they are. Shajing shajing.” He laughed at his own expression, as he repeated it again. “傻精傻精.”

It seemed strange to dedicate graves to government payouts. But just a few miles away, close enough to see if the pollution wasn’t too heavy, there were high rise apartment buildings. A short bus ride away, there was a new subway line. Two of my friends had recently bought houses near here. This land was no longer just for planting Chinese cabbage. It was becoming real estate.

(As usual, many of the pictures — and in this case, I think all of them — are by Woo.)

/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment