Living in China Need to know


Living in China - Staying in China
News, Anecdotes, Topical Information and Articles on most aspects regarding China.
China Nanning Living, Visa, Tours, Travel, Retirement, Marriage, Business, Teaching, Adoption information
Is the Culture Shock real in China?
Don't forget, it's not where you are from, it is where you are that is important.


Er Nai - 二奶 - Concubines - Green hat - Booming luxury product sales in China

What do all of these have in common? - Er Nai - 二奶 - Concubines - Green hat - A bit on the side - A bit of how's your father - Rumpy Pumpy - Booming luxury product sales in China.
To the best of my knowledge an Er Nai is a woman (mistress) who allows herself to be the mistress of a married man ( a sponsor) for personal gain.
Normally money, property or basically anything nice in the luxury product range is acceptable.
She may or may not argue she is doing it for love.
The man provides these gifts in secret (but not always) from his family, especially his wife.
This relationship can and often does, go on for years or until his desire for the Er Nai disappears or as is sometimes the case, a younger Er Nai appears on the scene.
Er Nai are mostly always young women but not always, around the age of 20-30 years old, sometimes younger.
Being an Er Nai is basically a paid job, that is one justification.
Er Nai who meet their sponsor through work will usually resign before officially becoming  his Er Nai.
They tend to be hidden away from normal life only coming out to be paraded about by the married man as his 'trophy'.
Many Er Nai lie to their parents and past friends about where the sudden influx of wealth has arrived from. Normally boasting a well paid non existent job.
The social status of an Er Nai is very low and can bring shame on their family and former friends.
How does it come about in the first place? - Because love is not the moral core of marriage here in China, as it is in the West, it is not socially frowned upon for a Chinese man to have his 'cake and eat it'.
The argument here is this - An Er Nai does not interfere with the marriage in any way because the man does not necessarily expect sexual satisfaction from his wife in the first place.
An Er Nai is often young with no social status other than 'beautiful trophy'.
She does not threaten the parenting skills or the social status of the wife and has no real desire to replace her.

The Green Cap is worn by the man, contrary to popular belief.
It is worn by him when he suspects or has proof that his wife is 'playing away'.
It is my understanding that it was originally used to show others that his wife had either gone or been thrown out by him because of her infidelity.

Concubines of ancient China
http://www.beijingmadeeasy.com/beijing-history/concubines-of-ancient-china
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concubine

China’s top court appears poised to side with wronged wives against philandering husbands and greedy mistresses in 2011.

Court Considers Revising China’s Marriage Law
 
This contentious consumer group must be viewed in light of a deep-rooted set of Chinese cultural values, including the distinction between marriage and sex and the practical rather than romantic nature of the relationship 'transaction'.
Second wives and China's booming luxury market

Long Life in Bama - Bama Yao Autonomous County in Guangxi China 巴马瑶族自治县

The secret of Longevity, have they have found it in Bama?
A bus ride of a few hours from Nanning taking you to a place of mystery, interest, wonderment and well worth a visit.
Bama is not a village, contrary to popular western belief, it's a county!
Bama Yao Autonomous County 巴马瑶族自治县 is located in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Southwest China.
Location Map
It is the home of around 70+ centenarians. 
Bama county, population approaching 240,000 has more than 74 people who are 100 years old or more and 230+ residents aged between 90 and 99 years old.
Bama has one of the highest per-capita concentrations of old people in the world.
long life in Bama
The main food of the Bama people is yellow corn, beans, potatoes, vegetables and Tea Seed Oil. Further info: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-222.html

The plants and food of the area have many trace elements and more vitamins, carotene, and mineral elements than the plants and food produced in other places, considered to be a contributory factor in the longevity of the people.
Bama is also called Wangang, meaning hundreds of mountains.
Bama is surrounded by green mountains, helping to make the Panyang River pollution-free.
Most of the population live among the mountains and valleys. They have to climb mountains or walk for a long time to go shopping and also get to their fields for work, often several kilometers distant.
This has given the people strong muscles and bones, which is another reason for their long life span. Bama centenarians think that the secret of longevity is to do good deeds, help others, be kind, have confidence and never give up.

More sites:
http://www.chinavista.com/travel/bama/bama.html
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/ruthbarz/6/1269127294/tpod.html
http://www.chinahighlights.com/community/video/bama-longevity-village.asp
http://www.chinaexpat.com/2010/03/25/the-secret-of-bama-county.html/
Many You tube China related video:
http://www.youtube.com/user/chinesecivilization

English teachers in Nanning and China? Wanted - Business Managers

First published in 2008, has anything changed?
Somewhat - http://www.mynanning.net/2010/12/english-teachers-in-nanning.html


English teachers in Nanning and China? Wanted - Business Managers
Are they any good and do they need more?
Just recently I seem to have been over burdened with western English teachers

Some already here - Some hoping to get here and Teach English in China  ...Mmmm

Well, first, let me say for the record.
Those that I have met so far, online TESOL in hand, here in Nanning and China, most I would not let teach English to a budgerigar let alone college students or children.
Those that have written to me, asking, and sometimes demanding information I would not let near a classroom at all with the exception of maybe, for a little light cleaning, mop and bucket provided.

The standards, for want of a better description, are sadly lacking.
The Americans and Australians appear to be the worst, although it is fair to say most British also fall way short of what I would call, an acceptable, indeed, expected standard of English.

To my mind, anyone that intends Teaching English in China needs at the very least, way above the average oral and written English skills, including grammar, not to mention excellent communication and presentation abilities and of course the main stay of any real, talented teacher, the desire to carry on learning themselves.

Sadly for Nanning and China, so far, many of the English teachers teaching English as a foreign language I have communicated with are lacking in most, if not all of these aspects.
They appear in the main to think that a quick, relatively cheap Internet course and the ability to 'speak' makes them prime candidates for teaching 'English' to the ever growing numbers of Chinese that believe they, or their children need to speak it.

For the potential teacher, Teaching English as a foreign Language the rewards are considered high, a visa, maybe an apartment, a wage and of course that old favourite - When asked, "What they are doing in China?" - I'm teaching English…Yeah Right !!!

Why is the standard so low? - Because all the good ones are employed in the west - Most that land on these shores are doing it for all the wrong reasons.
They are teaching English in order to stay, very few set sail with the sole intention to teach English.
Most of the young teachers are here for the experience and it will look good on the CV later on when back in the west.
And some of the worst candidates, are not teachers at all in any way, shape or form and should not be allowed any where near a school.

China doesn't need any more second, third and sixth rate English Teachers, it needs business managers, good ones.
All levels of managers for all levels of business.
Preferably Chinese speaking and a few years experience.
Vast opportunities in this area now and in the coming years here in Nanning and China.

Three old people in a village - Chinese respect old age

Old People in China
Three old people in a village are better than a treasure ! - Chinese respect old age

Custom of Longevity Ceremony
"Three old men in a village are better than a treasure"
"An old man is the treasure of a family"
These sayings popular in Guangxi China reflect the vogue of respecting the aged.
If a man or woman is 50 years old, a birthday party is held and people congratulate him or her on his or her birthday.
If he or she is ill, they try their best to "add more grain" so as to "prolong life span".
Different ethnic groups have interesting customs to pray for health and longevity for the aged.

Cancer Now Leading Cause of Death in China

Cancer is now the leading cause of death in China. Chinese Ministry of Health data implicate cancer in close to a quarter of all deaths countrywide. As is common with many countries as they industrialize, the usual plagues of poverty—infectious diseases and high infant mortality—have given way to diseases more often associated with affluence, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer
More than 450 “cancer villages” have emerged across China in recent years.
China’s youth, and therefore the country’s future, are at risk...more from Earth Polict Institute - Janet Larsen


China Money - China Bank accounts - Credit Debit Cards in China - ATM's in China - China currency conversion and regulations.

China Money - Foreign Currency in China

The currency of the People's Republic of China, issued by the People's Bank of China, is the Renminbi
(RMB, or currency abbreviation CNY, China Yuan)
The monetary unit of Renminbi in China is Yuan, the fractional unit known as Jiao. One Yuan is divided into ten Jiao.
Informally in China, the Yuan is called Kuai and the Jiao is called Mao.
The currency in circulation has ten kinds of value, 1, 2, 5 Jiao and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Yuan.
Cash is more popular in China than Western countries. It is important to always carry enough cash and change to meet your daily petty spending i.e. buses, taxis, small items of shopping, restaurants etc.

China Bank Account

Foreigners can readily open bank accounts in China.
It was my understanding until recently that this must be a Bank of China account in the first instance. Apparently now, you can open an account at any bank. 
Most city branches, though not all will have an English speaking member of staff.
A passport will be required with a photocopy of visa page and information page and a small or large amount to deposit. A bank book can be issued with a bank card, you may need to ask for this.
Deposits can be made in various currencies such as RMB, US Dollars, Euros or UK Pounds. At some bank locations it is possible to deposit using the ATM.
Withdrawals must be in the same currency as the deposit.
Although it is possible to convert up to a maximum of 50,000 US dollars or equivalent in any one year into RMB.

Credit Cards, Debit Cards and ATM's

I have been asked many times if Credit and Debit cards can be used in China.
The simple answer is YES, in most cities.
The Credit card is becoming ever more acceptable in China, especially the main major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen. With the Olympics in Beijing in 2008, this year, this will also increase the number of outlets accepting Credit Cards.
ATM's happily accept Debit cards. I use Bank of China ATM's only.
Although your card will be chip and pin you will in nearly all cases be asked to 'sign for', do not let it out of your sight.
The main foreign Credit cards used in China are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, more are available. Check with your card issuer for usability in China.
If the symbols and logos of your Credit card or Debit card are shown on the ATMs, then it can be used to withdraw money.
They can be used in the majority of the larger hotels and some larger shops but not all cards will be accepted, in my experience VISA appears to be the most readily recognised and accepted.
Before you leave for China, notify your bank (for Debit card) and the credit card company that you will be in China on given dates. They should then flag your account and hopefully you will not have to many problems arising.
You may still find though on your first attempt at using in a shop or hotel it will be declined with the message 'refer to provider'.
Do not panic just phone your Bank or card company at your earliest.
Always have your card and bank contact phone numbers to hand and also the numbers to report lost or stolen cards.
In the Department stores Credit cards are preferred. There are numerous 'pay' counters scattered around where you pay for your purchases, these vary in what they will accept, it is worth pointing out to the sales assistant that you will be paying by International card, she will then direct you to the correct counter. Internet connections are variable and often slow in China and as these transactions require Internet connection, sometimes, you will not be able to use your card.

In summary, Larger Hotels, Department stores and restaurants will in most cases accept International Credit cards and ATM's will accept Debit cards and above all never let the card out of your sight.
Different banks have different limits on the sum that can be withdrawn from their ATM. Most allow a maximum withdrawal of 20,000 Yuan if the withdrawal is directly from a China bank account and 2000/2500 RMB if drawn from a foreign Credit or Debit card in any 24 hour period.
When the ATM's are empty of cash no indication is normally given, only that withdrawal was declined.
This can sometimes give a feeling of panic, don't worry, try another Bank of China ATM.

Worth noting. The reaction you might receive in smaller shops.
They will at first appear to accept your card and go through the process of purchase. It is usually at this point the machine will reject the transaction as the shop is not allowed to accept international transactions (only domestic transactions)
It is possible that the shop staff have never encountered this issue before and it will throw them into panic, probably resulting in your card being passed from one to another. Do not let it out of your sight.
It is likely at this time a member of staff will offer to walk you to the nearest ATM to draw cash - My advice - Don't.
At this point it would be wise to take your card and try elsewhere, maybe a larger department store for your purchase or return later with cash.

Currency Conversion

Foreign currency and traveller's cheque exchange services are available in most of China's cities, in the banks, hotels, airports and even the shopping centres.
All the main banks in China, Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction bank and Agriculture Bank of China have money exchange facilities.
Bank of China can exchange the following Euro, British Pound, US Dollar, Swiss Franc, Singapore Dollar, Swedish Krona, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone, Japanese Yen, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Philippine Peso, Thailand Baht, HK Dollar, New Taiwan Dollar and Macau Pataca to name a few.
Some of the other banks only accept certain kinds of foreign currencies, you will need to check.
When exchanging foreign currency, a valid passport is required.
Remember to keep the receipt as you will need to show this if you need to convert the RMB back into your own currency at any time.
You may find money changers on the street, normally outside popular banks, do not use them, one, it is illegal and two, often the money they have for exchange is counterfeit or illegal tender.

China Currency Regulations

Tourists are allowed to bring in any quantity of traveller's cheques and or debit credit cards.
Only 5,000 US dollars or equivalent in cash or 20,000 RMB in cash is permitted on any one visit.
This is not to say that it is impossible to bring more, you will most certainly need to justify any excess and it must be declared at China Customs.

How much money can I transfer into China?

First of all, lets be clear, we are talking foreign currency transfer and foreign currency from a personal point of view. Business is a very different proposition.
With property purchase being the main reason to bring the large sums of foreign currency in on a personal level. Be it for purchase in your own name, jointly or another's.
The rules are quite simple and straightforward:-
First the simple bit, 50,000 American dollars or the equivalent in your own country currency in value in any one year, this is the maximum allowed amount of currency that can be converted into RMB. This is a Banking rule.
Now, there are exceptions whether official or not they do exist.
If you can prove it is essential (to purchase a property for instance of a value over the 50,000 threshold or alternatively it might be for the fitting out expense. It could also be for something like medical expense) to have more funds available in the one year duration period then your application may be successful.
This is by far the most sensible solution, the official way, as one consideration that needs to be thought about is the future? - What happens if you need to sell and get your money out and back to home country, it will be a lot easier if you have all the original official papers, in your name.

It is important to understand that it is at the currency exchange that any issues arise, by this I mean, you can have any amount of your own countries currency transferred into either your own or another's bank account here. It is when you try to convert into RMB that the transaction may be blocked, if you have exceeded the 50,000 dollar limit.
I do know that many have circumvented any restriction by having the excess amount sent directly into a Chinese persons account. But the same rule (50,000 dollar max in any one year) will apply to them also, it's the currency exchange that has the restriction.
Now at present, most get by with maybe two lots of 50,000 but with property prices on the up this may not be enough for much longer.

A further avenue of exploration might be to have the conversion done in your home country and then transfer in RMB. The most obvious disadvantage to this might be the conversion exchange rate.
For further information on living in China 

White Horse Village in China turns into a modern city over a four year period

The BBC has charted the radical redevelopment of a sleepy village in west China, part of the country's economic revolution and progress.
In the first part of this Peabody Award-winning series, Carrie Gracie looks at the way White Horse Village has been affected by China's rapid pace of modernisation. The series has been developed over a four year period up to present day.
Showing the everyday lives of the White Horse Villagers and the issues faced by the local Communist Party Secretary.

Part 1: China's rapid pace of modernisation
Part 2: The final Chinese New Year in the old village
Part 3: Opposition to Communist Party plans for the land
Part 4: The huge upheavals taking place in White Horse Village
Part 5: Changing lives and high prices in a modern city
Part 6: Learning the ways of the modern world


How does an East West marriage fail so quickly?

How does an East West marriage fail so quickly?

Abuse by one partner or the other?
Total Incompatibility?
Foolhardiness, carelessness, inconsideration by one or both partners?
Or just plain stupidity?

Whatever the reasons, the situation would have been exacerbated by the fact that many western men think, quite wrongly, that to choose a bride from where they consider an 'easy pickings' area of the world is an ideal option 'for them'.
After all, the Internet does not lie, the various message boards and dating sites giving out all that mush making it Oh, so easy…finding a life companion…Easy?…I think not!!!

The first meeting, in a kind of 'holiday mode' mentality setting…what could be easier?
We all know the longevity of most holiday romances.
Leg over…Wham Bam, thank you Ma'am. Oh, and I will marry you, just to make it regular…just like I promised…on the Internet !!!
Of course the girl will agree, all she hears about is how much better life is if she marries a westerner.
Over the fence or across the water, the grass is always so much greener…not!

No hassle, no fuss, no traditional courtship. No long drawn out 'getting to know you properly' routine. Getting to know all those little annoying details that cause the anxieties early on in any developing relationship.
But no, none of this…'Wow', you hear them say, 'I can not believe my luck', We are getting married.
Best make it quick then…before you get any older or she sees the real you !!!

All very selfish, careless and inconsiderate…no real surprise there then !
Interestingly, they, the western man would not get away with it in the west.
They would soon get short shrift from the women in their own respective countries.

It is my firm belief that it is the western man that is solely at fault, probably due to the have it now, pay later, I want, why not me?, its available, I can - modern life mentality.

All relationships need work, time, love, understanding and compromise, lots of it, in abundance, overflowing to the point of painful, never stinting and always eager to make it happen.
It must work…its my responsibility to make it work - this should be the very least of a target to set oneself as the western half of an already difficult to reconcile union.

To those that make it work and find true happiness like myself...I applaud and congratulate you.
For those that fail, I cannot empathise with you as I suspect it was your intentions and motives that were flawed from the very beginning...

Working or living in China - Taxation in China for the Individual - Expat - Foreigner

If you are considering working or for that matter living in China, it might be wise to seek out professional advice beforehand regarding personal taxation regardless of what you read here or elsewhere.
That said, if you are going to work for a reputable company or organisation here in China, then they should make sure your tax affairs are in order but like most things in life here, it can often be a mistake if you rely too heavily on others.
Things are changing quickly in China, it's the nature of the beast and with the advance in communication technologies and the desire to regulate it is likely that sooner rather than later the 'checking' process will be in place for Expats and Foreigners.
Don't ever forget "what was true yesterday may not be true today and what is true today may not be true tomorrow"

Latest update - Nov 2011
In June of 2011, the draft of the "Provisional Measures for Foreigners Working in China regarding Participation in the Social Insurance Scheme" was publicly released, stating that starting from July 1st, foreigners would have to pay into the Chinese social security system, and consequently sparked worries about what that exactly meant and whether or not we could opt out of it. Just a few months later, on September 6th, 2011, despite our hopes that it would simply disappear, the China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued the "Final Provisional Measures" which will take effect starting on October 15th, 2011. While the "Final Provisional Measures" cleared up a few of the initial ambiguities about how exactly foreigners would pay into China’s social insurance system, many foreigners are still very sceptical about the actual benefits they can derive from contributing, and since this final draft still leaves many questions unanswered, it does little to quell anyone’s resentment. Given the complexity of the situation, and though it remains to be seen how this policy will take shape or form, it is important that foreigners working in China understand the "who, what, when, why etc." of what is about to happen. http://www.echinacities.com/expat-corner/a-foreigner-s-guide-to-the-new-mandatory-social-insurance.html


Taxation in China for the Individual
IIT (Individual Income Tax)
There has unfortunately been a lot of nonsense spoken about registering for individual income tax in China, how much to pay, being paid partially overseas, actually working here but consistently on tourist visas and so on that the real picture over registering for, assessing liabilities and the payment of IIT in China has become rather muddled. Ask one expatriate, then ask another, and they will give you different opinions. However unfortunately, expatriates do not decide China's tax regulations. Neither is the situation short of clarity in the eyes of China's tax bureau, who are quite clear on the subject and who are progressively clamping down on abuse of non-working visas and the under-declaration of income by foreigners in China.
More...http://www.amcham-china.org.cn/amcham/upload/wysiwyg/20050705094941.pdf

Qualification for residence for an individual: Permanent residence in China while an individual who has no permanent residence in China but has lived in China for less than 5 years is taxed on his income in China, or overseas income that has its origins in China.
Individuals staying in China more than five tax years are taxed on their worldwide income too. (See Below)
Income Tax  and Capital Gains Rates
http://www.worldwide-tax.com/china/china_tax.asp


China has a multi-tiered system of tax liabilities for foreigners, which has led to some confusion, particularly over the so-called 90 or 183 days rule. For those sent to China by a foreign company, who have their salary paid elsewhere (probably in their home country), and spend more than 183 days of a calendar year in China (or 90 if they are from a country that does not have a double tax treaty with China), they need to pay IIT (individual income tax) in China based on the number of days they effectively spent in the country.
New-to-China expatriates with full time employment here need to make sure they are in compliance. The onus is on the individual to ensure this and fines can be levied and passports censured if this is not carried out.
Newcomers need to obtain a work visa, residence permit and register for tax upon commencing or signing contracts.
The employer should arrange this for the employee.
This is a serious issue and only gets potentially worse every month it is ignored.
At some point, when an individual’s stay in China ends, they will have to reconcile with the authorities over their income. Immigration records, visa type and length of stay information are shared between the immigration authorities and the tax bureau.

The Chinese government regards individuals as tax residents when they have stayed in China for more than five years without residing outside the PRC for more than 90 days cumulatively each calendar year or 30 consecutive days within a single calendar year. A tax resident is required to pay IIT on their worldwide income without limitation of source, meaning that income elsewhere related to property rentals or interests will also needs to be declared to the Chinese tax authorities. The taxes paid overseas can be deducted from the taxes payable to the Chinese tax authorities.

Source and a must read: http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2010/01/12/expatriate-income-tax-planning-in-china.html 

Study in China - Guangxi - Nanning - Students welcome - Gap Year

Learn Chinese - 885,000,000 people speak Mandarin Chinese.
China is a place where the ancient and the modern live side by side.
Stand out in your crowd. 

Study in China - The reasons why !
It will most likely be the strangest, challenging and rewarding experience of your life.
Impress a future employer, in their eyes you will be adaptable, independent and knowledgeable about a country that will become the largest economy in the world by about 2030 according to most experts. 
China is a dynamic, challenging environment and employers will know this.
Studying in China tells an employer that you have what it takes, both personal and professional qualities. 
The China experience gives you an immediate advantage.

China Education and Research Network - http://www.edu.cn/english_1369/index.shtml

Study in China - http://www.edu.cn/html/e/studyinchina.html  and  http://www.study-in-china.org/

Apply Online - http://www.edu.cn/Internationaledu_1499/20090515/t20090515_378819.shtml

Myths about study in China -  http://www.edu.cn/Internationaledu_1499/20090515/t20090515_378820.shtml

CUCAS China's University and College admission system - http://www.cucas.edu.cn/

Top 100 Science Universities in China - http://www.study-in-china.org/ChinaEducation/TopUniversity/2009852257574777.htm



Study in Guangxi - Nanning
Guilin University of Technology
Guangxi University
Guangxi University for Nationalities
Nanning College For Vocational Technology
Yong Jiang University
Guangxi Teachers Education University
Guangxi Economic Management Cadre College
Guangxi Arts Institute
Guangxi Traditional Chinese Medical University


Guilin Tours

Start Planning Your Guilin Tours Now!
A couple of years ago my husband and I were studying travel options when I ran across a plethora of information about Guilin tours. We had promised ourselves that we would return to China one day and visit locations outside the typical sightseeing locations. If you ever get a chance to participate in one of these Guilin tours, don’t pass go, just grab your passport, bags and camera and get to the nearest airport. Okay, perhaps that’s a little extreme, but this is a vacation to remember for a lifetime.

Guilin features outstanding scenery and views in a region where leisure travel and outdoor experiences are abundant. I loved experiencing different cultures and history of the region while cruising down a river. If you are really adventurous the outdoor activities include experiences such as waterfall or rock climbing.

There are many tours to choose from; sightseeing, family tours with children, seasonal, adventure and experience tours. I was please to know that we could put together whatever kind of tour best fit our needs for whatever length we wanted. And, we met a lot of travelers along the way who had the same good luck in travel experiences as we did. Young and old alike toured the Guilin area with a tailor trip specifically made to fit their needs.

Take pleasure in some of the most captivating surroundings in China by embarking on Guilin tours. The hills and mountains thrust their way out of the ground while the river winds its way through the countryside and villages. Whether you decide to on a leisure or adventure vacation the unsurpassed beauty will always surround the Guilin entire area. Submerge yourself in the local culture and inherent splendor. It’s time to start planning that Guilin tour, a dream vacation.


Tibet Tours

Tibet tour
My husband had surprised me with one of the Tibet tours for our anniversary. It was a five day, four night tour of the area. There were other Tibet tours available for shorter amounts of time, but he wanted to be able to see everything the area had to offer.

We arrived at the Nepal Airport. We got a travel package which had all of our meals and hotel all included. I couldn't wait for the journey to being. The first day we took a flight over the Himalayan Ranges to Tibet. I was shaking with excitement as we saw the Kyichu River. The locals call Tibet 'Lhasa', which simply means 'Place of the Gods', because this is the home of the famous Dalai Lama. I also remember the Potala Palace well, as it was amazing. Perched up on a large hill, this palace was built for king Songtsen Gompa. There is also a garden which is called Treasure Island and it is the largest garden in the world.

The rest of the days was more site seeing. The most impressive thing we saw while visiting Tibet, was the Himalayan Ranges and the home of the Dalai Lama. Learning about their culture and seeing the locals and how they interact with tourists was amazing. I do not recommend this a trip for children. There is not a whole lot to keep them busy, thank goodness we left ours at home. It is mostly site seeing and visiting historical sites, which can become rather boring for a child.

The hardest thing about the trip was dealing with the extreme temperature fluctuations. This area has a colder nature and a great deal of UV rays, so sunscreen is needed, despite the temperatures. The air is also thin, so those with breathing problems need to ensure to they have their supplies. Taking one of the Tibet tours, is something most only get to experience once in a lifetime, but I would love to do it again.

Yangtze River Cruise

Yangtze river cruise
Want something exciting to do for a getaway, try a Yangtze River cruise? The Yangtze River is the largest river in China. The scenery, which one can see while cruising down this river is nothing short of spectacular. Situated at the foothills of the Witch Mountains, this river is facinating. Recently completed in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam is an awesome site. This is the 'world’s largest hydroelectric power plant.' This plant alone has the ability to produce more power than 15 nuclear power plants.

The Chinese know this river as Chang Jiang. It has been used as a major import export for decades. There are several cruise ships, which one can spend time enjoying the setting. An exciting Yangtze River cruise can give one a relaxing experience. There are cruises to fit every budget, including the stars in luxury and the length of time.

Whether you want a stately suite with all the amenities, or a small space, this is a cruise ship to accommodate your needs. There are several ships including the China Dragon, New Century Cruises, President Fleet and Victoria Cruise. These cruise ships are fully air conditioned and navigated by tour guides who know the entire area and have a love for the history of the river. These ships have satellite TV, so that one can still enjoy their favorite shows. Some of the cruise ships are operated by American companies and have all the amenities of the fabulous US cruises.

Enjoy a cabin with a private balcony and an observation window. You can experience style and luxury in some of the 'European style bathrooms'. Feel like a king of queen, when you take your vacation in style with one of the several cruise ships. The mighty Yangtze River has been long known for being a fabulous vacation site, the next time you need a getaway, book a Yangtze River cruise and experience history.

Doing Business in China

If you are considering importing from China - Click Here! for a great Ebook giving you everything you need to know when importing from China
Business Link


China - Britain Business Council
http://www.cbbc.org/
Taxes in China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China
Tax System of the People's Republic of China - State Administration of Taxation
http://english.tax861.gov.cn/zgszky/zgszky.htm
China Briefing is a monthly magazine and daily news service about doing business in China
http://www.china-briefing.com/ 
China VAT and other taxes 2010
http://www.worldwide-tax.com/china/chi_other.asp
Doing business in China - Ministry of Commerce People's Republic of China
http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/aroundchina/index.shtml

A great read and a must if you are considering Doing Business in China -
China Uncovered





To quote a famous American Major League Baseball player and manager - Yogi Berra







"The future ain't what it used to be" 





This sums up China and Business in China especially, very well...

Chinese mother - Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother - Professor Amy Chua

Right or wrong - Good or bad?
This Chinese mother has a method of parenting that hits a western nerve or two.
Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother by Professor Amy Chua.
She argues that Western parents are too quick to give in to their children, ­abandoning them to computer games and television, while Chinese offspring are rigorously drilled by their stronger, more determined mothers until they get every subject right.

Sandra Parsons of the Mail Online said, By all means, demand that your children always do their best. Insist on them learning self-discipline. Refuse to do their homework for them, and never, ever, do their coursework or a school project.
Quite soon you’ll find they’re achieving where they can — but, where they can’t, learning the invaluable lesson that we can’t all be best at everything.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1346308/Amy-Chavs-Battle-Hymn-Tiger-Mother-just-make-cubs-miserable.html#ixzz1DRuFAKNo


Allison Pearson wondered the following in The Daily Telegraph:  “Amy Chua’s philosophy of child-rearing may be harsh and not for the fainthearted, but ask yourself this: is it really more cruel than the laissez-faire indifference and babysitting-by-TV which too often passes for parenting these days?

In the Financial Times, Isabel Berwick called the “tiger mother” approach to parenting “the exact opposite of everything that the Western liberal holds dear.”

Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.

In a poll on the Wall Street Journal website regarding Chua’s response to readers, two-thirds of respondents said the “Demanding Eastern” parenting model is better than the “Permissive Western” model.

Green Tea in China

Green Tea is particularly popular in Asia in countries such as China and Japan.
Green tea has a long Chinese history.
It is said that Green Tea was discovered over 5000 years ago in China.

There are 2 legends surrounding this discovery.
The first, a man accidentally tasted the juice from a tea plant leaf, he liked the flavour and thought it was a healthy drink. He then mixed the leaf juice with water to create a drink. The beginnings of a Chinese green tea drink

The second legend states that blossom from a tea plant fell into an Emperors cup of hot water accidentally one day, after he always added the tea blossom to his drink.

For a long time the only type of tea drunk was Green Tea.

Being simple to make aided its popularity and by many it was seen as a refreshing tonic.

The “Cha Jing” or “Tea Classic” books were written somewhere around 600AD by Lu Yu and are considered 'The tea manual' – explaining how to make perfect tea and when to drink it.

Later (sometime around the 1600’s) came different types of green tea Confusing to some, Black Tea which is fermented Green Tea and Oolong which is partly fermented.

Japanese monks travelling to China often returned with tea.

It is said that the Japanese turned drinking tea into a ritual and in both China and Japan they take very special care with the presentation of the tea – in an almost artistic manner.

China electric bike - Urban electric bikes

The new standards for electric bikes that came in 2010 which say an urban electric bike heavier than 40 kg's and capable of a speed more than 20 kilometers an hour will be subject to the laws and regulations applying to motor vehicles has caused annoyance to both riders and manufactures.
Referred to as the 20-40 standard. That means any electric bike heavier or faster than these limits will require a rider to get a license and insurance.
Most here in China will argue, I bought an electric bike for convenience, why do I need to register, license and insure my electric bike?
Apparently, with the new electric bicycle rules comes a bonus.
Those bikes that are legally registered will be able to use motorways.
Although to my mind, that can only be described as foolhardy and dangerous.
E-bike manufacturers admit that most bikes already weigh over the 40 kg limit and can travel faster than 20 kilometers an hour.
They say, the new rules will impact on their business and they expect demand will fall.
Not much sign of that. China now has over 2000 electric bike manufacturers, all complaining that they will lose business.
Add to this, once a bike is considered over the regulated size and speed limit. the Chinese electric bike manufacturer falls into the Chinese motor vehicle manufacturers grouping and then must show they have more than 100 million yuan in fixed assets and 80 million yuan of capital. I cannot see too many of them, either adhering to the law or loosing too much sleep over the ramifications.
They will just go on their merry way until...One day...

Nanning China Green or Grey City?

Is it the weather or is it the pollution or is it just me without those wretched rose tinted glasses on?
One things for sure, it ain't what it used to be.
This is a question now being asked by many here in what once was a GREEN city.
Still a shade of green at ground level, if you scrape the dust and grime off first -  but far from green in the skies above.
The dust appears to be everywhere. Is it the extensive ongoing construction work or just dirty air blowing in from elsewhere or just another, newer Grey City in China.

No matter how often you clean within hours another layer of dust appears.
Keep your doors and windows shut they tell you - That might suit a Chinese rabbit but not me, I like to have air flow through a living area - Perhaps China for me is wearing a bit thin...One wonders what the summer has in store - Can you imagine it Hot, sultry, dirty and air less.

This picture taken around 9am 3rd April 2011 and that is not a heat haze...
No doubt, this winter has dragged on, perhaps 4/5 months or more - Dull, dreary, often cold and most certainly, dirtier and dustier than ever before.

Not just me saying this, talk to the native Nanningers, see what they are saying online, never have they known Nanning to be so dirty, dusty and grey skyed for so long.
Is Nanning now a true Chinese city? - with all that comes with it.

Maybe it's time for me to call it a day and move on to greener pastures...

Li Ning Sports Center Nanning Guangxi China

Li Ning
Located in the new Nanning Business District -  South Fengling Road.
The Nanning Li Ning Sports Center - It is now open.
Apparently the largest Sports Park for public welfare in China.

Now open 2011

Ricky Gervais Brings AN IDIOT ABROAD to Science Channel

Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant - An Idiot Abroad
In AN IDIOT ABROAD, Gervais and Merchant surprise their close friend - and close-minded curmudgeon - Karl Pilkington with a forced trip around the globe to visit the Seven Wonders of the World. This jet-setting adventure would be a dream come true for most, but it is a nightmare for Pilkington, who has no interest at all in ever leaving his comfort zone in the UK.
Despite his resistance, however, he's shipped to exotic locales, including the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal. His assignment at each destination is to learn the history of each Wonder of the World and immerse himself in the local customs. Will Pilkington, whom Ricky calls "the real-life Homer Simpson," broaden his perspective or trigger an international incident?

http://science.discovery.com/tv/an-idiot-abroad/



Another trailer video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o2Ee2l6nro

Getting tougher on foreign property investment in China Guangxi Nanning

UPDATE
Beijing is set to order China's second and third-tier cities sell only one homes to buyers, in an expanded effort to curtail housing hoarding and profiteering and rein in steep rises in property prices.
A top official from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development was reported as saying that cities including Qidao, in East China's Shandong province, Xi'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, and Nanning, in southwestern China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will be included in the government's new plan to curb property bubbles from growing in the country.
Source: People's Daily http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7269847.html

Buying a property in China may be getting a little more difficult for the foreigner.
China is tightening regulation on foreign investment in the real estate sector to crack down on speculation, according to a statement from the China Ministry of Commerce in December 2010.

The ministry urges local authorities to increase checks and supervision on property investment that involved foreign investors and strengthen risk controls on the sector, said the statement posted on the MOC website.
Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-12/24/content_11747879.htm

China will enhance the regulation of foreign institutions' investment in the country's property market and home purchases by non-Chinese citizens, as part of its efforts to curb the inflow of hot money and continue tightening of the real estate sector, a senior official said.

Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin said at a national conference that China will crack down on speculative home purchases and curb excessive growth in property prices next year.
The government will also strengthen the implementation of tightening measures unveiled in 2010.
The country has rolled out a string of tightening measures to cool the market, including suspending mortgages for third-home purchases, speeding up trials of property taxes, raising down-payment requirements for first-time home buyers and only allowing foreign citizens living in China to buy one home for their own use, which have "helped contain speculative demand to some extent", Jiang said.  
Source: http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?id=16488
Both property sales and prices are on the rise, according to a real estate research institute of China's Soufun Holdings.
The average price of housing in 100 Chinese cities rose 0.82 percent to 8,487 yuan (US$1,274) per square meter in November month-on-month, while the price in eight major cities including Beijing and Shanghai during the same period increased 0.41 percent to 15,407 yuan (US$2,313) per square meter, according to the institute's statistics.
The two reasons behind the rising property prices are increasing inflation pressure and foreign capital entering China on expectations that the yuan will appreciate, Yang Hongxu, a researcher with the Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institute, said.
Source: http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1202&MainCatID=12&id=20101224000018